Sunday, September 12, 2004

Ideology and Idolatry (Part I)

The papers today are full of discussions (pro and con) about the impact of (and the reaction to) the retreat from Gaza. The focus is upon the calls for Civil War attributed to some of the 'Leaders of the Settlers' (I'm not sure who these people are.) Talking about the 'Settlers' as a collective is not unlike talking about the 'Jews.' It sounds good, but it means nothing. The community of the residents of Yesha is no more monolithic than the 'Jews.' Using this type of terminology, though, does serve the purpose of further diabolizing the residents of Yesha and turning them into Israel's 'Jews.'

Don't get me wrong. I am absolutely against raising a hand against an Israeli soldier or policeman. Civil War destroyed the Second Commonwealth and we must not allow it to do that to the third. frankly, I don't think it will happen. There will be passive resistance, but not more than that. Whenever rabbis make some statement about refusing orders, the brouhaha is enormous. At the end of the day, however, noone listens to such Pisqe Halakha. Indeed, the only ones who refuse orders and who reject the sovereignty of the State of Israel come from the left. On the other hand, when my son recently had a pre-Army orientation, his Rosh Yeshiva said that the army is of all the people. Thus, if given an order to evacuate Jews from their homes, one obeys with tears in his/her eyes. Period.

I"ll save the connection with idolatry for later. In the meantime, Rav Yuval Sherlo had an important contribution to the discussion in today's HaAretz.


Anonymous said...

Kol HaKavod!

I found your site via Imshin and was delighted to 'hear' someone perfectly articulate the frustration I always feel when people speak of yesha residents as some kind of monolithic whole.

Being a self-proclaimed centrist (doesn't everyone think they're a moderate) your post gave me hope that some people actually 'get it'.


David (

Anonymous said...

Here is Harav Sherlo's latest statement on the topic.