Friday, May 27, 2016

Meditations on Modern Israel

The COGs taught us to view matters in a simplistic black and white manner. They knew what is going on. We were to listen and accept it.

A new book,  What is Modern Israel? by Yakov M. Rabkin, has just been released discussing how the dream of a Jewish state was actually quite different from traditional Judaism and shows that the movement that yearned to create a Jewish state in Palestine was in many ways a drastic break from the past. It was not an inevitable outgrowth of traditional Jewish thought.

Traditionally Jewish religious leaders said they were in exile. But what did they mean by exile? Why do the ultra-Orthodox Jews in the Holy Land still consider themselves in exile?

When the nationalist movement to create a Jewish homeland began to arise in the 1880s in response to anti-Semitic pogroms why it is that the vast majority of Jewish religious leaders vehemently opposed the idea?

Why do some secular Israelis loath ultra-Orthodox Jews and even have nightmares about them?

All this and much more is discussed in this fascinating book. It is well worth reading.

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