11 August 2015

The Status Quo for Jews, part 2

26 Menachem Av 5775

WHAT DO YOU KNOW about the laws the Jewish Nation has had in place since the time of Moses our Teacher (Moshe Rabbenu)?  Not personal Halacha; I’m asking about the setup and rules for governing the nation of Jewish people.

I admit that, at this time, I do not know very much, except a basic principle: that the only place on earth where Jews can rule and be ruled by these laws is Eretz Yisrael, the land mentioned in the Torah that haShem gave us, a small part of which we dwell in at present. I heard a lot while I lived in the diaspora about how Judaism is kept in the home and in the community, but not a great deal of thought about living in our own land under our own tailor-made system. A lot of Israelis (usually non-religious ones) seem to think that it is enough to have a government of our own, even if it isn’t quite what our Creator had in mind.  Recent events, however, have pushed forward the necessity to quickly get used to the idea of living under our own laws, instead of the hodgepodge of those of others (British, Ottoman, etc.) who have barely tolerated us until now, putting it mildly, whether the “powers that be” — Israeli or otherwise  intended it or not.

This mixed (or mixed-up) government has reached the end of the road. They can no longer pretend to be a democracy; now they have exposed themselves as tyrants and dictators who will arrest Jewish citizens on a whim and make them out to be criminals without any proof, only excuses and baseless accusations. Administrative detention isn’t even enough for them: Now they want laws specifically against Jewish activists. Ynet attributes the following to Lior Ackerman, former Shaba”k agent (previous link), that the solution may be a change in legislation to speed up the legal process to bring strong cases against "hilltop youth," the radical fringes of the settler movement. He goes on to accuse an entire sector of the population:

"The young people who run on the hills and were already involved in attacks against Arabs, torching cars and uprooting orchards and no one called their actions terror, receive motivation to continue. We must define what it means to be involved in terrorism and not. We should have started enforcing the law against these guys - a group of fundamentalist ideological criminals that see no justice. They don't recognize the law of the land. If we don't give them a hit on the head it will continue to grow.”

EVEN IF THIS WERE TRUE (which I highly doubt), the three that are now detained Meir Ettinger,  Evyatar Slonim and Mordechai Meir —did not do the items listed above. Well, except for one:  They don’t recognize a government that eats its own for breakfast, all the while denying kinship with them. We must not conflate these young men with the rest of these (mis)deeds. With no crimes, no accounting for the arrests, no warrants for those who have been detained of late, the Israeli government is doing no better than the British occupiers from whose hands their ancestors, along with religious people  most of us hardly know about and much less give credit to, wrested this land, ironically with the help of G-d. And they dare think that they’re going to keep us from speaking out against this new development, or throw us in jail for doing so. Well, think again. Not only will we speak out, but we have Someone behind us who will back up our prayers and enable our actions to accomplish more, may He do so promptly!

NOW, TO OUR ALTERNATIVE:  We know that there are, on the most basic level, three parts to G-d’s Kingdom on earth: the kingship (Mashiach ben David and any possible successors, from the tribe of Yehuda), the priesthood (tribe of Levi), and the Knesseth haGedolah (Sanhedrin), similar to many congresses and parliaments; instead of making law, it derives applications of law from the Torah and Talmud and other accepted derivations from it, with precedents across the millennia.  I want to first take a glance at the nascent Sanhedrin, the modern organization that has come together in recent years, since it is the only part of the G-dly kingdom that has an identity, is populated and has a Web site at this time. Some think that this Sanhedrin is for real, while others think not. I am in no position to understand who is correct; I only know that if some members do not comply with the requirements, they should be exposed and dismissed to make way for men of accomplishment, G-d-fearing people, men of truth, people who despise money1; in other words, knowledgeable scholars who love and fear their G-d in regards to the people they are serving, and have the ability to do so correctly and with full understanding, who will not take bribes and entertain conflicts of interest. If they are for real, people should listen to their piskei din (verdicts) and act accordingly. Who knows: If this group ends up being the properly designated successor to the old one after all, Mashiach might be found in its midst. 

But, if the whole lot of them is phony, then it should make way for the real one. We have no more tolerance for the monkey business the current system has been making at our expense blood has been spilled and mounds of treasure wasted over absolute nonsense! We don’t want to be deluded into accepting something just because of its name and exterior; that means ANYTHING that has the right name, but does not act accordingly. After all, we are Ya’aqov, who loves inner reality and life, and not Esav, who loves appearance; nor are we Yishma'el, who has fallen in love with death and destruction.

LET US CRY OUT to The Holy One, Blessed Be He, to make us worthy to be led by Him and to help Him establish His status quo for us. It will certainly be better than what we have now. It always would have been, had we not let the strayers, and then the nations of the world, lord themselves over us.

Will a puff of cloud form and then Mashiach will appear, like a magic trick? I, for one, don’t believe that.  G-d abhors a vacuum. We, the children of Ya’aqov, need to fill it.

1 Exodus/Shemoth 18:21, The Stone Edition: The Torah/Prophets/Writings, ed. Sherman, Rabbi Nosson, 2003.

More reading:  Evil Is Bringing About Its Own End | Israeli Government to Destroy 20-Year Old Synagogue | Elad Girl Forcibly Drafted into the IDF  

Amendment: I must make amends to Batya from Shiloh Musings, who inspired this series with her post Dayenu! I've Had Enough!

UPDATE:  Here, from my fellow blogger Neshama, is another part of our alternative: Going Home...To Yerushalayim: "Ani L'Dodi From The City of David." 



Dassie said...

Nice well-written research, CDG.
(And I like your new background.)

CDG, Yerushalayim, Eretz Yisrael Shlemah said...

Thank you, Dassie!

Neshama said...

I don’t remember where it says this, but i read that before Mashiach comes the land will be settled and developed by secular Jews. (Maybe one of our readers will know) So this is what we have had the last 60 or so years. It was planned this way. In more recent years, the desire for a Torah true government has been brewing in the hearts of those who actually live “on the Land, under the stars, and feel deeply connected to a Torah lifestyle.” Not that others (hareidim and chassidim) don’t want it, but those attached to the Land and breathe the special Air of Eretz Yisrael, are those most infused with this desire.

The Erev Rav is committed to a non religious way of life and works devilishly to be anti-Torah and anti-G-d.

The Israelis (in the middle) who are just struggling day to day to work and raise their children surely wish for a better life. It is incumbent upon the rest of us, who know, to enlighten them about what it means for them and the Land of Israel to have a Torah lifestyle and a Torah government. Many are dearly afraid of the halachic restrictions.

With this in mind, I really don’t think we should bother with a Sanhedrin before Mashiach. Because Mashiach will need to discern “who is a Jew” before embarking on his mission. Something similar to when Ezra returned to the Land and had to make the people conform to a halachic life. Many had to divorce their gentile wives, etc.

I believe there is a quiet revulsion and rebellion brewing in the Land.

Like you said, “LET US CRY OUT to The Holy One, Blessed Be He” ….

CDG, Yerushalayim, Eretz Yisrael Shlemah said...

Neshama, I was actually inspired by Shiloh Musings' post Dayenu! I've Had Enough! That reminds me, I ought to amend that to this post.

Batya Medad said...

very complete

Neshama said...

Wishing you also a Hodesh Elul Tov.