How to ruin Judaism
For years the members of the radical right have done their best to help ruin any chance for peace. They've done quite a job. Given free rein, in the end they'd ruin Judaism as well, replacing it with their own belief system - if the rest of us would only let them.
For years the members of the radical right have done their best to help ruin any chance for peace. They've done quite a job. Given free rein, in the end they'd ruin Judaism as well, replacing it with their own belief system - if the rest of us would only let them. How would it look? Something like this perhaps:
The new 13 articles of faith
1. Jews have the right, and the duty, to settle anywhere they choose in the biblical Land of Israel.
Author's note: No one in this world has the right to settle wherever he or she chooses.
2. Settling the land is a commandment of the highest order in Judaism.
3. Ceding land to Arabs under so-called peace deals is a sin. Judaism must revive the medieval concept of the "moser," under which Jews who hand over Jewish land to gentiles, inform against fellow Jews or hand over fellow Jews to gentiles are guilty of capital crimes.
Author's note: The distortion of contemporary Judaism to a perverse extreme is especially evident in the works of the self-appointed "Sanhedrin" of leading far-right rabbis, whose rabbinic court recently pronounced Israel Defense Forces West Bank Commander Yair Naveh, himself Orthodox, a moser for approving the eviction of 20 occupants of an illegal outpost.
Leaving aside the problematic issue of a Sanhedrin arbitrarily constituting itself after 1650 years of inactivity, the ancient Sanhedrin was historically renowned, if for nothing else, for its marked reluctance to impose the death penalty.
4. Refusal of orders by leftist soldiers serving in the territories is an act of cowardice, self-hatred, treachery and defeatism.
5. Refusal of orders by rightist soldiers serving in the territories is an act of conscience, uncommon valor, defense of Jewish values and historical necessity.
6. Meir Kahane was a saint and a prophet.
Author's note: Corollary - racism against Arabs is thus not bigotry, but realism.
7. Baruch Goldstein was a saint and a savior.
Author's note: In Hebron, the second most holy city to Jews and the contemporary headquarters for twisting authentic Judaism into obscenity, Goldstein's grave has become a pilgrimage site for the Voodoo Jews who revere his massacre of 29 Muslims at prayer. Goldstein trumps them by having chosen to carry out his terror attack during the holiday of Purim, arguably the most joyous occasion on the Jewish calendar.
To hear the radical right tell it, Goldstein's action prevented an unimaginable terrorist plot from unfolding and murdering large numbers of Jews.
It was a fiction that has become an article of faith. Thus radical rightist Jews have come to revere Goldstein not because of the lives - Arab and Jewish - he saved as a physician, but because of those - exclusively Muslim - he took as a gunman.
8. Leftist Jews are systematically destroying Israel. The leftist-dominated media foments and directs that process of destruction through its treasonous criticism of right-wing governments.
9. Jewish criticism of left-wing Israeli governments is a patriotic duty.
10. There is no difference between the Arabs of today and the Nazis of World War Two. There is no such thing as a Palestinian people. The Arabs of the Land of Israel should be transferred to Muslim nations.
11. The IDF, the Border Police and the Shin Bet, acting under the orders of left-leaning government officials, coddle the Palestinians and refrain from carrying out the kinds of operations that would put an end to terror once and for all.
12. Jews are no longer bound by the rabbinic prohibition against setting foot on the Temple Mount.
Author's note: No less an authority than Rabbi Abraham Hacohen Kook, first chief rabbi of British Mandate Palestine, ruled, "It is a Torah commandment that until the day of the resurrection, we are not permitted to even enter the courtyard of the Temple."
The fact that Jewish law can be summarily ignored or rescinded for reasons of politics and ideology does not bode well. Neither does the possibility that it can be revamped only for reasons of right-wing politics or ideology.
13. The Muslim occupation of the Temple Mount should be ended at the first opportunity, and the construction of the Third Temple should begin. Jews, who pray facing toward the Temple Mount everywhere in the world, have a clear right to the site, in contrast to Muslims, who pray facing Mecca.
Author's note: For Jews to decide how much Muslims care about their holy sites is fully as wrong as Muslims deciding how much Jews care about theirs.
Many of us tend to discount the potency and the danger of the far right. Perhaps this is because of the funhouse mirror carnival aspect of the ragtag righteous: the End of Days addicts, the Temple Mount groupies, the hilltop hormone punks, the Kahane-rama tubby hippies, the curiously mousy men of the Women in Green, the fanatic would-be settler, the gun nut, the Messiah crank, the Earthmother curser of Arab mothers, the thick of payes and the thin of patience, the wide of scullcap and the wild of eye, the would-have-been ghetto fighter and the might-have-been Maccabee.
What unites them? What do they know that we don't know? The destructive potential of the lunatic notion, the obscene plan, the crackpot mantra. They know this is no joke. This is a struggle for the soul of Judaism. Ultimately, however, the result will not be up to them. It will be up to the rest of us.