We Must Not Play by Majority Rules

Collin Hansen | March 1, 2016

Our last dinner together in Jerusalem was jubilant, like the close of summer camp. New friends vowed to keep in touch. We embraced as cameras captured the fleeting moment. Our tour group eagerly anticipated the return home to friends and family even as we mourned the end of a highly informative, deeply transformative visit to the Holy Land.

This final meal was like so many others on our nine-day odyssey. The excellent company and food was surpassed only by stimulating content as we listened to expert analysis from Moshe Halbertal, professor of Jewish thought and philosophy at Hebrew University. While listening I struggled to synthesize everything I’d learned about Jewish history, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and Jewish-Christian dialogue. We’d been well taught by a diverse spectrum of speakers invited by our sponsors, Christianity Today and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs.

And then, in a simple sentence from Halbertal, the synthesis happened.


“As Jews in Israel we don’t know how to be a majority,” he said.

He spoke in the context of thousands of years of Jewish history as a minority among often-hostile neighbors. Since the destruction of the temple in AD 70, Jews learned how to live by the laws…

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