Joshua Mitnick

Fatah Fights To Keep Hamas Out of Mosques

He has been charged with no less a mission than ridding the local branch of the Palestinian religious authority of Hamas’s influence. But when a reporter arrives in his office, Hassan Hilali goes stiff.

Debate Over Sabbatical Year Drives Up Prices, Spurs Challenges to Chief Rabbinate

Debate over how to implement the biblical injunction to let the Land of Israel lie fallow every seventh year is sowing the seeds for a potential rebellion against the state’s chief rabbinate. Since Rosh Hashanah, when the most recent sabbatical — or shmita — year began, Israel’s Modern and ultra Orthodox rabbinic authorities have been divided over whether to recognize a long-observed loophole allowing farmers to symbolically transfer ownership of their land to a non-Jew for the year’s duration.