Parading through Jerusalem's Muslim Quarter, the Orthodox Jews marching for Jerusalem Day equate Jewish heroism with militaristic nationalism. But there are, and always were, other paths
William Kolbrener is Professor of English Literature at Bar Ilan University, is author of Milton’s Warring Angels (Cambridge 1996), and most recently Open Minded Torah: Of Irony, Fundamentalism and Love (Continuum 2011); his The Last Rabbi: Joseph Soloveitchik and Talmudic Tradition is forthcoming from Indiana in the fall. Follow him on Twitter: @OMTorah
Their nasty, petty God moonlights as an instigator of death and destruction, burning homes, even destroying lives, all for the good of the outposts of Judea and Samaria.
Until now, Orthodox Jewish supporters of Trump haven't been fazed by his bigotry, racism and sexism. Will the tapes that show him as a self-avowed sexual predator finally break them?
Demagogues like Israel's education minister are stuck forever in a closed world without imaginative possibility, a literalist ghetto in which they want to keep their electorate as well.
If the possibility of being seated next to a women bothers ultra-Orthodox passengers so much – make them pay for their religious preferences.
For generations Jews have spun stories of redemption and salvation to insulate ourselves from history: Now, the challenge in Israel is to deal with the end of enchantment.
Many Jewish authors have won the Nobel Prize for Literature before, but is the 'uncouth' Philip Roth's Jewish identity just too in-your-face for the judges in Stockholm?
As the ultra-Orthodox take on the language of rights, they should be careful what they wish for: Rights are not just a slogan, but a quid pro quo which would mean Haredim engaging in the give-and-take of a national conversation about Israeli democracy.
Building an Israeli identity that can encompass Israelis from ultra-Orthodox to post-Zionists may rest on a paradox: We are all at home, citizens of the Jewish state, but we must also feel that we are still in exile, as we have not yet arrived at the realization of our ideals.
Are the ancient Jewish principles of conversation, pluralism and toleration I encountered in studying both English literature and the Talmud in danger of extinction, as the ultra-religious world embraces extremism and exclusion?