Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.
“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: Moshe Feiglin is the Deputy Speaker of the Knesset and a member of Israel's Security and Defense Committee. He heads the Manhigut Yehudit ("Jewish Leadership") faction of Israel's governing Likud party. He is the founder of Manhigut Yehudit and Zo Artzeinu and the author of two books: "Where There Are No Men" and "War of Dreams." Feiglin served in the IDF as an officer in Combat Engineering and is a veteran of the Lebanon War. He lives in Ginot Shomron with his family.
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Myth #1: It is easy to be a B’nai Noach. It is extraordinarily hard to be a B’nai Noach.
The question of anti-Semitism in Europe today is truly tied to the issue of immigration.
Polls indicate that the Palestinians are much more against a two state solution than the Israelis.
Emigration from Israel is at an all-time low, far lower than immigration to Israel from Europe.
Leon Klinghoffer’s daughters: “‘Klinghoffer’ is justified as ‘a work of art’…This is an outrage.”
Do you seriously think that as you kidnap our children we should medically treat and help yours?
Sometimes collective action against the heinous acts of the majority is not enough. The world should not only support the blockade of Gaza; it must enforce the dismantling of Hamas.
The Arab Spring has challenged Jordan with the task of gradual reform with regard to its monarchy.
Israel offered Syria the entire Golan Heights, only to find that the Syrians were demanding MORE!
Israeli hasbara too can be described at best as pathetic, at worst non existent.
A ‘good news’ story from the Nepal avalanche disaster to warm your heart. Take out your Kleenex.
Journalists see the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as morality play: Israel=evil; Palestine=innocent
Warsaw Ghetto: At its height, the Nazis walled in some 500,000 Jews within the1.3 square mile area.
While police officers face dangers every day on the job, Jews also face danger in their daily lives.
If Hamas is ISIS, the world asks, why didn’t Israel destroy it given justification and opportunity?
During the First Lebanon War, the IDF forced the PLO terrorists all the way to the Beirut port and then to Tunisia. The PLO, which had lost its stronghold in Lebanon, was shattered. Salach Taamri, the most senior and admired terrorist captured by the IDF, was imprisoned in the Ansar detention camp. He was a broken man.
Soldiers at various hospitals complained that they experienced hostility from Arab hospital staff.
A murderous uprising is taking place in Israel; On the roads, In the mixed Jewish-Arab cities.
We did not win the war in Gaza because we are still captive to the concept of the 2 state solution.
Trapped in a false notion of power, America will lose the battle in the same way Israel now loses.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/from-boot-camp-to-reality/2008/07/02/
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