Maimonides’ Third answer to R. Ovadyah haGer: Translation of Iggeret el Rav Ovadyah haGer

This is a translation of the third part of Maimonides’ letter to R. Ovadyah haGer, the Arab convert who embraced Judaism. While it isn’t rare to see converts become hostile to their earlier religions, R. Ovadyah seems to have been at least honest, when it comes to Islam. From the context of the whole letter, we understand that he had a disagreement with his teacher about the nature of Islam, if the Muslims are to be considered...

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The Israeli Millet System
Jun26

The Israeli Millet System

In an article, “The Israeli Millet System: Examining Legal Pluralism through Lenses of Nation-Building and Human Rights”,[1] Yüksel Sezgin puts a critical focus on the Israeli legal system, arguing for the problematic nature of legal pluralism in the state, and the consequences of it. Besides the proposal of a conscious Israeli choice of the Ottoman Millet system, used in order to create a unified and single Jewish identity, and being...

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A Day of Mourning for the Temple

Today in the Jewish calendar is Tisha B’Av, the ninth day of the month Av. And what is so special about that? Well, a number of the greatest tragedies in Jewish history happened on this day – at least according to tradition. The destruction of both the first and the second Temple happened on this day, as well as the Jewish city of Betar being conquered with the death of tens of thousands Jews, the expulsion of the Jews from Spain and...

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Muhammad’s Political Union with the Jews

When talking about relations between Muslims and Jews, many people have the impression that we are dealing with relations based on mutual dislike, or even hatred, and that it has always been like this. The more studied know that some of the mutual dislike that might exist, probably can be found in Muhammad’s relations to the Jews, as we find several verses in the Quran presenting the Jews in a bad light, pointing to these verses as...

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