17 September 2019

Israeli Elections: But what if they can't make a coalition?

17 Elul 5779

The Knesset building. Source

Some "experts" think that the results of the election taking place today will result in the same way as occurred last April: a failure to form a government (Sorry, can't find a link today. But I'm sure I read something about that recently.). Paradoxical as it may seem, if the parties that make it into the government can't make a coalition, there's even more hope than if they do.

Why would that be?

Certain texts we hold by cannot be taken literally. Recently Reb Dov Bear wrote that a contemporary Rav, Yekutiel Fish, came out with this explanation of the Talmud Bavli text of Sanhedrin 98a*:

The disciples of Rabbi Yossi the son of Kisma questioned him, asking when the son of David (the Messiah) will appear. And he answered: I am afraid you will request from me a sign as well. And they assured him that they would not. He then said to them: When this gate will fall, be rebuilt and fall again, be rebuilt again and fall again. And before it will be rebuilt for the third time the Messiah will appear. 

According to Rav Yekutiel Fish, these gates are attempted governments.  A government will fall which it did late in 2018.  There will be two elections where governments cannot be formed, and before there is a third such election Mashiach will come..... 

 If R' Fish is right, this means, metaphorically speaking, that our metamorphosis period as a nation is coming to an end. The cocoon, so to speak, is the first system of government and governance that has sustained, to the best of its ability, the Jews who came back to claim our inheritance in Eretz Yisrael in almost two millennia, and is getting ready for us to emerge from it to our native governance and founding documentation.

A real butterfly must struggle to get out of its cocoon in order to fly, survive and reproduce. It cannot be helped out of it, whether by human hands or anything else, or it will not be able to fly. The struggle gives it strength.

Our struggle to exit the "cocoon" is teshuva. The question will be how well we, the butterfly in the metaphor, can handle this transition. Like the butterfly exiting the cocoon, we can't use the help of the "peanut gallery" that constantly surrounds us.

Are we ready to shed our galut-originated mentality? Will the olim among us (obviously including yours truly!) still consider ourselves to be from our "countries of birth"? Are we going to judge each other by the color of our skin, as they do in America and Europe? Is the color of our skin even the point? Are we going to be able to ignore all the name-calling, and other attempts to dehumanize us and diminish our personhood and nationhood?

Are we going to keep on taking on increasingly deteriorating Western values until we choke on them?

Or are we going to head toward our own values, as delineated in the Torah? Are we going to be able to separate out the exilic dross from the texts from which we derive our understanding of Torah (I'm looking at you, Xian-"redacted" versions of Talmud Bavli), from our lifestyles and from our hearts? Are we going to be able to win back our derekh eretz regarding how we treat one another? Are we going to consider ourselves, at last, a family brought back together, the sons and daughters of Ya'aqov Avinu?

Are we going to respond this time to the secular challenge: "Do you REALLY want a Torah government and Halachic governance?" with fear, or with confidence that HQB"H will bless our efforts and bring even more peace and tranquility than we now expect?

In the upcoming days and weeks through the Yamim Nora'im — and maybe longer — questions like these and more will likely be as important as our personal sins and who our next Prime Minister and Knesset majority will be.

After all, what are we looking at, most likely, but a beckoning toward the Jewish People's ultimate destiny?

*My apologies to my readers! I had copied Reb Dov Bear's text; it turns out that the folio number was incorrect. Both of us have the correct number now. (Yes, I looked it up myself, just to be sure.)

More thoughts on elections:

Israeli Elections: Helek Shtayim | While you're thinking about who to vote for... |

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