Across Israel, Meir Panim responds to the growing needs of the country’s 1.75 million impoverished residents through various food and social service programs.
“We must demonstrate against [Ehud] Olmert,” said the voice over the phone.
“Why?” I asked.
“Because he is going to give up the Golan Heights.”
“I won’t be demonstrating,” I answered. “I won’t demonstrate against Olmert or against the media, not even against the justice system. I won’t demonstrate against giving up the Golan Heights. I don’t demonstrate against the missiles falling in Ashkelon and I don’t demonstrate against the firebombs thrown all too frequently at the entrance to my hometown. And even when Olmert will announce that he is surrendering Jerusalem, I will not demonstrate.”
I don’t demonstrate because I have nobody to demonstrate against. I don’t demonstrate because the father and mother of Zionism are long dead and buried. I have no national father to yell at. I have no political mother who will have mercy on me.
I am simply here alone, completely alone – with only myself. Who will I demonstrate against? The air? I can only demonstrate against myself, and berate myself for the things that I could have done to change our leadership – and didn’t do.
* * *
For the Jewish people, real life begins when they enter the Land of Israel. The intense experience of the exodus from Egypt (receiving the Torah and 40 years of wandering in the desert) was like a divinely inspired boot camp – preparation for entering the Land of Israel.
Our recent Torah portion of Shelach relates the tragic episode of the spies who discouraged the Israelites from leaving the desert boot camp to enter the Land. Our modern-day will to leave boot camp is not faring much better. The moment of truth is here, and our recruits are running away from the challenge. The entire world is in awe of the Godly resources that have been invested in our nation. The entire world anticipates our nation’s message – the wonder of the fusion of the divine and the mundane.
Western culture has created a religious world outside the parameters of the mundane. Eastern Islamic culture has created a religious world outside the parameters of the divine. In contrast, the message of the Jewish nation is the message of the connection between the divine and the mundane. That connection can occur in only one place – in the Land of Israel. But instead of inspiring the world with our message, the Jewish nation prefers to “admit” that the others are right – that the fusion of the divine and the mundane is impossible, after all.
The message that we are currently giving the world is that there is no such thing as the Torah of the Land of Israel, that the Torah is at most just another religion and that, like all other religions, it exists only outside of reality. Sometimes nations make mistakes. But when a nation ignores its divine destiny, the price is severe. The sin of the spies hounds us until this very day, and is repeated to this very day – particularly among the religious. While the religious will go head to head with the government to prevent the building of a highway over suspected Jewish graves (and that is fine), they will remain absolutely silent when the Temple Mount – the earthly palace of the King of the world – is plowed under. Better for the palace to remain in heaven!
And some who call themselves religious Zionists are doing no better. We proudly proclaim that religious Zionism has a new message for our nation, but in our hearts, we do not believe that the Torah that we learn is relevant outside the study halls. That is why so many religious Zionists fight against Manhigut Yehudit. They prefer their own desert boot camp, and do not understand why it spells political death.
Polls show the religious Zionist National Union party – with all its sub-parties – in a steady state of decline. The fact that the decline continues despite all the “unification” efforts to prop up the party shows that (although the leaders of the religious Zionist public may not yet feel it) the religious Zionist public is voting with its feet against the exile religious mentality. It is slowly but surely groping its way toward the Torah of the Land of Israel – toward reality and our Jewish destiny.
Moshe Feiglin is the founder and president of Manhigut Yehudit, the largest faction inside the Likud party. Manhigut Yehudit (Jewish Leadership) strives to restore Jewish values, pride and integrity to the State of Israel. For more information, or to order Feiglin’s newest book, The War of Dreams, visit www.jewishisrael.org.
About the Author:
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
The Drama Mamas are not an ordinary theater troupe. “When we audition actresses,” says Elisheva, who also serves as the show’s director, “we like to explain to them that the main qualification is that you can honestly say, I have never been on a stage before, but I have always wanted to be an actress!”
Under the plan, a person who was not a citizen of either the Jewish or Arab state was to be appointed governor to administer Jerusalem and to conduct external affairs…
While Brooklyn College is famed for its plethora of Jewish professors and students, it is not a Jewish institution. The 92nd Street Y is. According to its own mission and history statement, it’s “a proudly Jewish institution since its inception.”
I was singing, dancing, jumping and, sweating. Just joy and happiness. One child on my shoulders after another. What happiness! And then, the little boy on my shoulders – he could not have been older than six – began to cry.
Alcohol on Purim is viewed by many as the drinking equivalent of the Autobahn: no limits, no control.
Why not tell us that Purim is to be commemorated with reading the megillah, dispensing mishloach manot, giving gifts to the poor, and partaking in a Purim feast?
At the core of traditional Judaism is the belief that our world has a Creator. This Creator knows all that goes on in our world, and remains actively involved in all of its events – no matter how insignificant some of those events might seem.
Make no mistake: the potential here is enormous. If all of these budget items are approved, they could be a game changer for Jewish day schools and their budgets.
There are those who believe all Israelis must share equally in the military defense of Israel while others say Torah study affords at least as much security as military service. In many respects, The Jewish Press has long reflected this dynamic.
Mr. Obama’s latest “amendment” of the Obamacare law, however, has elevated the arrogation of legislative power to an art form. And he has done so for blatantly political reasons.
What do at-risk youth and more than 30,000 square feet of groceries have in common? The answer is Moisha Binik.
The haredim are not afraid of connecting Israeli nationalism to its faith. Just the opposite. They are afraid to connect the Jewish faith to the Israeli nationalism reawakening in Israel.
A memory that is relegated to a museum, no matter how tangible it is – even if it is Auschwitz itself – becomes a museum memory.
Those afraid to take responsibility and create an essential alternative to lead Israel will always find themselves lobbying.
From what I know of Netanyahu, it is clear to me that he is not happy about giving up parts of our land.
The main obligation of a state toward its citizen is to provide them with security.
MK Akunis said “there is not one member of the coalition who opposes the fact that negotiations are taking place.”
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/from-boot-camp-to-reality/2008/07/02/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: