The October Seventh attack carried out by the terrorist organization Hamas was justified by the organization in religious terms. The attack itself was named طوفان الأقصى Toofan Al-Aqsa (Operation “Al-Aqsa Flood”), targeting Jews for allegedly desecrating the sanctity of Al-Aqsa, the mosque situated on the Temple Mount.[1] Hamas’s ideology includes hatred towards Jews, relying on “the trees and the stones” Hadith.[2]

The reluctance of Muslim religious leaders to condemn acts of murder, kidnapping, and rape delayed, and among many Jews around the world, harsh sentiments arose not only towards Hamas but also towards Muslims and Islam.[3] Voices labeling Islam as a murderous religion with which peace cannot be achieved grew louder, and interfaith dialogue initiatives between Jewish and Muslim communities stalled, if not halted altogether.[4] A relevant example of these voices can be found in a text published by Rabbi Shlomo Aviner in a religious- Zionist magazine, in which he wrote:

Not only Hamas is Hamas. All Arabs are Hamas, all Islam is Hamas. Muhammad is Hamas […] The militant verses of the Quran cancel out the moderate verses.[5]

An outstanding figure in this sphere is Rabbi Yakov Meir Nagen, a respected Orthodox rabbi known for his significant contributions to interfaith dialogue in Israel.[6] One poignant symbol of his commitment is captured in a photograph showing Nagen embracing Haj Ibrahim Ahmad Abu El-Hawa, which gained attention in Google’s “Year in Search 2014.” [7]

On Monday, November 27, 2023, just a month after the tragic events perpetrated by Hamas, Rabbi Nagen actively engaged in an interfaith conference held in Jakarta, Indonesia.[8] Following this, on December 13th and 14th, 2023, he took part in a gathering of religious leaders hosted at Princeton University, where they collectively endorsed a declaration on human rights.[9] Throughout these occasions, Nagen expressed his earnest aspiration for religion to transition from being a source of conflict to becoming an integral part of the solution, especially in complex issues like the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.[10]

The fact that three of Nagen’s sons served in the IDF at that time, and that several of his friends and neighbors were killed on October 7, and in the following “Swords of Iron” war, is remarkable.[11] Even leaders who advocated for interfaith dialogue in times of peace refrained from interfaith activities out of a sense that during war, it was not the time for it.[12]

Nagen himself felt torn between the desire to promote interfaith dialogue and the events of October Seventh. Shortly after October Seventh, he wrote:

For the Jewish people, the Sabbath of October 7, was our darkest hour since the Holocaust. The Hamas perpetrated unspeakable horrors reawakening past traumas. To justice and sanctify these atrocities, they invoke their religion. This deeply challenges those, such as myself, who believe that mutual respect and understanding between Jews and Muslims can help build a better future for all. Can we reconcile the painful current reality with this vision?[13]

In this article, I will examine Rabbi Nagen’s approach to interfaith activism and ask whether and how it has changed post October Seventh.


Zionist Interfaith

Rabbi Yakov Meir Nagen, born to Prof. Azriel and Ahuva Genack on June 17, 1967, in Manhattan, is married to Rabbanit Michal, with whom he has seven children. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Jewish and Israel Studies from Yeshiva University, where he also received rabbinic ordination, and a doctorate in Jewish Studies from the Hebrew University.[14] After moving to Israel in 1993, he studied at Yeshivat Har Etzion and began teaching at the settlement yeshiva of Otniel in 1997. Currently, he heads The Blickle Institute for Interfaith Dialogue and the Beit Midrash for Judaism and Humanity of “Ohr Torah Stone,” having authored eight books and numerous articles, earning recognition from Tablet Magazine as one of the ten “Israeli Rabbis You Should Know”.[15]

Nagen’s journey into interfaith dialogue began with a focus on Judaism’s intersections with Eastern cultures and faiths but gradually shifted towards fostering Jewish-Muslim relations, especially after the passing of Rabbi Menachem Froman (1945-2013). [16]

Grounded in religious-Zionist ideology, Nagen sees Israel’s establishment as the onset of redemption. For him, redemption holds a universal significance, whereby Jews transition from a state of survival, characteristic of exile and devoid of independent sovereignty, to a state of vision (Chazon) emphasizing its universal significance and the responsibility of Jews towards all nations.[17] His approach to interfaith dialogue with Islam is driven by the belief that encountering Islam enriches Judaism, contributes to Torah’s spread, and deepens the understanding of shared theological concepts.

