10 August 2015

A Torah-True Jew Can't Be A Zionist

25 Menachem Av 5775

That's clear to me now. Although I never claimed to be a Zionist and never actually thought of myself as a Zionist. I'd never heard of Zionism before I made aliyah. I just knew it was a mitzvah from the Torah for a Jew to live in Eretz Yisrael.

When I arrived in Israel, I knew nothing about the government. (These were the days before internet.) I had heard it was a Jewish state so I expected it to operate according to Jewish (Torah) law. I also did not know there were non-Jewish citizens and members of Knesset. In the end it was irrelevant because it did not change the mitzvah in my mind. I soon learned that the Rambam said it's better to live in the Land of Israel in a city that is mostly made up of gentiles than to live in an all-Jewish city in the Diaspora. I believed him, although I never lived in a mostly Jewish city in the Diaspora or a non-Jewish city in Eretz Yisrael.

Just judging by what I've learned about Zionism in the last twenty years, I'd say today's JPost article, Right wing NGO: Lehava is an anti-Zionist organization, is correct and it's for the reasons outlined in this article that I make the statement that "a Torah-true Jew can't be a Zionist".

Matan Peleg, CEO of the so-called "right-wing" organization Im Tirtzu says:

..."only a right-wing extremist anti-Zionist such as Gopstein would say it is acceptable to burn churches. It is anti-Zionist to burn churches!"

"Zionist philosophy never spoke of a state built purely of Jews," said Peleg. " Zionist philosophy speaks of taking part in an inclusive state, of integrating those who want to take part and tie their fate to the State of Israel and the Jewish people and we see them as partners and brothers in every way," he added.

"In the State of Israel, Beduin trackers get up in the morning with the sun and patrol the border. That is Herzliyan Zionism- that is the Zionism of Im Tirtzu- that is true Zionism," he emphasized.

He's right. This is classic "Zionism". Ben Gurion begged the Arabs to remain in Israel when they were leaving by the droves. No one seems to have a problem with the term "Xian Zionist". That's because everyone acknowledges that support for the secular democratic State, its courts and its military and some expressed affinity for Israelis is enough to give the term legitimacy. Hashem and His Torah do not figure into it at all. In fact, service in the IDF is so revered by the Zionists that any goy who serves is considered to be on a higher level and more of a "brother" to the Zionist Jews than a Torah-true Jew.

The fusion of religion and Zionism like what we see with the national-religious party, now called "Jewish Home", demonstrates the fallacy of assuming these two can properly be mixed. They can't! This is just modern-day Hellenism and what our ancestors fought against. We celebrate their victory over the attempt to fuse Judaism and Greek culture with a holiday called Hanukah. This reverence, one might also call it idolization, of the military carries right over into the self-styled religious-zionist community. I believe this is why we see so many of their communities affected by IDF-led expulsion and destruction. Hashem is trying to wake them up to the truth.

As we continue to separate ourselves from all those things which belong to a mixture (Erev Rav) and bring ourselves to a state of purity (non-mixture) in preparation for receiving our righteous Mashiach and the kingdom he will rule, it's time to let go of this term and stop applying it to ourselves. Any good to be found in it is already encompassed by our holy Torah, but in purity!