Wednesday, February 16, 2005

I Don't Want To Say This, But...

Musings #100
February 16, 2005
The 7th of Adar Alef

I Don’t Want To Say This,

This is really hard and traumatic to say, but could the “Chareidim” be right in their attitude towards Zionism and the State of Israel? It’s starting to seem like Zionism is a lot like socialism, great in theory but horrific in practice.

I’m no expert in Chareidi rationale and philosophy. It has never interested me, never attracted me. What interests me now is just their attitude towards Zionism. Many of us who are religious Zionists in our practice and patriotism are feeling raped and plundered. First I was going to write, “stabbed in the back,” but it’s not like that at all. When my timing is bad and I catch a glimpse of the evening TV news, it’s more like a gang rape. You’d think that the greatest danger to Israel and to world peace is the Israeli “yemin hakitzoni,” the “extreme right wing.” And then you see teenagers being beaten and dragged by hefty police. Night after night, the same clips.

And then they put the same interview with the same husky, zaftig policewoman in a hospital bed, from where she booms, in a strong voice how some “extreme right wing demonstrator” kicked her in the chest. The TV announcer stresses how seriously injured she is, but her full, strong voice makes that hard to believe.

If you were wondering why all those terrorists are being released it’s to make room for the real dangers to society: fifteen-year-old kids. Yes, over a dozen high school students, some as young as fifteen, in the tenth grade, girls, yes; girls were imprisoned for a number of days. Some may have been even younger, but I know for a fact that there were fifteen-year-old girls locked in jail.

The EXPULSION Law includes draconian punishments, jail terms for those who actively protest or try to return to their homes, gardens, farms and businesses. This law was written by the same people who declared illegal and immoral all political activity by followers of Meir Kahane, who proposed a transfer of Arabs. Maybe I’m stupid, but I just don’t understand why it’s immoral to “transfer” Arabs, but it’s perfectly fine, and immoral to protest, the “transfer,” evacuation of Jews from their homes.

If I’m already admitting things, I’ll be honest and say that I never was a fan or follower of Rabbi Kahane, nor of his murdered son, but the first I ever heard of democracy not being consistent with Judaism is from something he wrote. Now, as you know, I have written numerous times of the danger of democracy. There are things that are too essential to be the subject for polls. And the majority is not always right.

The past few evenings when I viewed our youth, our future, being pummeled, pushed, shoved and beaten by the police, I felt, physically felt, their patriotism to the state being smashed to smithereens. It was a horrible sight, and the verbal incitement against them and us by the TV announcers was terrifying.

They announced, warned, reminded the viewers, over and over ad nauseum that today’s atmosphere is just like before Rabin’s assassination. Considering all of the questions concerning the involvement of the Shabak (Israeli secret police) and its star operator, Avishai Raviv, it makes me dread what they have planned for us now. For those who need a reminder of that story, here’s a link from Israel’s Media Watch that will give a comprehensive explanation.

Now, back to Chareidim and Zionism. From my understanding, they look at The State of Israel as just another foreign government. They take what they can get from it and obey whatever laws they consider relevant. Considering how the government is treating us, maybe we should re-think our relationship with the state. That doesn’t make us disloyal, just less “enthusiastic.”

We must concentrate on our primary belief and loyalty to G-d, the Torah and settling our Land.

Batya Medad, Shiloh
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DevoraChaya said...

Since you're asking, I'll tell you my sincere opinion. I think that both the religious zionists AND the hareidim are sitting at two opposing extremes and that BOTH are WRONG. One gives too much credit to the state and the other doesn't give enough.

According to my understanding which has been gleaned from the writings of the Maharal, the GR"A and the prophets of Israel, the present form of the State of Israel is a vehicle to redemption, not the redemption itself. On the other hand, it is in fact the beginning of redemption, the sure promise of redemption and nothing less than the Hand of G-d. Our sages told us, as any student of Rav Kook knows, that there was no surer sign of the beginning of redemption than seeing the desert bloom and the Land of Israel putting forth its fruit in abundance for the returning Children of Israel.