Within this framework, Nagen asserts that Judaism and Islam worship the same God, viewing Islam as rooted in Jewish stories and beliefs. He advocates for teaching Torah to non-Jews and sees attacks on Judaism as attacks on Islam, emphasizing Jews’ added responsibility towards Islam.[18]

Additionally, Nagen’s Zionist outlook prompts him to reevaluate Jewish law (halakha) and sources. He believes that with Jews now sovereign in Israel, there’s a necessity for fresh perspectives and interpretations of traditional texts.[19]

According to Nagen, interfaith dialogue with Islam is vital for advancing the redemption process. Firstly, encountering Islam fosters abstract concepts of God within Judaism. Secondly, he interprets biblical verses about Torah spreading in the end of days not just as a result of the messianic era but also as a precondition for redemption. Thus, advancing the unity of God now is crucial for completing the redemption process.[20]


Harmonization and the Vision of an Islamic Nostra Aetate

However, Nagen does not merely suffice with explanations of how Islam derives from Judaism and aids in the promotion of Judaism but finds inherent value in Islam as an independent religion. In contrast to religious views that see the ideal of non-Jewish existence as adhering to the Seven Laws of Noah, Nagen argues that these commandments are the moral basis for human existence but are not sufficient conditions. Islam expresses “the profound need for God’s presence in all aspects of life,” and therefore Muslim life is one of religious fullness.[21]

Nagen presents a harmonious perspective on Judaism and Islam, asserting their compatibility without the historical conflicts seen with Christianity. He emphasizes the familial bond between Jews and Muslims, using both biological and spiritual language to illustrate their connection. [22] Nagen portrays Islam as inherently peaceful, suggesting that contentious religious sources are open to interpretation. He contends that the Quran respects the Torah, interpreting any hostility toward Jews as criticism aimed at those who stray from its teachings, akin to Talmudic critiques of Jewish behavior. [23]

Nagen diligently examines Islamic sources, aiming to influence internal Muslim discourse and foster interpretive trends that bridge Islam and Judaism.[24] He extensively references the Quran and Hadith, and maintains close relationships with devout Muslim leaders. Drawing parallels with the theological shifts seen in Catholic Christianity, exemplified by “Nostre Aetate” and “The Gifts and The Calling of God Are Irrevocable,” he advocates for a similar transformative dialogue within Islam.[25]

Recognizing the imperative for peace, Nagen emphasizes the importance of fostering coexistence between Jews and Palestinian Muslims in Israel. He believes that grassroots efforts towards mutual understanding are key to achieving lasting peace, arguing that political solutions will follow when both populations desire peaceful cohabitation. [26] Nagen actively engages with the Arabic-speaking community and supports moderate religious figures like Mansour Abbas to further his cause.[27]


Post-October 7th

Following October 7th, Nagen supported the war in Gaza, citing it as an existential necessity. However, he condemned collective punishment and recognized the genuine suffering in Gaza.[28] Despite this stance, he continued his interfaith endeavors, maintaining relationships with the Muslim world, seemingly suggesting continuity in his approach to interfaith dialogue.

However, a deeper analysis of Nagen’s perspective reveals a significant shift. He acknowledges the crises triggered by October 7th, particularly concerning human goodness, the role of God, and the potential of religion to foster peace. Nagen grapples with these issues, asserting that religion can be both a source of conflict and a promoter of positive ideals. He rejects Hamas as representing true Islam, emphasizing the Quran’s respect for Jews.[29]

Nagen opposes dialogue with Hamas, viewing it as a manifestation of pure evil akin to ISIS and Boko Haram.[30] He recognizes Hamas’ influence on global Muslim perceptions, particularly regarding Jewish ties to Israel and the Temple Mount.[31] As a response, Nagen intensifies efforts in interfaith dialogue, aiming to educate Muslim leaders about the Quran’s respect for Jews and their connection to Israel.[32] This demonstrates a renewed dedication to combating religious extremism and promoting understanding between faiths.


