Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Authentic Jewish Values for a Jewish State

Hardly a day goes by without someone invoking Jewish Values to justify things that by and large do not have a basis in traditional Judaism. Jewish Values are not merely things that a particular Jew values, rather they are values that are at the very heart of Judaism and whose roots can be traced back to traditional Jewish texts and law.

Today's example is courtesy of David Forman from the Jerusalem Post who shares with us his view on the issue of Israel being both a Jewish and Democratic State (very worthwhile to read the entire article):
The Jewish state can legitimately call itself Jewish only so long as it is Jewish and democratic and humane.

For Jews, the building of a society based on a prophetic vision of social justice, equality and humanity...

No people should be more sensitive to the notion of “separate laws” than Jews.

Ultimately, by introducing racist laws, it is not others, but we who are challenging our own legitimacy as a people and a nation.

Forman seems to imply that:

* According to the teachings of the Prophets, there must be full equality in the Jewish State, between Jew and non-Jew.

* The notion of separate laws concerning Jews and non-Jews is racist.

* That a Jewish State is only legitimate if it is in fact a democratic state.

Now consider the following points in response:

* What is the basis for Forman's claim that a Jewish State must also be democratic? Neither the 1st, nor the 2nd Jewish commonwealths were run according to democratic principles.

* Throughout the nearly 2,000 year long exile, the Jewish People did not pray to return to Zion in order to become "The Only Democracy in the Middle East", but to create a truly Jewish State where they could serve Hashem as they were meant to.

* The Torah, as well as the Prophets make it very clear that the non-Jew in Israel is limited to a Resident-Stranger status, with all of the limitations that go along with it. (Perhaps Forman isn't familiar with those sections).

* The Torah makes it very clear that the Jewish people are not meant to live amongst the nations of the world - that they are meant to live in a Jewish State in the Land of Israel, to create a society based on Torah values (protected from the foreign, secular values of the outside world) and serve as a light unto the nations. (See: Lev. 20:24-26, Bamidbar Rabbah, 18:7, Num. 23:9).

For the sake of brevity I refrained from delving into specific sources to prove out these points. If there is interest for me to do so, please let me know, and I would be happy to elaborate on this issue.



7 Comments:

maybe you could collaborate with chardal.blogspot.com

By Anonymous strong bad, at Wed Nov 16, 01:41:00 AM GMT+2  

David J. Forman once was or is still connected with the moonbat organization "Rabbis For Human Rights." Another case of "lack of transparency" that has plagued jpost recently.

He mentions something from the tractate Sanhedrin at the start of the article. However that particular tractate contradicts the notions that he puts forward!

By Blogger Cosmic X, at Wed Nov 16, 11:49:00 AM GMT+2  

Par for the course... both for JPost and for RHR types...

They are quick to quote jewish sources and speak of the vision of the Prophets, yet that is almost always followed by a distortion of the very sources they are quoting, or a total disregard for other sources which go against their beliefs.

There's nothing wrong with having those beliefs, just don't call them Jewish values - as they have little to do with trasitional Judaism.

By Blogger Ze'ev, at Wed Nov 16, 12:28:00 PM GMT+2  

It is basically 'Rabbis for Palestinian Rights.'

By Anonymous daat y, at Wed Nov 16, 01:12:00 PM GMT+2  

The problem is, that by referring to themselves as "Rabbi's" for whatever it is that they represent, they are giving off the impression that they are speaking on behalf of Judaism...

By Blogger Ze'ev, at Wed Nov 16, 02:09:00 PM GMT+2  

Ze'ev,

The sinat hinam which flows in these comments towards Jewish leaders who do not hold the same views as the readers is very worrying. By delegitimizing non-Orthodox Judaism, you de-legitimize jewish peoplehood. Maybe you are right, and these people who disagree with you are not really Jews and do not represent Judaism. But Israel IS a Secular democratic state. And maybe Israel needs to realise that its greatest threat is not from outside but from within = from the state of Yehuda (of the real Jews) who want to tear down the democracy and the "Israeli" (but thoroughly unJewish) values of Justice and equality.

Haim

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Nov 17, 02:05:00 PM GMT+2  

Haim,

This isn't Sinat Chinam. Sinas Chinam, by definition, is sinah without reason. This is a case of a person, who over the years, has shown that he is more interested in the Palestinian side of the equation then the Jewish side. Did you ever here of Froman standing up for the rights of the residents of Gush Katif? No. Or for Jews arrested/beaten for taking part in legitimate opposition to government policies? No. You only see him coming out against any policy/action that is based in Torah Judaism or even the name of Judaism. He has, by his words and actions, stated that Torah Judaism isn't real Judaism and that it's adherents are not worth the same as those who want to wipe them off the map. Coming out against him in a strongest terms possible and even hating him out right, (as long as you say it, so as not to be over on al tisneh achicha b'libecha) is perfectly legitimate if not worthy of praise.

By Blogger Litvshe, at Thu Nov 17, 02:31:00 PM GMT+2  

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