Our Children Are The Guarantors

Defending Zionism from its detractors. Anti-Zionism is a form of anti-Semitism. Let the other side apologize for a change.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Endgame: Professor Alam Attacks Judaism

I have said many times that I think the final harbinger of Israel’s war for survival will be the expiration of the taboo of attacking Judaism. Muslims have never been averse to doing so in our times, but now the Western Left gives its first sanction to it, in the form of an article on CounterPunch from May 21, 2007 by M. Shahid Alam, professor of economics at Northeastern University. The article, Chosenness and Israeli Exceptionalism, subtitled, “Zionism and the Doctrine of Election”, goes beyond the usual CounterPunch “Zionism is just like Nazism, a Blut und Boden fascism centered on racial purity” narrative by connecting it to Judaism itself. That Zionism is based on traditional, Orthodox, Torah-believing Judaism is true; but with this article, the old line, “We’re against Zionists, not against Jews”, will be hard to maintain (but it will be maintained, for the Marxists have never let contradictions get in the way of their theories).

It is amazing, how Marxist (“Religion is the opiate of the masses”, according to the founder, a self-injuring Jew named Karl Marx) websites feature articles by Muslims speaking out of the Koranic worldview, and how a Daily Kos diary and a post on David Duke’s site share themes and pictures, complete with the use of debunked fauxtography (the Red Cross ambulance, refuted by Zombietime) on the latter. Baron Bodissey’s demonic convergence is doing overtime. But enough with the far-flung musings and on to fisking the article.

No idea has played a more seminal role in the recent history of Jewish and Christian Zionism than the Jewish doctrine of divine election or chosenness.

Good insight. The role must not be overlooked, however, of the Islamic doctrine of divine entitlement to rule the whole world. Ignoring the one or the other makes for an incorrect view of current affairs.

Since this doctrine is the cornerstone of Zionism, divine sanction for Jewish uniqueness has been inseparable from Israeli exceptionalism and Israeli history. [2]

Not a bad assessment; if, however, someone veers to the direction of demanding the end or reform (G-d forbid) of Judaism because of “the danger it poses in the arena of geopolitics”, then I would caution that we are talking about beliefs held to be true, truth-claims which, if substantiated, are true for all people and not just for their believers. And I would add: are these not the same people who cry about “religious insensitivity” when the suggestion is made to discard or reform Islam for the sake of world peace?

Going into the footnote (#2):

Like God’s chosen people, this land too was unique: it was a pure land, “flowing with milk and honey (Exodus: 33.3),” devoid of impurities, the best of all lands on the earth; it was also a holy land, set apart from other lands, because it was His earthly dwelling place.

The uniqueness of the Land of Israel is in the fact that it is ruled by visible divine law, unlike all other lands, which have the appearance of being subject to natural law alone. This is why the Land of Israel was a desolate place from circa 400 CE to the late 19th century—the whole period in which its people, the Jews, were nearly absent from it.

It appears that the cumulative deficit in Jewish conduct finally led to their expulsion from the Promised Land in the first century CE.

To be fair, this remark is in the context of the previous words, “Conversely, He threatens them with dire punishments, including exile from the Promised Land, if they break their Covenant (Exodus: 19.5)”. However, there is no shortage of enemies of Israel, both Muslim and Marxist, who yank this divine decree out of its context and assert (making a law unto themselves, playing G-d, no less!) that the Jews are not worthy of inhabiting this land (G-d forbid). Marxist Replacement Theology puts this in doctrinal form.

Back to the main text:

At first, political Zionism had little to recommend itself aside from the mythic allure of the Promised Land. Most Jews greeted the project alternatively with consternation and derision. They could instantly sense that the creation of a Jewish state would give an impetus to anti-Semitism in Europe; […]

It is indeed the case that Jews not sufficiently versed in Jewish history and Torah belief think Jew-hatred is based on causes. It is not; it is an unchanging institution (until HaShem puts an end to it, speedily in our days, amen), adapting to the spirit of each age. Or how else can it be that the 1930’s Jew-hating battle-cry, “Jews back to Palestine!”, has now been superseded by the 2000’s Jew-hating battle-cry, “Free Palestine! Jews out of Palestine now!”?

[…] the project also struck most of them as a fantastic utopia with little chance of success. The success of the Zionist plan required three steps: persuading Jews to abandon their homes in Europe for the hazards of colonizing a backward land, wresting Palestine from its Ottoman sovereign, and somehow making the Palestinians disappear. Some very real hurdles blocked each of these steps.

