On Sept. 17, Israel will hold its second national election in less than six months. It looks like just a rerun of the election on April 9, which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu narrowly won — but was unable to put together a ruling coalition afterward. Do not be fooled. This will be one of the most important elections in Israel's history. If you care about Israel, pay attention, because the country you admire is on the line. If you're a Jew, really pay attention, because the outcome of this election could tear apart your synagogue and your community.
Why? Because this Israeli election brings together several related issues that cut to the heart of Israel's identity as a Jewish democracy — issues that were suppressed in the April election but that have now exploded into public view.