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The Invention of Jewish Theocracy – The Struggle for Legal Authority in Modern Israel - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Invention of Jewish Theocracy: The Struggle for Legal Authority in Modern Israel

Alexander Kaye


The Invention of Jewish Theocracy is about Jewish religious approaches to law and politics in the State of Israel. It uncovers the forgotten history of religious Zionists who tried to create a “halakhic state” by making traditional Jewish law (halakha) into Israel’s official law. This endeavour brought about a conflict over Israel’s legal framework with the majority of Israeli Jews who wanted Israel to be a secular democracy. This struggle over legal authority became the backdrop for a pervasive culture war, whose consequences are felt throughout Israeli society until today. It has also shaped ... More

Keywords: Israel, jurisprudence, law, theocracy, Religious Zionism, legal pluralism, legal centralism, Rabbi Isaac Herzog, rabbinate, halakha, halakhic state

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2020 Print ISBN-13: 9780190922740
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2020 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190922740.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Alexander Kaye, author
Assistant Professor, Department of Near East and Judaic Studies; Karl, Harry, and Helen Stoll Assistant Chair of Israel Studies, Brandeis University