19 February 2017

What Constitutes Jewish Government

23 Shevat 5777
"My people were silenced for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you from being a priest to me; seeing that you have forgotten the Torah of your God, I, too, will forget your children." (Hoshea 4.6)
Please refer to my previous post if you have not already seen it. Distorters of Torah wearing kippot are worse than the bare-headed Deniers of the Torah because they pretend to be acting l'shem shamayim while all the time undermining the foundation of Judaism and serving themselves. 

Much better the obvious wolf than the wolf in sheep's clothing whose threat goes unnoticed by the sheep!

The wolves in sheep's clothing can only succeed where the sheep remain ignorant of the danger. Only Torah education can save them! Therefore, this post will mark the beginning of a series on Jewish Government according to the Torah. 

Because we are so very close to Mashiach's rule, Jews must become knowledgeable in what constitutes a Jewish government in order to be prepared to accept that rule, else they won't be allowed by HKB"H to remain to be a part of it. 

"And destruction shall come over rebels and sinners together, and those who forsake the Lord shall perish." (Yeshayahu 1.28)
Chapter Twenty-two
The Jewish Government

Since G-d decreed isolation for Israel and established a place for them to dwell alone in order to build their Divine, holy society, He also decreed that there should be a governmental authority in the Land, whose mission would be to fight G-d's battles against Israel's enemies and establish order. These two missions serve to advance the Torah's status in the Land: Israel must have rest from their enemies to establish the kingdom of G-d and Torah, and there must be law and order in the Land so that the nation obeys G-d's mitzvot in the Torah state that is established. Rambam taught (Hilchot Melachim 1:1):

Three mitzvot were commanded to Israel on their entering the Land: to appoint a king, as it says "You must appoint a king" (Deut. 17:15); to annihilate Amalek's descendants... and to build the Temple. [Devash: "In that order!"]
He also taught (Ibid., 4:10):
In everything, [the king's] deeds should be for the sake of Heaven, and his purpose and intent should be to raise up the true religion, to fill the world with justice, to crush the evildoers, and to fight G-d's battles, for our purpose in crowning a king is only for him to execute justice and wage war: "That our king may judge us, and go out before us and fight our battles" (I Sam. 8:20).
The Jewish government, the king and the police apparatus were mainly intended to run the Jewish State as a theocracy in accordance with G-d's mitzvot. [Devash: "And so it was for the thousand years that the Mishkan and the Holy Temple stood!] Regarding the verse, "Appoint yourselves judges and police" (Deut. 16:18), R. Eliezer ben Shamua says (Sifri, Shoftim, 144), "If there are police, there are judges. If there are no police, there are no judges." The intent is clear: If there are police to enforce the judges' Torah rulings, then the judges' word will endure. Otherwise, it is as though there are no judges. Their rulings are then nothing but a farce. In essence, G-d commanded that there be governmental coercion so as to ensure that the people follow G-d's path. G-d scornfully cast off of Himself and of us the alien non-Jewish opposition to "religious coercion," opposition which is nothing but rebellion against G-d and His decrees.

Sefer HaChinuch wrote (Mitzvah 491):

To appoint judges and policemen who will coerce mitzvah observance and restore to it by force those who have strayed from the truth. They will command regarding what is appropriate to do and will prevent unsavory acts from occurring, and they will uphold punishments against violators until people cease to relate to the mitzvot and prohibitions according to how they personally interpret them.
This concept stands in absolute opposition to the alien culture and to the licentiousness and abominations at its core, yet Sefer HaChinuch goes on:
The rationale behind this mitzvah is obvious, that through it we can establish our religion, with the fear of our leaders and judges upon the masses. By being accustomed to goodness and uprightness through fear, it will become second nature for them to act justly and righteously out of love, [Devash: Just the opposite of what some are telling us today.] through their recognizing the path of truth. As the wise say, human nature is a function of habit. Just as nature forces a person to do what he must, so, too, does constant habituation render traits second nature and compel him to adopt a practice forever. Then, when the people take the path of integrity and belief and choose goodness, goodness clings to them and G-d is happy with His works.
In other words, through coercion a person becomes accustomed to leading his life according to Torah law. Seeing how pleasant and beautiful and holy it is, he learns to keep the Torah even without coercion. Yet, even if the Jewish People do not achieve this understanding, G-d will not let them sit securely while they rebel against Him and violate His mitzvot. It is, therefore, a mitzvah for us to force G-d's ways upon man, because when we are able to do this and do not, we, too, are held responsible for the sins of the wicked.

Clearly, the government's whole worth is solely as a means toward the proper running of G-d's state. It is inconceivable that there could be any valid authority to a government that does not conduct itself this way. The monarchy, or whatever government there may be, was intended only to fulfill the Divine mission assigned to it by Divine decree. Thus, all the rights and authority of Jewish governments stem solely from the Torah. A Jewish government must not resemble any regime of the nations, because the government, state and people, themselves were created only to obey G-d.

Part 2