All three steps Alam talks of are perfect lies that the Muslims have peddled to the Western Left, and they have accepted without question. The truth is:

  1. It was not “abandoning their homes in Europe” in order to “colonize a backward land” that the first Zionists had to convince Jews of, but the urgency of acting now to achieve it. All but the most far-out Jews in the 19th century regarded the Land of Israel as their true home and Europe as a temporary place of residence, however long that residence might take. Also here is another classic anti-Zionist lie, the construing of Zionism as a European colonial movement. The fact—one of many such—of Yemenite Jewish settlers in the 19th-century Land of Israel is conveniently brushed away, because it does not fit the Narrative.
  2. The first Zionists, including the founder, Binyamin Ze’ev Herzl of blessed memory, talked of obtaining a charter from the Ottoman Empire permitting them to settle on the land, not wresting it away from it. Piggybacking on the British victory over the Ottoman Empire at the end of World War I was a side-effect, not a plan.
  3. In the late 19th century, the Land of Israel did not have any nation on it; note “nation” and not “people”, i.e. the Land of Israel did have people in it, but in very small numbers, such that Mark Twain could then describe it with the words, “Palestine is desolate and unlovely”. The correct English rendering of the Zionist slogan is, “A land without a nation for a nation without a land”. That is absolutely true: there was no nation inhabiting the Land of Israel when the first Zionist settlers came to it.

All those “very real hurdles”, then, are fictions of the Marxist and Muslim Jew-hating minds.

In addition, there was another hitch. The political Zionists did not have the religious sanction to work for Jewish restoration to Palestine. Jews had long believed that this would be the work of the Jewish Messiah as part of God’s plan for the culmination of history; […]

That was a real objection, and has underlain religious Jewish opposition Zionism to this day; but G-d definitely gave His sanction to Zionism, although carried out by secular Jews, for there were so many points in which it could have all gone to naught, such as the war against five Arab armies in 1948–9. Today even the Ultra-Orthodox Jews, de facto if not de jure, are coming to terms with the Zionist State; the rise of Religious Zionism has much to do with that.

[…] and some had come to invest the return to Zion with symbolic meaning that could be pursued even in exile.

Yes, “We are Germans of Mosaic persuasion, and Berlin is Jerusalem”. We know where that ended.

The Zionists, some of whom were secular, regarded these objections as minor inconveniences.

They did not; they overcame those objections through their sense that there was no choice. Read Leon Pinsker’s Autoemancipation: the sense that life in the Diaspora was no longer tolerable just seeps out of every word. That sense, of dire straits, was more than enough to overcome the hurdles.

The vision of reconstituting Jewish power was heady. It revived Jewish memories of Davidic splendor. It inspired hopes of establishing Jewish power in the Middle East on a scale that their ancestors could not attain in ancient times.

Utter lies. All the first Zionists wanted was sovereignty on their own land: an end to the constant fear of pogroms and anti-Jewish state legislation by having a state of their own.

In as much as it appeared utopian, even quixotic when it was first proposed, Zionism offered a Nietzschean challenge to create a new world, to change a destiny of ‘exile’ into which Jews had been trapped for close to two millennia.

I wonder: is the writer voicing the notion that exile is the natural state of the Jews? I cannot say, but it dovetails with the part of the PLO Convention that says, “Jews are the citizens of the lands in which they are situated”. As with the first of the three lies I refuted above, this derives from the misconception that Judaism is separable from the Land of Israel.

Once the moral implications of their plan became clearer, […]

This is based on all the lies I refuted above, so it is obsolete. But the points must still be addressed:

“One need only imagine what would happen in the world,” Nahum Goldmann was to write, “if all the peoples who lost their states centuries or millennia ago were to reclaim their land.”

Ah, this is reminiscent of Erich Fromm’s quote, “If all nations would suddenly claim territories in which their forefathers had lived two thousand years ago, this world would be a madhouse”. Trotted out as justification for wiping out Israel as a Jewish state (G-d forbid), by means of the demand of the “Palestinian Right of Return”, people never actually follow that counterfactual question with an answer: What would happen if all nations suddenly demanded to realize their ancestral claims from two millennia ago? The answer is: precious little; the reason being that there are very few nations that have held on for so long. The Jewish nation, by HaShem’s protection, is among those few.

In other words, how were the Zionists going to justify the ‘theft’ of Palestinian land?

Look at that great example of how the anti-Zionists skew the debate to be against us by default: charge and convict us of a crime, then challenge us to justify it. “Give a dog a bad name and hang it” could never be better demonstrated.

