23 2024

CSP: Sovereignty, Violence & Morality: Zionism & Ethics of Judaism

12:30PM - 1:30PM  

Zoom - Online - register for link N/A

Contact Arie Katz
(949) 682-4040

$ Cost $ 0.00

Sovereignty, Violence and Morality: Zionism and the Ethics of Judaism (Part 1/4 Religious Anti-Zionism) with Rabbi Chaim Seidler-Feller

"והוֹרַשְׁתֶּ֥ם אֶת־הָאָ֖רֶץ וִֽישַׁבְתֶּם־בָּ֑הּ כִּ֥י לָכֶ֛ם נָתַ֥תִּי אֶת־הָאָ֖רֶץ לָרֶ֥שֶׁת אֹתָֽהּ׃

""And you shall take possession of the land and settle in it, for I have assigned the land to you to possess.""
(Numbers 33:53)

The current Israeli-Palestinian conflict has seen a revival of the discussion regarding the Jewish right to establish a state in the Land of Israel that has occasioned a renewed focus on the dynamics of sovereignty. Beyond a doubt, the implementation of Jewish sovereignty in Eretz Yisrael is the essential dimension of political Zionism. In this four part seminar, Rabbi Seidler-Feller will examine the manner with which religion interacts with sovereignty and with the nationalist impulse that it nurtures. Among the questions considered are: Can the mingling of religion and state function constructively or must their interplay always be toxic, resulting in harmful and oppressive outcomes? Can God and religious values curb the excesses of nationalist fervor? How does the seductively alluring nature of power factor into the Zionist expression of Jewish sovereignty? And can there be a Zionism that embraces God, but does not aspire to sovereignty? We will study a variety of sources, ranging from the writings of the Rabbi of Satmar (an avowed anti-Zionist), to the power centered ideology of Vladimir Jabotinsky, to the messianic exhortations of the Rabbis Kook (father and son) and the settler rabbis of Gush Emunim (the Bloc of the Faithful), to the pacifist thought of “One of the Passionate Rabbis” - אחד הרבנים המרגישים and to the humanistic teachings of Ahad Ha’am and the founders of religious Zionism. We will see how some of these teachings inform and shape Israeli politics and foment the extremism that is evident today. And we will discover the sober voices of the tradition that promote constraint and a limitation on the unfettered exercise of power."

Thursdays May 9, 16, 23 & 30

Sponsor: Orange County Community Scholar Program (CSP)