Thursday, October 05, 2006

A bunch of hippy Jewish Peace links

Ok, it's much more nuanced then that. More just general Jewish Left-oriented links and things, with a few reasonable-Right type folk. Hardly exhaustive but often hard to find things here. Taken from something I emailed someone, so not very edited or coherent;

There is no real order of importance to this list. A few caveats; when I give a name, I sort imply you should maybe google it to see whats out there. Also, there are links or suggestions that don’t seem directly related to peace/SJ as such; part of the issue is that, for Orthodox Judaism, there really isn’t segmentation of life into ethics, law and spirit. It’s all bound up together as a way of life. Or it’s supposed to be. I tried to get as much stuff as possible that’s available on the internet. Enjoy!

Oz v' Shalom; rabbis and some rabbonim (Rav Amital from The Gush was one of the founders of O’v’S), yeshiva students, campus intellectual types, etc. mostly liberal “Orthodox”. It’s been sort of underground since the most recent spats of violence;

Micha Odenheimer, lives in the Old City section of Jerusalem; peace activist, etc. Apparently Orthodox, might have smicha. Carlebachian, I’m pretty sure, may go back that far. Has written some things for Rabbis for Human Rights, a mostly "Reform" religious "peace"group whom I have issues with, but he himself doesn’t seem too out of it.

R Yitzchak Blau teaches at Yeshivat Hamivtar in the Gush; not a “peacenik”, writer in Judaism and ethics, solidly with the Religious Zionist perspective; he wrote several great pieces for Torah u'Maddah Journal (available at under the “publications” section, under Torah u’Maddah Journal). and a piece from "Tradition" in 2000 called "Ploughshares into Swords" on the turn to militant Messianism (my words) in the Religious Zionist camp, etc. I hold him in very high regard.

Assorted books and stuff;

Rabbi Sholom Carmy authored a fabulous essay called “Is Religion a Primary Cause of War? An Essay in Understanding and Self Examination”;

compassion for humanity in the jewish tradition- David Sears (wrote some veggie-R. Nahman-type book recently too)

Universal Jew - Yosef ben Shlomo haKohen. Definitely from a "Frummy" perspective, but more like a liberal Democrat frummy. Suggests alot of mainline Agudah-type sources. Shabsi's may still have, here in B'more.

"Nationalism, Humanity and Knesset Yisrael" by R. Yoel Ben-Nun in "The world of Rav Kook’s Thought". There are many fantastic essays in this book, illuminating some of the many dimensions of a great soul, Rav Yitzhak haCohen Kook. Rav Yehuda Amital has an amazing essay on the contemporary value of Rav Kook’s thought here;

messianism, zionism and jewish religious radicalism by Aviezer Ravitsky
On the various shifts that have occurred in Religious Zionist thought - mostly to the Right. For example coexistence with Arab populations of the region, a rather polarizing concept, was not a controversial idea among Religious Zionists in the earlier years of the 20th Century. Here is a section from his book;
There remain segments of the Religious Zionist camp who are more in line with classical Religious Zionism, such as the town of Efrat in the West Bank/YeSha, and Tekoa. Here is a good discussion of facets of Religious Zionism (the source of many of the social justice activists in Israel).

Moshe Halbertal "ones possessed of religion; religious tolerance in the teachings of the Meiri";

R. Michael Broyde "fighting the war and the peace";
"jews, public policy and civil rights"
There is also an expansion along similar lines at;
Somewhat controversial (from a "hardline" peace perspective), for his recent 'defense' of the possibility of permissable torture in Halakha.

Marc Gopin is somehow ‘Orthodox’ I think, went to YU at least. He is a big “Reconciliation” guy in general, has written a book or two and some essays, I’m sure if you Google his name stuff will come up. Obviously a bit Platformist "Left" for me.

Rabbi Menahem Froman is the Chief Rabbi of the town of Tekoa in the West Bank/YeSHa; he is very proactive in coexistence /dialogue issues and such.

R. Jonathan Sacks at his website features some expansions from his book "Dignity of Difference";

"A Halakhic View of the Non-Jew", by R. Nahum Eliezer Rabinovitch, available at (by searching his name); also the lengthy piece "Way of Torah" is good, about the holistic preventive nature of learning “all that law” in Jewish society.

Jewish Fund(s) For Justice, A poverty relief organization that actually has support from R. Aharon Soloveitchik, has recently joined with another jewish peace-type fund which may have made it treif. Better make your own decisions about it.

-Essays in the Orthodox Forum Series volume "Tikkun Olam" on whether there is halakhic mandate to better the non-Jewish societies around us, ways Jews might be involved in the greater society, etc.

The party Meimad in Israel is a “moderate” Religious Zionist party that has more people in agreement with it than actually in it. Represents “Classical” Religious Zionism as it were.

The First Alexandria Declaration

Dr. David Luchins; Hillary Clinton’s Congressional Secretary and a Fedora-wearing Frummy, active in Social Justice issues and flaming liberal and [remains an] all around Mensch. Google him maybe, but he has some audio material around I could find for you. He recommended the Jewish Fund for Justice on an Aish tape I heard. he has some audio pieces at

Hindu/Jewish dialogue as the basis for a restructuring of “inter-religious dialogue”; "How the Hindu-Jewish Encounter Reconfigures Interreligious Dialogue." Shofar: An Interdisciplinary J. of Jewish Studies 16, 1 (1997): 28-42.

steven schwartchild essay on jewish ethics/and Non-Jews

Blidstein on Non-Jews and ethics

David Berger on the recent statement by a group of Jewish leaders on other religions called Debru Emet
He's an important scholar in the field(s) of Jewish/Christian dialogue.

Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks discussion on dignity of difference


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