Had to put that disclaimer up there to forestall what will otherwise be the inevitable wrong-headed deduction some people will make after they read this post. OK, now that I got that out of the way:
Yaakov Menken wrote:
Why have you not been listening, I ask in my mind, when the charedim were telling you this for decades?
To which Alexander commented:
The Palestinians were telling you this for decades, too. But that was just “media bias” right? Right?
It is media bias that causes selective reporting — reporting Israeli mistreatment of Arabs but not reporting how Israeli soldiers give Arab kids food and toys, or how Israeli doctors treat Arab and Jewish patients alike. It is media bias that reports what the Israeli police did but fails to report what the Arabs did to provoke it. It is media bias that pretends Arab Jew-hatred is the effect, rather than the cause, of police brutality.
It is media bias that cannot distinguish between Israeli civilians in a peaceful protest and Arab jihadists trying to murder Israelis. It is media bias that causes the New York Times to write with great sympathy about Israeli police — ONLY when they are beating fellow Jews.
Criminals and murderers deserve to be beaten, law-abiding citizens do not. It is media bias to blur the distinction — or worse, to transpose the categories and treat Arabs as the innocent victims and Israelis as the criminals — consistently, down through the decades. In certain situations that might actually be true — just as a prison inmate might really be an innocent man, and a prison guard might actually be a serial killer — but it is utterly immoral to paint the entire Israeli-Palestinian conflict in those terms, as the press generally does.
Tragically, the police are now transferring tactics that might actually be appropriate when faced with a rioting mob of rock-throwing murderous Arabs, and using those same tactics against Jewish boys and girls who are not terrorists, thugs, murderers or jihadists, but law-abiding, peaceful and idealistic young people. Continue reading → Disclaimer: I don’t think police should treat ANYONE with unnecessary brutality
In the comments to Yakov Menken’s latest JIB post, Micha wrote:
But in what sense is this a religious blog, rather than a political blog run by religious people?
and Shlomo added:
Let me be more specific, what percentage of your postings would require prior recitation of Birkas HaTorah (had I not already done so) or, had they been printed out, require disposal in a respectful fashion?
My response is that if you want to recite birkas haTorah on what you read, you should not be reading blogs. You should be learning actual Torah instead.
That said — the overlap between Torah and culture/politics/science/current events is considerable. We are working in the arena of hashkafa here. My understanding of Torah Im Derech Eretz is that the Torah has something to say about everything, and that it behooves Jews to act in accord with Torah values at all times. We do not believe in a mental “separation of church and state.”
What area is outside the purview of politics? Women’s issues? Day school tuition? Crime and punishment? Israel? ESPECIALLY nowadays when the government intrudes on EVERYTHING, it is virtually impossible to steer clear of “politics” no matter what issue … Read More >>
It has just come to my attention that the Green Party has recently called for a boycott of the State of Israel. Here is the wording of the resolution:
Green Party Resolution to Divest from Israel
Adopted by the Green Party of the United States,
November 21, 2005
The Green Party of the United States (GPUS) publicly calls for divestment from and boycott of the State of Israel until such time as the full individual and collective rights of the Palestinian people are realized
To maximize the effect of the Green Party’s support for divestment and boycott of Israel:
The party calls on all civil society institutions and organizations around the world to implement a comprehensive divestment and boycott program. Further, the party calls on all governments to support this program and to implement state level boycotts.
The party urges the Campus Greens network to work in cooperation with other campus organizations to achieve institutional participation in this effort.
The GPUS National Committee directs the Green Peace Action Committee (GPAX) to encourage the larger anti-war movement to promote the divestment/boycott effort.
The GPUS National Committee directs the International Committee to work with our sister Green parties around the world in implementing an international boycott.
How surprised am I that a whacko lefty environmental party is profoundly ant-Semitic and considers Israel to be a form of global pollution? On a scale of zero to a hundred, with zero being not surprised at all and a hundred being surprised, shocked and stunned beyond belief, I will tell you how surprised I am. Continue reading → Israel = Global Pollution?
My Chanuka post drew a comment pointing out that the Chanuka victory of the Maccabees over the Greeks was not very long-lived, because the Chashmonaim (Maccabees) betrayed their own cause in the end:
And don’t forget how the story ends: Within a generation the Macabees were Hellenized -complete with Greek names. Very, quickly, they became exactly the sort of people the family founders had fought against.