Towards Religious Fundamentalism

As part of his efforts in interfaith dialogue, Nagen emphasizes a message that we must return to religious fundamentalism, meaning the fundamental principles of religion.[33] In the sources, in the simplicity of the Quran and the Hadith, there is recognition and respect for Judaism and the Torah. “The Quran says that the Torah was given to the Jews, that God chose to give the Torah to the Jews. […] Hamas takes things out of context and turns them into generalizations. We need to get rid of that. I’m in conversation with the ‘big ones’ in the Muslim world and it’s progressing. I have letters from Muslim leaders and for tactical reasons, I’ll decide when to publish them.”[34] In his words:

Religions become dangerous when we forget their fundamentals and the so-called fundamentalists are those who most violate them.[35]

There’s an intriguing difference in perspectives on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict between Rabbi Aviner and Rabbi Nagen. Aviner contends that Islam, inherently corrupt, views the conflict as territorial rather than religious. He sees no value in interfaith dialogue, claiming Palestinians lack religious motivation, viewing them as people driven by conquest and warfare who tailored a religion to suit their agenda.[36]

Conversely, Nagen sees the conflict as primarily religious and believes interfaith dialogue could impact the situation.[37] He suggests that influencing Muslim leaders to recognize a religiously justified place for Jews in Israel could lead to positive change in the region.

Nagen underscores two key points regarding the crisis of human goodness. Firstly, he contends that many Israelis were not sufficiently aware of global atrocities, such as the ISIS mosque bombing in Sinai and the crimes of Boko Haram. He emphasizes the importance of acknowledging absolute evil and recognizing that the solution may lie beyond oneself, necessitating active opposition.

Secondly, Nagen highlights the tendency to overlook human goodness, even amidst contemporary challenges. He advocates for a balanced perspective that acknowledges both the depth of good and the depth of evil. Contrary to a pervasive belief that everyone is against them, Nagen asserts that not everyone is aligned against the Jewish people, citing the adage “in every generation they rise up to destroy us” but clarifying that it does not imply universal animosity. [38]

From this perspective, which also emphasizes the good, Nagen finds encouragement and hope for the continuation of interfaith dialogue. According to him, “there is a movement in the world, reality is not static, and we must not be passive and alienated,” but rather encourage processes moving in a positive direction.


From a State of Vision to a State of Survival

Since October 7th, Nagen has recognized the need to confront the influence of Western “Woke” culture. [39] While he wasn’t surprised by Hamas’ brutality, he was taken aback by the turn of academia in elite US universities against Israel and Jews. He found it alarming how some justify evil on such a large scale, identifying a totalitarian streak and profound evil within certain academic circles. Nagen sees a convergence of interests between progressives and radical Islam, particularly in their animosity toward Jews. He highlights the danger posed by the rhetoric of “Woke” culture, particularly its framing of issues like “colonialism.” [40]

After October 7th, Nagen is more hesitant to support a Palestinian state, especially considering the widespread Palestinian support for the massacre. He reflects on the consequences of leaving Gaza, once seen as having potential for prosperity but now plagued by turmoil. [41]  Despite this, he remains committed to the vision of coexistence, believing it will foster a better future for both peoples.

Nagen’s interfaith dialogue perspective undergoes a significant shift. Previously, he viewed Israel’s role as transitioning from physical survival to a visionary stage, focusing on expanding the Abrahamic Covenant towards universal redemption. However, the October 7th massacres prompt him to reassess. He realizes that the Jewish people are still in an existential struggle.[42] This doesn’t diminish the visionary stage but adds urgency to it. Interfaith dialogue becomes not only a tool for nurturing the vision of redemption but also a vital means of preventing further bloodshed.[43]



The October 7th massacre has influenced Rabbi Nagen’s approach to interfaith dialogue. He advocates for intensified efforts in interfaith dialogue to promote a ‘true’ Islam that respects Jews, the Torah, and acknowledges Jewish ties to Israel and the Temple Mount. Disappointed with progressive Western groups’ sympathy towards Hamas, Nagen sees no value in engaging with them directly. Instead, he believes Islam and Judaism can cooperate in the struggle against Hamas and progressive ideologies.