I must admit I have fallen into this trap many times myself. I now know that this political equivalent of “Have you stopped beating your wife?” must not be taken as bait; instead, the point must be hammered home that we are not under trial, from any facet you view this conflict. We do not have to justify anything; on the contrary, it is the other side that needs to prove its claim to this land (but can never do so) and justify its destructive actions (but can never do so, even if the world seems to be in full terrorism-sympathizing mode).

One argument claimed that since the Palestinians were not a ‘people’—presumably, because they were not rulers over Palestine—they had no juridical rights over their lands.

That was not, and is not, the argument. The argument is that the “Palestinians” have never been a nation, not even in their own eyes, until political expedience made them fabricate their nationality from scratch. The world has taken it uncritically, but when pressed, the “Palestinians” are incapable of linking themselves to the far past of this land, for their ultimate roots lie in the Arabian desert. They are little different from their Egyptian and Jordanian brothers, and they could feel at home in any of the 22 Arab states were it not for Arab clannishness.

Another, more cleverly argued that most of the Arabs living in Palestine at the end of the British mandate were not natives; they were recent immigrants from neighboring Arab countries, attracted by the growing demand for labor induced by Jewish colonization.

That argument is true, except for a slight correction: not the growing demand for labor but a land beginning to bloom after centuries of desolation (see Mark Twain above) brought them here. On this note, I must express my amazement at how HaShem steers things so that what happens first to Israel happens to the rest of the world later. Namely:

How many Muslims were there in Europe in 1957? A negligible number. How many are there now? Millions. How and why did it get to be that way? How: better transport, and accommodating immigration laws. Why: being attracted to the much better standards of living. This is not something that historians can now dispute, this is something that has happened before the eyes of only two generations! Europe with nearly no Muslims 50 years ago, but now with millions, because of the attraction of the place. Thus we see a living proof of how a land can be Islamized from scratch. And, as with the “Palestinians”, the Muslim immigrants in Europe view their new land as theirs by right, and make constant demands for recognition of their laws (under the aegis of multiculturalism and “equality”, of course).

Why is it inconceivable that that was what happened in the Land of Israel? Don’t tell me, I know: “Racist!” Discussion over.

A third argument was simpler. It contended that Palestine was ‘empty,’ that the Palestinians simply did not exist.

Already addressed: land not empty, but nearly so, and no nation on it in the late 19th century.

However, it was the theological doctrine of chosenness that would most convincingly settle the morality of Zionist claims to Palestine.

The belief that the Torah is actually G-d’s Word. Chosenness is a Jewish doctrine, but it is not, and has never been, a Herrenvolk ideology, despite the intimations of the anti-Zionists.

The Zionists would have little difficulty convincing their Jewish and Christian audiences, the only ones that mattered at that time, that this was no ‘theft.’ It was widely believed by populations raised on Biblical myths that God had promised Palestine to the Jews as their eternal inheritance.

Yes, just as a population raised on Koranic myths believe Allah has promised the whole world as their eternal inheritance. Even if you are secular, holding both the Bible and the Koran to be myths, I think it is clear which of the two claims should be preferred.

Since Jewish ownership rights were divinely ordained, they could not be annulled by absence of the owners. In other words, Zionism was not a colonial movement to expropriate the natives: it was a ‘messianic’ movement to restore Palestine to its divinely appointed Jewish owners. The European Jews who arrived in Palestine could not be accused of stealing their lands; as the Jewish National Fund claims, they were only “redeeming” lands which had had always been theirs.

Excellent. With the exception of that “European Jews” bit (as I said, Zionism was by no means confined to European Jews, even in its early years), I commend Alam for understanding the Zionist Jewish narrative. This means a fruitful debate can be held.

The sacred history of the Jews supported Zionist plans on another important matter. The Zionist plans for a Jewish state required a Jewish majority in Palestine, and preferably a territory cleansed of its native inhabitants.

Yes, I fail to see the point of Zionism—Secular Zionism just as much as Religious—if there is a non-Jewish majority that can make anti-Jewish laws. That was the situation on the Diaspora that gave birth to Secular Zionism in the first place. Of course, our Marxists will file it under “Zionist racism, Israeli apartheid”. Full compassion for “the plight of the Palestinians”, zero willingness to even listen to our truthful narrative that a Jewish state is a necessity. This does not mean non-Jews are second-class citizens—the rights of the ger toshav, or non-Jew living under Jewish rule, are guaranteed, and exhorted (see Exodus 22:20); but the ger is one who recognizes that this is the state of the Jewish nation, which the “Palestinians” do not, thinking it is theirs. This is no different from requirements of naturalization anywhere, but only the Jewish state is held to a different standard.