I responded that the Sages of the Talmud indeed considered these descendants of the Maccabees to have been traitors and sinners — who caused their people untold grief and suffering, defeat and exile.
But I left unanswered an implicit question that I would now like to address:
Why do we continue to celebrate Chanuka if the victory was so short-lived? Continue reading → Chanuka — defeat or victory?
With Chanuka coming in a few days we can be sure that along with the Chanuka tree and the Chanuka wreath, we will have the annual round of phony newspaper stories about Chanuka being the holiday of religious freedom.
The usual story (American version) goes something like this: There were these bad guys, the Greeks/Republicans/Christian Right who persecuted the good guys, the Jews/Democrats/pluralists. The bad guys tried to impose a theocracy and do away with the Bill of Rights. Then there was like a total unbelievable miracle and these Jews who are normally peace-loving pacifists got up the gumption to stand up for the principle of Separation of Church and State and multiculturalism. And the good guys won! The theocracy of the Greeks was overthrown, and the Jews established instead a liberal democracy with religious freedom for all.
Of course this story is total nonsense. What was really going on was that the Greeks persecuted the Jews because they couldn’t stand the Jews’ uppityness in declaring that they had the only true religion and the only real G-d. The Greeks believed in lots of gods and would have happily welcomed Buddhists, Wiccans, Gaians and whoever else wanted to … Read More >>
A few days ago Yaakov Menken wrote about the Documentary Hypothesis, and I meant to get back to that. Several of the comments on his posts seemed to assume that if any mistakes or differences crept into our Torah scrolls over the years, then 1) the eighth Ani Ma’amin is not true (“The Torah we have is the one G-d gave Moshe on Sinai”) and therefore 2) the Documentary Hypothesis is true or at least remains on the table.
I won’t go into all the unwarranted leaps of logic here but do want to make a couple of remarks.
The Documentary Theory has nothing to do with the question of whether slight differences and inaccuracies crept in over the years. It is a theory that the Torah was not given to Moshe by G-d but was written by a variety of human authors over a period of time, and later all those variations were (clumsily) folded into one by a hypothetical Redactor.
R’ Menken’s statement that “as soon as one says that even a single word doesn’t come from G-d it is no longer a Torah philosophy” clearly is not referring to scribal errors that … Read More >>
Ori Pomerantz wrote:
Oral Torah seems to limit capital punishment to the point where it would almost never happen. IIRC, capital punishment requires two witnesses with foreknowledge of the crime who warned the would be murderer and to whom that would be murderer replied he or she will do it anyway.
Does this mean that the capital punishment written in the Torah is written more to emphasize the evil of murder than as practical Halacha? Are Noahide courts empowered to execute murderers more than Jewish courts?
Yes, under Noahide law, non-Jewish courts do have more latitude than the Sanhedrin had.
It is true that in normal times, the Sanhedrin rarely carried out a death sentence. Your surmise is probably correct, that the death penalty is on the books — i.e., in the Torah — more to emphasize the gravity of certain crimes than to actually put murderers to death.
However, the King (and if I’m not mistaken, also the Sanhedrin) had broad discretion to impose the death penalty under a wide variety of circumstances — extra-judicially. One such circumstance mentioned in the classical sources is a period of widespread lawlessness — what we would call a high … Read More >>
What kind of cutesie name is Tookie anyway — for a murderer? Why have the media over the last few days tried to make us feel sorry for this creep? The US government sentenced him to death but then gave him 24 extra years of life before carrying out the sentence — which is 24 more years than he gave his victims.
Probably 24 years of appeals + keeping him alive cost us taxpayers millions. If the death penalty is supposed to serve as a deterrent — or if it supposed to serve the ends of justice — either way, a 24-year delay in carrying out the sentence renders it useless.
Yesterday I heard a self-professed Christian on a talk radio show. He complained that the host of the show was a quote “hypocrite” because he was pro-life yet pro-death penalty. The caller also said that executing murderers would be “playing G-d.” When I hear Christians talking like that I want to ask them, “Mister, have you ever read the Bible? ”
Really, would he say the Bible is hypocritical? After all, the Bible says “Thou shalt not murder” and then goes on to say that if someone … Read More >>
Regarding Ori’s question, I reject the forced choices — I think the majority of Jews would join Orthodox shuls without becoming observant. That is option 3. And I think that would be a vast improvement over the present situation.
