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It is really amazing how much calumny is aimed against the Jewish people. The basest lies are spread against us; the vilest charges are leveled against Israel. No matter what we do or how good we really are, it seems we are destined to be vilified.

Rav Benzion Meir Hai Uziel and Rav Ovadia Yosef were two towering figures of the twentieth-century Sephardic rabbinical world. They seem to share much in common. Yet a closer look at their worldviews marks a sharp distinction in two important areas: 1) the definition of a posek (rabbinic decisor of Jewish law), and 2) the Sephardi-Ashkenazi divide.

For many centuries, Jews became accustomed to an attitude of passivity and defenselessness. They relied on prayers or on material gifts to those in power. In the modern period, Jews have added the strategy of political and military power. Our task today is to maintain a proper balance that includes all three dimensions: prayer, diplomacy, military strength..

Our generation has witnessed a flowering of Orthodox women publishing on diverse facets of religious Tanakh learning, ranging from associative, insight-based derashot, to rigorous analytical peshat scholarship, to parshanut scholarship that emphasizes the contributions of individual commentators. In this essay, Rabbi Hayyim Angel briefly surveys the work of several outstanding scholars.

Rabbi Yamin Levy attended the wedding of a young couple, both raised in a strong Orthodox Sephardic community, yet religiously influenced by Chabad and Breslav. Their attempt at creating a ceremony that was true to their Sephardic heritage and reflected the Ashkenazic/Hassidic traditions of their rabbis inspired the writing of this essay.