14 December 2008

Feiglin---Right Idea (almost), Wrong Approach

The schizophrenic nature of this essay does not detract from its usefulness, but it does serve to illustrate why Manhigut Yehudit doesn't give up trying to harness the Likud as a means for riding into leadership, no matter how much evidence accrues to the contrary.

Excerpt from If We Desire Life - Part I
(Part 2, Part 3, Part 4)

The state-orientated approach, the positive and romantic attitude towards the renewal of Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel, even if it does not yet acknowledge the Creator, is legitimate and under certain conditions may even be reasonable. However, there is apparently a mutation of this approach that is riding without checks and balanceson the carriage of Zionism and the State. For many in the Religious Zionist community, this fascist approach that regards the State of Israel and its institutions as a supreme value has become real idol worship. Precisely the best and most devoted people have fallen into the trap of several populist rabbis and adopted this form of idolatry.
A stranger observing how the evictors and the evictees fell into each other's arms against the background of the destruction, or how a very well-known rabbi hit and pushed a resident of N'vei Dekalim who dared to try and block the path of a sacred vehicle (an IDF jeep) that came to destroy his home, would come to the conclusion that he was in a madhouse.

The State is, in fact, sacred and the IDF is a sacred tool. However, they cannot replace the Creator and they are capable of every abomination. Those who, at a time of crisis and conflict between the laws of the State and those of the Creator (or their personal consciences), choose those of the State are destroying their scale of values and degenerating into idolatry. In my humble opinion, the settlements were establishedon the basis of this form of idolatry and for this reason, they were destroyed.

If we desire life, we must clarify in depth the issue of State supremacy and its limits.
An enlightening article based on the teachings of the Maharal of Prague by Rav Aryeh Carmell can bring a lot of clarity to these ideas:

"...Maharal affirms that the coming of the Messiah is not, as often thought a sudden event; it is a process. The "Holy kingdom of Israel" - Maharal's term for the reign of the Messiah will emerge from an earlier, non-holy kingdom.

...Maharal, in a telling parable, describes the relationship between the embryonic "kingdom of Israel" and its "Edomite" environment: Fruit grows within a husk; when the fruit ripens the husks falls off... So it is with Israel. Their kingdom emerges and grows from within the kingdom of the nations i.e., from the existential power of the kingdom of the nations, and from their level, it raises itself to a higher level. And when the kingdom of Israel reaches complete maturity the kingdom of nations is removed, just as the husk is removed, and falls off when the fruit reaches its perfection.

...The Messianic revolution will take place in the hearts and minds of the people. The "falling off of the husk" does not refer to a political or military event, nor does "kingdom of the nations" refer to a political entity. The husk refers to the value system of the Western world. The falling off of the husk signifies the victory of spirituality over materialism, faith in G-d over unbounded trust in one's own power, and awareness of divine providence over belief in blind chance.

...the 'Messianic Kingdom' must begin its career as part of Western civilization, but can reach its full potential only by rejecting those aspects of that civilization which are destructive to Torah life. This husk must fall off for the Messianic ideal to be revealed in all its purity. ...Perhaps the fruit represents those lives which are committed to avodat haShem, the service of G-d in the broadest possible sense. They constitute the nascent Messianic period before the kingdom is revealed for all to see, for it is they who, by rejecting the values of the Fourth Empire are casting off its husks and making it possible for the Messiah to become manifest.

Thus there are two processes advancing simultaneously. There is our effort down here to advance the messianic goals, and there is the action of divine providence - in the guise of human political decisions - to weaken the husk... until suddenly, the "end" will be reached, the husk will fall off, the revolution will arrive and the Messiah will be revealed. What emerges from this discussion is the ripening of the Messianic fruit in our human hand. As the fruit ripens, Divine Providence weakens the husk, and the Kingdom of G-d is poised to make its appearanceon the stage of history.

My advice---Stop hedging on the truth in order to curry political favor, i.e., gain a following and conceal crucial positions to avoid an unwanted backlash. Hold the banner of truth high and you will draw the strongest in faith to your side. Reject the system entirely and withdraw from it. It will collapse under its own rot if your pillar of truth no longer holds it up and lends it legitimacy.