Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Ultra-Secular Appreciation

In a surprise article, an ultra-secular Israeli Jewish reporter spends time in China (for the Olympics) and pens an article, "Thank G-d We're Jewish!". Having seen the communist result of a truly (almost) completely secular nation, he doesn't like it, realizing that if he actually won his battle against the religious in Israel - the result might be a bitter victory.

Worth a read.

He pens one point worth repeating, the human values of the world come from Judaism, meaning from the Torah - from G-d. "perhaps the most significant advantage religion (Akiva adds - specifically JUDAISM) grants us is humanity and respect for human life. Since we, as a nation, believe that each man is made in G-d's image and that killing a person is tantamount to killing a whole world."

As I have never been religious, and have always supported the separation of religion and state, I always wondered what it would be like to live in a land with no religious tendencies whatsoever. In my mind, such land had all the makings of a utopia: There would be no religious fanatics dressed in 19th century garb, no holy wars, and gender equality would reign supreme.

This utopian dream was shattered, however, after I recently had the opportunity to live in such country: China. I soon found myself thanking God we have religion in Israel...


  1. Religion and State in Israel

    Unfortunately, the writer confuses religious belief/religious practice/religious values with "religion and state".

    In Israel, personal status (for example marriage and divorce) is controlled by the Orthodox Rabbinate.

    Here the State grants religious authorities jurisdiction over the personal lives of Israeli Jews - this is "religion and state".

    "Respect for human life" and "be fruitful and multiply" are examples of religious values/commandments. Each individual can apply these values as s/he sees fit. This is NOT "religion and state".

    Joel Katz
    Religion and State in Israel

  2. "... I soon found myself thanking God we have religion in Israel..."

    Hello...Hashem? Yes, we are ready for the geula now.


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