JERUSALEM (VINnews) — If anyone wished to see a microcosm of the searing dispute which has split Israel in recent months, he can watch the following clips from the morning of Rosh Chodesh Nissan.
At a time when Jews worldwide celebrate the rejuvenation of our nation after the exodus from Egypt and the rejuvenation of the world after winter, Israelis are mired in bickering over the future of their state. What is viewed by the right wing as legitimate steps of a majority-elected government is seen by leftists and even by some centrists as a power grab, a coup aimed at neutering the last bastion of the liberals in Israel- the High Court of Justice.
Add to this the terrorist outrages during the first few months of the government and the extremist statements by senior right-wing ministers in response and we have a recipe for even more strife and altercations. The country is effectively riven over a multitude of issues which have all come to the fore as the first fully right-wing government ever to rule in Israel has taken power.
Demonstrators against government hold signs against “dictatorship” near Aryeh Deri’s home in Bayit V’Gan, while yeshiva students dance below
"אלה ברכב ואלה בסוסים ואנחנו בשם השם אלוקינו נזכיר".
מחוץ לביתו של אריה דרעי כעת. pic.twitter.com/qycXyQqfzN
— אריאל אלחרר (@ariel_elharar_) March 23, 2023
מחוץ לבית של דרעי בירושלים
לא מקללים ולא רבים
פשוט שרים pic.twitter.com/TbNlL2icP3
— אלי גרין (@Yeshivisher23) March 23, 2023
מפגין מילואימניק ובחור ישיבה חרדי רוקדים יחד, הבוקר בבית וגן ליד ביתו של השר דרעי pic.twitter.com/GoMdEI86SX
— Tamar Ish Shalom תמר (@tamarishshalom) March 23, 2023
Eventually one demonstrator left the protesters and joined the dancing yeshiva students.
The first issue is how to define Israel: Is it to be primarily a Jewish state, submitting to Jewish values and ideals before catering to democratic requirements? This alone should require weakening or at least modifying the Supreme Court, which has repeatedly flaunted Jewish values in its decisions which reflect its ultra-liberal approach.
Secondly, where should Israel be defined: Should it spread its borders into the biblical Judea and Samaria or maintain more modest expansion, sacrificing the cities in these regions in exchange for settlement blocs and removing all the isolated communities to achieve strong and defensible borders.
Thirdly, who should define Israel: Should it embrace all immigrants with Jewish background, even if they are not halachically Jewish? Should it provide civil marriage for them? Should it require all citizens to declare allegiance, serve in the army, maintain a basic common level of education?
These questions are the real backdrop of the huge public unrest in Israel. The programmed march to Bnei Brak Thursday to protest Hareidi “evasion” of military service demonstrates that more than judicial reform, the issues dividing Israelis are irrevocably deep and will not be bridged by a change in government. Such a change is increasingly unlikely to grant the left power as it continues to dwindle demographically and cannot rule without anti-Zionist Arab parties.
The headline (protestors and chareidim “square off”), what one does in a boxing match, is completely detached from what the videos show (chareidim dancing while anti- government protestors seem to behaving peacefully).
The video of the elderly man crying while Shalom alaichem is playing is one of the most moving videos I have seen. It just goes to show what we can accomplish with love rather than with shouting, a stone or a fist.
The term would be “square off”, not “square up”, if you want to fix the headline.
The responsibility of leadership is a heavy burden, so we must be very careful what we wish for.
Rav Pam, a”h, said more than forty years ago, that Eretz Yisroel was ready to be conquered for Torah if done באהבה, with patient love. Shuvu was one such effort that Rebbi began.
Where is our ” hasbarah” today, showing those not yet frum the true beauty of a life committed to Torah values? Where is our consensus regarding the value Hesder yeshivas represent? The exceptional results of Bais Yaakov seminar girls on recent CPA exams puts to lie the claims of “parasitism” and poor education in the Chareidi world.
The list goes on, particularly the beauty of those Kollel couples who eschew materialism to raise their families in in the ways of Torah – the primary reason for a Jewish people in a Jewish land as outlined by Him who granted us this gift.
Yet issues of governance cannot be solved by name-calling. Moshiach is not yet here and will not be brought closer by demonstrations or demonization and legislation by fiat.
It behooves us to ask our Rabbonim and political leaders to show the world that Derecheiu darchei Noam- the ways of Torah are pleasant- and wise. Never compromising principal but accepting incremental progress as a means to an end.
May H-shem speed that process so that the full beauty and utility of a fully realized Torah life is evident to all.
It’s an external manifestation of the yetzer tov & yetzer haraa struggling with each other. Torah vs. the secular life.
I expected a news story. I have no idea what this commentator is commenting on.