Sitemap - 2023 - Israel from the Inside with Daniel Gordis

"If you're reading this, then something happened to me."

The deeply held rabbinic intuition that Jewish power is a double edged sword....

A classic heartbreak song is reborn: The "Winter of '73" becomes "October '23"

American Jews face not "anti-Semitism" but "dehumanization"; and if Israel does not win this war (which it might not), the Abraham Accords will evaporate

How and why October 7 was a violation of the promise that Zionism and Israel had made to the Jewish people (Part II of II)

Extraordinary humanity in the darkest of times

A brief history of Zionism and the promise to the Jewish people that lay at its heart (Part I of II)

Rage. Frustration. Tragedy. Heartbreak. Celebration.

The Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research releases new findings...

"You live a historic life, a life of mission, a life of purpose"

"Have Mercy on Zion, as You promised"

“Jewish Priorities: Sixty-Five Proposals for the Future of Our People"

Ambassador David Friedman on what happens after: "The State of Israel must maintain full sovereignty, ‘from the river to the sea.'"

"For deliverance has been too long delayed, and there seems no end to the days of evil"

We need to live in a world in which light increases

This is a nation that will be mired in PTSD for as long as any of us are alive. [WARNING-verbally graphic video above]

Given that 2023 was the worst year in Israel's history, by far, what would Israel's founders have thought of us now?

"American liberal Judaism became a religion rather than an ethnicity, and more ominously, a 'cult of integration'"

A sobered nation returns to (a likely long) war—with the outcome still far from certain

If Israel has to choose between the hostages and winning the war; and how liberal American Judaism's most fundamental strategy failed

"The Wheat Grows Once More"

"Ecstasy and Amnesia in the Gaza Strip" — A conversation with Dr. Shany Mor

The first women-led armored battle in history

"I hadn’t fully understood how much the country had so profoundly changed." BUT FIRST, a Thanksgiving quiz: is that cousin of yours a "Brit" or a "German"?

Israel is going to feel a different kind of responsibility for Jews around the world

The night many Israelis realized we might not win this war

"I hadn’t fully understood how much the country had so profoundly changed." BUT FIRST, a Thanksgiving quiz: is that cousin of yours a "Brit" or a "German"?

Two existential threats: faith in the country if the hostages don't return, and Israel's long not-so-secret war with Iran

"If you don't defend citizens from kidnap and murder, you end up choosing between terrible options and slightly less bad options."

"The man, my grandfather's age, asked, 'why did it take you so long to arrive?' I had nothing to say. We failed them."

"We have to re-found this country. We've gone back in history to before Israel existed."

"With your bravery, we can begin all over again, from the beginning, from Creation."

"It was not the security of biblical Israel’s states, but rather the fear of those states’ collapse, that established a national Jewish consciousness."

"Probably for the rest of my life, I won't sleep alone." More sections of yesterday's interview with the children of Be'eri.

"I miss my Grandma. I miss the people I love. I miss everything."

And None Shall Make Them Afraid

"Maybe this war will be called the Second War of Independence"

Five weeks in, Israel and Israelis have undergone a profound change. Where we're headed is not clear. But what is certain is that we're not going back.

"God and I aren't ready to talk yet"

"Shkhol"—English doesn't even have a word for it

One month in, a national Day of Mourning

"The Book That Saw October 7 Coming From a Mile Away"

Exactly a century after he wrote it, Jabotinsky's "Iron Wall" essay is suddenly getting a lot of attention. So, too, is the Holocaust.

A month after the savagery, the new assault is on memory. And some Jews are part of the problem.

"In the absence of a leader, it is the people that will rise up and win this war."

"Where are Israeli Arab voices?" an Israeli intellectual wonders. While a peace activist says, "I'm done."

The citizens: still shocked by Oct 7 and coming to terms with how broken things are; the IDF: pressing forward in a massive assault on Hamas

After three weeks of war ... what do we know?

ISIS is gone, and ISIS is back ...

Before the war, Brig. Gen. (res.) Yuval Bazak predicted precisely this kind of attack—but from the north. And he says it could still happen.

"When the state disappeared, unfathomable courage emerged" and "it's time to exile all Gazans to a different part of the world"

Israel speaks to the Muslim world about religion, while Israelis speak to each other—as they always have, in music and in poetry

Shabbat, and war. Glimpses from Israel's weekend press.

Almost two weeks in, what have we learned? Heroism and love, utter barbarity, and the need to rethink Zionism

The Jerusalem Civilian Command Center

A third of Israel's population—what is happening with Israeli Arabs and Haredim during this war?

Revisiting Israel's "Gettysburg Address" — which was delivered in 1956 after an attack from Gaza

"I've erased everything I said, everything I thought"

"What is unbelievable is that we let them do it. That they did it is not unbelievable at all."

