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The Invention of Jewish TheocracyThe Struggle for Legal Authority in Modern Israel$
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Alexander Kaye

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780190922740

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190922740.001.0001

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A Constitution for Israel According to the Torah

A Constitution for Israel According to the Torah

Chapter:
(p.72) 3 A Constitution for Israel According to the Torah
Source:
The Invention of Jewish Theocracy
Author(s):

Alexander Kaye

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190922740.003.0004

This chapter describes the new legal centralism that Herzog brought to religious Zionism in Palestine and Israel. He composed the draft of a constitution for Israel that was based on traditional Jewish law (halakha). To allow halakha to be more suited to the needs of a modern democracy, he used inventive interpretations of precedent to make halakha more egalitarian and more acceptable to people who were not Orthodox Jews. He also created a vision of halakha that conformed to the theoretical framework of modern European legal centralism. These changes are understood against the backdrop of European colonialism. Herzog’s adoption of European jurisprudence was similar to the intellectual strategies of many nationalist leaders, who resorted to European modes of thought in their struggle against European colonial rule.

Keywords:   Isaac Herzog, colonialism, postcolonialism, theocracy, nomocracy, democracy and religion, Ireland, Éamon de Valera, constitution

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