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The Land, The Law and The Liberal Conscience

John D. Rayner
Spring 1996

The question whether the State of Israel should to be prepared to relinquish some of the territories under its control for the sake of peace has both a political and a religious dimension. The latter has been debated chiefly by Orthodox halakhists.1 There have been few contributions from a Progressive point of view.2  

The Orthodox Approach  

From an Orthodox point of view, the Hebrew Bible, as interpreted in rabbinic tradition, is divinely authoritative both in its totality and in every particular. Sometimes, admittedly, its meaning is not clear; hence ‘as interpreted.’ And sometimes the interpreters themselves disagree; hence eminent halakhists may incline toward one school of thought or another, or even offer their own novel interpretation. So there is room for maneuver, but not much, for all essentials were definitively settled long ago.  

Furthermore, the Hebrew Bible, as correctly interpreted, is the sole authority for all questions of conduct, both in matters of ritual and in matters of ethics. Indeed, the difference between these two spheres is barely recognized. As there are right and wrong ways of treating employees, so there are right and wrong ways of building a Sukkah; and there is little indication that in the two instances ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ have different connotations. In both cases, what is right is what the Halakhah enjoins, what is wrong is what the halakhah forbids. There is no ethic independent of the Halakhah.  

The Progressive Approach  

Progressive Judaism sees the Hebrew Bible as a literature spanning a thousand years which shows both unity and diversity, the latter being manifest in a broad spectrum of literary styles and religious perceptions.  

The biblical writers were not only human and therefore fallible, but also products of the socio-cultural milieu of the ancient Near East. Sometimes, nevertheless, they expressed ideas far ahead of their times; in these we may legitimately see both the implications of monotheism and the impact of revelation. Sometimes their thinking was on a level with other contemporary civilizations, and in some instances it has been left behind by subsequent advances in Jewish and in human thought. For the Bible is only the first though grandest stage of the historical development of Judaism.  

Above all, the Progressive approach rests on the conviction that there are universal ethical principles by which particular teachings of the Tradition may be evaluated. These derive in large measure from the tradition itself, but not in the simplistic sense that we accept them on its authority. Rather, we affirm them to the extent to which, as creatures endowed by God with a capacity for ethical discernment, we can see for ourselves that they are true.  

Scriptural Promises  

The Hebrew Bible is replete with passages that affirm a unique bond between the Jewish people and a particular territory, first referred to as the land of Canaan and later by various other terms including Eretz Yisrael. In Roman and subsequent times it became known as Palestine. Each of these names prejudges issues that have yet to be discussed. We shall therefore call it simply ‘the Land’.  

Many of the passages in question are in the nature of divine promises to Abraham (Gen. 12:2, 13:15, 15:7, 18, 17:8), Isaac (Gen. 26:3), Jacob (Gen. 28:13, 35:12, 48:4), Moses (Exod. 3:8, 6:8, Num. 33:53, 34:2, Deut. 11:24) and Joshua (Josh. 1:3). Some of these occur in the context of the Covenant (Gen. 15:18, 17:7), suggesting the possibility that if the people fail to fulfill their Covenantal obligations, they may be exiled from the Land. And sometimes that implication is spelt out, e.g., ‘You shall keep My statutes and My ordinances...so that the land does not vomit you out, as it vomited out the nation that was before you’ (Lev. 18:26ff; cf. Lev. 26:27-39, Jer. 18:7f). But for the most part, the divine promises appear to be unconditional.  

Accordingly, Orthodox Judaism infers from them that the Land ‘belongs’ to the Jewish people, and to no other, in perpetuity. A Progressive view would acknowledge that that is what the biblical writers believed. But it would try to understand the belief in its historical context. One aspect of this was the need to reconcile the pagan concept of territorial deities with the monotheistic idea. The argument, one imagines, ran as follows. On the one hand God is the Owner of the whole earth (cf. (Ps. 24-1); on the other, he is the Owner of the Land of Israel in a special sense (cf. Deut. 11:12; Joel 4:2); therefore He must have parceled out the earth to its various peoples, assigning the choicest land to His chosen people (Deut. 32:8).  

Because our ancestors believed what they did, it doesn’t follow that they were right. It is indeed entirely credible that their settlement in the Land for the purpose of creating in it a model society would have accorded with the Divine Will. But the means by which they are said to have appropriated it, involving genocidal war against its inhabitants, raises serious questions to which we shall return.  

