American Rabbi, Author and Professor of Philosophy and Torah at Yeshiva University
The question is, notwithstanding the fact that Israel is not a halakhically oriented political entity, whether we can give it a religious endorsement, whether we can recognize its status as something which has religious significance; and we must answer these questions affirmatively. Even though the political conceptions of halakha do not always coincide with that which prevails in Israel, and even though Israel's norms and social patterns do not conform to Torah requirements in all instances, it is still possible to recognize the religious significance of the contemporary Jewish state.
We are not ready to change Israel's democracy, but we must remember that Israel is a Jewish state that its Jewish character may sometimes come into conflict with its democratic character, and as between the two, to my mind at least, the Jewish character of Israel must take priority. Now this is not, by the way, a very extraordinary point of view. It is not so radically different from what prevails in the United States. The political philosopher Alexis De Tocqueville once pointed out that even in the context of American democracy, freedom and equality represent [potentially] contradictory notions. If you push equality to the extreme, you must necessarily deny freedom. This is the problem with communist societies. They push equality with respect to material possessions to such a point that they must deny many individual freedoms. So Toqueville made the important observation that in America we have two ideals; we are strongly committed to each, and yet they contradict each other. So some kind of accommodation must be found. Israel is a democracy. Israel is also a Jewish society. It is important that Israel retain its Jewish character even if the state must undertake measures which are not necessarily democratic. For example, Israel will never allow the Arab population to grow so large that it will vote the Jewish state of existence, but in doing this, it would be violating the principles of democracy.
Israel is a democracy, and Israel's democracy is not founded on Torah.
The successful person is one who is able to take their talents
The successful person is one who is able to take his talents and invest them in the business of living in a manner that leads to the accomplishment of a full life of service... The medium of exchange is not the dollar but services rendered.