The sound (of prayer) and the fury

We're attending funerals not because we're Israelis. We're burying people because we're Jews.

"We will continue to fight with courage, but we will also continue to live."

Along with thousands, my wife and I attended a funeral for a soldier we never knew—and hit the ground as Hamas attacked Jerusalem

Not since the Holocaust have this many Jews been killed in a single day

The single worst day in Israel's history? Probably.

From Joy to Terror: A Postcard from Jerusalem

Turbulent times yield tempest-tossed souls

We don't say goodbye to each other anymore. We say, “get home safely."

The Second Yom Kippur War

"What are the most realistic but pessimistic and optimistic scenarios you can see for the coming year?"

Unlike other Supreme Courts, Israel's highest bench invites foreigners to serve as Clerks

Israel's "cold civil war" is suddenly heating up—and things are feeling ominously like a past that still haunts us

Our wishes for a year of health, of joy, of goodness

"With all the difficulties and all the growing pains, Oslo is inevitable."

What happens next with Israel's Judicial Reform?

She's religious, she's right wing, and she told the protest crowd that she'd made a huge mistake. What was it?

Apologies ... partial posting of Uri Kaufman's wonderful new book on the Yom Kippur War was sent out early, and incomplete

"Eighteen Days in October": a new, fascinating book on the Yom Kippur War was twenty years in the making

What happens next with Israel's judicial overhaul? —an online panel discussion

"If you could press a button and freeze everything where it stands now, would you press it?" Two leading Israeli legal minds answer.

It's as simple as the Aleph Bet

Not long ago, American Jewish communities were inviting Israelis in the US to join them. Now it's the Israeli Americans who are doing the inviting.

Register now for Times of Israel Community Webinar this coming Monday

"That kind of action is a doomsday weapon." Professor Yedidia Stern on the dangerous over-radicalization of the Israeli center

Israel's national blood bank was protected against neither missiles nor earthquakes—so the Israeli Red Cross built a new one

Yehuda Amichai — "From the place that we are right, flowers will never grow in the spring"

The new front in warfare is cyber. How well (or not well) is Israel doing?

The tumultuous and fascinating process from which Israel's Declaration of Independence emerged

Some of Israel's political right is engaging in deep self-reflection. Will the left and the center do the same?

"The IDF is fit, but less so today than before. ... Operations aren't yet being cancelled, but that's already being discussed."

"I'm ashamed to be associated with these people"—why what's going on in Israel has led more than a few life-long Orthodox Jews to cease identifying as such

"The army taught us: 'you never leave the trench. You never lose the battle.'" Could that also mean using force to save democracy?

Breaking up (a country) is hard to do

Ruth Gavison (1945-2020): "A nation turns its lonely eye to you"

In Memoriam - Dalia Fadila (1973-2023)

Drinking away our sorrows at this Jerusalem- based distillery

"The best way to take care of Jeremy was to take care of our kids."

"In the end, there are going to be two completely separate states here: "New Israel" and "Judah"

"I don't hate you. Well, actually, I kind of do..."

"There is, indeed, a marginalized Israel. But it is not Mizrahi."

Many American Jews desperately want to help. What can they do?

"The ghost of destruction still haunted the land"

"It was Herzl's crippling sense of responsibility that led him to suggest the Uganda Plan"

"The ideological roots of democracy in this country don’t run deep": Ambassador Michael Oren, just hours before the Knesset passed the first judicial overhaul law

The day the music died ....

Two pilots, both opposed to the reform, disagree profoundly on reserve pilots' refusing to serve ....

A video JUST released by the protest movement

"Safeguarding Our Shared Home"—How the Jerusalem protests got started

Dereliction of sacred duty, or a desperate act to save the country?—The raging debate about reservists refusing to serve

"Safeguarding Our Shared Home"—How the Jerusalem protests got started

What will happen in Israel "is, and should be, of great concern for democracies across the globe"

If Israel was a marriage, it would now be waiting in the lobby of the divorce lawyer’s office.

How close are we getting to violence? Will (some of) the protesters decide that there's no alternative? (And Simcha Rothman on executing Supreme Court justices)

Israel desperately needs a constitutional convention to save itself

With civil war dangerously close, seven leading Israeli activists and thinkers have an idea ...

We Wanna Dance with Somebody ... Who Loves Us

When did the conflict in the Middle East really begin? Probably not when you think.

The World's Largest Collection of Herzl Memorabilia

Who is a Jew? And who is eligible for the Law of Return? (*Hint: the answers are not necessarily the same)

Herzl: "Once I have witnessed the redemption of the Jews, I wish also to assist in the redemption of the Africans.”

From Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi (Isaac) Herzog to President (Isaac) Herzog, leading Israel has long been a family affair.

