In Episode 184, Scott spoke with Michael Eisenberg and Rabbi Yehoshua Hershberg about their conviction that the time has come for the ultra-Orthodox community in Israel – often referred to as the Chareidim – to participate more fully in Israeli society, specifically by ending what has effectively become a blanket exemption from military service, and by their becoming integrated into Israel’s economic life.
What was lacking, however, was an explanation of the Chareidi point of view on these matters. So in the interest of expanding and deepening the conversation, Scott was honored to welcome Rabbi Yitzchak Breitowitz to articulate the arguments that are commonly used by those who identify as ultra-Orthodox. Rabbi Breitowitz is one of the Orthodox world’s most brilliant scholars; in addition to being an outstanding talmid chacham, he also is a graduate of Harvard Law School and was an associate professor at the University of Maryland School of Law before moving to Israel. Rabbi Breitowitz and Scott engaged in a fascinating conversation about Chareidi integration into the military, the economy, and more, and no topic was off limits.
Rabbi Breitowitz was asked to explain the Chareidi position as best as he understands it, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that he identifies with every argument he presents. Nevertheless, there are few individuals who are able to explain Torah ideas and ideals, truly backed by real knowledge and scholarship, as well as Rabbi Breitowitz. His explanations of the thinking behind the policies of the ultra-Orthodox world need to be analyzed and taken seriously in order for Israeli society to progress in a manner that will be beneficial for all Jews – secular, national religious, and ultra-Orthodox alike.
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Music: “Happy Rock” by bensound.com