December 13, 2018

How the Torah Can Provide a Philosophic Base for an Israeli Constitution

A country's domestic and foreign policies are often shaped by the philosophical foundations of its system of government. America is a free and prosperous country because the Declaration of Independence holds dear life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The pursuit of happiness subsumes the freedoms guarded in the Bill of Rights. On the other hand, Islamic states whose ideas are rooted in obedience to Allah and the strict laws of the Koran are often rife with chauvinism and lack of individual rights. The Jewish state has no constitution and no bill of rights, and perhaps this is one reason why the Israeli system of government is, if anything, mixed: part secular, part religious; part capitalistic, part socialist; part individualistic, part collectivist.

Some argue that the Founding Fathers of the United States were influenced by Hebrew Scriptures, although academia often attributes the flowering of Western Civilization to the Greek philosophic tradition. The apparent dichotomy between “Athens” (reason) and Jerusalem (revelation) is one that is explored and debunked in scholar