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Orthodox Conundrum

Mar 11, 2024

In some recent episodes of this podcast, Scott and his guests have discussed numerous issues relevant to the Religious Zionist world, including some of the ways that Religious Zionism differs from Modern Orthodoxy. But Religious Zionism is not a monolith; there are many different paths within Religious Zionism, and the differences between these paths can sometimes be vast.

For example, the Mafdal - that is, Mifleget Dati Leumi, the old Religious Zionist Party which dominated Religious Zionist politics for decades - was, during the Six Day War, perhaps the most dovish and anti-war of all the parties in the Labor-led government. Today, in contrast, the dominant ideology within Religious Zionism is associated with the philosophy of rabbis like Rav Zvi Yehuda Kook and others who founded the settlement movement. But even though modern political Religious Zionism is generally associated with the right or even the far right on the Israeli political spectrum, the other strains within Religious Zionism still exist, albeit less so in the political arena. 

In order to discuss the future of Religious Zionism, Scott invited Daniel Goldman and Rabbi Elie Mischel to discuss it on the Orthodox Conundrum. But the issue of settlements and the question of a Palestinian State took up so much time that they decided to make this episode Part One, and deal with other pressing issues in Part Two. So this episode largely deals with different attitudes towards the maintenance and expansion of settlements in the West Bank, the issue of whether to create a permanent civilian Jewish presence in Gaza, the future of the Palestinians who live in the West Bank and Gaza and whether that future should include an independent Palestinian state, questions around the democratic character of Israel and whether Israel should be bound by international law, whether to relate to Tanach as history or as a practical guide, and much more.

(Please note that Rabbi Mischel is joining the podcast in a personal capacity, and his views do not necessarily reflect those of the Mizrachi organization.)

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Music: "Happy Rock" by