The subject of the upcoming election in Israel is making up a lot of the news these days and it is only going to increase as April 9, 2019 approaches. I don't think I can ignore it here any longer.
For awhile I was very ambivalent about whether to engage in the "democratic process" (such as it is) or not. Then I realized that we live in the World of Asiyah - the World of Doing - where action is required. We have to do as much as we possibly can and then leave the results to Hashem.
My political philosophy is to find the best possible candidate who represents Torah values, strengthens Jewish identity and clearly has Am Yisrael's best interests at heart and support them without calculation as to whether they have a "realistic" chance of winning - because the winning is up to Hashem. No vote is ever "thrown away," they are all counted in Shamayim. Our willingness to support the right person without calculation for the outcome may only be a test of our readiness to accept Mashiach, who also will not be the favorite of the majority.
Should no such candidate be found, I would abstain from voting altogether, but such is not the case. We actually have three decent parties who I believe meet my criteria to choose from -
Of the three, my vote goes to Eli Yishai whose party, by the way, is receiving ZERO coverage in the Anglo-Israeli press. As a result, many of my readers may not even be aware that Yachad is in the running. I hope to remedy this in the coming days and weeks. In the lead up to that goal, I'd like to share something I first published a bit over a year ago...
********...why am I reminiscing about the expulsion from Gush Katif? One thing led to another and I discovered something that I think needs to be set right. I have heard many people curse Shas and accuse the religious Sephardi party of enabling Sharon to carry it out either because (1) they voted in favor of it, or (2) they abstained from voting. The party leader at the time - Eli Yishai - called it for what it was, the "miserable expulsion," instead of the government-and-media-favored term "disengagement."
In fact, according to an October 26, 2004 Ha'aretz article,...
All eleven Shas MKs voted against the plan, on the orders of the party's spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, as did six National Religious Party members, six National Union MKs and five United Torah Judaism MKs.You can read an entire breakdown of the voting results right HERE.
I don't know how or why this disinformation has persisted, but I hope this will help to set the record straight.
This is not the only time Eli Yishai has correctly and cogently summed up a crisis situation. Revisiting a February 8, 2013 Israel HaYom article, I found the following...
...If there is forced conscription of the ultra-Orthodox, Yishai vows, there will be chaos.
..."There will be marches and processions of thousands, tens of thousands, in the streets," he said. "Thousands of yeshiva students will fill up the jail cells. Military Police officers will be running around aimlessly in Bnei Brak. You'll have a civilian uprising, pandemonium. Worst of all, those who are enlisting today will refuse to enlist en masse."
..."The Jewish people have been persecuted for decades," Yishai said angrily. "What haven't we been forced to endure? Expulsion, inquisition, Holocaust. Still, despite all of this, we have an identity, and this is all due to our Torah. If this wasn't preserved in every corner of the world, we would have disappeared, erased just like the empires that disappeared. We came to the State of Israel. Yet, here, of all places, in a world in which there are no rules as to who studies Torah and who doesn't, here people want to put quotas. Such a thing is unprecedented, and it will not ever come to pass."
Yishai shifts the conversation to changes that are already taking place. "This concept of 'the ultra-Orthodox don't serve in the army' is nonexistent," he said. "The figures show that there are thousands who are waiting to enlist in national service and the haredi Nahal infantry unit. There's even a huge influx of ultra-Orthodox youths going to college. Since the passage of the Tal Law, there's been a steady increase ? and the percentages are climbing quickly ? of ultra-Orthodox who are integrating into these frameworks. What happened, however, was that the quotas stipulated in the law by the state were never met because the treasury and the defense establishment did not take sufficient action to meet them."
"The Defense Ministry doesn't want a lot of ultra-Orthodox soldiers in the army because it needs to make the necessary contingency plans and this costs a great deal of money," Yishai said. "When the ultra-Orthodox public was offered a platform that met its needs as they pertained to kosher food, the presence of female soldiers, and the content of what they are taught, it agreed to go for it. This was mainly because this was done through agreement and consensus, not by coercion."It's really worth reading the whole thing HERE.
More about Eli Yishai HERE. (And please do take the time to look at this link.)
More to come, iy"H. Thanks for reading!!