At first, the Zionist thinkers gave little thought to the Palestinian presence. They assumed that the Palestinians were Bedouins, temporary sojourners, without any love for their land or homes, and could be easily persuaded to move on. [6] When the Palestinian resistance dashed these hopes, […] [Emphasis mine. —ZY]

Recall what I said above about Muslim immigrants populating Europe by the millions from a state of near-absence 50 years ago. In that context, how about the idea of saying something like, “When the Muslim resistance dashed these hopes…”, concerning an event like the Danish Mohammed Cartoons Riots? It makes just as much sense.

[…] the Zionists quickly made plans to evict them from their lands by force of arms. Indeed, in 1948 the Zionists nearly implemented their totalitarian vision when they expelled some 800,000 Palestinians, leveled their towns and villages, and made sure that they would never return to their homes in the Jewish state of Israel. This may have been troubling to some, but Zionists steeped in Jewish sacred history knew that their Lord had urged even more radical measures when their ancestors were taking possession of Canaan.

Good defense of Secular Zionism from those who attack it on religious Jewish grounds: they acted as the Torah said. Trouble is, they weren’t thorough enough, and now the state of Israel is back to the 1947 situation in many ways, with the “Palestinians” even within the 1949 borders raising their heads against Zionism and the Jewish character of the state. Nakba Reloaded will be a necessity; it’s either that or a Second Holocaust (G-d forbid).

Now the writer gets into the issue of expansionism:

The theology of chosenness offered another advantage; it did not limit Zionist ambitions to Palestine alone. The Lord’s promise was not restricted to Canaan; in a few more generous verses, He had expanded the Jewish inheritance to include all the lands between the Nile and Euphrates (Genesis: 15.18). [8] With present-day borders, this expansive Israeli empire would include Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and perhaps more.

Another case of turnspeak, projecting their own (Islamic) greed onto us Jews. The fact is the Land of Israel has well-defined borders, comprising a territory not very much beyond Israel in 1979, after the withdrawal from Sinai, but with Judea, Samaria and Gaza; the chief difference is the inclusion of part of present-day Jordan, but even then, the Promised Land is still a small plot of land on the east coast of the Mediterranean.

Picture: Map showing the territories referred to by the recurring Biblical phrase "from Dan to Beersheba"

HaShem’s offer of expanding upon those borders is completely His decision; we are not to force it or demand it. We rightfully demand those modest-sized borders; territories beyond that are not considered part of the Land of Israel by the Halachah (Jewish law). In fact, the pragmatism of the Secular Zionists (contrary to the writer’s charge that they were religion-driven fanatics) was a hallmark of their activities, right up to the acception of the 1947 UN Partition Plan: the thought was, for a people tired of centuries of Diaspora life, “Let us have a sovereign state of our own, no matter how small”. That the 1949 borders were larger than that, and the 1967 borders larger than those in turn, was in both cases because of an imposed war, imposed by those who did not agree that the Jews should have a single inch of land (because the establishment of non-Muslim rule over any land that was ever under Islamic rule is forbidden). How differently things could have turned out if the other side had accepted the 1947 UN Partition Plan. As Abba Eban said: they never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

If the Zionists could successfully use the Bible to claim Palestine, they could invoke the same divine authority to claim the rest of the Arab Middle East as well.

We are not interested in “the rest of the Arab Middle East” any more than we are interested in Timbuktu or New Zealand. Those are not our lands. In contrast, the Muslims already have Timbuktu, and they are interested in adding New Zealand to the Caliphate in due course. But to point that out is… “Racism!”

In the middle of the Suez War in 1956, Ben-Gurion told the Knesset “that the real reason for it [the Suez War] is ‘the restoration of the kingdom of David and Solomon’ to its Biblical borders. At this point in his speech, almost every Knesset member spontaneously rose and sang the Israeli national anthem.” [9]

The source (#9): Israel Shahak, Jewish history, Jewish religion: The weight of three thousand years (London: Pluto Press, 1994): 8–9; as credible a source as Norman Finkelstein, who is also cited (#4, calling Joan Peters’ From time immemorial a “monumental hoax”—beyond chutzpah!). Remember this: our enemies, and their misguided Jewish useful idiot collaborators, are not above spreading lies for achieving their goals. After the scandal of the staged and photoshopped Reuters photos of the Second Lebanon War, there should be no doubt about that.

