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Prof. Aviezer Ravitzky

Prof. Aviezer Ravtizky was a Senior Fellow at IDI, where he co-directed the Religion and State project with Prof. Yedidia Stern. His areas of expertise include Jewish thought, philosophy, religion and state, religious radicalism, and Israeli society and ideology.

Professor Aviezer Ravtizky was a Senior Fellow at the Israel Democracy Institute (IDI) where he directed the Religion and State project along with Professor Yedidia Stern. His areas of expertise include Jewish thought, philosophy, religion and state, religious radicalism, and Israeli society and ideology.

Professor Ravitzky was born in Jerusalem in 1945. He received his Ph.D. (summa cum laude) from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and was a Post Doctorate Fellow at Harvard University.

Professor Ravitzky has taught as a visiting professor at leading universities in the United States including Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, Rice University, Yeshiva University, Brown University, and the Jewish Theological Seminary. Professor Ravitzky is the Sol Rosenblum Professor of Jewish Philosophy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and has served as the Chair of the Department of Jewish Thought and as Chairman of the Institute of Jewish Studies at the Hebrew University. He has also served as a member of the Israeli Counsel of Higher Education and a member of the Israel-Prize Committee of Judges.

In 2001, Professor Ravitzky was honored with Israel's most prestigious award, the Israel Prize, for his research in Jewish Thought.

Professor Ravitzky has written and edited numerous books and articles, including Is a Halakhic State Possible? The Paradox of Jewish Theocracy (Israel Democracy Institute 2004), The Land of Israel in Modern Jewish Thought (Yad Ben Zvi, 3 Volumes 1991, 1998, 2004), Religion and State in Jewish Philosophy (Israel Democracy Institute 2002), Religious and Secular Jews in Israel: A Kulturkampf? (Israel Democracy Institute 2000), History and Faith (JC Gieben 1996), and Messianism, Zionism and Jewish Religious Radicalism (Chicago University Press 1996).

He and his wife Ruth have four children and reside in Jerusalem.

The Israel Prize for Jewish Thought, 2001

  • Reflections On Jewish Democracy

    Year: 2010
    Editor: Benny Porat,, Aviezer Ravitzky,

    Reflections on Jewish Democracy is an anthology that was compiled by Dr. Benny Prorat and Prof. Aviezer Ravitzky to give readers a more multifaceted view of the relationship between Israel’s democratic regime and Jewish tradition, since Jewish sources contain far more democratic elements – or at least proto-democratic elements – than one might expect. These elements provide a firm basis for a relationship between Jewish tradition and democracy that is far more productive and harmonious than the relationship commonly perceived today.

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  • The Jewishness of Israel

    Year: 2007
    Editor: Aviezer Ravitzky,, Yedidia Z. Stern,

    Prominent Israeli thinkers discuss the unique and enigmatic nature of the State of Israel, which is at the same time a modern Western state with roots in classical Jewish culture and tradition, a nation-state with a large national minority, and a Jewish state whose citizens cannot reach a consensus on their common denominator.

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  • Men in Black

    A Journey to the Wellsprings of Israeli Politics - Haredi Men in the Likud

    Year: 2006
    Author: Yohai Hakak
    Supervisor: Aviezer Ravitzky,, Tamar Rapoport

    This study focuses on Haredi activists and their integration into the Likud movement—an important and central secular movement in Israel, which is the last years has absorbed many Haredi members. The paper explores the connection between this phenomenon and deeper phenomena in the Haredi community, such as the development of internal critical conversation and the demand for more equality and democracy.

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  • Religion and State in Twentieth-Century Jewish Thought

    Year: 2005
    Editor: Aviezer Ravitzky,

    The book centers on the work of Jewish political thinkers with different ideological affiliations and from different countries. After a thematic clarification of fundamental questions on the religion and state problem, the bulk of the book is devoted to a discussion of the writings and views of major thinkers, ending with reflections about the place of Judaism in a Jewish and democratic state.

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  • Is a Halakhic State Possible? The Paradox of Jewish Theocracy

    Year: 2004
    Author: Aviezer Ravitzky,

    Does Jewish law require that the State of Israel be fashioned into a religious theocracy? Are Torah-observant Jews required to impose Jewish law on the public against its will? Prof. Aviezer Ravitzky explores the political and cultural options between the two extremes of a halakhic state and complete separation of church and state.

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  • Religion and State in Jewish Philosophy:

    Models of Unity, Division, Collision and Subordination

    Year: 1998
    Author: Aviezer Ravitzky,

    This volume presents a selection of writings on issues of religion and state from the Golden Age of Jewish philosophy, which extended from the time of Maimonides until the expulsion of the Jews from Spain and Portugal. Prof. Ravitzky’s discussions of the texts highlight their contemporary relevance.

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  • Religious and Secular Jews in Israel

    A Kulturkampf?

    Year: 1997
    Author: Aviezer Ravitzky,

    Prof. Aviezer Ravitzky , one of the leading researchers in Philosophy of Israel, reveals a surprisingly optimistic view of the struggle between religious and secular Jews in Israel in Israel. He wonders, for example, whether we should not take comfort from the fact that both the ultra-Orthodox and the Reform, who were originally antagonistic to the idea of Zionism, are conducting their struggle today in the Zionist arena of the State of Israel.

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Professor Ravitzky has written and edited numerous books and articles, including:

  • Is a Halakhic State Possible? The Paradox of Jewish Theocracy (Israel Democracy Institute, 2004)
  • The Land of Israel in Modern Jewish Thought (Yad Ben Zvi, 3 Volumes, 1991, 1998, and 2004)
  • Religion and State in Jewish Philosophy (Israel Democracy Institute, 2002)
  • Religious and Secular Jews in Israel: A Kulturkampf? (Israel Democracy Institute, 2000)
  • History and Faith (JC Gieben, 1996)
  • Messianism, Zionism and Jewish Religious Radicalism (Chicago University Press 1996)

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