Should We Be Like Iran?

With all due respect to God, the proper place for him is the heart of each one of us. When God is in the heart, there are no emissaries and no middlemen.

The order of the hour is reconciliation. After the disengagement, we have to dress the wounds and knit together that which was torn asunder. Not a day passes when we do not receive another request for a good-will session, for a scathing but friendly debate on the future of relations between the State of Israel and the State of the Land of Israel. Walking among us now are people whose specialty is mending broken hearts, professional conciliators, who have in the past dedicated themselves to treaties of wall-to-wall national consensus.

These treaties didn't hold water, not even the water of the Kinneret. They disintegrated when they crashed against the wharf once the storm began. The procurers of these agreements have not given up. Now they are even more determined than ever. Regretfully, there is no choice but to send them on their way. It is only right to say: Gentlemen, there is no need for talking into the wee hours of the night; it's a shame to waste the time. After all, only one agreement is needed, no more, and that one agreement can and should be reached even before we wrestle with the other problems: If we reach agreement - fine, then all the erudite debates are superfluous. And if we do not reach agreement - then all the debates in the world will not help.

This is the answer to all the do-gooders: There is no one among us who does not want to heal and to unite. Is there any one who wants to be the naysayer, who does not fear a rupture that would be both painful and (primarily) dangerous? But an open, bleeding wound will not be healed merely by placing an empty bandage on it, and lip service is only a temporary and superficial poultice for a bruise. In order for the discussion to truly heal by its binding conclusions, it must have a common base and as of now, it would seem that no such base exists. Before anything else, let's agree on the source of authority, after which point we would agree on everything. That is the entire doctrine of drawing our nation's hearts together, in 25 words or less. Once the source of authority is agreed upon, all the other disagreements may still exist on paper, but are essentially null and void, as they no longer contain any threat of rupture and destruction. A state cannot be governed by two sources of authority - one democratic, the other halakhic (based on Jewish law).

A state has no chance of surviving when two leaderships impose their will on it - an elected civil leadership together with a rabbinical leadership, whose faithful anoint it as they would anoint a king or high priest. In Iran, the two leaderships serve in disorder, and that is how Iran looks and acts. Should we be like Iran?

Without a doubt, those asking for dialogue for the most part mean to do good, but neither is there any doubt that there are those among them who exploit the naivete of the majority of Israelis, who are simply looking for a bridge over troubled waters. The schemers are interested in gaining time to restore their strength after the blow they suffered. Some of the leaders of the State of the Land of Israel have already publicly announced their intent to conquer the kingdom in its own home in another few years, and gain control of the court and the legislature, too. The Israel Defense Forces is the first fortified target to vanquish. In their favor it may be said that they are not concealing their intentions whatsoever.

It may be, then, that this now is the choice: either the State of the Land of Israel conquers the State of Israel, or the State of Israel conquers the State of the Land of Israel, and each of us must choose on which side of the divide to take his stand.

In the meantime, the State of the Land of Israel continues to gain strength at our expense, stiffens its neck and stands defiantly, determined that Gush Katif shall not fall again. After it was made clear in broad daylight that the State of the Land of Israel is resolved to rebel against its neighbor and ally and to endanger it, the State of Israel must respond by extending its authority not only over its territory within the bounds of the Green Line, but also in the territory that stretches from the southern Hebron hills to the northern West Bank.

At the same opportunity, perhaps the time has come to also send God back into the machine, the public relations machine from which his emissaries on earth have pulled him, him and his salvation, in the blink of an eye.

With all due respect to God, the proper place for him is the heart of each one of us. When God is in the heart, there are no emissaries and no middlemen. Anyone who deputizes himself as a representative of God, speaks in his name, preaches morality in his name and threatens us with his accusatory finger, does not only take his God's name in vain, but also our God's name. "For the Eternal will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain" - and this commandment is directed first and foremost at the priests who themselves perform the holy service. Who needs their intervention in the personal, private discourse with God, who in fact resides close, within us, and not far away in heaven?