In South Africa (where I lived for five years) there is no Conservative and only a very small Reform movement. Almost all South African Jews belong to O shuls, though few are observant. When they arrive in the US, many of them find themselves culturally comfortable in C congregations, whose services superficially resemble the services they are familiar with but whose rabbis and congregants are accepting of low levels of actual observance.
In practice — sociologically speaking — the change from O in South Africa to C in America usually results in a very rapid decline in the level of any observance, as well as a greased slide towards intermarriage, since interdating and intermarriage no longer carries any stigma in C congregations. Continue reading → Goodbye to Heterodoxy
Tortured women in the Bible, tortured readings of the Bible text, my my.
I was asked a question about Hagar a few weeks ago, and since Hagar is first mentioned in this week’s parsha — Lech Lecha — this is an appropriate time to post the question and how I responded. Question and answer follow:
Question: I am currently a student studying at the University level “Women in Religion”. Being of Jewish background I found myself face to face being told a lot about a religion I know very little about. We are studying “texts of terror” which outlines women who were mistreated in the Torah.
4 females we came across were Hagar, Tamar, Levite’s Concubine, and Jepthah’s daughter. I would like to know– if Judaism is one of the most “accepting” and “pro female/equality” religion why there are stories about women being brutally raped, or thrown to be ‘known’ as is said in the Torah as sacrifices by fathers, and spouses.
Answer: You could ask the same question about any textbook of, say, abnormal psychology or criminal law. Why do such textbooks contain explicit case studies of behavior that is abnormal or criminal? Continue reading → Tortured Readings on the Tenure Track
I haven’t seen a movie in years — or I should say, until a few days ago, I hadn’t seen one — and I certainly am not a movie reviewer, but I just have to tell you about this movie: USHPIZIN. There’s been a lot of buzz about it so you have probably heard of it, but I just want to tell you, I LOVED THIS MOVIE!
The title is an Aramaic word meaning “guests” and generally refers to the other-worldly guests, our Biblical patriarchs, who visit the sukka each day during the festival of Sukkos. In this film the ushpizin are uninvited Sukkos guests who need a place to stay.
The reviews I’ve read have all been very positive but do yourself a favor — don’t read any reviews, they will inevitably spoil some of the surprise and freshness of seeing the movie without preconceived notions.
Which is how I saw it. My husband has a Judaica store in Hollywood (Florida!) and was given two tickets to a private pre-release showing of this movie, which is how I came to see it. He didn’t know anything except “they say it’s very kosher” and “it’s Israeli.” Having no idea what the movie was about and no expectations whatsoever, I found myself transported with delight at every unfolding and unexpected frame of this movie.
I am not going to tell you the plot but I will tell you a few things about the movie. It’s in Hebrew and Yiddish with English subtitles. The main character is played by a man who apparently was a famous movie star in Israel before he became a Ba’al Teshuva (newly Orthodox) a few years ago. The woman who plays his wife is his real wife and is also a BT.
If you don’t go to movies I’m not sure I would say you should start now, but if you do go to movies, DON’T MISS THIS ONE. It’s charming, funny, sweet, sad, poignant, did I mention delightful? Continue reading → The movie I plan to see again, this Sukkos
The more sad news we hear out of New Orleans, the more I get the shivers thinking about the fact that Katrina passed right through my city. The eye of the hurricane was right here over my neighborhood, over my house. I live in North Miami Beach, and we got hit by Katrina when it was still a Category One storm, causing some damage, downed trees and power lines, some flooding, power outages. Seeing what that very same storm did a few days later is like finding out that a serial killer was in your backyard but then left and killed people in another neighborhood!
So the first lesson of Katrina is that those of us who dodged the bullet should be very, very grateful. I’ve written about some of the other lessons, but in thinking about this subject it occurred to me that one way to try to understand why G-d sent this storm is to see what actually resulted from it.
What resulted from the storm? An incredible outpouring Continue reading → Zydeco musings
Someone forwarded a letter to me — unfortunately without the signature — by some pundit “explaining” that Katrina hit New Orleans because Louisiana is the home state of Condoleeza Rice. This catastrophic hurricane with all its attendant loss of life and property is punishment for Condoleeza Rice’s “forcing” Israel to abandon Gaza.
Probably it isn’t even necessary to comment on such convoluted reasoning, but I will anyway. First of all, Condi Rice is a lifelong, very warm and very vocal friend of Israel. And needless to say, Sharon’s four-year, single-minded program of imposing a unilateral “solution” to the Arab question long predates her accession to the State Department. Second of all, if she was really the cause of the hurricane, then Divine wrath should have struck Washington and not New Orleans. In fact, there should have been a fire in her own personal kitchen. Why are all these other people suffering for her?!