Furthermore, Nagen realizes that Israel’s stage of survival, previously thought to have passed, is still relevant. He emphasizes the importance of enhancing interfaith dialogue not only for spiritual goals but also for geopolitical objectives, such as ensuring Jewish security. Nagen remains hopeful about crafting a document similar to ‘Nostra Aetate’ for Muslim-Jewish relations, in collaboration with significant Muslim leaders.

In Nagen’s view, the wise son in the Haggadah is one who is willing to reexamine old questions. He emphasizes the complexity of reality, urging a nuanced approach that acknowledges both light and truth amid contradictions. Nagen believes in seeking out meaningful insights rather than dismissing everything outright.[44]

* I would like to express my gratitude to Prof. Tamas Makany, Nazhath Faheema, and Jasmine Ashley Kolano for their assistance in formulating some of the ideas presented in this article. The writing of this article was made possible thanks to the scholarships provided by the Open University of Israel and the Kreitman scholarship.

[1]ميثاق حركة المقاومة الإسلامية حماس (The Covenant of the Islamic Resistance Movement) August 18, 1988. For an English translation see here:

[2] “Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him; but the tree Gharqad would not say, for it is the tree of the Jews” (Sahih Muslim, 41:6985).

[3] Reference to the international responses following the Hamas attack on Israel can be found in a report by Cleary Waldo, Gabriel Epstein, and Sydney Hilbush titled “International Reactions to the Hamas Attack Against Israel,” published by The Washington Institute for Near East Policy in October 2023. Additionally, an article by Professor Somdeep Sen was swiftly released in Al Jazeera the day following the attack, interpreting it favorably as an act of resistance (“There is Nothing Surprising About Hamas’s Operation,” Al-Jazeera, Oct. 8, 2023). Notably, demonstrations of solidarity with Hamas occurred in several prestigious American universities, with some even advocating for an intifada against Jews. The disillusionment among liberal Jews towards these universities is eloquently expressed in the speech delivered by Reform Rabbi Angela Buchdahl, titled “Israel At War: In the Beginning There Was The Word” (YouTube, Oct. 14, 2023):

[4] See for example, Tom Gjelten, “A Cooling: Jewish-Muslim Interfaith Work after October 7 and Gaza”, Moment Magazine Online, Feb 23, 2024.

[5] Shlomo Aviner, “Things You Didn’t Know About Hamas and Islam,” Be’ahava Uv’emunah, Adar I, Issue 1449, 2024, p. 8. In his words, Aviner brings examples of atrocities committed by Muslims against Jews throughout history, claiming it to be the essence of Islam. In response to these remarks, the religious poet Eliaz Cohen published a critical post on his Facebook asking, “How can it be permissible to slander all of Islam? […] And all this is exactly the opposite of the way of our beloved Rabbi Menachem Froman.” Another example is found in an article by Ephraim Herera, “The Barbaric Foundations of Islam,” Mida Website, November 13, 2023. As an alternative to religious perspectives that condemn Islam, one can point to the movement of Smole Emuni (Faithful Left) and to a recent book edited by Dvir Varshavsky, Mikhael Manekin, Aviad Houminer-Rosenblum, Redemption, Compassion, Peace: 26 Sermons on War, Jerusalem, 2024.

[6]Regarding his interfaith activity, see for example, Nir Baram, “The Religious Peace Camp,” Haaretz, August 6, 2015 (Hebrew). Writing on Jewish-Muslim interfaith activity in theological aspects can be found, for example, in the collection of many articles by Negan entitled Healing the Middle East: Interfaith Initiatives for Peace and Coexistence, 2022.

[7] “Google — Year in Search 2014”, YouTube, December 16, 2014.

