Thursday, March 23, 2006

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Yisroel or Yaakov? Jerusalem or Yavneh?

Avraham avinu (our biblical forefather Abraham) was called Avram and renamed Avraham by (an angel of) G-d (gaining a letter of G-d's name). From then on, he is exclusively referred to as Avraham (as is also true for his wife Sorah), literally to this day.

Yaakov avinu (our biblical forefather Jacob) also is renamed by an angel of G-d, to Yisroel (Israel). Yet, both in the Torah and to this day, he is referred to sometimes as Yaakov (Jacob) and sometimes as Yisroel (Israel). When is Yaakov referred to as Yaakov and when Yisroel? When he's inside the holy land, he's at a higher level of holiness, he's Yisroel. Otherwise, he's Yaakov.

A Simple Jew asked, "Who do you support?". Israeli politics has always been a zero sum game. Each party that gets in power blocks out all the others, takes the whole pie and makes no compromises. With frequent elections (average every 2 years) and shifting results, this has been ok, being out of power for 2-4 years isn't too horrible.

But in the last 8 years or so this pattern changed. Governments have lasted longer and the large parties (Labor and Likud) have been dying. Niche parties focused on one issue used to balance out areas the large parties ignored, bringing them in to political focus as they balanced out a coalition government.

Now, however, it's a coalition of the damned. Everyone's focused on their niche, the big picture be damned.

Yaak of Yeranen Yaakov commented on my Shas post, "I see nothing wrong and everything right with the 'Mi LaHashem Eilai' slogan." Only if you select Yavneh over Jerusalem. If you're serving your niche of funding your schools (Torah true schools, yes) and your kosher community centers, are you following the path of Torah? Yes they're good schools, yes they're kosher centers. Yet you enable Eretz HaKodesh to be diminished and safety to be decreased, it's the decision of Yavneh all over again!

No one is acting for Eretz HaKodesh, the holy land, and Torah. The religious zionists (Nat. Religious Party, Herut, etc) focus on the land and the state, empowering the klippa of the Erev Rav with their support. The ultra-religious (all non-zionist) parties (Shas and United Torah) empower the secular governments by taking coalition seats for Torah funding. One empowers the klippah, the other props it up!

There is no one to turn to and no one to vote for. I do note these points however:

1. Amir Peretz of Labor seems an honest man. You know what you're going to get. You're not going to like it, but at least you won't be surprised. Of course, he'll go in to coalition with Kadima and let them do whatever they want with the land, so that's not a real choice.

2. Baruch Marzel of Hazit has been literally persecuted for years for his support of the Jews in Hebron and his committment to the holy land. Politically he's off the map and over the edge, but he's more committed to the Holy Land than anyone else in this election.

While Marzel and Hazit's electoral chances are miniscule, I can't see empowering any of the other parties with my vote. So,

a. I vote Moshiach! However, that doesn't seem to be an electoral choice at this moment.

b. I like Feiglin and what he's trying to do with Likud, but refuse to support Netanyahu.

c. Hazit and Marzel seem to me to be the only ones without a personal or organizational agenda, they're just religious Jew's committed to the Holy Land.

Hazit gets my vote, if I'm in Israel on election day (which is not currently in my plans).

Update: Sultan Knish disagrees with me on point b, thinking a stronger Likud may buy the right wing some time to save Israel. It's a thought.


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