Tuesday, August 21, 2007

By: Schvach Yid

We all know the old quip attributed to perhaps the greatest of all Jewish heroes, Albert Einstein (just kidding folks): ‘Gd doesn’t play dice with the universe’, and in an ‘einsteinian’ have-to-be sort of way, it seems that the political leadership of Israel should stop gambling with the prospect of Israel’s future existence.

Haveil Havalim, hosted this week by Soccer Dad , has provided links to Israel Matzav and YID With LID, both of whom have posted blogs about Ehud Olmert’s newest piece of brilliance – supposedly he’s considering relinquishing authority of the Temple Mount to the Palestinian Authority (I thought the PA/Jordan were given possession of Har HaBayit five minutes or so after the IDF chased the Jordanians off the Mount in ’67). What some people will do for a photo op with President Bush and Secretary of State Rice. Of course, many Israelis undoubtedly schmerchl from ear to ear upon seeing their PM on TV in the company of Bush and Rice, and at no small price. After all, prestige rules, and down the pike – the Palestinian ‘right of return’.

Under Yasser Arafat it was the ‘return’ of the Dead Sea Scrolls – I thought that was chutzpadik, but Jewish surrender of Har HaBayit, which occurred decades ago, is intolerable. So too is the surrender of Hevron, the cave of Machpalah, Yesha.

Olmert has good company in Rabbi David Rosen of the American Jewish Congress, who appeared on the PBS production Three Faiths, One Gd, where Rabbi Rosen declared that Islam is the final recipient of Gd’s last revelation. I thought that people who accept Islam’s claim of revelation are Moslem.

Here’s a blast from the past, a photo of Ariel Sharon in 1967 as a Major General in the IDF laying tefillin at the Kotel upon the IDF’s victory in re-establishing Jewish sovereignty over Jerusalem (well, not quite all of Jerusalem). His schmerchl may be an expression of joy, or it may instead suggest that laying tefillin was a somewhat unique experience for one of Israel’s future Prime Ministers (no LH intended). No matter. The sages of the Talmud teach us that a person who wears tefillin even only once in his life is assured a place in the World to Come (Olam Habah).

Ariel Sharon went on to other feats in his life, one of which was the founding of Israel’s Kadima Party in 2005. He then served as his party’s first PM until his devastating stroke in 2006. He was replaced by Ehud Olmert (does he daven with tefillin each morning?). The new President of Israel is Shimon Peres. Boy, this is old.

So what’s the point? Rabbi Nathan Lopes has written an open letter to Shimon Peres on the on-line edition of Arutz Sheva http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/7337 encouraging him to serve by example, and that the needed example is Judaism. Bravo! Not politics, not kitch, not me-too prestige chasing, not surrender to the demands of foreign powers, and not capitulation to the Jew haters. The answer to Israel’s melancholy is in its (our) religion. No kidding! Israel means Jewish, and Jewish means Torah. It’s not an option – just look what’s happened to Jews as conformists and placation artists. The big news is that Jews without Judaism are miserable.

If you don’t want to listen (read) to a rabbi, just read Dennis Prager’s columns in Moment Magazine, in the current Aug/Sept issue and in the April 2006 issue. As far as I know he’s not frum, but grew up attending yeshiva. He’ll tell you all about the worth of being Jewish, and it’s based on Torah. His columns can be accessed free on line at the Moment Magazine website.

So what’s the problem? Simple. The Israeli voters vote for their national leadership, and their leadership isn’t ‘into’ Judaism. The Jewish Homeland is about living Jewishly in the only Jewish environment on planet Earth. Living Jewishly doesn’t mean locking oneself away with a minyan in a basement in Brooklyn to the exclusion of non-Jews. It means living lives of Torah and mitzvot in a place where living this life is normative and self governed, rather than in a place where it is merely tolerated. Without this, the Jewish people have nothing, and that’s exactly where Israel is headed. We’re barreling headlong into Jewish oblivion chutz le’aretz (out of the Land of Israel), and now it has arrived in Israel.

My unqualified opinion of Israel’s political and social tzuris is that Israel is in the midst of a giant crap-shoot and doesn’t realize it. Their leadership, elected into office by the Israel’s Jewish electorate, has ‘lost its way’. The compass, of course, is Torah, not international competition, emulation, and surrender.


Tamar Yonah said...

Hey Schvach,
You wrote: "Their leadership, elected into office by the Israel’s Jewish electorate, has ‘lost its way’."

Just to 'ladun l'kaf schut',,,
Kadima was elected by only about 22% of the voting population. Approx. 25% of Israel's population is non-Jewish. (Arabs, Druze, christian, etc.) Therefore, the majority of Israel's JEWISH population did NOT vote Kadima in.--We're still stuck with them though. ughh ((sigh)) I agree with your conclusion... "It means living lives of Torah and mitzvot in a place where living this life is normative and self governed, rather than in a place where it is merely tolerated." BRAVO ! Great piece.

Schvach said...

Thank you Tamar, for your comment and for reading my blog.

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