The doctrine of election did not merely set the Jews apart from other nations; it also set them above other nations. [10] [Emphasis original. —ZY]

Source #10 quotes Rabbi Kook:

So on the collective level of Israel, God ordained these two faculties: a faculty corresponding to the physical entity, that aspires to material improvement of the nation, and a second facet devoted to the cultivation of spirituality. By virtue of the first aspect, Israel is comparable to all the nations of the world. It is by dint of the second aspect that Israel is unique, as it says: “The Lord leads it [Israel] alone”; “Among the nations it [Israel] shall not be reckoned.” It is the Torah and unique sanctity of Israel that distinguish it from the nations.

That quote is good, for it refutes Alam’s charge of Jewish superiority. Chosenness, separateness is right; but if the Jewish people are charged with a superiority complex, then every time a person is chosen out of many for a particular task (say, a schoolchild in the classroom chosen by the teacher to fetch a book he needs for the class), he can be thus charged. G-d says (Genesis 12:3): “[…] And in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed”; and as I laid it out in full in my important post The Meaning of “Light unto the Nations”, the ultimate goal of Jewish chosenness is to benefit the world by preparing it as a dwelling-place for G-d. All the nations will benefit from that; in contrast to real ideologies of superiority and supremacism, such as Nazism and Islam, which exclude all those who are not members of the club.

Over time, this has encouraged racist tendencies.

Such timidity, Professor Alam! A while back, you were talking of the radical measures the Jews took when possessing Canaan; why, then, do you now say it was only “over time”? It seems the idea of “Judaism is racist to the core” is still taboo, still needing of being masked by saying it of Zionism instead. No matter: just as “Zionism is racism” used to be taboo but is now not, the taboo concerning Judaism is similarly destined to be broken. Indeed, this very article would be unthinkable just a year ago.

Since the Jews were the chosen instruments of God’s intervention on earth, this was interpreted by some Jewish thinkers to mean that Jews were not subject to the laws of nature and society. [11] In other words, as long as the Jews believed that they were acting as instruments of God’s will, they did not have to follow the laws of gentile nations.

I am disappointed, for this is a misunderstanding of the Torah-believing Jewish narrative.

That narrative says: the entire universe and its governing rules (“laws of nature” and the like) are the institution of G-d. Whether by working through the laws of nature or by breaking them (miracles), G-d is the one who makes the rules, rules to which all His creations are subject. Just as the game of chess has rules, so does the universe. Change the rules of the game and it is no longer chess; but in the case of the universe, it is not possible to go outside the framework, for it is all there is. Therefore, to say, “[…] this was interpreted by some Jewish thinkers to mean that Jews were not subject to the laws of nature and society” constitutes a fallacy: it posits a contrast between Jews and non-Jews with regard to being subject to the laws of nature, when in reality, considering that the laws of nature are subject to G-d, there is no contrast, for all nations, Jews and non-Jews, are subject to His laws. The only difference is that G-d keeps the Jews, even through the harshest climates, because they are appointed for His purpose.

This point is important, because it is an answer to those who swear by international law and charge Israel with scoffing at it: we are not making a law unto ourselves, but the opposite, it is those who follow the UN-devised international law that are making a law unto themselves, scoffing at G-d’s Law. The moonbat laws (multiculturalism, politically-correct legislation) that are now gripping all the nations and rotting their judicial systems from within are not laws at all, but lawlessness codified. They are a travesty of justice, to such a degree that the entire free world will one day cry out to HaShem for deliverance from them—and then He will do so, and the previous quote about all the families of the earth being blessed will be fulfilled. Speedily in our days, amen.

As Israelis have moved to the religious right, a shift propelled by the rationale and experience of Zionism itself, Zionist advocates have shown an increasing willingness to justify their human rights abuses as a Jewish prerogative.

Demonization of Israel, calls for boycotts, shameless advocacy of the end of its existence (G-d forbid), moving the demands away from the previous 1967 territories and into 1947 issues like the “Palestinian Right of Return”, firing rockets from newly-evacuated territory onto towns within the 1949 Armistice Lines, the growing worldwide acceptance of the narrative of Zionism as a “colonialist enterprise from the start, racist to its core, with the state of Israel having been born in sin that needs to be atoned for”—take all those ingredients, mix and stir, and what you get is a mass shift of the Israeli Jewish public to the Religious Right. You cooked that meal, you eat it.