[8] The R20 International Summit of Religious Authorities (R20 ISORA) in Jakarta, Monday, November 27, 2023

[9] “Towards a Global Consensus that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Embodies a Civilizational Vision that the World’s Diverse Peoples, Faiths, and Nations Should Strive to Fulfill”, R20 Princeton Declaration, Princeton University, December 14, 2023. About the conference see Nagen, “Towards a religion-based Universal Declaration of Human Rights”, Times of Israel, Jan 21, 2024.

[10] Yakov Nagen, “Towards a religion-based Universal Declaration of Human Rights”, Times of Israel, Jan 21, 2024.

[11] Yakov Nagen, “Towards a religion-based Universal Declaration of Human Rights”, Times of Israel, Jan 21, 2024.

[12] The prevailing sentiment in Israel, whereby during wartime it’s not the time to deal with other issues, has become a common phrase, “now is not the time.” In a humorous tribute, Dr. Ariel Seri-Levi launched a podcast titled “Now is Not the Time,” where he interviews various scholars regarding their research.

[13] Yakov Nagen, “Hamas has perverted Islam for their sacrilegious, blasphemous actions – opinion”, The Jerusalem Post, October 17, 2023.

[14] Nagen, “Sukkot in Rabbinical Thought” (Hebrew), The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 2003 (Supervisors: Prof. Moshe Halbertal and Prof. Moshe Idel).

[15] The Blickle Institute Website:; Yair Rosenberg and Yedidya Schwartz, “Israeli Rabbis You Should Know”, Tablet Magazine, October 6, 2016.

[16] Yakov Nagen, Be, Becomes, Bless, Magid 2019, originally published in Hebrew in 2011. On the book see Alan Brill, “Rabbi Dr. Yakov Nagen – Be, Become, Bless”, Kavvanah Website, September 3, 2019. On Rabbi Froman see Benjamin Schvarcz and Miriam Billig. “The Froman Peace Campaign: Pluralism in Judeo-Islamic Theology and Politics”, Politics and Religion. 2022;15(3), pp.559-578; Shaul Magid, West Bank Rabbi Menachem Froman’s Zionist Post-Zionism, and What It Can Teach American Jews”, Tablet Magazine, August 4, 2015; Nesya Shemer, “God’s most beautiful name is peace’: Rabbi Menachem Froman’s vision of inter-religious peace between Israelis and Palestinians”, Israel Affairs, 27:3, pp. 493-516; Mordechai (Mordy) Miller, The Tekoa Rebbe: The Life of Rabbi Menachem Froman (Hebrew; Forthcoming).

[17] Yakov Nagen, Sarel Rosenblatt and Assaf Malach (Eds.), And His Name Is One: Healing Judaism’s Relations with World Religions [Hebrew], 2022, p. 2. This is because there is no fear of assimilation among non-Jews. On spiritual responsibility, see And His Name Is One, p. 4. Also, see on the life of vision versus the life of survival, in Nagen, “The Journey to Eternal Love” (Hebrew), Makor Rishon, 2020.

[18]On Torah teaching to non-Jews see Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin, 59a. See Nagen, And His Name Is One, P. 287-288. Negan draws upon Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh as one of his references, despite their disagreements on various other issues. For further insight into Ginsburgh’s approach to teaching Torah to non-Jews, you can refer to Mordechai (Mordy) Miller’s article titled ‘The Messianic Conversion Revolution of Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh,” Haaretz, October 15, 2022. In the context of attacks on Judaism as attacks on Islam, Rabbi Negan also references the Muslim perspective, which regards Judaism as a faith that believes in the same God as Muslims. He quotes from the Quran, Surah 29, in a draft of an upcoming article titled “In God’s Name: Towards a Renewed Paradigm for Jewish-Muslim Religious Fraternity.” Asserting their shared belief in the same deity, he vehemently opposes any desecration of mosques.

[19] And His Name Is One, p. 4; 33-35. Also see, Nagen, “The Journey to Eternal Love” (Hebrew), Makor Rishon, 2020.

