Friday, October 20, 2006

I have to jot down all my rants before Shabbat starts while they're fresh. I've been going through thoughts in my head, as I usually do, but more and more I'm improving them in Hebrew. Anyway, I'll take a break from that for a while and write in English.

I've been thinking, there is a percentage of Israeli's that tend to, or what to tend to, see Israeli history as separate from Jewish history. Before I go on, this does serve an important practical purpose for the simple reason that we cannot live in La-La Land and pretend that the State of Israel never was created, as some people within our Jewish family like to do, even religious people. But on the other hand we cannot, for reasons of accuracy, insist that Israeli history is not Jewish history, because it was our very Jewish history which necessitated the creation of the Jewish State. Then it hit me, if we pretend that Israel is free from Jewish history, and we know that the Jewish history which necessitated the Jewish State was a dark one, then perhaps we can free ourselves from the bonds of the darker side of Jewish history; I am afraid that that is the attitude behind the attempt to free Israel from Jewish history.

I hate to shine in on the rain of people who want to think that way, but there is nothing that we can do to free ourselves from our history, and why would we want to? By freeing ourselves from our history we free ourselves from our identity, and a person, not to mention a nation of people, without an identity is a broken people and a broken identity - therefore there are some Israeli's (Jews) who are broken people, broken from their past because they want to escape it. Sadly for them, the entire world (and the states around Israel) have not denied themselves the memory of Jewish history and therefore even if the Jew tries to wrestle himself free of his identity as a Jew, the nations simply won't allow him to win that battle. In that, in a roundabout way which comes with much violence and hatred, the nations, in this case the Arabs, are doing us Jews a great favor, they are not letting us forget our identity.

But I argue all the time that there is a much better and more joyous way to remember our identity. We do not need to define ourselves the way that our enemies would like to remember us. Our enemies make us realize that we cannot escape our identity by hating us for it and enacting all kinds of horrible things on us for it, but we do not need to concede to that association with our identity. We are Jews and we are the light of the world; this was always true. We are the Jews that fix the world. We are the Jews that stand up to falsehood and burn illusion. We are the Jews that bother the dickens out of the world to realize the truth and destroy evil. We are the Jews, the children of Revelation. We are the Jews that have our own Land and our capital city Jerusalem, where we will have our Temple and bring sacrifices to G-d. We are the Jews that work with the nations to bring about G-dly revelation. We are the Jews that kill our enemies. We are G-d's inside crew, and if anybody has to have a problem with that, it's the nations, not us. Further, I argue, they need not have a problem with that, they need to embrace it and be happy, as do we. As long as we concede to a national definition of squirrel-like fear of everything that moves, no wonder we want to replace Jewish history with Israeli history, which is anything that we want it to be and is usually the opposite of what we perceive "Jewish" to be. It's Israeli Jews and many Jews not native to Israel whom cover their fear with layers and shells of sophisticated and intellectually stimulating philosophy and political and social defensive propositions, but even just the last fifty six years enable to us to cut through those layers like cake - they are false cover-ups for a persistent Jewish fear, even if those speaking them have about them an aura of confidence. This is all a facade. It is the most painful when these people act as if they are trying to do the best for the State of Israel, but again, the State of Israel is not an entity independent of Jews, Jewishness, and Judaism, and so if the accepted definition of the State of Israel is one which seeks to distance itself from a Jewish essence, then what is best for the State of Israel is not best for the Jewish People.

The State of Israel has no right to exist if it is not the Jewish State, and the secular intellectual elite tries to argue the opposite of this. But let's take a cue from our Arab neighbors and those living within the State; they have no problem telling us that the State of Israel has no right to exist as a secular state, and indeed we are getting our truth from an interesting source, those Arabs. The Arabs are a people with deep ties to their history and religion, something that we have turned into a lie about ourselves, and they know especially well that a people whom does not have an indigenious right to land will be forced to leave that land. We react to their jeers, which tell us that we are not native, with our secular democratic propaganda that Israel can be a state providing equality for both Jews and Arabs. This way we hope that they will see it our way, that we do not need to be native for there to be a state here for both of us. But they know that this is a long line of nonsense and they don't buy it for one minute. The really sad thing, or should I actually say happy thing, is that we are native, far more native than the Arabs, whom arrived here through conquest at a time that we were in exile! Their religion even, Islam, and yes, Christianity, are founded on taking from us what is ours although the more hostile culprit is Islam. How in the world can a thinking person call the Arabs native?! And the Palestinians(?!), they have absolutely nothing on nativity; their entire national identity, the opposite of ours, is a total political fabrication as a result of the Six Day War in 1967! Why are we, the 3,000 year-old Jews conceding that the 38 year-old Palestinians have more rights and more just cause than we to this Land?

We have no future and no right to be here, no matter how sophisticated our arguments are for the opposite, until we realize that our state is a Jewish State, which means that Jews are higher up on the social pyramid. If you have a hard time understanding how this works, just read up on how the Muslims structured their societies with regards to Jews, and that they functioned especially well with regards to making peace. We were Jews when we created this State; why has that fact changed?


Nick said...

Maybe Palestinians are native in the sense they are the children of Caananites? Yet this is irrelevent, as G-d says the land is for the Jews, and to be taken from the Caananites and given to the Jews.

Also, on the question of Israeli secularism, it is also a big problem, in that, as long as Israelis act like Europeans, with malls, fast food and bikini competitions, Muslims will continue to see them as simply an extension of European colonialism, and not as cultural natives of the land. If most of Israel was frum, there would be much more brotherhood. What do you think? Perhaps you could blog on this point.

We need another Baal Shem Tov to travel the world making Torah accessible and intense for the uneducated masses of Jews again.

jjew said...

Right, that's true that G-d gave the land of Canaanites to the Jews, so it wouldn't matter. The Palestinians aren't the children of Canaanites though because they are Muslim and Arab, and therefore an entirely different people. "Racially speaking" they might be, but that would be entirely irrelevant because their stated identity is Arab and Islam. But the real point though is that the PA has tried to make that bizarre connection for propaganda purposes only, simply because they know that the Canaanites were here before the Jews. Every historian knows that the Palestinians are not the descendants of Canaanites.

Yeah, Israeli secularism is a big problem and I am not one to defend it, but all I have to say about that is that were the State of Israel in a totally religious state, the Muslims would also likely reject it on the basis that it is Jewish. Remember, Muslims think that Judaism is wrong, i.e., that we have corrupted the Torah somewhere along the line and therefore that Islam has come to correct it. Even if we were to achieve a proper religious state tomorrow (G-d willing!) the Muslims would reject it because it's Jewish. So their whole argument that they reject Israel because it's secular is a falsity, because were it to become religious, then they would attack Judaism for being false. I personally think though, through my human perspective although G-d knows a world better than me, I think that in the time of Meshiach the Muslims will accept a religious Jewish Israel. I will write a blog on that when I get the chance, thanks for the suggestion!!!

Yes, I don't necessarily see a problem with Jews pushing the envelope a bit in the way that you said, although I think it can be a complicated thing and has to be either thought out well before enacting or sent to us with a bit of Revelation so that we don't do it wrong.

Thanks, Nick, and keep it real. Yaniv...