The Israeli Flag

Delivered at the OU Israel Center, 22 Nisan 5783 - April 19, 2023

Rabbi Manning's series for 2023 has been sponsored

לעילוי נשמת ברנה בת בנדית וזליג בן קלמן

  • As we approach Yom Ha’atzmaut in Israel, the Israeli flag becomes a ubiquitous sight in our streets. In recent months during 2023, the flag has also been one of the central rallying symbols of large demonstrations.
  • In the Religious Zionist community, the flag appears in places of religious focus - batei knesset and batei midrash - and can be an extremely strong visual symbol in our direct line of vision when we pray to God. Is there anything inappropriate with this? Is it a proper addition to our shul architecture? Does this issue simply turn on one’s hashkafic position on Zionism, or are there other halachic and hashkafic messages involved?
  • What about other national flags in country in which Jews live and to which they show their allegiance? Can or should these be introduced into places of worship?