Author Archives: Aron White

Aron White is a fourth year student at Yeshivat HaKotel.

The Other 20%

by Aron White The Other 20%: Rethinking Our Relationship With World Jewry The Jewish world in the 21st century has two centres of gravity – Israel and the United States in America. 82% of all the worlds Jews live in these two countries (11.5-12 million between them), and the next largest Jewish population centre, France, has less than 4% of ...

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The State We Are In: The Missing Side of the State of Israel

by Aron White As the focus of the Jewish community moves towards Yom HaZikaron, Yom Haatzmaut and the State of Israel, I wish to suggest that there is something missing from the Orthodox community`s discussions about Israel. The Modern Orthodox, Chareidi and National Religious communities all manage to vastly overlook the following very important fact – the State of Israel ...

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One Mitzvah Above Them All

by Aron White The Problem of Torah Study The mitzvah to learn Torah confuses many people. On the one hand, the Sages make it crystal clear in numerous places that the Torah study is the primary value of Judaism – most famously “VeTalmud Torah KeNegged Kulam,” “Torah study is equal to all other commandments.” However, in the current environment, many ...

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Why Briskers Learn Kodshim – And What It Means For Modern Orthodoxy

by Aron White For a city of just thirty thousand people, the city of Brisk left a disproportionate mark on world and Jewish history. In 1918, the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk (the Belorussian name for Brisk) was signed in Brisk, ending Russia`s participation in World War 1. In 1913, Menachem Begin, the future leader of the Irgun, and iconic Prime Minister ...

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Rethinking the Tefilla LiShlom HaMalchut

by Aron White A feature of Judaism throughout the millennia is that Jews prayed for the welfare of their governments. Yirmiyahu tells the exiles in Babylon to pray for the success of their exilers (Jer. 29:7). During the time of the Second Temple, sacrifices were offered for the sake of the Persian, Ptolemaic and Roman rulers. Throughout the Middle Ages, ...

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The New Israeli Army

by Aron White In a book released last year, Amos Harel, the army commentator for Haaretz and the author of a number of books on the Israeli military, describes how the Israeli army is changing. The changes are fascinating. Due to the internet, more information is available to new soldiers about what to expect, removing the traditional element of surprise. ...

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A Matter of Pride

by Aron White Torah study has been a fundamental part of Judaism for a long time. However, there is one element of it which can be found throughout classical Jewish sources right up until the previous century, which I believe has eroded greatly in the past fifty years. This element is the idea of pride in Torah and Talmidei Chachamim. ...

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Responding to Catastrophe

by Aron White The destruction of the Second Beis Hamikdash was a devastating catastrophe for the Jewish people. The Gemara (Bava Basra 60b) records the sense of lethargy and depression that set in – Jews were so demoralised, they did not see any reason to continue Judaism. Beyond the initial depression, the long term questions of the future of Jewish ...

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Looking for the Ghosts

by Aron White A central feature of the thought of Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik is the concept of a Mesorah community. Jews are conceived as part of a shared community spanning generations, with a shared religious and spiritual mission and destiny. (Recently this concept was summarised in an article on this website.) However, I think that this concept is in danger. ...

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