As Zionist plans continue to be challenged by their victims, the ‘chosen people’ slowly but surely take on the hues of a ‘master race’: they begin to imagine that they have the power to legitimize their actions by merely willing them into existence.

The New Orthodoxy in plain form: “The Palestinians are the New Jews, the old Jews are the New Nazis”. And since we can all remember how we didn’t even bat an eyelid when Indiana Jones said, “Nazis. I hate these guys” and killed them by the boatload, it is clear to us that this New Orthodoxy, whether inadvertently or as a plan, is priming the hearts of people everywhere to view a massacre of Israeli Jews (G-d forbid) as something deserved. This is no paranoid feeling: already acceptable to say in public regarding the Jewish inhabitants of Judea and Samaria, it will be easily carried over to the rest once the idea of the entire state of Israel being a “settler colony” is mainstream.

Here ends the fisking of the article. My final note:

There is a small nation that believes what it believes because its first people beheld the giving of Law to it by G-d; we celebrate this coming Shavuot in commemoration of that, and had that not taken place, we would not be here. On the other hand, there is a big, populous, world-encompassing movement that can trace its beliefs to a single witness, something that is unacceptable by the standards of any court of law, and the existence of all the people holding those beliefs does not require the factual occurrence of that alleged revelation as its explanation. And more: we make our claim to Jerusalem, to Zion, on the basis of thousands of years of Jewish history there; the Muslims cannot but try to cover this up, literally or through Goebbelsian repetition of lies, and their own claim to Jerusalem is based on an event that took place in a dream. Jerusalem has always been our one and only holy city; to the Muslims, it is de jure only the third holiest city, and de facto they neglected it except when it served as their rallying-point against non-Muslim challenges.

We have all the substantiated claims, and the Muslims have none. It is the adherents of the Master Religion who “imagine that they have the power to legitimize their actions by merely willing them into existence”. Falsehood cannot stand; no matter how long it takes, how harrowing the tribulations, Truth is destined to be the victor. Speedily in our days, amen!

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9 Comments:

Anonymous Ptah said...

I think you missed the "seed" of the accusation: that zionism required that minorities be expelled from the Promised Land. My understanding was that it required a Jewish majority to make the laws in accordance to democratic principles. The Torah forbids discrimination against the alien, but forbade that the aliens practice laws contrary to the laws laid down by God. The native caananites did not obey the law of God, and thus were eliminated at God's command. Ruth was an alien, complied with the laws of the land, and was rewarded handsomely and became part of the heritage of David. Zionism would have to implement this rule. The existence of the Arab Citizens of Israel is sufficient proof. Those who fled at the instigation of their fellow arabs lost all rights to be citizens.

I didn't read the whole thing, but that point stuck out in my mind in the quick perusal.

But the real reason for being here: you absolutlely MUST read Bill whittle's latest two essays at Eject! Eject! Eject! It's not his best: its written in three logical sections and the last two are not very convincing. However, the first, on the mathematical modelling of social cooperation, is a must read, even though he confuses two mathematical models, the second of which is rock solid. Much more convincing than the incredibly lame computer models supporting human caused Global Warming.

I think you MAY find more comfort in it than I do: it's kinda tough to realize, initially, that my religion, Christianity, is inadvertently part of the problem, not the solution, that I thought it was. I'm putting together a post at my website to discuss it, but it is worth wading through the argument to see the basis for it.

May 22, 2007 6:22 PM  
Blogger ZionistYoungster said...

Ptah,

The ger may not practice idolatry; this rarely applies today, because most non-Jews in the Land of Israel today are monotheists. The prohibition on idolatry is also because it's one the Seven Noahide Laws; all non-Jews in the Land of Israel must keep those laws (the rest of their religious practices, outside of those seven laws, is up to them).

The Muslims fit the requirement, and though the comparison of their education of their children to ancient pagan child-sacrifice is often made (more so by Christians than by Jews), there is no halachic ruling declaring them as idolators. The issue we have with the Muslims is a more matter-of-fact, legal one: it's just the fact that they don't recognize the sovereignty of the Jews on this land. It's a case of sedition rather than sinful activity. It would seem they could be accepted if only they restored their allegiance to the state of Israel, but in reality we all know how much the Muslims' words are worth; expulsion, then, is almost inevitable (and not just by Israel from Israel).

It's nearing the festival (Shavuot); Jewish festivals have the same rules as the Sabbath, including cessation of all technological activity, so be hearing you, with HaShem's help, in about 25 hours or so (if I don't fall into a long sleep; this night is the night for staying awake studying the Torah).

