Religion and Politics in Jewish Thought

Essays in Honor of Aviezer Ravitzky

A festschrift in honor of IDI Senior Fellow Emeritus Prof. Aviezer Ravitzky edited by Benjamin Brown, Menachem Lorberbaum, Avinoam Rosenak, and IDI Vice President Yedidia Z. Stern, who co-directed IDI's Religion and State project together with Prof. Ravitzky. This double volume set includes articles written by Ravtizky's teachers, colleagues, students, and children.

  • Zvi Yekutiel, "Our Aviezer"
  • Tamar Biton, Renana Pilzer Ravitzky, Shlomit Ravitzky Tur-Paz, and Roie Ravitzky, "Lev Banim al Avotam" – On History and Biography
  • Avinoam Rosenak, "Thought and Leadership in the Writings of Aviezer Ravitzky"
  • Moshe Halbertal, "On the Threshold of Forgiveness: On Law and Narrative in the Talmud"
  • Daniel Statman, "A Few Comments on Forgiveness in Jewish Tradition"
  • Menachem Lorberbaum, "A Filigree of Language and Narrative: Translating Maimonides' Guide"
  • Gitit Holzman, "State, Religion and Spirituality in the Thought of Rabbi Moshe Narboni"
  • Zev Harvey, "Anarchism, Egalitarianism, and Communism in Isaac Abarbanel"
  • Shalom Rosenberg, "Nature, Reason, Torah"
  • Dov Schwarz, "Remarks on the Late 13th Century Debate on Prophecy and Esotericism"
  • Aviram Ravitzky, "Saadya's Theology and Maimonides' Philosophy: The Characteristics of Medieval Jewish Thought"
  • Esther Eisenmann, "Social and Political Principles in Gersonides' Thought"
  • Joseph Dan, "Messianic Movements in the Period of the Crusades"
  • Moshe Idel, "On the Secrets of the Torah in Abraham Abulafia"
  • Yehuda Liebes, "Long Live the King: The Strong Weakness of a Monarch"
  • Rachel Elior, "On Sabbatianism and Hasidism in Podolia in the 18th Century and on the Exclusion of the Sabbateans from the Jewish Community"
  • Jonathan Garb, "The Political Model in Modern Kabbalah: A Study of Ramhal and His Intellectual Surroundings"
  • Moshe Hellinger, "On Democracy and the State of Israel as a Democratic Country"
  • Menachem Kellner, "Rabbi Elhanan Wasserman on Maimonides and Maimonides on Reb Elhanan"
  • Eliezer Schweid, "'A Fighting Army', 'A Laboring Army', 'A People's Army'"
  • Hannah Kasher, "Between Destruction and Construction: A Criticism of Yeshayahu Leibowitz's Teachings"
  • Michael Rosenak, "Religious Responses: Testimony and Theology"
  • Anita Shapira, "Yosef Haim Brenner and Rabbi Binyamin: Two Approaches to the 'Arab Question'"
  • Yosef Salmon, "Eliyahu Akiva Rabinowich: Spokesman of Russian Jewish Orthodoxy"
  • Arye Carmon, "The Secular Manifesto"
  • Benjamin Brown, "The Hafetz Hayim on the Halakhic Status of the Non-Observant"
  • Arye Edrei, "The Foundations of Religious-Zionist Halakhah: Rabbi Kook and the Polemic over the Sabbatical Year"
  • Yedidia Z. Stern, "Not all of Israel has a Share in the World to Come"? On the Halakhic Approach to Israeli Law"
  • Ariel Picard, "Changes in Religious Zionism's Approach to the Shmita and the State of Israel"

Professor Aviezer Ravitzky begins his article "Thought and Leadership in the Teachings of Maimonides" [1] by citing the words of the French writer Julien Benda, who coined the term "treason of the intellectuals" (La Trahison des clercs) in 1927. [2] Ravitzky was aware of the elitist and introverted context of this saying, meaning, Julien Benda preached to the intellectuals to concentrate on concepts and ideas and not to turn to the social and political realm; the philosopher, scholar, and intellectual should offer an objective and distanced analysis, which does not touch personal, group, or national interests.