Rabbis in Jerusalem
Rabbis in Jerusalem Israel news photo: Yoni Kempinski

The annual International Conference of Rabbis is taking place this week. The conference,  organized by the Department for Religious Affairs in the Diaspora of the World Zionist Organization, brought approximately 150 representatives from Israel and the Diaspora to Jerusalem.

Arutz Sheva TV attended the event and spoke with Rabbi Yosef Carmel, Director of the Eretz Hemda Institute for Jewish Law and Torah Study in Jerusalem.

The representatives came from 33 countries, including - Argentina, Australia, Uruguay, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czechoslovakia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hungary, India, Israel, Italy, Macedonia, Norway, Panama, Poland, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, U.S.A, England and Ukraine. Rav Yechiel Wasserman, the department head says: "The diversity of participants is indicative of how central a place Israel fills in the life of the Diaspora Jews."

This year's conference marks 75 years since the death of Rav Avraham Yitzhak HaCohen Kook, of blessed memory, the first Chief Rabbi of Israel, religious Zionist leader,philospher, poet and Talmudic sage. The Jewish communities' representatives are discussing Rav Kook's ideas on aggada [homiletic exegetical Talmud texts-ed.], philosophy and ethics, and his contribution to the Jewish people and the state of Israel. Special panels were dedicated to current issues on the agenda of the rabbinical system, such as The Protection of Synagogues – a discussion moderated by the rabbi of Turin, Italy, who contends with the complex reality of such problems every day. Rav Yisrael Rosen and Rav Yosef Carmel offered creative halachic solutions to rabbis from around the world. In addition, the conference is dealing with subjects such as Determining the Moment of Death for Organ Transplants, Inter-religious Dialogue – Between Openness and Closure, among others.

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