Changing Israeli politics at its very core: Yoav Heller has a plan

"Israel is in the best position it has ever known. And Israel is at its most dangerous moment ever."

What does Israel's "nuclear moment" constitutional crisis look like? And is it possible that even if it never happens, we're already feeling its consequences?

Throughout Israel's history, which massive protests have worked, and which have not? Here's one possibility ...

"The Israeli government's biggest mistake was not opening the gates of Judaism to us"

Not always successful, and sometimes violent —a brief history of Israeli protests (Part I)

From Herzl's ATLneuland to ALT-protein

"In the spotlight" with Abigail Pogrebin

How do you say 'gaslight' or 'buzz' in Hebrew? And who actually decides?

How do you get Israeli tech to spread beyond Tel Aviv?

From the "Exodus" to the cabinet war room, one family's story reminds us why we're here

Resources we recommend ...

Substack Support for "Israel from the Inside"

What if the Ashkenazi - Mizrahi divide doesn't exist, and politicians created it for their own ends?

How do we know if a country is a success? Israel at 75

Israel Is Less Fragile Than We Feared, More Fragile Than We Imagine

"Patricidal Judaism?" — A young Israeli generation searches for religious guidance, but not from their parents

A life filled with purpose — My conversation with Professor Russ Roberts on EconTalk

"It's over," the protesters are saying — and they no longer mean just judicial reform

Israel's unique socialized medical system -- what happens when what you need isn't covered? How does Israel decide what's "in"?

Menachem Begin: Israel’s Jewish Prime Minister

A conversation with Abigail Pogrebin on what is currently unfolding in Israel and "has Israel fulfilled its founders' dreams?"

What if the Declaration of Independence became a "Basic Law"?

How to celebrate Yom HaAtzmaut outside of Israel

For Yom HaShoah: "From Holocaust to Independence, From Destruction to Rebirth"

Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Memorial Day) before there was a state

What's happening in Israel now, and what may soon happen; a conversation with Abigail Pogrebin, this Wednesday, in New York City

Today is pub-date! Impossible Takes Longer now available...

A new "Freedom Haggadah" and one Seder Thought

The morning(s) after ... what are Israelis feeling?

What happens when not everyone feels that the story of the state is their story, too?

What you just witnessed was one of the greatest weeks in Israel's history

"Modern Israel is the Jewish people's very last chance."

Was rejecting President Herzog's compromise on the spot a good negotiating tactic?

Matti Caspi: "The most moving moment, for me, of my performance yesterday with the philharmonic"

Liberalism versus religious conservativism, the individual versus community—what really underlies the battles tearing Israel asunder?

Finally available: Everything you always wanted to know about Judicial Reform but were afraid to ask

ONE TEAM: Using sports to build bridges between Jewish and Bedouin teenage girls

"If the judicial review passes in this form, couldn't the Knesset, by a vote of 61, close mosques, Reform synagogues?"

The pilot's letter

Drowning in a sea of resentment and hate, it's far from clear that Israel can make it back to shore.

"At the end of the day, someone has the power—either the Court or the Knesset. Why do you trust the Court more?" (Part I of II)

"And Aaron was silent ..."

"It's going to get more physically dangerous"

"It's going to get more physically dangerous"

Across the street from the Knesset, there's a building going up that has no fences—intentionally

Across the street from the Knesset, there's a building going up that has no fences—intentionally

"I was here in 1995, and this time could be worse."

"Local Testimony" — A now classic, annual Israeli photography exhibit

Why Israeli kids needs a more robust Jewish education and how the Diaspora, ironically, can help

Why Israeli kids needs a more robust Jewish education and how the Diaspora, ironically, can help

"Who's taking the Nespresso machine?"

The Israel milestone we risk overshadowing

"Am I Jewish or Israeli?"—One of Israel's most respected religious authorities believes Israelis increasingly feel they have to choose

"Am I Jewish or Israeli?"—One of Israel's most respected religious authorities believes Israelis increasingly feel they have to choose

On this day in Israeli history: the first meeting of the Knesset (and why it took place then ....)

"We'd be Hungary, not a liberal democracy"

What's this "Judicial Reform" crisis really all about?

Tribes versus policies: How Israelis can be so deeply divided when they agree on almost everything

"It's not that we'd have no government; we'd have no country"

Is a "Constitutional Crisis" brewing over Judicial Reform

Iran is not here: and if we're smart, it won't be

"I believe in the Israeli public very, very deeply"

"I believe in the Israeli public very, very deeply"

Alan Dershowitz: "If I were in Israel I'd be joining the protests against the government. Civil liberties and minority rights are in danger...."

"The Chief Rabbinate’s policies have no precedent in Jewish law"

"The Chief Rabbinate’s policies have no precedent in Jewish law"

“No one has the privilege to act or talk as if ‘the country is doomed’"