This past April, Israel held national elections that would either grant Prime Minster Netanyahu and his Likud party another term in office, or else designate a replacement. And for the first time since in Israeli history, the apparent victor could not assemble a governing Knesset majority, forcing the country to hold another election. In September, Israelis went back to the polls and, as of this writing, no coalition has emerged capable of establishing a new government.
At the very center of Israel’s political turbulence is the Ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) community. Will the government force Israel’s Haredim to join their fellow citizens in conscripted military service? How can this community – now a million strong – integrate into the Israeli economy and society without losing its distinctive vision of Jewish life? Rabbi Yehoshua Pfeffer, editor of the Israeli journal of Haredi thought and ideas, Tzarich Iyun, is one of the most important figures thinking about and shaping the future of haredi politics and culture in Israel. Learn about the culture war at the center of Israeli politics from one of the Haredi community’s most insightful leaders.

Rabbi Yehoshua Pfeffer

Yehoshua Pfeffer is a rabbi and former dayan (religious judge), specializing in monetary law. He currently heads the haredi division at the Tikvah Fund in Israel, teaches at Yeshivas Chedvas HaTorah, and is Editor-in-Chief of the new Tzarich Iyun (“Needs Further Study”) online journal. Pfeffer has written numerous books and articles on different subjects of Jewish law and thought; lectures extensively for various forums in Israel and abroad; and has served as chief halachic assistant to the former Chief Rabbi of Israel and as a researcher for the Israel Law Ministry. He holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Law from Hebrew University, and clerked at the Supreme Court of Israel. He lectures at Hebrew University and at Ono Academic College.