As for the further assertion that the Land was given to the Jewish people in perpetuity, that raises still other difficulties. For the biblical writers had no means of knowing God’s long-term geopolitical plans, nor indeed could there be such if human free will is a fact. Because of the fact, the Israelites might conceivably forfeit their moral title to the Land; and because of it, there are, in the course of history, conquests and migrations which materially alter the factors relevant to a just land distribution.  

In addition, we have to reckon with the possibility that, while it was God’s intention that the Jewish people should grow up in the Land, it was not God’s intention that they should remain confined within it forever. This view can draw support from statements in the classical sources of Judaism which see positive value in the Diaspora, for instance that ‘God scattered Israel among the nations for the sole purpose that proselytes should become numerous among them.’3 It is also a view that has been strongly held by Progressive Jews, as in this prayer: ‘Enlighten all that call themselves by thy name with the knowledge that the sanctuary of wood and stone which once crowned Zion’s hill was but a gate, through which Israel stepped out into the world to lead mankind nearer unto thee.’4  

Today Progressive Jews would wish to qualify that by stressing the positive value of the Jewish people’s unceasing attachment to the Land, and of the modern rebirth of Israel in its ancient homeland, though without negating the Diaspora. But to invoke alleged divine promises in ancient Hebrew literature as a ground for claiming present ownership of the Land is not an option open to non-fundamentalists.  

The ‘Holiness’ of the Land  

In addition to divine promises of the Land, the Bible abounds in praises of it, as ‘a land flowing with milk and honey’ (Exod. 13:8); ‘a good land’ (Deut. 8:7); ‘the most beautiful of all lands’ (Ezek. 20:6, 15); etc. These are authentic expressions of a love for the Land which requires no apology.  

More difficult is the concept of the ‘holiness’ of the Land (kedushat ha-aretz). Although the term ‘Holy Land’ is more Christian than Jewish, and its Hebrew equivalent, eretz hakodesh, is first found in medieval literature, nevertheless the underlying idea is implied in the Bible and spelt out in Rabbinic literature. ‘The Land of Israel,’ says the Mishnah, ‘is the holiest of all lands’5. Admittedly, the term is there used in a technical legal sense, the issue being the geographical provenance of Temple offerings. Hyam Maccoby was therefore right when he wrote: ‘The Land of Israel was indeed regarded as holy in various halachic ways, but this territorial holiness is not a mystical value in Judaism.’6  

Nevertheless, the concept of holiness as a supernatural quality that inheres in the Land does seem to be implied in the disqualification of other lands for cultic purposes, and in a number of aggadic statements, for instance, that ‘the very air of the Land of Israel makes wise’;7 that ‘those who live in the Land of Israel are as if they had a God, and those who live outside the Land of Israel as if they had no God’;8 that ‘those who live in the Land of Israel live without sin’;9 and that, ‘once the Land of Israel had been chosen, all other lands were excluded from divine revelation.’10  

Insofar as such a ‘mystical’ concept is to be found in Jewish tradition, it must be questioned from a Progressive point of view. For it is clearly incompatible with the omnipresence of God, which is a necessary corollary of monotheism, and obscures an essential distinction: between the holiness of God, which is primary, and the ‘holiness’ of things, persons, places and times associated with God, which is secondary.  

The Borders of the Land  

The questions of the ‘holiness’ of the Land is closely related to that of its borders, for it is only within these that its ‘holiness’ is said to reside, and from that distinction a number of legal consequences follow, as we have already seen and shall see further.  

These borders, however, were variously conceived in different periods, depending partly on the actual extent of Israel’s territorial control at the time, and partly on the writer’s imagination. Within the biblical period, it is customary to distinguish three stages, respectively associated with Abraham, Joshua and Ezra.  

The divine promise to Abraham reads: ‘To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates...’ (Gen. 15:18-21). This definition is regarded as an idealistic one which will be fully realized only in the messianic age. In that sense it is reiterated in Exodus 23:31, Deuteronomy 11:24 and Joshua 1:4.  

