In recent years, religious Jewish communities around the world have turned increasingly toward the right. In Israel, the overwhelmingly right-wing ideology of Religious Zionism is on the rise, and it’s often seen as unusual to be both religious and left-wing. But there’s also a growing movement of observant Jews offering an alternative vision for religious life that centers Jewish values of justice, compassion, and freedom.
In this episode of On the Nose, Israel/Palestine fellow Maya Rosen speaks with Mikhael Manekin, Nechumi Yaffe, and Dvir Warshavsky, three activists with the new Israeli religious left-wing group Smol HaEmuni (the Faithful Left), about the experience of the religious left in Israel after October 7th, their work in the West Bank city of Hebron, and the movement’s future.
Thanks to Jesse Brenneman for producing and to Nathan Salsburg for the use of his song “VIII (All That Were Calculated Have Passed).”
Texts Mentioned and Further Reading:
End of Days: Ethics, Tradition, and Power in Israel by Mikhael Manekin
“Can religious Zionism overcome its addiction to state power?,” Shaul Magid, +972 Magazine
“The far right is ‘taking over’ the Israeli army—with leftists in its crosshairs,” Oren Ziv, +972 Magazine
“‘Not Our Judaism’: Israel’s Religious Left Takes a Stand Against Netanyahu Government,” Judy Maltz, Haaretz
“There Are No Lights in War: We Need a Different Religious Language,” Ariel Schwartz, The Lehrhaus