HaShem bless you.
ZY

May 22, 2007 6:52 PM  
Anonymous Ptah said...

I think you misunderstood me: I was referring to the original inhabitants of the Promised Land 40 years after the Exodus, and did not intend to apply the same standard to Muslims, who definitely are not Idolators. Perhaps my reference that "Zionism would have to implement this rule" was ambiguous, and you thought it referred to the destruction of any idolatrous inhabitants. I was referring to the Torah prohibition of discrimination against "the alien and the stranger among you". Of course the aliens and citizens should honor the laws of Israel, and of course I am very aware of the seething seditionism among the majority of Arab-Israeli citizens.

I should have a post on Bill Whittle's post at my site by the time you get back online.

I wish you God's blessing as you read His Word, obey it, and keep the holy days appointed to you by Him. I shall pray for the Peace of Jerusalem during this time for my part as well.

May 22, 2007 8:32 PM  
Blogger kahaneloyalist said...

Ptah, Ruth was not a Goy she underwent conversion and was as Jewish as the Cohen Gadol.

ZY, the Rambam actually answers the question are Muslims idoloters, while the Rambam hated them he clearly ruled the muzzies are monotheists if evil.

Have you ever read Eim Habanim Semiechah by Rav Teichtal? It is one of the most brilliant seforim ever written, the author was himself once Satmar aligned. Anyway the Sefer systematically goes through all the halachic sources to answer the question is Zionism, even Secular Zionism, a Mitzvah. It is a must read and answers every point the anti-Zionists raise.

May 22, 2007 9:46 PM  
Blogger WomanHonorThyself said...

ZY..Chag Sameach!..I left a Shavuot post up!:)

May 23, 2007 1:36 AM  
Blogger ZionistYoungster said...

Hi all, sorry for my yawns as I write the responses--as I said, Shavuot is definitely not a day for sleeping. But if I don't write now then I won't 'til tomorrow evening, so here goes...

Ptah,

The state of Israel was founded by Secular Zionists. Secular Zionism is, in hindsight, a hybrid creation, in that it melded the Torah's promise of the Land of Israel together with nationalistic ideas dating from the 19th century. The intention of the Secular Zionists from the start was to found a state on secular principles: democracy and socialism (the kibbutz was one of the most successful implementations of Communism). The treatment of non-Jews, therefore, was based on political necessities and (to the extent that the political necessities, namely the fear of sedition, did not interfere) international human rights laws.

Israel is still governed by those principles, although the crisis of post-Zionism of the 1990's has formed a sharp demarcation line that separates between the old, secular idealists and a current void that is itching to be filled by Torah Law. Post-Zionism is part of the greater, global movement of multiculturalism and political correctness--see the paragraph that talks of "moonbat laws" in the post. The whole world is groaning under them and striving to replace them.

KL,

Today in one of the (very many) Torah lessons I attended, I learned Ruth was first converted by Abimelech, Machlon and Kilyon, but their conversion was invalid (they served as the witnesses, but relatives may not serve as witnesses to conversion), so that both Ruth and Orpah stayed non-Jews, and only Ruth was fully converted later, after following Naomi.

Another thing to keep in mind (for Ptah): ger tzedek and ger toshav are not the same thing. A ger tzedek is a non-Jew who converts to Judaism, out of belief in it (examples: Jethro, Ruth); a ger toshav is a non-Jew who lives in the Land of Israel under Jewish rule, accepting it (example: the Druzes of the Galilee--as far as I know, they don't have any seditious tendencies).

Yes, I know the Muslims are monotheists, and more: the Rambam was asked about the encirclement of the Kaaba (the black stone, the Hajj), and he answered that it was not idolatry, for the Muslims in their hearts do not aim to the stone when going around it and kissing it but toward G-d. It's something people would still dispute after hearing that answer, but the Rambam said so, so that's that.

I didn't read that book. Thanks, there's something to look up. My opinion is that some of the objections to Zionism from an Orthodox Jewish point of view have something to them--for example, I have no disagreement that the forcing of thousands of olim from Islamic lands in the 1950's to leave religious observance was a crying shame--but my answer is that mitoch sh'lo lishmah yavo lishmah ("From [doing it] not for its purpose, one will come to [doing it] for its purpose"), and that can definitely be seen today, in that even the descendants of hardcore Secular Zionists are returning to the Torah. Yishtabach Sh'mo!