Considerably more modest in extent is the territory which the generation of the Exodus are promised through Moses, and largely occupy under Joshua. This is defined in great detail in Numbers 34:1-13 and Joshua 12:1-6, 13:1-7; similar references can be found in Ezekiel 47:15-20. It is largely bounded by the Mediterranean and the Jordan, but spreads some way towards Egypt in the Southwest and into Syria in the Northeast. This area, insofar as it was conquered, is said to have acquired by the fact a ‘first sanctification’ (Kedushah rishonah), which, however, conferred on it only a temporary ‘holiness,’ for what is gained by conquest can be lost by conquest.11  

Different again, though similar, was the area occupied by the Jewish exiles who returned from Babylon, following the decree of King Cyrus, in the days of Ezra. This area is said to have acquired a ‘second sanctification’ (kedushah sheniyyah) which, perhaps because it resulted from a royal decree that was never rescinded, has remained in force ever since.12  

The foregoing is only a simplified summary. In fact, the question of the borders of the Land is a great deal more complicated, both from a halakhic and from a historical point of view.13 However, we need not pursue these complications, for we shall argue that the precise nature of the ancient borders has no relevance to the contemporary territorial questions.  

Jewish Settlement  

The Bible tells at length how, by various stages, the Israelites entered and took possession of the Land. In the period of the Patriarchs the process is depicted as a largely peaceful one, involving migrations (Gen. 12:1-6), treaties (Gen. 21:22-34, 26:26-31) and purchases (Gen. 23:3-20, Gen. 33:19). By contrast, the occupation of the Land under Joshua involved violent conflict with its inhabitants. According to the Bible, it was nevertheless carried out in response to divine command. Here are some of the key passages:  

‘The Eternal One spoke to Moses..., Speak to the children of Israel and say to them: When you cross over the Jordan into the land of Canaan, you shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you... You shall take possession of the land, and settle in it’ (Num. 33:52f). ‘When the Eternal One your God brings you into the land which you are about to enter and possess, and casts out many nations before you — the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations mightier and more numerous than you..., then you shall utterly destroy them; you shall make no covenant with them and show them no mercy’ (Deut. 7:1f; see also Deut. 11:31 and 12:29).  

These passages raise an obvious difficulty: how can they be reconciled with the belief in universal, just and merciful God? Presumably we are dealing here with an ex post facto justification of past events. We therefore wonder whether the Occupation was really effected by one major campaign, as recounted in the book of Joshua, rather than a series of minor incursions, as the historical evidence suggests, and whether it could have been effected by peaceful means. We should also note that, as Rabbi W. Gunther Plaut points out in his Torah Commentary,14 the injunction to annihilate the Canaanites was never carried out, and the passages in question, attributed to the age of Moses, need to be understood in the light of a much later struggle with Canaanite idolatry.  

Nevertheless, the imperatives contained in these passages raise, from a halakhic point of view, the question whether they were addressed only to the generation of the wilderness or remained in force. In other words, is there a continuing obligation upon Jews to settle in the Land?  

The predominant halakhic answer is Yes. Rabbinic literature goes so far as to say that the mitzvah of living in the land is as weighty as all the other mitzvot put together!15 In the Middle Ages, the prime exponent of the view that the mitzvah remains in force was Nachmanides. ‘Ramban understands all the passages of the Torah instructing the Jewish People and Joshua to conquer, take possession and settle the Land as being commands not addressed to that generation alone, but to all future generations.’16 Accordingly, he regarded it as a biblical law (mi-de-oraita), based on Numbers 33:53, and criticized Maimonides for not including it in his compilation of the 613 commandments.17  

As to why Maimonides did not include it, there has been much speculation. According to the Talmudic Encyclopedia, he regarded it as having the force of only rabbinic (mi-de-rabbanan), not biblical law.18 But Rabbi David Bleich writes: ‘The simplest and most obvious reason for this omission is that Rambam does not view this injunction as constituting a mandatory obligation binding upon all generations....It thus follows that, in our time, according to Rambam, there is no divine imperative requiring a Jew to remove himself from the Diaspora and to establish residence in Israel.’19 But Bleich goes on to point out that, ‘in the absence of Rambam’s position one would be hard put to excuse failure to settle in Israel.’20  

Progressive Jews would endorse the most liberal interpretation of Maimonides’ minority opinion. There can be no question of an obligation on all Jews to settle in Israel. Progressive Judaism recognizes the unique opportunities and challenges which the State of Israel offers. Many Progressive Jews have settled there, and Progressive Jewish organizations have endorsed the 1951 Jerusalem Program of the World Zionist Organization with its call for ‘the ingathering of the Jewish people in its historic homeland Eretz Israel through aliyah from all countries,’ but with the explicit or implicit qualification that aliyah is to be encouraged, not demanded, and that Jewish life in the Diaspora also continues to have positive value.  

