Sunday, November 23, 2014

Israel as Jewish State, What's The Problem?

Almost sixty-seven years ago, Israel was established as the Jewish State, not a Jewish State, simply because there is no other in the world. Lots of countries have official religions. Growing up in the United States of America, it was always clear that it is/was a Christian country.

All of the Christian Holidays are national American holidays. Schools are closed on those days. It used to be that stores were closed and bars even for most of their day of rest on Sunday so that all people, other than the police, firemen and hospital staff could be with their families.

Public schools had budgets for large religious Christmas displays when I was growing up. In my very Jewish neighborhood, Bayside, NY, the displays were either inclusive with Chanuka, too, or just snow-oriented.

When I moved to Great Neck, as a teenager, I was suddenly in a more Christian community. A teacher in Great Neck North complained that "it was much nicer before the Jews came." When we asked how she could say such a thing and why, she replied."
"The Jews stopped the beautiful Christmas pageants we used to have in the school."
No doubt, in schools without non-Christians, these were and may still be routine. There are many European countries that are officially Catholic, Christian etc. And there are many, many other countries officially Moslem, including all of Israel's neighbors, if I'm not mistaken. So why do we here in Israel feel it necessary to change our basic national status, to water down the Jewish element?

The Knesset is voting on various bills to give non-Jews more official status.
PM Netanyahu says the bill would enshrine full equality under law to all Israeli citizens regardless of race, religion or gender, while ensuring Israel's Jewish identity.
Let us continue as a Jewish State, and if anyone doesn't want that, they can leave!


NormanF said...

I've too, wondered why people find it controversial.

The word "religion" incidentally, comes from Christianity but its an inaccurate description of Judaism.

First an foremost, the Jewish people are a nation, a culture, a philosophy and only then are they a faith.

Its a civilization in the truest sense of the word. The Jewish State is a tribute to that achievement.

And if some people have a problem with honoring that, the rest of us should still say its worthy of recognition.

In Israel's highest laws.

Shtrudel said...

Israel being officially The Jewish Nation doesn't imply that non-Jews are or should be discriminated against... Quite to the contrary!...

Anonymous said...

Yes, it is true that Judasim is not a religion. A great Tzadik of last generation, Rabbi Chaim Zimmerman,z'tl, was upset that rabbis and people who should know better would call Judaism a 'religion'. He said that Torah is the Eternal Truth. If we call it a religion, we are then equating it with religions of the world which are all avodah zorah. Also, do believe this push for Israel being the Jewish state (always thought that's what it was called from the start of its rebirth) is because there is an agenda afoot for the integration of xtianity and xtians and others, into the mix of the Jewish population, r'l, thus calling themselves the new Jews or something of the like. Most assuredly, there is a devious plan. Just from what we learn from the JewishIsrael website should give us pause to be concerned.

Batya said...

Judaism is more than a religion, but to say "it's not a religion" isn't totally true. Unlike any other religion, we're a people connected to a land. These three elements, religious laws (religion,) people and land are interconnected. We must strengthen the connection to bring the Moshiach, Redemption. The other religions, specifically those trying to steal our land and bible are terrified that we will succeed, because it will prove their religions a lie.

Anonymous said...

This is not for posting but I will shortly arrive in Israel under the Law of Return after years of persecution in the USA. The Jewish Agencies can't advise about where someone over fifty ought to go for their first place to start life as an Israeli. Can you suggest a place where I might rent a room for around 800 per month in US dollars? The USA causes asthma in many of its citizens so I need to move to a locale that is environmentally sound.

Your blog reported at the Jewish Press is most refreshing to read and I hope to learn freely in Israel about how to further Jewish independence at our house anoint he diaspora.

Thanks for any information you can provide .

Barbara Rubin

Batya said...

Barbara, how about Ariel? It has everything you probably need and isn't polluted.