Aside from all of that, the larger question of understanding G-d’s ways cannot be addressed by facile and ad hoc “reasoning” like that of my unknown correspondent. The entire Book of Koheles addresses the question of the suffering of the righteous, and concludes that human beings … Read More >>
I don’t know if Paul Krugman reads Cross-Currents or what, but that far-left NY Times writer had a column today seemingly in reply to my post of a few weeks ago. Continue reading → Jewish ingratitude
On August 5, I wrote,
Myth has it that if the recount had been allowed to continue, Gore would have won. The NY Times and the Miami Herald (both of which endorsed Gore) conducted an exhaustive recount, at a cost of many thousands of dollars, extending over a period of several months. They issued a detailed, five-part report, which took up the entire front page of the Herald for five days in a row, as well as many inside pages.
Today, Sholom Simon commented there:
Not exactly. See the results at www.norc.uchicago.edu/fl – under articles. There were nine hypothetical recount scenarios. The three recounts that had been most widely discussed during the battle of Florida, including the partial recount requested by the Gore campaign and two interpretations of the Florida Supreme Court order, would have given the vote to Bush.
Which is exactly what I said. If the recount had been allowed to continue and had not been stopped by the US Supreme Court, Bush would still have won.
I went to the site mentioned by Sholom Simon and saw that under some of its scenarios, attempts were made to divine the intentions of voters who … Read More >>
Today, Erev Shabbos Nachamu, my brother wrote the following, which I am taking the liberty of posting here:
Newspaper-reading Jews all over America have doubtless found it quite vexing that in the reporting of the evacuations carried out in Gaza over the past week, very little has been noted concerning the remarkable restraint shown not only by the “psychologically prepared” soldiers, but by the “fanatically religious, half-crazed, zealot settlers,” as described by the press.
Actually, the word “remarkable” hardly does this restraint justice. The word “incomparable” is much better suited.
To all those in the American media who have failed to perceive just how incomparable this restraint has been, I have just four words — The Branch Davidian Complex.
This is the closest American analogy to the events in Gaza in recent memory. For those with an interest in “Ancient History” there is “The Jonestown Massacre”, where followers of Reverand Jim Jones either voluntarily or involuntarily swallowed cyanide-laced Kool Aid, when faced with the break up of their little cult.
What you have in those two instances and I am sure in many more, is the Christian version of “fanatically religious, half-crazed, zealots.” As to the … Read More >>
I mentioned that I’d read two articles in the NY Times. If you haven’t already, please read my other post first. Here’s the second one:
August 15, 2005
Gazans Harbor Modest Dreams Amid Concerns
By JAMES BENNET
“Modest Dreams” — almost touching, isn’t it? That’s just the headline, care to guess how the rest of the article reads? Continue reading → “Rejoice” with the NY Times–part II
Two articles in the NY Times in the last few days caught my attention. The first:
August 12, 2005
After Decades of Disappointment, Gazans Are Preparing to Rejoice
By GREG MYRE
Already from the headline you get a sense of whose side the NY Times is on.
GAZA, Aug. 11 – In this land of poverty, violence and dashed dreams of statehood, the Palestinians are revving up for the rarest of events in the Gaza Strip: a celebration.
Not all THAT rare. Apparently the NY Times has forgotten how the Palestinians rejoiced when scud missiles fell on Tel Aviv during the First Gulf War, and how ecstatic they were on 9/11.
The Palestinian Authority is planning rallies as if it were the homestretch of an election campaign. Small sewing factories are cranking out thousands of Palestinian flags and street banners, T-shirts and backpacks that proclaim, “Today Gaza, tomorrow the West Bank and Jerusalem.” That message, intended to give Palestinians hope that Gaza first will not be Gaza last, is not exactly what the Israelis want to hear.
“Today Gaza, tomorrow Jerusalem”
The tone of the piece makes it clear that the NY Times agrees Continue reading → “Preparing to Rejoice” — NY Times
My friends, Aharon and Jennifer Ungar, went on Aliyah about a year ago. Aharon has been keeping a journal of their experiences in Israel, which he sends to his friends. The following is from his latest journal entry, posted here with his permission:
Journal No. 24, August 11-12, 2005, Menachem Av 6-7, 5765
So far, I have seen two newspaper reports and three first-hand online accounts of last night’s Kotel Prayer Vigil/Rally and none of them even come close to truly expressing what it was like—and I hesitate to write my own because I know that I will fare no better, as it cannot be put into words. The personal tales that I have read were from people who never actually made it to the Kotel.