The Rights of Non-Jews  

We now turn to the negative side of the Bible’s exhortations concerning the occupation of the land: its call for the expulsion, if not annihilation, of its indigenous population. Do these anti-gentile ordinances play any role in post-biblical Halakhah? Sadly, to some extent, yes.  

We may indeed take it from Bleich that ‘there is, in our day, no obligation to wage war for conquest of Eretz Yisrael or for retention of sanctified territories, even according to the opinion of Ramban.’21 But since the State of Israel, as a result of a series of wars, has gained control over a large population of non-Jews, questions about their status have been discussed by Orthodox halakhists.  

The key verse is Deut. 7:2, especially the phrase lo techonnem, which is usually translated ‘you shall show them no mercy.’ However, already the Talmud took the verb as coming, not from chanan, ‘to have mercy,’ but from chanah, ‘to camp,’ and interpreted it as a prohibition against the sale of real estate.22  

There are also further restrictions. When Jews are in control of the Land, says Maimonides,23 they may not permit idolaters to live in it at all, except insofar as they undertake to observe the Seven Noachide laws, for it says, ‘They shall not live in your land’ (Exod. 23:33). Since Christians and Muslims have since the Middle Ages been considered monotheists in Jewish law, that should present no problem; yet there is a rigorous view which would require non-Jews claiming such status to make a formal declaration of allegiance to the Noachide laws before a rabbinic court!24  

Furthermore, since these prohibitions apply to all areas now under Israel’s control, they could be used as an argument against the surrender of any part of them on the ground that this would cause real estate that ‘belongs’ to the Jewish people to pass into non-Jewish hands. Accordingly, an Israeli Orthodox rabbi has declared that ‘the precept of Lo Techonnem certainly applies and no part of Eretz Israel must on any account be handed over to non-Jews, whether individually or by the national authorities.’25  

Territory and Peace  

These extreme views, held by much of the ultra-Orthodox leadership, have been intensified by a fervent conviction that recent events — the rebirth of a Jewish State after 2,000 years, the Six Day War, the Entebe Raid, etc. — betoken nothing less than ‘the footsteps of the Messiah’ and the beginning of redemption.’ Those affected by this eschatological syndrome live in a dream-world which has its own logic but bears no relation to any sober reality, and become natural allies of secular forms of ultra-nationalist fanaticism, which is likewise disdainful of reason.  

Thus Rav Avraham Elkana Kahana-Shapira: ‘The very existence of a mitzvah to conquer Eretz Israel indicates that it is God’s will that the whole of Eretz Israel should be in our possession.’26 Similarly, Rav Yakov Ariel (Shtiglitz): ‘Any form of withdrawal from the regained territories constitutes a negation of the mitzvah and a hindrance to the process of Redemption.’27  

Not all Orthodox rabbis take such a hawkish view. The former Sefardi Chief Rabbi of Israel, Ovadiah Yosef, holds that the halakhic arguments for the retention of all the conquered territories must give way before the consideration that peace is unattainable without territorial concession, that in the absence of peace there will be more bloodshed, that the overriding objective is pikkuach nefesh (saving human life), and that it is for political and military experts to judge how this can best be secured.28  

Similar views have been expressed by the former Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the British Commonwealth, Lord (Immanuel) Jakobovits, and by his successor, Rabbi Dr. Jonathan Sacks. Hyam Maccoby summed up their position, and his own, when he wrote that the requirements of peace come before considerations of territory in rabbinic thinking. The holiness of the land does not preclude the right of a Jewish ruling body to come to terms with an enemy in the interests of overall peace, even when such terms involve the ceding of a portion of the land categorized as holy.’29  

This argument is very powerful in view of Judaism’s immense emphasis on the ideal of peace as well as the halakhic principle that pikkuach nefesh takes priority over all other commandments except those forbidding idolatry, incest and murder.30 Unfortunately, however, it is not unassailable. For it is possible to contend that since war, by its nature, involves casualties, the principle of pikkuach nefesh cannot apply to it.  

