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Dec 29, 2011

The Jews Are The Source Of All the Problems In Israel

I just remembered a conversation I had this past week with someone. he had wanted me to post his comment as a post, while I kind of wrote his comment off - laughed at it and moved on. His thoughts were not acceptable, and I thought they were more designed to make trouble than to actually be thoughtful.

After a week of the news centering on Jew - Jew fighting, Bet Shemesh, haredim, violence, sexualization of women, etc. I decided to post it. Maybe he has a point. Maybe we need a new approach. At least I want to hear what people have to say about it.

This fellow said to me that the source of all our problems here in Israel, the Bet Shemesh issue just as much as any other issue that comes up (as there is always something we are fighting about in the Israeli public forum), is that Jews are in charge. Jews, he said, are not meant to be leaders.

[He also said this about blacks, specifically black people leading white people (black over black is ok according to him, but not black over white) and women as well, but let's not go there (and yes, he even said he knows he is a bigot, but he said he believes it to be true and practical).]

Jews are not meant to be leaders. Moshe Rabbeinu, Moses leading the Jews out of Egypt, he says, was the exception. Moses was divinely appointed to the job and that was the exception. Even when the Torah talks about appointing a king, it is only after it is demanded by the people, but is not considered the ideal situation. Jews in leadership positions, he says, do not command respect, and often create more divisiveness. This is why he says he would never vote for a Jewish candidate running for president of the USA.

To impose that thought over our situation, there is so much dissent in Israel over every issue that enters the public discussion because nobody respects the leaders. The Jewish leaders do not command the respect of the people. In the Diaspora, be it the United States of America or Great Britain or France or Australia or anywhere else, Jews don't act with such dissent the way we do in Israel. And it is because, this fellow claims, we are under Jewish leadership in Israel. Non-Jews can be leaders and command respect of the people. Jews cannot. It is just not part of our nature to be leaders in that sense.

We Jews can lead the way in academics, in innovation in many other things, but not as social leaders of movements and in politics.

Knowing this does not solve the problems we are having, unless we would be willing to stop Jewish leadership in Israel and only elect imported non-Jewish leaders (or local Christians and Muslims), but it at least identifies it.

What do you think?

10 comments:

  1. I think your initial inclination was correct. You should not have posted this.

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  2. Agree with Rav Spolter. You should have gone with your gut.

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  3. I think it is a cultural thing not a racial one. We are a fractured society pulling in all kinds of directions with an ethos for dissent and argument. We need to grow up.

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  4. I dont see any problem with the way Rafi wrote it. Not agreeing with what that guy said, but discussing it as an idea.
    The fact is that these crazies (for example) clearly act differently in Israel than elsewhere. If I remember correctly, the Brisker Rav once criticized them and called them Zionists. He explained that they would never dare to behave this way in Russia or Poland or anywhere else they descended from because they would be afraid the cops would kill them. Here in Israel they behave so because they trust the jewish police and army to not kill them and let them get away with it (to a certain extent). That faith in Zionists makes them zionists as well.
    I bring that to show that they only behave this way because thye know the jewish leaders will be hesitant to do anything serious to them. It is the same with many things. We treat the country as if it is very heimish. Rules are only suggestions. Sometimes it is for good, but sometimes it is for bad.

    we can say that the reasons for this attitude are different than what was suggested to Rafi, but it is something worth discussing.

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  5. Actually I think that b'davka the opposite, Jews are excellent leaders. The issue is that we are an Am K'shey Oref. The joke goes (I think attributed to Golda Meir) that while it is hard to be Prime Minister over 3M people, but that it's almost impossible to be a P.M. over 3M Prime Ministers. Just like every Rebbi in Yeshiva wants to be a Rosh Yeshiva, in Israel, everybody (thinks that they are and) wants to be Prime Minister. So it makes it very hard to tend the flock, when each sheep thinks that they're actually the shepherd...

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  6. Mordechai Y. ScherDecember 29, 2011 5:11 PM

    I think this sort of offensive absurdity isn't even worth posting or discussing. It is beneath contempt.

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  7. Disregarding whether or not this should have been posted, I think it's not that Jews can't be good leaders, but just that all of us have opinions which we believe to be correct, which we will argue for (possibly developed from millenia of learning Gemara), and number two, if there is non-Jewish leadership, we are petrified of them cuddle up to them (possibly developed from millenia of persecution).

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  8. We should ask the Romans to come in and help us govern the country ...

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  9. I think the only response to his comment is the following link.

    http://www.simpletoremember.com/articles/a/great-rabbis-and-jewish-leaders/

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  10. Actually, Moshe is a counterexample. That is why Yisro- a non-Jew- had to tell him how to run a bureaucratic system.

    ReplyDelete

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