Monday, December 5, 2016

Was Rav Kook Against The Medinah?

I saw a book which slightly soured my mood. There is NO EXCUSE not to be in a good mood at all times!!!

"Bi-simcha tomid" is our constant mandate. The author, a columnist for "------" a Charedi publication [and I LOVE Charedim, which is why I dress like one (same outfit every day), act like one (mid 40's and still learning), send my children to Charedi schools (very limited secular education), and all in all believe that they are in general the closest to the ideal (while recognizing their many flaws - but nobody and certainly no group, is perfect - and they still have what to learn from the Dat-Leumi)] wrote that EVEN Rav Kook was against the Medinah. But those Dati Leumi - they only listen to him when it is convenient.

Look at what Rav Kook writes 

עזבנו את הפוליטיקה העולמית מאונס שיש בו רצון פנימי, עד אשר תבא עת מאושרה, שיהיה אפשר לנהל ממלכה בלא רשעה וברבריות ; זהו הזמן שאנו מקוים.

We have abandoned international politics out of אונס [involuntarily] together with internal desire, until the auspicious time [עת המאושרה] comes when we will be able to lead a government without evil and barbarism. That is the time for which we are waiting.   

LOOK - even Rav Kook says that we don't want to be involved in self government. So he would be against the Medinah [which he said nothing about because he died 13 years before its founding]. 

Just writing this makes me nauseous. What would he say? "No, we shouldn't have our own government. Let the Arabs rule over us". That would be great. National law would be that all non-Muslims are not allowed to live in Israel [Palestine] and practice their religion. Anyone who does will be executed according to Sharia law. That is BETTER?? Is that what this author wants [and claims Rav Kook wants]? 

Or maybe the Brits should rule over Israel as they did before the birth of the State? The same wonderful Anti-Semites who limited emigration to Israel after the rise of Hitler, thus ensuring that we would be gassed to death. Lovely people. 

All of this "anti-Medinah" rhetoric has no place in reality. OF COURSE there is room for criticism and having a State doesn't require one to shave and say Hallel on the fifth of Iyar - but to say that there is any better practical alternative is absurd and I don't believe that any gadol or tzadik believes that according to the Torah it would be better if reshaim were the ruling power in this country [with the exception of two famous Chassidic Rebbes from the same group in the NY area...]. And if one says that the people running the government are reshaim - I would prefer a rasha such as Netanyahu who doesn't go around preaching that one should kill innocent Jews over a "loving" Muslim any day. This government is like old age - Not ideal but MUCH BETTER than the alternative.  

Rav Kook just meant that ideally we would like to have a situation where we can have a government which doesn't have to spill any blood and involve itself only in acts of chesed. 

Of course the author neglected to quote  the rest of the passage [as people do when they make tendentious and misleading arguments]:

  מובן הדבר, שכדי להגשימו אנו צריכים להתעורר בכחותינו כולם, להשתמש בכל האמצעים שהזמן מביא: הכל יד אל בורא כל עולמים מנהלת. אבל האיחור הוא איחור מוכרח, בחלה נפשנו בחטאים האיומים של הנהגת ממלכה בעת רעה. והנה הגיע הזמן, קרוב מאד, העולם יתבסם ואנו נוכל כבר להכין עצמנו, כי לנו כבר אפשר יהיה לנהל ממלכתנו על יסודות הטוב, החכמה, היושר וההארה האלהית הברורה. "יעקב שלח לעשו את הפורפירא": (בראשית לג יד): "יעבר נא אדוני לפני עבדו", אין הדבר כדאי ליעקב לעסוק בממלכה, בעת שהיא צריכה להיות דמים מלאה, בעת שתובעת כשרון של רשעה. אנו קבלנו רק את היסוד כפי ההכרח ליסד אומה, וכיון שנגמל הגזע הודחנו ממלוך, בגוים נתפזרנו, נזרענו במעמקי האדמה, עד אשר עת הזמיר הגיע וקול התור ישמע בארצנו.

The Rav writes that we cannot sit back and be passive. We have to do everything in our power to bring about a situation that would usher in that era of re-entry into world politics. It would not be a forced argument and baseless conjecture to say that declaring a State where one must get married and divorced according to halacha, where the food in the army is officially kosher, where the day of rest is Saturday, where the government gives a tremendous amount of money to Yeshivos etc. etc. is a step in the right direction. 

I am always struck by the sight of Netanyahu in his office when he gives his speeches for the world to hear. In the background there is a Shas and a set of Mishanyos. I don't know how much he learns them but putting them there for all to see is sending a message.
Image result for ‫תמונה נתניהו במשרד שלו‬‎
Thumbs Up Dude!!

Imagine a video of Obama [or Trump] speaking from the White House from his office and in the background was an Artscroll Siddur, Tanach, Shas and Mishnayos. That would make us all feel better - wouldn't it??

So to all the negative people out there - things are better than they have ever been. Yeshivos and girls schools are flourishing. Every night there are more and more religious weddings, more births, more sefarim, more shiurim etc. etc. etc.

We also have a ton of problems. They are getting worse and worse - kids going off the derech, marriages breaking up, internet related problems, poverty, millions of Jews who are not yet fully observant etc. etc. 

So in the meantime - we thank Hashem for EVERYTHING we have, thank our chayalim for risking their lives to protect us, thank our public servants for all they do, express gratitude that we have paved rodes, a bus system, trains, an economy that enables one to live in comfort, a country where you almost never see anybody who lives in the streets etc. etc. and serve Hashem bi-simcha.  

And never forget that we need Moshiach and that until he comes there will be no peace on earth.