Thus Rav Shlomo Aviner quotes Rav Avraham Kook as follows: ‘All activities designed to transfer ownership of parts to Eretz Israel from the hands of gentiles to those of Jews come within the definition of the Divine Commandment to conquer the Land of Israel, outweighing all the commandments of the Torah. This is borne out by the fact that by definition the Torah obliges us to implement this precept even to the point of war, which naturally entails risking the loss of life.’31 Similarly, Rav Yeyoshuah Menachem Ehrenberg writes: ‘Since the Torah obliges us to conquer Eretz Israel with all the danger to life that this involves, how can we justify giving up territory that we have already conquered because of pikkuah nefesh?’32  

Summary of Orthodox Position  

The Orthodox position is not monolithic. But there is agreement that the Scriptural promises are to be taken at face value; that the Land is holy; that de jure it belongs to the Jewish people, and to no other, forever; and that in the messianic age it will be so de facto.  

Thus the Jewish claim to the Land is grounded in the Divine Will as revealed in Scripture, a point commonly reinforced by reference to Rashi’s comment on the first verse of Genesis, where he asks why the Bible begins with the creation of the world and, quoting Psalm 111:6, replies: ‘So that, if the nations were to say to Israel, "you are robbers...," they may be able to reply, ‘The whole earth belongs to God, who created it and gave it to whomever He pleased; by His will He gave it to the seven Canaanite nations, and by His will He took it from them and gave it to us".’  

Beyond that, there is divergence, particularly concerning the rights of non-Jews in the Land and the related question whether it is permissible to relinquish parts of it for the sake of peace.  

What is most striking, however, is the almost total absence, in Orthodox halakhic writings, of any recognition that the Land is the subject of conflicting claims by two peoples, Jewish and Palestinian, which need to be adjudged in the light of universal-ethical principles.  

The Liberal Conscience  

A Progressive view would begin by denying the fundamentalist basis on which the Orthodox view rests. It would say that the alleged divine promises contained in Scripture are not objective statements of God’s will but subjective perceptions of it which need to be understood in their historical context, and that the invocation of such texts to ‘prove’ Jewish ownership of the Land three millennia later is inadmissible. Similarly, it would maintain that the ‘holiness’ of the Land is only a metaphor which has relevance to the present debate, and that such issues as the borders of the land and the rights of non-Jews within it need to be considered in the light of the universal-ethical principles of justice, humaneness, compassion, democracy, the need for international law-and-order, and the imperative of peace. These principles, while rooted in Judaism, also transcend it, demanding the assent of civilized humanity.  

Judged by these criteria, the Jewish claim to the Land is very strong, and needs no support from an antiquated theology. The millennia-old association of the Jewish people with the Land; their persistent love and longing for it; their unjust expulsions from it (even though many emigrated of their own free will); the continuous presence they have nevertheless maintained in it; their desperate need for a haven from persecution, especially before and after the Holocaust; the stupendous achievements of the Zionist pioneers and of the State of Israel, including the absorption of a vast number of immigrants: all these constitute a powerful claim which no fair-minded person would deny.  

But not an exclusive claim! For the Land was not empty when the Zionist resettlement began. It had an Arab population which until after the Second World War remained a large majority, including many who had lived in the Land for generations, even centuries, and were deeply attached to its soil. Understandably, they resented the growing Jewish immigration and, still more, the displacement of hundreds of thousands of their people which resulted from the establishment of the Jewish State. Therefore they have developed their own Palestinian nationalism, mirroring Jewish nationalism and likewise demanding to be heard. Thus the Palestinian-Arab claim to the land, though different from the Jewish one, is also substantial.  

Accordingly, it has been obvious to liberal-minded people all along that, if there is to be any semblance of justice, the two peoples must in one way or another share the Land. One way might have been the binational solution, advocated by the first President of the Hebrew University, Judah L. Magnes, who was a Progressive rabbi. But it was rejected by both sides, and left partition as the only remaining just option.  

That has been the all but unanimous view of the international community for the past 50 years. It was the United Nations’ partition resolution of 1947 which made possible the establishment of the State of Israel, and gave it legitimacy in international law. Furthermore, the partition principle has been periodically reaffirmed by UN resolutions which the State of Israel has endorsed.  

The current peace process honors the principle by calling for mutual recognition between Israel and the Palestinians and promising the latter autonomy in Gaza and much of the West Bank. The solution it envisages may be far from perfect, and has yet to be fully worked out through negotiation, but it represents a big step towards a just solution of the conflict, or as just a solution as is now realistically attainable. As such, it should be supported by all Jews both in Israel and in the Diaspora.  

