[Avodah] Practicing Jews Serving in the National Security Community

Prof. Levine llevine at stevens.edu
Wed Jan 16 03:09:34 PST 2013

 From http://tinyurl.com/as8gb55

Writing in the 5761 (2001) issue of the journal 
Techumin, Rabbi Yehuda Zoldan addressed a 
question that confronted the increasing number of 
Orthodox Jews who had entered the Israeli Foreign 
Service: Were there any ways in which some of the 
halakhic strictures normally imposed on those 
having contacts with non-Jews could be mitigated 
in the interests of service to the State? Since 
the article’s appearance, the issue has become a 
salient one for American Orthodox Jews as well. 
Practicing Jews can now be found in the uppermost 
levels of the U.S. Government, including the 
national security departments­State, Defense, 
Treasury­as well as the National Security Council 
and the Intelligence Community, not to mention 
Senator Joseph Lieberman, whose tenure included 
membership in both the Armed Services and 
Homeland Security Committees, serving as chairman of the latter.

For many, if not all of these Jewish national 
security officials, questions arise beyond those 
confronting their Israeli counterparts, for whom 
allowances are made by foreign countries 
precisely because they are not citizens of those 
countries. To what extent does halakha permit a 
Jewish official to sidestep normative rabbinic 
law and tradition? Is there any latitude with 
respect to biblical laws (d’Oraita)?

See the above URL for more.  YL
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