Jennifer, I, Nachum (15) and Yaakov (13), on the other hand, in the spirit of the nine days, decided to go in the early afternoon and take a tour of the extended Western and Southern Wall excavations and then go immediately over to the Kotel Plaza for the prayer rally.
Consequently, we were among the first 1,000-2,000 people to show up and were able to position ourselves in the shade near the front, just ahead of the building rooftop which we later realized was to serve as the podium for the VIPs and speakers. We even managed to get chairs which we soon relinquished to the elderly—until our son, Yaakov, fainted and got his back—but more about that later.
Truthfully, we have not gone to any anti-disengagement rallies. My reason was that I felt my learning and davening that the expulsion shouldn’t happen were more important. This is especially true in a country where the lawmakers are not answerable to the public, only to their parties.
Therefore, public opinion on this issue is irrelevant compared to Sharon’s ability to threaten and bribe the 120 people who hold seats in the Knesset and have a vote that matters. You might remember that Sharon actually LOST a referendum in his own party trying to get support for disengagement. It did not matter or change anything.
Therefore, I have always felt that getting out one’s frustrations by screaming support at a rally, although healthy, paled in comparison to the other things I was doing with my time.
But this rally was different from the start for two very important reasons.
First, it is the only event that I can remember in Israel that was co-sponsored and participated in by leaders of all of the religious communities, Ashkenazi, Sephardi, Chassidic and Modern Orthodox/Centrist/Mizrachi. This alone meant it was going to be unique in that Chazal (the Sages) have told us for 2,000 years that it is Jewish unity that will bring Moshiach.
Secondly, the focus of the event was to be prayer and beseeching of Hashem to annul the decree of the expulsion, not speeches.
(The only time I ever davened with 30,000 people was about 15 years ago in Madison Square Garden for Maariv after the Siyum haShas. It was one of the most memorable events of my life [imagine MSG packed to the rafters and you could hear a pin drop during Shemoneh Esrei…]. I have always wanted to replicate that feeling of davening together ish echad, b’lev echad [as one person, with one heart] with tens of thousands of Jews and this was my chance to be mekadesh shamayim b’rov am hadras Melech.)
When we got there we asked a number of people, including those people handing out the pages with the Tehillim (psalms) and other tefillos (prayers) that would be said, if they would be davening Mincha together. Nobody knew, so we decided to join one of the pick-up minyanim to daven. What started with about 12 people turned into a congregation of over 200 by the time we were finished. Continue reading → Prayer rally at the Kotel last Wednesday
Reader Eliezer Barzilai wrote:
Many Americans were horrified by our Supreme Court’s transparently politically motivated decision in the presidential election.
It was the Florida Supreme Court, attempting to throw the election to Al Gore, that made a blatantly political decision–to recount the votes (a third time) even though the Forida state deadline for doing so had passed. The US Supreme Court merely upheld Florida’s law and determined that the Florida Supreme Court had overstepped its bounds. Several US Supreme Court Justices who are generally considered to be on the liberal side of the spectrum concurred in that opinion.
Myth has it that if the recount had been allowed to continue, Gore would have won. The NY Times and the Miami Herald (both of which endorsed Gore) conducted an exhaustive recount, at a cost of many thousands of dollars, extending over a period of several months. They issued a detailed, five-part report, which took up the entire front page of the Herald for five days in a row, as well as many inside pages. I know because I live in Florida and I get the Herald, and I read that entire report.
The NY Times report concluded … Read More >>
Tonight, 26 Tammuz, is my father’s third yahrzeit.
In my Jewish Action article about my father, which appeared a few months after his petira, I wrote:
“Working with his close friend, Eliyahu Kitov, he translated two of Kitov’s classic books, A Jew and His Home and The Book of Our Heritage. My father’s final resting place is on Har HaMenuchos, near that of his beloved friend.”
Targum Press has put out a new book called In the Lion’s Den: Ten Tales of the First Chassidim and Their Ways,by Eliyahu Kitov. It’s a translation of the first volume of Kitov’s 1955 book, Chassidim Ve’anshei Ma’aseh.
