Jewish Approaches to Israeli Minorities Part 1 – Democracy and Tradition

Posted by Meesh Hammer-Kossoy on January 21, 2016
Topics: Jewish Approaches to Israeli Minorities, Pardes Live and Mini-Series, Social Justice

Rabbi Meesh Hammer-Kossoy presents a five-part series on Am I my Brother’s Keeper? Jewish Approaches to Israeli Minorities. In this episode, live from Pardes in Jerusalem, Meesh will discuss Democracy and Tradition. The declaration of independence declares: “THE STATE OF ISRAEL will be open for Jewish immigration and for the Ingathering of the Exiles; it will foster the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants; it will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel; it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex.”

The protection of minority rights is a signature characteristic of the democratic state. But is democracy a Jewish value? MK Haneen Zoabi and Satmar Rabbi Teitlebaum are united in their conviction that there is no such thing as a Jewish and Democratic state, as dictated by the Israeli basic laws. The UN Human Rights Commission seems equally unimpressed.

What do we as modern Jews have to say about the tension and complexity of building a Jewish and democratic state both from traditional and practical perspectives?

Note: There is Hevruta time between 22:00 and 33:15.

Click here for more episodes in the series.

About Meesh Hammer-Kossoy

Meesh is the Director of the Pardes Year Program, where she has been making her professional home since 1999. Originally from Washington, D.C., Meesh has a B.A. in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies from Brandeis University, and a M.A. and Ph.D. from New York University. Her dissertation explored the courageous manner in which the rabbis of the Talmud created a new criminal punishment system. In 2015, Meesh completed her studies at Beit Midrash Har'el and received ordination from Rabbi Herzl Hefter and Rabbi Daniel Sperber. Click here to read more.

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