[20]And His Name Is One, p. 265. Based on Zechariah 14:9. Nagen also relies on other biblical verses that indicate a future united worship of one God in Jerusalem. For example, Zephaniah 3:9, Isaiah 27:13, and Obadiah 1:21.

[21] Views that regard the Seven Noahide Laws as the religious ideal for non-Jews are anchored in Maimonides’ teachings. For insights into Maimonides’ perspective, refer to Negan, And His Name Is One, pp. 91-90. Exploring the notion that while the Seven Noahide Laws are essential, they alone are not adequate, and delving into the necessity of establishing a religious identity based on these laws, see Negan’s discussion in And His Name Is One, p. 39. Negan’s analysis draws from scholars like Rabbi Yosef Albo, while acknowledging certain reservations (see p. 126), or consult Resen Mat’eh (Hebrew) by Rabbi Yaakov Emden, Leeor Gottlieb Edition (2007), which posits that original Christianity aimed to form religious nations founded on the Seven Noahide Laws, referred to as “the forgetfulness of the nations.” Additionally, Rabbi Natan’el al-Fayyumi’s, commentary on how Islam derives from divine revelation (see Gan Ha’Sechalim, Kiryat Ono, 2011, pp. 111-113). For a comprehensive understanding of Negan’s interpretation of the Seven Noahide Laws, see: Yakov Nagen, “Noahide Laws: Civilization’s Foundation or Religious Identity?” Tradition Online, February 20, 2024. For further exploration of the Seven Noahide Laws, refer to Rachel Z. Feldman’s work, Messianic Zionism in the Digital Age: Jews, Noahides, and the Third Temple Imaginary, Rutgers University Press, 2024.

[22] Nagen, “Who Are the Children of God?”, The Times of Israel, September 30, 2021.

[23]  Nagen, “For God’s Sake, Islam and Judaism Can make Peace”, The Times of Israel, May 23, 2021. Rabbi Nagen draws upon numerous Islamic sources regarding this issue, notably referencing Surah 2, verse 109, which highlights the Quran’s opposition to Jews who sought to dissuade Muslims from their faith in God.

[24] Regarding the importance of deepening familiarity with Islam, see for example: Nagen, “‘Ramadan kareem’: Learning more about Islam, Israel’s neighbors – opinion”, The Jerusalem Post, April 15, 2021. According to him, such a stance of Jews who engage in studying Islam and its influence is a position that the Quran itself encourages, as outlined in a draft of his upcoming article titled “In God’s Name: Towards a Renewed Paradigm for Jewish-Muslim Religious Fraternity.”

[25] “Declaration on the Relation of the Church to non-Christian religions – Nostra aetate. Proclaimed by His Holiness, Pope Paul VI on October 28, 1965”:;

“The gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable” (December 10, 2015): For Nagen’s Muslim Nostra Aetate  vision see foe example Nagen, “The Evolving Jewish-Christian-Muslim Trialogue”, The Times of Israel, February 21, 2021.

[26] Nagen himself typically avoids suggesting political-state solutions and has never advocated for the creation of a Palestinian state. This stands in contrast to Rabbi Menachem Froman, who did not rule out the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel, envisioning both peoples coexisting in each state as equal minorities with rights.

[27] For example, in a letter dated December 28, 2023, published by Nesya Shemer on Twitter, Rabbi Nagen signed his words “To the Arab citizens of Israel and especially to the medical teams of Arab Israelis” with the blessing “Masaa al-khair”. This letter was written as an encouragement to the Arab medical teams in Israel, emphasizing their immense contribution to Israel. This is against the backdrop of his hospitalization and the fact that Muslims assisted in his recovery. Regarding Abbas after the seventh of October, see for example Tunku Varadarajan, “Mansour Abbas Is an Arab and a proud Israeli”, WSJ Website, March 12, 2024.

[28] Nagen, “Religion Must Return to the Fundamentals”, Kanz Website, February 20, 2024. In particular, he referred to the statements of MK Amichai Eliyahu, who said that nuking Gaza is an option (the Israeli government distanced itself from his remarks and he was reprimanded). According to Nagen, “Nuking Gaza is appalling. I also know that for some people, what I think about Nuking, they think about the high number of casualties in Gaza.”

