Sunday, December 29, 2013

The "Fatal Flaw" in Early Zionist Ideology

The early Zionists added a dangerous secular concept/ideology to their Zionism and we're suffering from this still.  No, it wasn't their secularism, the non or anti-religious practices of many early Zionists.

Pioneers of the Second Aliya 
Farming in the Galilee
From my Tanach, Biblical studies in Matan's Al HaPerek program, I've read and learned many references to the Teshuva, Repentance, return to G-d in the Prophets.  They do mention Jews who will return to the Land, though not otherwise all that observant.  Working the Holy Land can bring Jews closer to G-d.  There are many, many mitzvot, Torah Commandments that can only be observed by farming Eretz Yisrael, The Land of Israel.  They are the key to Judaism, Jewish Nationalism and the bringing of the Moshiach.

The big problem, fatal flaw, came with the addition of socialism and democracy to Zionism.  Those two western secular ideologies are like when the Jewish People demanded from Shmuel Hanavi, Samuel the Prophet that he make them a "now make us a king to judge us like all the nations," (1Samuel 8) instead of the type of king that G-d commanded us in D'varim 17.
יד  כִּי-תָבֹא אֶל-הָאָרֶץ, אֲשֶׁר יְ-ה אֱ-יךָ נֹתֵן לָךְ, וִירִשְׁתָּהּ, וְיָשַׁבְתָּה בָּהּ; וְאָמַרְתָּ, אָשִׂימָה עָלַי מֶלֶךְ, כְּכָל-הַגּוֹיִם, אֲשֶׁר סְבִיבֹתָי.
14 When thou art come unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein; and shalt say: 'I will set a king over me, like all the nations that are round about me';
טו  שׂוֹם תָּשִׂים עָלֶיךָ מֶלֶךְ, אֲשֶׁר יִבְחַר יְ-ה אֱ-יךָ בּוֹ:  מִקֶּרֶב אַחֶיךָ, תָּשִׂים עָלֶיךָ מֶלֶךְ--לֹא תוּכַל לָתֵת עָלֶיךָ אִישׁ נָכְרִי, אֲשֶׁר לֹא-אָחִיךָ הוּא.
15 thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose; one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee; thou mayest not put a foreigner over thee, who is not thy brother.
טז  רַק, לֹא-יַרְבֶּה-לּוֹ סוּסִים, וְלֹא-יָשִׁיב אֶת-הָעָם מִצְרַיְמָה, לְמַעַן הַרְבּוֹת סוּס; וַי-ה, אָמַר לָכֶם, לֹא תֹסִפוּן לָשׁוּב בַּדֶּרֶךְ הַזֶּה, עוֹד.
16 Only he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses; forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you: 'Ye shall henceforth return no more that way.'
יז  וְלֹא יַרְבֶּה-לּוֹ נָשִׁים, וְלֹא יָסוּר לְבָבוֹ; וְכֶסֶף וְזָהָב, לֹא יַרְבֶּה-לּוֹ מְאֹד.
17 Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away; neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.
יח  וְהָיָה כְשִׁבְתּוֹ, עַל כִּסֵּא מַמְלַכְתּוֹ--וְכָתַב לוֹ אֶת-מִשְׁנֵה הַתּוֹרָה הַזֹּאת, עַל-סֵפֶר, מִלִּפְנֵי, הַכֹּהֲנִים הַלְוִיִּם.
18 And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book, out of that which is before the priests the Levites.
יט  וְהָיְתָה עִמּוֹ, וְקָרָא בוֹ כָּל-יְמֵי חַיָּיו--לְמַעַן יִלְמַד, לְיִרְאָה אֶת-יְ- אֱ-ו, לִשְׁמֹר אֶת-כָּל-דִּבְרֵי הַתּוֹרָה הַזֹּאת וְאֶת-הַחֻקִּים הָאֵלֶּה, לַעֲשֹׂתָם.
19 And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life; that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them;
כ  לְבִלְתִּי רוּם-לְבָבוֹ מֵאֶחָיו, וּלְבִלְתִּי סוּר מִן-הַמִּצְוָה יָמִין וּשְׂמֹאול--לְמַעַן יַאֲרִיךְ יָמִים עַל-מַמְלַכְתּוֹ הוּא וּבָנָיו, בְּקֶרֶב יִשְׂרָאֵל.  {ס}
20 that his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left; to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he and his children, in the midst of Israel. {S}
The Jewish Nation's values and rules for a king/president/prime minister even today are supposed to be Jewish, not secular, nor "universal," western or any other value system that isn't commanded by G-d.

