Could Israel be considered a balanced Jewish state without its religion?
Today, as the Israeli judicial overhaul flounders, the political Left openly attacks Israeli Orthodox Jews, accusing them of refusing to contribute to the nation’s economy and defense. The Left portrays Orthodox Jews as people who refuse to work and to serve in the army – and as individuals who spend their whole time studying the Torah and who avoid engagement in basic studies, such as in languages, math, physics, chemistry, and other disciplines and fields.
All of this is a gross misrepresentation and slander of Orthodox Jews.
It is telling that what the Israeli political Left leaves out in its portrayal of Orthodox Jews is that they are consistently found everywhere in all Israeli hospitals, and that they are almost always the first ones to run to the scene of a terrorist attack. They are in Israeli ambulances, in the nursing homes for the elderly – whom they help to cope with their conditions – and they are seen untiringly distributing food to needy families.
What would we be without faith, without hope, without our religious moorings? What would we be without our Jewish landmarks – such as humanity, help, and compassion?
Would we be Jews? No.
Let’s put aside the state and take a simple rose as an example: it is beautiful, and it emanates a fragrance that enchants us. It also has thorns. Many of us wonder why we don’t get rid of the thorns. The answer is quite simple: the thorns are not useless. They are a weapon to protect the rose from all those who may try to destroy it. The thorns are the rose’s vital defense.
It’s about resilience.
Without Orthodox Jews, what would Israel look like? Like a Western state tarnishing and ridiculing its own religious foundations from within – decaying from its own inability to defend itself and its roots, its culture, art, ancestors and identity.
Any natural composition/structure has obligatory elements/organs, while others are used less often as secondary elements. It is necessary, therefore, to look more closely at each organ in a living organism and to study scrupulously its functions in all aspects and environments.
Leftists revile traditional identity, homeland, faith and religious culture. The political Left is mostly atheist and refuses to observe the Jewish faith’s minimal rules. No Torah, no God. The LGBTQ agenda appears to be much more important and relevant to them than the Shabbat.
In every state, there are old people, handicapped people, and physically and/or mentally ill people, who cost the state a fortune. Should we exterminate them? As a specific French Jewish intellectual (Attali) said, “We should establish a maximum life expectancy for the elderly and help them to die. This would reduce the costs of the state.”
How low will these people go?
I remember having been asked to write an old Australian friend’s biography, and while describing his life to me, he underlined that he was aware that it was insignificant. I responded to him:
“Even the ant that bothers us and forces us to try to exterminate it has a role to play in this world. It is the one that shapes landscapes, builds and destroys mountains. And the world needs it for its perpetuation.”
There is nothing in this world, in all of God’s creation, that is useless. Every creature has a duty, a role to fulfill in the radius of our existence or in the global space, for our happiness, needs, and wholeness.
Israel needs its Orthodox Jews to put the Jewish nation back on track, to remind us all that we are only visitors on our planet, and that we take nothing with us when we die. “Naked you came into the world and naked you shall leave it.”
So, try to do something good for your fellow man so that when you leave this world, you’ll do it with your head held high and your conscience clear.
If the Jews stop being Jews, our state will disappear. And in that truth abides the vital importance and necessity of Orthodox Jews.
David Gin says
I have always said as an ex-Kibbutz member who struggles with religion that if there weren’t the Orthodox Jews there is no way Judaism would have served 3500 years.
Prior to Haskala there was no such thing non-orthodox Jews. Today most Jews are secular and our overall population is close to extinction. So, what you’re saying is that without Jews, Judaism wouldn’t exist and without Judaism, Jews wouldn’t exist.