There is an indication from the prophet Yechezkel in perek lamed zayin that the redemption occurs in two stages; first physical and then spiritual. The State of Israel has succeeded in preparing the nation for physical survival and renewal---building the national infrastructure for a modern country; bringing in the exiles; and fighting the wars. In fact, if things had gone differently in 1967, it would have been seen in hindsight as a roaring success.

Unfortunately, too many people saw mere survival as the end goal and sole purpose of the State and never sought to go beyond that. This set the State up to become the failure that we see today. Instead of being the conduit for the emergence of the holy nation with it's center on Har Habayit, it is seeking to prevent the spiritual re-birth in order to insure it's own survival.

Put another way, it's like an eggshell trying to reseal every crack the chick makes in its effort to emerge. It doesn't understand that its purpose was to protect the developing chick until it was ready to come forth and that the culmination of it's reason for being is to give way to that emergence at the appropriate time. It has come to believe erroneously that ITS survival is the highest priority and that the chick's attempts to be born are threatening it's very existence and so it will try to thwart the chick's every movement toward birth in order to preserve itself intact.

This is a very apt analogy because the real key to the fulfillment of our national purpose is returning to Har Habayit. It is not enough for us to simply survive. We have a God-ordained mission in this world which requires a rebuilt Temple. Why is this idea fought so hard? People believe that it will be the end of the State because the Arabs and the world will not tolerate it. In a sense, they are right, it WILL be the end of the we know it today. They fear this, some because it will be the end of their power and others because it is all so unfamiliar and unknown.

The thing is, we have reached the point now where the eggshell is already cracked beyond repair and the chick is getting too weak to keep up the struggle. The world is preparing to move in and sweep the whole effort into the trashcan so they can get on to other things, but HASHEM has other plans.

He's been waiting and watching, giving strength, brightening the light, letting us arrive at this realization as much on our own as we possibly can, but He will intervene at the very last moment to insure that the holy nation does emerge alive. The shell will be forgotten, just as the peel is forgotten when you first bite into the succulent, sweet fruit.

The peel is there to protect the fruit until it is ripe and ready to be eaten and G-d Himself is the one who created it that way, but it is the fruit we want to eat, not the peel. Those who would subsist on bitter peel alone is not normal, but the one who says the peel is evil for being a peel and that it's purpose is corrupt is very shortsighted and very wrong.

We could have brought the glorious redemption painlessly in 1967 in the aftermath of the Six Days War by clearing Har Habayit and rebuilding the Temple. Not one nation would have objected. And all the blame for the failure can not be laid at Moshe Dayan's feet because the religious leaders wrote letters saying that they had no intent, interest, or desire to do anything with it. You see, this quantam leap would have changed their power politics, too. There is plenty of blame to go around.

What is critical at this stage is for us to understand all these dynamics and prepare ourselves to move immediately in sync with HASHEM'S directives when they come. Everything is about to go topsy-turvy, but you know when it all settles out, we will see that we have only come right side up after all.

HASHEM is on His throne. All is right with the world, even if we can't see it. :-)

One last thought. A woman in the last stages of labor would think she was about to die if she had never seen a birth. That's really where we are right now and it is going to get a bit worse just before it gets tremendously better. We need to understand the dynamics of this birth so we can breathe and work WITH the process instead of fighting it and increasing the pain and delaying the birth further.

Hope this has helped.

Devora Chaya Shem Tov

Moze said...

What I find ironic is that (though I also am no fan of the referendum) these people are being arrested for what--asking for the right to vote?? American soldiers died in Iraq to give the local populace the right that Israel is denying its citizens. As for us already having elected officials--when they run on one platform and deliver the opposing party's platform, there ought to be some way to reclaim our voice, but the Israeli system has none.

If this were a true democracy the politicians would fear being kicked out of office next time around, but since they are more beholden to their party (who sets the running order and thus who has a "realistic" place and who does not) than to the people, they are not truly our representatives.

Yaacov said...

The Chareidi viewpoint with regard to Zionism is quite clear and that is - the Torah is a complete entity that expresses G-d's will, any ideology that accepts only a portion of the Torah and disregards other aspects, is simply heresy. Those Zionist ideologies that do not accept all of Torah, are impure and have no place among the Jewish people.