Monday, December 22, 2008

Jewish Reality

Second Night of Hanukkah 5769

I recommend reading Carolyn Glick's "Netanyahu's Grand Coalition." It confirms our fears of the dangers an Obama administration poses to Israel. In fact, according to her sources, it's worse than we thought. Who still thinks I'm crazy for suggesting that U. S. troops are on their way to Israel,...or are already here?

But that's not what prompted me to write about "Jewish Reality." Nor is it [exactly] Glick's criticism of Moshe Feiglin, where I believe she goes a little too far, nor is it her criticism of Likud Party Leader Binyamin Netanyahu, where I believe she doesn't go far enough.

No. What prompted me to write about "Jewish Reality" was the following snippet which caught my eye:
Like the Left, Feiglin bases his strategic and economic notions on a complete denial of reality. Whereas the Left ignores the Arabs, Feiglin ignores the West. Feiglin's religious adherence to his views has made him few friends in Likud or elsewhere in Israeli politics.
What "reality" is she talking about? The proverbial "facts on the ground?"

I cannot speak for Moshe Feiglin. However, I can say that religious Jews are sometimes accused of "ignoring reality."

As Jews, one of our roles to make TORAH THE reality in this world.

If it is not compatible with Torah, we are supposed to weed it out of the world's so-called reality.

The many, but not all, modern orthodox Jews, who accept many Western concepts, and Western ideas of "progress," as [automatically] being compatible with Torah, do not get this.

The mamlachti [undying state loyalist] religious Jews, who are unable to see the conflict between halacha and several, if not many, Israeli laws, do not want to get this.

The Haredi Jews, who do get this, are prevented by their hashqafah from being involved fully in this process. Thus they only focus on limited aspects of making Torah the reality in this world.

We don't even have to get into classic, "centrist" debate over "who decides what is or isn't compatible with Torah?"

The farthest that most "religious Zionist" MK's are willing to go to include Torah in the Knesseth's reality is whether kosher food is served at an official event, and whether that event takes place on Shabbath or not.

The idea of considering Torah in how to run a government, deal with a sworn enemy, or whether a soldier should refuse an order contrary to halachah (Jewish Law) is completely beyond them.

Although I agree that it is important not to ignore the "reality on the ground," it is even more important not to neglect, let alone, ignore the ultimate goal, the transformation of the current "reality" into a Torah-based world. This is the real, all-encompassing Tiqqun Olam (reparation of the world).

Even though I do not agree with Moshe Feiglin on many points, I do not believe that he denies nor ignores this "reality," but neither does he ignore the ultimate goal, however selective he may be as to how he expresses this. He does not ignore the West; he simply keeps the West in perspective.

No, I am not deluded into thinking that democracy, let alone Israeli deMOCKracy, is in the least bit Jewish.

However, until we succeed in establishing a truly Jewish government, including a King and an accepted Sanhedrin, I will most likely vote in Israeli elections. However, my vote will be cast to help prevent leftists and Arabs from gaining additional Knesseth seats, not because I think that any revelations or solutions will result from any Knesseth deliberations or other actions.

As Jews, whether we believe it or not, our "reality" IS the Torah, and we have to make it such.

If this is going over your head, or worse, in one ear and out the other, then not only is it very likely that you and I live in very different, Jewish realities, but that we also choose to do so.


For more on what Jewish government could like, in the not so distant future, see Machon Shilo: Rabbi David Bar-Hayim on Jewish Governance.


Devorah Chayah said...

Excellent post!

Avi said...


It says that tshuat HaShem beheref ayin. G-d's salvation comes in the blink of an eye. He alone is the Ultimate Reality.

Chag Sameach.

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