[29] This does not imply that Hamas does not operate from religious motives, but rather that its religious motives are distorted. Regarding Hamas and its distortion of Islam, see: “Is Interfaith Dialogue the Answer to Tackling the Israeli/Arab Conflict? – Rabbi Dr. Yaakov Nagen”, YouTube, Feb 8, 2024.

[30] Miller-Nagen Interview, December 28, 2023. In our interview, Negan underscored his divergence from Rabbi Menachem Froman, who had agreed to meet with Hamas leaders. Nonetheless, it’s worth noting that Froman’s encounters with Hamas occurred over a decade ago.

[31] Regarding the attitude towards the Temple Mount, see: Nagen, “Religion and Reconciliation on the Temple Mount/Al Aqsa”, Times of Israel, Aug 27, 2017.

[32] Interview, December 28, 2023. Ahl Al-Kitab can be found in Sura 3:110; 4:152. Also see, Erdy Nasrul and Umar Mukhtar, “Jawaban Rabi Yahudi Saat Ditanya Mengapa Israel Lakukan Kolonialisme di Palestina”, Republica Online website, November 27, 2023.

[33] Nagen, “Religion Must Return to the Fundamentals”, Kanz Website, February 20, 2024.

[34] Interview, December 28, 2023. Nagen, “Religion Must Return to the Fundamentals”, Kanz Website, February 20, 2024; Also see Yakov Nagen, “Hamas has perverted Islam for their sacrilegious, blasphemous actions – opinion”, The Jerusalem Post, October 18, 2023. In his view, it is particularly important at this juncture to acknowledge the interfaith connection to the Temple Mount, highlighting Islam’s recognition of Israel’s ties to this holy site, as stated in Surah 17.

[35] Yakov Nagen, “Towards a religion-based Universal Declaration of Human Rights”, Times of Israel, Jan 21, 2024.

[36] Shlomo Aviner, She’ilat Shlomo, P. 282. In his remarks, Aviner expresses opposition towards both Rabbi Froman and the Chabad Hasidic movement, asserting, “Both parties believe that Arabs are inherently good.”

[37] “Is Interfaith Dialogue the Answer to Tackling the Israeli/Arab Conflict? – Rabbi Dr. Yaakov Nagen”, YouTube, Feb 8, 2024.

[38]Interview, December 28, 2023. Nagen quoted the text from “V’hi She’am’dah” recited during Passover. During our conversation, Nagen emphasized the United States’ support for Israel. An example of this support can be found in the latest Harvard CAPS / Harris poll’s results (February 2024). The terms ‘the depth of good’ and ‘the depth of evil’ originate in Sefer Yetzirah.

[39]  While it can be found to some extent in his writings before October seventh, it is less emphasized. See, for example, Nagen, “Interfaith Dialogue: Making Religion Part of Israel’s Middle East Peace”, The Jerusalem Post, February 4, 2023.

[40] Interview, December 28, 2023. In our conversation, Nagen emphasized, quoting a Muslim leader from the UAE who told him: “The Jews’ past and future are here.” This viewpoint, he noted, is deeply rooted in religious belief and forms a collective narrative where we all contribute to its realization. Regarding accusations of Israeli colonialism, Nagen portrayed Jews as inseparable from both Israel and the wider Middle East, citing historical ties. He referenced pre-State massacres, like the 1929 Hebron massacre, to contextualize Jewish history in the region. Also see, Erdy Nasrul and Umar Mukhtar, “Jawaban Rabi Yahudi Saat Ditanya Mengapa Israel Lakukan Kolonialisme di Palestina”, Republica Online website, November 27, 2023.

[41] Interview, December 28, 2023.

[42] Interview, December 28, 2023.

[43] Interview, December 28, 2023; Also see, “Is Interfaith Dialogue the Answer to Tackling the Israeli/Arab Conflict? – Rabbi Dr. Yaakov Nagen”, YouTube, Feb 8, 2024.

[44] Nagen, “The Four Sons: The Wise Son Returns with a Question” (Hebrew), Srugim, April 2, 2015.