Religious Irreligious  Religious Irreligious

beginning of ??? Herzl - Ahad HaAm - waiting for early Reform

messianic interna- national Messiah communism

redemption national romantic (4) (3)

(5) (6) assimilation (2)


(1) Zionism as a solution to anti-Semitism. Jewish character of state purely optional - location may be Uganda or Argentina or Palestine, any language. ["...the most radical attempt in Jewish history to break out of the parochial molds of Jewish life in order to become part of the general history of man in the modern world."]Predictions: the western world will help with money, political and military support; some country will contribute its territory; the vast majority of Jews will go to the state and the rest will rapidly assimilate (so that the state will have no extra-territorial responsibilities) [All the predictions were false.]

(2) Zionism as the means to express the unique Jewish conception of morality which is higher than that of other nations. [Critique from (1): an atheist cannot pass judgment on others' morals. Possession of a state is an end in itself - not for the spiritual expression of Judaism.]

(3) Reform: Zionism causes problem of dual loyalties. Communism: Zionism is statism, historically backward since nation-states will disappear. [Both collapsed.]

(4) Zionism displaced the position of the Messiah and caused the Holocaust [!!] ["...the most radical attempt...."]

(5) All loyalty is to G-d. The Torah requires us to be fully participating citizens of the state of Israel since it is the foundation of the messianic era.

(6) The state of Israel may be the foundation of the messianic era; it is our job to make it so. Opinions vary concerning the extent of participation which will best achieve that end.

A. The debate between (5) and (6). (5): The prophets predict return of Jews to Israel and the productivity of the land as signs of the Messiah and these have occurred. (6): The return is so far incomplete [return = majority of Jews in Israel]; we will only know that this is the beginning of the return after the return is completed. The productivity promised by the prophets does not seem to include receiving 15-20% of the yearly budget in charity, nor the possession of the land by non-Jews for whom it is also productive. (5): Settling and defending the land has been accompanied by obvious miracles. (6): Miracles only prove that the events are G-d's will. But we believe that all physical events are G-d's will - even bad ones! From the fact that X is G-d's will it does not follow that we should support it

B. The need for (1) to falsify history, as in Hatikva: it was not the hope of 2000 years to have a free, democratic areligious state - it was the hope for the coming of the Messiah! Compare the Maccabean games - Jews celebrating the Greek values which the Maccabees fought against under the title "Maccabean."

C. Participating in the Israeli Army. [Introductory incomplete discussion.]

The majority of Jewish men in (6) fulfill their legal Army responsibilities [including the staff of Ohr Somayach].

Every Israeli agrees that security may be sacrificed for other personal values - compare abortion.

A religious soldier under the command of a non-religious state may be asked to act against his religious principles [compare leftists who refused to serve in Lebanon]

We believe that to win a war we must deserve it. The religious population is bearing the burden of desert alone. Let everyone share all burdens. It is unfair for one population to share the physical defense of the state and also bear the burden of desert alone. [The non-religious do not share our belief, therefore we cannot use this argument against them. But it can be used to explain why we have not feeling of guilt.]

Every Israeli agrees that some need not be exposed to danger in defending the state - e.g., medical personnel, intelligence corps, politicians, etc.