The book has a beautiful foreword by Naama Nothmann, Eliyahu Kitov’s daughter. She has lived in Johannesburg for many years, and we got to be very friendly when I lived there in the early years of my marriage. Naama is an artist, and she did the painting that graces the book’s cover. (I also have one of her paintings in my dining room, a pastel gouache reminiscent of Chagall, but more beautiful.)
Here is the foreword she wrote:
Rav Nachman Bulman, zt”l
by Naama (Kitov) Nothmann
While this work was being translated, we received news that Rav Nachman Bulman, z”tl, had passed away. Mrs. [Miriam] Zakon, whose family had a very close bond with Rav Bulman, asked if the book could include a dedication to him, and we felt this was very appropriate, as Rav Bulman was the translator of our father’s masterpiece, Sefer HaToda’ah, as well as our father’s close personal friend.
I personally had a very special bond with Rav Bulman Continue reading → Yahrzeit of Rav Nachman Bulman, zt”l
“Why kill a convicted murderer if there is a chance new evidence might one day exonerate him,”
I don’t think a murderer should be executed unless his guilt is proven beyond a shadow of a doubt. Nowadays, with DNA testing and other technological means, it is possible to prove guilt to a 100% degree of certainty.
However, I suspect that your “what if they get the wrong man?” argument is a red herring. In my experience, most liberals oppose the death penalty. Period.
Even if there is no doubt at all–for example, if there are witnesses to the murder as well as incontrovertible physical evidence–most liberals still oppose the death penalty.
A particularly fascinating phenomenon to me is the liberal argument that goes like this: “You claim to be pro-life, but Continue reading → “How can you be pro-life and believe in the death penalty?”
I have a hard time separating soul from mind.–Lisa Terri Schiavo’s body once had belonged to a person, but it hadn’t for a long time before she stopped breathing –Murky If I had the choice as I lay in a hospital bed, and knew that either people could keep on pouring money into me when I would never get better, or that money could go to someone else who could then live/ recover- would I not chooose to allow the money to go to someone else? –Chana
In Judaism, the soul is not the same thing as the mind. As long as a person is alive, he has a neshama. His neshama existed before he was born and will continue to exist after it leaves his body. His essential self is his neshama, not his body. Even a newborn baby who cannot think or speak, or an elderly person in the final stages of Alzheimer’s disease, still has a neshama. It is true that the neshama makes thought and speech possible, but without thought and speech, the neshama is still present as long as the person is alive.
The neshama has a mission to fulfill, and as long as … Read More >>
I wrote about Terri Schiavo while she was dying. Today the autopsy report came out. Todd Schnitt, a local radio talk show host here in Miami, was among many in the commentariat who crowed that the autopsy “proved” Terri’s husband was right to withdraw food and drink from her. The autopsy showed that she had suffered extensive and irreversible brain damage in the original stroke that left her in a persistent vegetative state.
As for me, I never thought she had any mental activity and never thought she had any hope of recovery. I just thought, and still think, that it is a terrible moral wrong to murder brain-damaged people.
Terri Schiavo was still a person. She still had a neshama. If she were a Jew and her family had to decide what to do according to halacha, they would have to continue food and water, via a feeding tube if there was no other way. At least that’s the halacha according to R’ Moshe Feinstein, the greatest posek of recent Jewish history.
If the person was days from death, there might not be a halachic obligation to put in a feeding tube in the first … Read More >>
This is a letter that was sent to me privately:
I am not blaming you for what happened in Bet Shemesh. However, the antipathy that is displayed by many teachers cannot be helping the situation. I’ll even say that by the way you try to excuse the situation on Mr. Schick’s blog implies that you do not totally disagree.
Yet I do totally disagree! The entire chareidi community in both Eretz Yisrael and America rejects Yom Atzmaut as a holiday, including virtually all the Litvishe roshei yeshiva and chassidishe rabbeim. This includes the Torah-only stream, the Torah-plus-a trade stream and the Torah-im-Derech-Eretz stream of Orthodoxy. Even Lubavitch doesn’t celebrate Y”A.
There are many people who have a basically positive view of the Jewish State and view it as a sign of amazing Hashgacha Pratis that Jews can again live in E”Y after 2000 years of exile, and yet at the same time have very serious reservations about the secular anti-religious nature of the Israeli government. We don’t see that the Redemption has yet advanced sufficiently to warrant adding a holiday to the Jewish calendar.
It is a big stretch from there to pelting people with eggs. … Read More >>