The vitriol directed at Orthodox Jews is not only unwarranted, it is a stain on Israeli society. Take note that most of the anti religious attacks come from the left rather than the right. My grandson studied in a yeshiva in Tel Aviv for a year. A large portion of his fellow students were observant ex soldiers who then returned to their yeshiva studies after serving in the defence forces. It is grossly inaccurate to claim that orthodox young people do not serve. Many do, and their numbers are slowly increasing. The so called elite left needs to shut their mouths and spend some time looking around to see what is actually happening in orthodox circles. This is not to suggest that nothing more needs to be done to encourage orthodox people to serve. But to call them all parasites is hardly conducive to any degree of cooperation or acceptance.
Mark Dunn says
‘Israel is the only nation that has ever had a God given religion. Christianity is not a religion it’s a person.’ J Vernon McGee Bible teacher.
Steven Brizel says
The Israeli left has been fighting against Orthodox Judaism since 1948 and never expected it to rise from the phoenix after the. Holocaust and the attractions of secular Zionism
I guess I missed that part of the Torah where the orthodox are exempt from military service. I do not remember that when king David raised an army, Chaim and Moshe said: Sorry, boss, we are yeshiva students, so we will not go to fight off the Moabites. Also RAMBAM could find the time to study both Torah and medicine and excel in both fields, so I do not see any reason why an orthodox Jew cannot study physics, mathematics and computer sciences.
They do. And they serve in the military.
Few argue that Israeli orthodox Jews do not contribute in any way to their country. And few would argue that the contributions noted here are without meaning and purpose.
But It is completely untenable and morally reprehensible that orthodox Jews continue to believe the children of others should die defending the nation while theirs get to sit on the sidelines.
I very much support judicial reform. But at the same time I do share the worry of non-orthodox Jews that over time judicial reform would mean disproportionate power for the orthodox. It’s next to inevitable that should the orthodox have that much power, they will exercise it in non-democratic ways, including the imposition of aspects of faith in governance.
Steven Brizel says
The issue of army service is far more complex than we understand-Instead of looking at army service as an ideological litmus test-the criteria should be based on an indvidual self examination and determination where one is most useful-for some that is the IDF, for others the yeshiva study hall and for others a combination of the two
The Jewish Marxists who’ve been running Israel since the get-go have disproportionate power and have been imposing their cult-like faith–Marxism–on Israel since the Aliyot of the 1920’s. Time for a real constitution for Israel–which would include judicial reform.
Have you never heard of the religious boys who spend half of their time learning Torah and the other half on military matters? Have you never heard of their bravery in battle and their alacrity in running to Israel’s defense? If you have not, then you are not well-informed. The religious units pull their weight and more.
You’ve got a lot of fucking nerve censoring my comment.
The Jewish left has been fighting Judaism since Haskala.
Insofar as the army is concerned, far more Yeshiva students should be in Nachal Haredi battalions. Do keep in mind that the % of Jewish males QUALIFIED for army service and NOT exempted due to Torah study has fallen from 70% when I left high school (in Israel) in 1985 to ~50% today. Secular leftist Ashkenazim have simply punked-out and spend most of their late teens getting high and playing video games.
Do keep this mind: 60% of the officer corps comes straight from the national-religious camp–as does the current CoGS. One does NOT have to be haredi to be orthodox. Actually, remind that POS Col G and all other egomaniacal, spoiled pilots, that a war can be won only on their ground and never via airpower. Remind him that he can go on strike and Israel can still defend itself, but if dati officers go on strike, no F-15 can stop a battalion of Arab infantry from overrunning a kibbutz
If a country in peril wants God on its side, it should respect religion, especially its own.
Therese Dvir says
We definitely want GOD on our side. I am a granddaughter of a great Rabbi and Judge. All my siblings went to the army as well as my children. My daughter is ultra-orthodox, She did her duty to the military and enrolled in checking weapons et securing them nearby Gaza. I am proud of all of them. Today she’s a mother of four and yet ultra-orthodox.
old woman says
The ultra orthodox are much worse than the secular left, if that’s possible – both brainwashing cults where there is no room for individual identity or personal freedom – this is strong demonic delusion and has little to do with G-d – Jesus Christ Almighty, King of the Jews.