Interview with R’ David Bar-Hayim

By Ariel Zellman

My final interview for the week was with Rabbi David Bar-Hayim, the founder of Machon Shilo, a center of Jewish learning in Jerusalem dedicated to the exposition and dissemination of Torath Eretz Yisrael, the Judaism of the Land of Israel.
Rabbi Bar-Hayim defines his vision as “laying the groundwork for a restatement and reconstitution of Jewish thought and practice, based on the Written Law and the Oral Tradition (Tora ShebiKhtav and Tora SheBa’al Pe), in order to facilitate the realization of the Jewish nation’s divinely mandated purpose and duty to establish “a nation of priests, a holy people” (Exodus 19:6).
For Rabbi Bar-Hayim the crucial issue of our day is the reconstitution of the Jewish Nation. “In order for the Jewish people to realize its true potential and destiny and live up to HASHEM’s expectations of His people, it is crucial that we cease to define ourselves as Hungarian, Russian, Polish, Moroccan, Tunisian or Yemenite Jews…and begin to see ourselves simply as Jews. Or more precisely: as Jews privileged to dwell in our ancestral homeland in which we aspire to live according to a full and authentic expression of Tora.”

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