Sunday, September 07, 2014

Freedom of Religious Expression in Israel

י״ג לחודש השישי תשע״ד

Almost daily, there have been reports in the news of Christians being attacked, kidnapped, raped, and killed in Syria, Iraq, Nigeria, and Bangladesh, all at the hands of Muslims.

Although Muslims have been notoriously abusive of their own, in "honor killings" around the world, as human shields and a terrorist trainees, have maimed, killed, and otherwise abused non-Muslims regardless of their religion, Christians have certainly been a sometimes favorite target, albeit not as popular as Jews.

Recent events reminded me of the following grafted, I had seen posted on Jews News, earlier this year.

(Avodah Zara censored out.)

This Christian praises Israel for the religious freedom it affords its citizens.

Actually, though, not only do Christians enjoy such religious freedoms in Israel, but so do Muslims, Druze, and several others, in probably the only country in the Middle East that allows it.

In a way, non-Jews enjoy more religious freedom than religious Jews.

Bedouins in the South practice polygyny, without fear of reprisal from the Israeli Government. Even though polygyny is "illegal," under Israeli law.

The thugs from Chicago, calling themselves the Black [Non] Hebrews do the same. And had did they even get into Israel, you might ask? Well, they started creeping in, after being kicked out of Liberia. That's right, kicked out. Then when threatened with deportation by the Israeli Government, they Black Non-Hebrews threatened back,...with mass suicide if they were not allowed to remain. Well, the Israeli Government certainly did not want that on its hands, and so now they enjoy defacto autonomy, funneling in whomever they want, whenever they want.

Of course, if a Jew dared to petition the government to marry one than one wife, he would be demonized as an oppressor of women. If he were to marry one woman on the the government's books, and have one on the side, all of the parties involved would be jailed for tax fraud.

Meanwhile, Muslims may pray on Har HaBayith (Temple Mount), yet Jews are still forbidden. Even Christian tourists seem to be afforded more leniencies than Jews. Anyone who says that Jews have control over Har HaBayith is blind, an idiot, or both.

Even if there truly were freedom of religious expression for all peoples in Israel, "all" meaning religious Jews, too, where is the basis for this in the Torah? How is the concept of allowing, even encouraging, the practice of religions other that Judaism supported by halakhah (Torah Law)?

Actually, it isn't.

Freedom of religious expression simply does not exist in the Torah, with possible exception of the diversity of our religious customs.

The phrase שבעים פנים לתורה (Seventy Faces of the Torah) which liberal Jews, in particular, like to throw around, refers to the diversity within halakhic (Torah legal) parameters. This phrase can refer to midrashic interpretations, as well as hashqafah. It does not, however, refer to doing whatever you want, and calling it Judaism, let alone "Torah."

Any "face" absent of halachic basis is no face of the Torah. In fact, it is forbidden to interpret the Torah contrary to halakhah.
משנה אבות ג,יד [יא]
רבי אלעזר המודעי אומר ... והמגלה פנים בתורה--אף על פי שיש בידו מעשים טובים, אין לו חלק לעולם הבא.

Mishnah Avoth 3:14 [11]
Rabbi Elazar of Modi'in said: If a man ... teaches meanings in the Torah which are not according to Halachah, even though he has a knowledge of the Torah and good works, he has no share in the world to come.

See also TB Sanhedrin 99a.
This covers the so-called "movements," claiming to be full fledged denominations of Judaism, albeit they are anything but. Although, they, too are gaining ground in the way of "rights," as they also serve the Erev Rav's anti-Torah agenda.

The so-called religious "rights" of Christians and Muslims serve the same agenda, assisting in the attempting chipping away of the Torah's influence. Keeping the Christian-aligned, right-wing pitted against the Muslim-aligned, Left-wing is just an added benefit, as in "divide and conquer."

There have been several debates recently regarding Christians and Muslims in particular. Are Christians to be considered practitioners of avodah zarah (foreign/forbidden worship) or not? Land be sold, rented, or even given away to Muslims? Can we currently accept either of these, or any other, religious groups as gerei toshav (resident aliens)? But, these debates are irrelevant.

Neither Christians nor Muslim could ever be considered B'nei No'ah, and thus candidates for becoming gerei toshav, as they have added and subtracted from the Torah. They have not accepted the Torah 100%, as the truth.

The Ramba"m says this more clearly, when he provides Christians and Muslims as examples of koferim (Hil. Teshuvah 3:17). However, since everyone's favorite comeback line these days seems to be "We don't pasqin like so-and-so!" So, I figured that I would keep it as simple as possible.

Non-Jews who are forbidden from residing with in Israel, remain here anyway, not only because of the beliefs that we are unable to resettle them elsewhere and that the international community would become enraged, but because of the belief, even of "rabbis," that there is absolutely nothing wrong with the non-Jews remaining.

And so, whether Christian or Muslim, Bahai or Hindu, non-Jews may enjoy religious freedom while residing within the State of Israel's deMOCKracy, it is without any sanction from the Torah, the only Law which should really matter to Am Yisrael.

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