Angel,

Thanks! I just took a peek. You know, this recent interest of Christians in Judaism (call it "Hebrew roots" or whatever) is one of the few fortunate things that's come out of the crisis of our times. Out of the desire to combat the New Age encroachment that threatens to allegorize all religions into a nebulous glob of universalized "spirituality", this trend of taking interest in the differentiating things, in the historical particulars, which are found in the Torah, has been a blessed outcome. I'm speaking for myself, but as a Jew I'm very honored by any non-Jew's interest in the storyline of the Torah. HaShem bless you!

May 24, 2007 1:15 AM  
Blogger Cappy said...

Am enjoying greatly replaying the great Jew-hating hits of the past (dad from Poland) to today's Jew haters. How 'bout these babies?

"The Jews are Asiatic". I'll take that and 20 points, Alex. Seems like the Chinese and Indians are doing great, so, OK! Only downside, I won't relent on my kid's math homerwork.

"The Jews need a gun to shoot around corners". We have 'em. Israel invented 'em. For use only by highly trained Special Forces. Nyah Nayh.

"From Your Own, to Your Own". Good. Let the Liberals and Muslims live together as brothers. And separated from decent people.

May 24, 2007 4:56 AM  
Anonymous Ptah said...

Interesting. So the declaration of Ruth to Naomi that "your people are my people, your God my God" is currently seen as all that was necessary for Ruth to become Jewish? Or was it the fact that she married a Jew? Am I missing something more, since Deuteronomy 23:3-4 declares that neither a moabite nor his descendants could enter the Assembly of the Lord, even to the tenth generation. Since Ruth was an ancestor of David, how does that apply? (using the term "Jew" as applied to Ruth seems a bit wierd, since she lived long before the Romans who coined that term. On the other hand, she DID marry a member of the tribe of Judah, which I believe is the root word from which "jew" came.)

The only way out, it seems to me, is to apply a strict interpretation that would mean that this applies to males, while females were exempt. In a way, THAT would be interesting: We know these were infant sacrifice societies, and their continuation would require collusion by the males, who would have most of the power. If this applied only to males, not to females such as Ruth, would that be enough to effectively make Israel a refuge for women with children who were fleeing countries that practiced that abomination, provided they renounced the gods who demanded the lives of her children, and adopted the God who hated the practice so much that He, and his people, exterminated the nations who practiced it. What are your thoughts on that?

----
A quick question: I obviously must use the Christian coordinate system for references to Torah, Law, and Prophets passages. Does Judaism use the same coordinate system, a different one, or is the assumption that the text itself is known well enough that a (long enough) snippet is all that is necessary?

Forgive my OD'ing on Judeophilia. Inquiring minds want to know... ;)

May 24, 2007 7:32 PM  
Blogger ZionistYoungster said...

Cappy,

The similarities are uncanny. Not sure I agree with you about the "enjoying" part. (Nah, of course I know you meant it sarcastically.)

Ptah,

No, a mere declaration isn't enough. The interpretation (Rashi's) attaches a practical step to each declaration. For example, "And where thou lodgest, I will lodge" (Ruth 1:4) was the acceptance of the Jewish law against being in the same room with a man to whom she was not married or related; also, for "Wash thyself" (3:3) Rashi gives the interpretation "...from the filth of your idolatry". Ruth's declaration to Naomi was the sign that she was serious about it; when that had been established, she took the practical steps to complete her conversion. That's how Orthodox Jewish conversion works to this day: first try to shoo away the prospect convert by tales of horror about what being a Jew entails, and then, if he or she still wants to become a Jew, the practicals of Judaism are imparted and carried out. As for the David's ancestry vs. Deuteronomy 23:3-4, I don't know, and I'll have to look it up; thanks for raising a question for me to ask the rabbi.

The second question has a very interesting answer. The coordinates are the same for Judaism as for Christianity, because of Christianity. Traditionally, the smallest demarcation of the Torah had been the parashah, which comprises a number of today's chapters and is to be read for each week; to this day, Yemenite Jews remember the locations of the passages by their parashot and not by chapter and verse. So where did the chapter and verse division come from? It was devised for the (acrimonious) religious debates between Jews and Christians in the Middle Ages. In order for both sides to be able to reference their citations quickly, they agreed on the division attributed to an English bishop named Stephen Langton (1165-1228).

One other thing about the Jewish Bible should be noted: although it contains the same books as in the Christian Protestant OT (the Apocrypha were thrown out at the Council of Jamnia), the order is different: the last book of the Jewish Bible is II Chronicles.

May 25, 2007 2:07 AM  

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