Meir Kahane and contemporary Jewish theology of revenge

Adam Afterman, Gedaliah Afterman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The article analyzes a relatively unknown, yet influential, contemporary fundamentalist theology of revenge as put forward in the religious writings of Meir Kahane (1932-1990), the notorious militant nationalist. We seek to provide a theological context for this militancy, so as to display the motivational logic behind this troubling trend in Jewish thought and practice. While the doctrine itself has emerged only quite recently, it draws on theological ideas that reach back to the medieval period. In the article we outline the early sources and discussions (Biblical, Rabbinic, medieval, etc.) that constitute the background of Kahane's radical theology of revenge.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)192-217
Number of pages26
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2015


  • Jewish mysticism and power
  • Jewish theology
  • Meir Kahane
  • Revenge
  • Yitzhak Ginsburgh


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