Lawrence Hoffman is a politically liberal Reform rabbi who writes about his favorite Jewish books in his own recently released book, titled, not altogether unexpectedly, One Hundred Great Jewish Books.
Much of the Israeli Left – including cultural and political leaders, journalists and academics – has in recent months engaged in hyperbolic, defamatory claims that the government of Benjamin Netanyahu is trying to destroy Israel’s democracy through proposed legislation such as that aimed at modifying how Israeli Supreme Court justices are selected.
Is this what three thousand and three hundred years of Jewish tradition has come to, that a nation that has always dared to walk alone, with different ideals and values from the wider culture, should so fully capitulate to the most corrupt, misogynistic values, that we would advocate that our young women have plastic surgery in order to get married?
As one that has trained and followed rabbis throughout their careers, I can generally say that rabbis gain detractors not so much because of their sermons, vision, lectures or the like, but rather when they fail to return phone calls, when they avoid bikur cholim, and when they fail to respond to emails. One can deal with refusal, disagreements, debates and the answer ‘no’, but how should one deal with being totally and utterly ignored?!
It appears that Tuesday night’s big winner of the Kadima party primary vote, like the Royal house of Bourbon, has not forgotten anything and has not learned anything from his role in dismantling Gush Katif. Speaking at the NY Israel Policy Forum, former Defense Minister and former IDF Chief of Staff Shaul Mofaz laid down his plan for a permanent Palestinian State. If you or your loved ones reside in Judea and Samaria – be afraid, be very afraid.
To view government as a form of deity or an inevitable friend of the poor and downtrodden is an illusion. Government is not a magic box, but a can of worms. To see it as a player, with its own interests, that should be as distrusted as any bank or corporation is the purest form of common sense, the very triumph of common sense over ideology and dogma that made America great, its people free, and real democracy possible.