Unfortunately our politicians, academics, media etc are still enamoured with the secular western values and ideologies of democracy and socialism.  Even those who claim to be Torah observant, also called in America "Orthodox" rabbis worship democracy over G-d's commandments.  Rabbi Shlomo Riskin is one of those whose worship of secular democracy is most disturbing.  His Jerusalem Post Dvar Torah on Parshat Shmot goes against G-d's instructions.
I believe that every soldier must give priority to God’s law over human law, even the law of the IDF.
However, refusing to carry out a command of the IDF must only apply when the individual believes that by carrying out the order an innocent Jewish or gentile life is being taken, or that fundamental human rights are being removed. In the instance of giving land for peace, however, Rabbi J.B. Soloveitchik ruled that the elected government of Israel has the right to decide whether sacrificing land for peace is operable and under which conditions. Such a decision must be governmental and not individual.
Shiloh HaKeduma
Ancient Shiloh 
Less than ten years ago, Riskin at first supported Disengagement for that very reason he wrote in the quoted article.  It was for him a government decision and therefore, according to him we must obey the elected government.  It was just at the very last minute that Riskin backtracked and opposed Disengagement.  I was surprised to see him at the anti-Disengagement demonstration in New York where I had been asked to speak.  The fact that Riskin a YU graduate and rabbi continues to follow that old "psak," decision by the chutz l'Aretz, Diaspora Rabbi J.B. Soloveitchik is the crux of the problem.  I don't think that any rabbi in chutz l'Aretz, no matter how great a scholar has the moral or religious right to speak about any question concerning the Land of Israel.  Rabbi Riskin may dwell in the Land of Israel, but his heart is still in New York.

My rabbis are those who are taking their rabbinic/Torah decisions from today's reality in the Land of Israel. G-d willing their voices will get stronger among the Jewish Nation and that will bring the Moshiach speedily in our days, G-d willing.


Anonymous said...

Just bringing up Rabbi Riskin should make everyone who has read about him angry. He has disgraced the word 'Rabbi'. Enough is written in which should prove that, but his notoriety in going against mesorah is not just from yesterday. Remember reading an article in the Jewish Press years ago (he had a weekly column) and it was about the parsha of the shavua (don't remember which) and was disparaging Moshe Rabbeinu. The following week, there were a few letters to the editor in such anger against him, some of the ultra orthodox, even excommunicating him. But, the latest with his pairing up with the church has gone beyond the pale and is inexcusable. The Rabbis (chazal) tell us that at the end of days when we will have returned to the Land, many in the rabbinic world will be of the Erev Rav. That makes things at least somewhat understandable of what is going on now. Do not consider this loshon hara, as the situation today is dire in regard to false leadership and with our nation in peril, especially with an uninformed, uneducated populace as far as Torah is concerned, and are easily fooled.

Anonymous said...

The secular zionists were the ONLY Zionists. The dat'im weren't involved in pioneering; nor in the Shomrim; nor in the Haganah.

It's true that today, the national-religious-zionists are heavily represented in defending the nation. It took them several generations to learn from our Notzri yedid, Orde Wingate.

Everyone is entitles to their own opinion; no one is entitled to their own set of historical facts. The dat'im are latecomers to the national camp.

Anonymous said...

Anon.#2, You are right. But the real original pioneers (in a different sense of the word) were the truly pious Jews who came in the early 19th century and some earlier, and, of course, there were Jews for hundreds of years, some from Spain, etc. These Jews did not work the land, but literally came for Torah and learning in Holy Eretz Yisrael. The original pioneers for building up the Land were the secular and leftist Jews who came to make a new Israel. They were misguided in their thinking to make a 'new' Jew, but everything is from Above; therefore, believe their mission was to build up the Land. Their descendants (a number of them) make these original pioneers look like tzadikim, unfortunately. But, B'H, we see today that the religious nationalistic Jews are today's pioneers and true heroes, who will inherit the Land. The day will come where every Jew will be well versed in Torah, as in the days of Chizkiyahu HaMelech.

Batya said...

a2, There were many religious zionists who did farm. You have the Poalai Agudah kibbutzim and the NRP kibbutzim. And the early moshavot were very religious, too.

The religious Jews who came to the Holy Land to die didn't see the importance of Jewish Nationalism. G-d wants us to make this Land Jewish. The nationalism is crucial.

Anonymous said...

Batya: Those Jews who made the trek to come from Europe (sea travel and dangerous) in the late 1700's, early and middle 1800's, did not come to Israel to die, but married there and had children. The difference was that it was under the Ottoman Empire and the Jews were not many, i.e., not millions but just thousands and were fulfilling the mitzvah of yishuv haaretz. They were big Torah scholars and holy people. It was not yet time for the start of the redemption where the Land would be sovereign in the hands of the Jews. But, they surely did not come to die, but to live Torah lives in their Homeland. If only later when the secular Jews came, it would have been again the religious who came instead in droves, maybe the rebirth would have been by the observant and things might have been different. Everything is from Above and maybe it was the secular who threw away Torah that were destined to do the physical work and build up the land. That was their mission. True Torah scholars dedicate their lives to Torah, which is first in Hashem's eyes, so to speak. Torah tells us that we will inherit the land through sweat, blood and tears, unfortunately. We've had enough of that already, now time for geulah, hopefully, soon b'rachamim.

Batya said...

During the time of the British Mandate, there were restrictions, permits for Jews and the religious and Revisionists were kept at very small numbers.