Can Democracy and Torah Law Work Together? Dialogue with Yehoshua Pfeffer and Rabbi Scott Bolton

April 18, 2023    
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Flash Zoom Event Tuesday, April 18, 2023, with Special Guest Yehoshua Pfeffer, Ultra-Orthodox Thought Leader and Founder of the First Haredi Online Blog


“A Time for Israel Understanding: A Dialogue with Yehoshua Pfeffer, Founding Editor of Tzarikh Iyyun – The First Journal of Haredi Thought and Ideas.”

Mass protests have dotted the map across Israel in recent weeks, and dialogues with neighbors we yet understand are essential. Rabbi Bolton will be in conversation with Rabbi Yehoshua Pfeffer (bio below) who founded the first Haredi online blog Tzarikh Iyyun – loosely translated as: “We need to discuss this.”

The rabbi met Yehoshua on the UJA Clergy Mission to Israel a few weeks ago. As the demonstrations continued, the NY leaders met with thought-leaders and lawmakers who could help pave new ways forward. Rabbi Pfeffer believes that Torah law and democracy, statecraft, and halakha can inform each other to help build a better Jewish State for all its inhabitants. The time is now.

There are differing worldviews to compare and understand. There are issues to unpack. With a willingness to embrace statehood could the Haredi parties help society reconsider how Israeli society and communities live in a way that reflects the best of Jewish and Western ideals?

Rabbi Yehoshua Pfeffer is founding editor of Tzarich Iyun, a unique journal of Haredi thought and ideas. Alongside the journal, he operates a range of educational initiatives for young Haredi adults, and a magazine (entitled “Hamakom”) for Haredim who are integrated into broader Israeli society. Pfeffer was born and educated in London before continuing his Torah education in Israel, eventually becoming a Dayan (rabbinical judge) and community rabbi of the “Ohr Chadash” congregation in Jerusalem. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in law from Hebrew University, clerked at Israel’s Supreme Court, and currently teaches at Hebrew University’s law faculty. Previously, he established a Haredi yeshiva that also includes general studies and matriculation examinations, at which he taught for several years, and was the first head of Hebrew University’s pre-academic school for Haredim. He lives in Ramot, Jersualem, with his wife and seven children (plus one married).

Rabbi Bolton said, “It is my honor to host Rabbi Pfeffer and to deepen our thinking about the complexities of Israelis’ lives and the Jewish People’s eternal connection with Zion.”