What is here argued is not a political but a religious view. It is predicated on the most basic principles of Judaism, as Progressive Jews understand it: that the God of Judaism is the universal God who, having created all human begins in the Divine Image, cares for them with an impartial love; a moral God who demands justice, compassion and peace; and who expects the Jewish people not only to pursue its own self-interest, but to be ‘a light to the nations’ (Isa. 49:6).  

These religious and moral principles make it incumbent on Jews to seek a relationship of mutual respect, understanding and reconciliation with the Palestinian people. The present peace process gives Israel an unprecedented opportunity to do that, and so to demonstrate to a world crying out for just such a demonstration that it is possible to transcend nationalism, show magnanimity, achieve compromise, and transform enmity into friendship. •  


1. See, for instance: Avner Tomaschoff (ed.), Whose Homeland, Eretz Israel, Roots of the Jewish Claim, World Zionist Organization, Department for Torah Education and Culture in the Diaspora, Achva Press, Jerusalem, 5738 (1978); J. David Bleich, Contemporary Halakhic Problems, Vol. II, Ktav, New York, 1983, Chs. VIII and IX: Talmudic Encyclopedia (Hebrew edition), Vol. II, Fifth Printing, Yad Harav Herzog (Emet) Press, Jerusalem, 1979. Vol. II, s.v. Eretz Yisrael, pp. 199-235.  

2. A unique exception is Moshe Zemer’s Halakhah Sh’fuyah (‘The Sane Halakhah’), Dvir, Tel-Aviv, 1993, especially Ch. 14b on ‘Territories in Exchange for Peace.’  

3. Pes. 87b.  

4. From the Concluding Service of the Day of Atonement in Liberal Jewish Prayer Book, Vol. II, ed. Israel I. Mattuck, 1937, p. 281, based on David Einhorn’s Olat Tamid.  

5. Kelim 1:6.  

6. Hyam Maccoby, ‘Does halachah allow surrender of land?’ in Jewish Chronicle, 22 October 1993.  

7. B.B. 158a.  

8. Ket. 110b.  

9. Ket. 111a.  

10. Mechilta, Pischa 1 to Exod. 12:1, ed. Lauterbach, Vol. I, p.4.  

11. Chag. 3b; Mishneh Torah Hilchot Terumot 1:5; Bleich (see Note 1), pp. 171-75; Talmudic Encylopaedia (see Note 1), pp. 113-16).  

12. Tosefta Shevi’it 1:6; Sifrei Deut. 51 to Deut. 11:24; Talmudic Encyclopedia (see Note 1), pp. 116-18.  

13. On the halachic perspective, see the sources given in note 1, especially Bleich and Yehudah Elizur in Whose Homeland, pp. 42-53. On the historical perspective, see Encyclopedia Judaic, Vol. 9, pp. 112-22.  

14. Published by the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, 1981, pp. 1381f.  

15. Sifrei Deut. 80 to Deut. 11:31f; Tosefta AZ 4(5):3.  

16. Rav Avraham Elkana-Shapira in Whose Land (see Note 1), p. 166.  

17. Nachmanides’ Torah commentary to Num. 33:53 and his addendum No. 4 to Maimonides’ Sefer ha-Mitzvot, Mitzvot Aseh.  

18. Talmudic Encyclopedia (see Note 1), p. 223b. It should be noted that Maimonides does include the mitzvah in his Mishneh Torah, Hilchot Melachim 5:12.  

19. Bleich (see Note 1), pp. 195f.  

20. Ibid., p. 204.  

21. Bleich, op. cit., p. 211.  

22. AZ 20a; Mishneh Torah, Hilchot Avodat Kochavim 10:3f; Shulchan Arukh, Yoreh De’ah 151:8.  

23. Mishneh Torah, Hilchot Avodat Kochavim 10:6.  

24. Rav Yehoshuah Menachem Ehrenberg in Whose Homeland (see Note 1), p. 178; cf. Maimonides, Mishneh Torah, Hilchot Melachim 8:10.  

25. Ibid., p. 168.  

26. Ibid., p. 170.  

27. Ibid., p. 139.  

28. Moshe Zemer (see Note 2), pp. 161f, quoting Torah she-b’al Peh, ed. Yitzchak Raphael, Jerusalem, 5740 (1980), p. 14.  

29. See Note 7.  

30. Sanh. 74a.  

31. Whose Homeland (see Note 1), p. 115.  

32. Ibid., p. 176.  

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