…voting for Kadima apparently applies.mordichieliyahu.jpg

National Religious Party’s spiritual leader Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu has declared it so. Voting for any party which supported disengagement is, as decided by him, a sin.

He explained “A party that supported the pullout, even if it is religious,
must not be voted for. It’s not considered religious if it agreed to transferring parts of the land of Israel to the nations of the world.”

Emphasis mine.

Because, you see, being religious has nothing to do with looking out for the orphan, the widow and the stranger, or being scrupulously fair in business dealings. It has nothing to do with guarding our lips from slanderous speech or seeking an honest relationship with God. Nope, it is clear that the definition of “religious” is one who did not support disengagement.

Hmm, maybe we’re thinking just a little myopically.

Nonetheless, it brought to mind a line from Yossi Klien Halevi’s interview on Blogs of Zion where he talks about Jewish radicals:

Jewish radicalism of left and right is an understandable response to the maddening complexity of our dilemmas. It is also a simplistic response. One can only be a radical of the left or the right by maintaining selective hearing. You can only hear those arguments that confirm your world view and you need to filter out those arguments that conflict with that view. Left and right have been doing that for forty years, since the 1967 Six Day War. If they’d listened to each others arguments we might not have embarked on indiscriminate settlement and we might not have brought in tens of thousands of PLO terrorists.

The only way to maintain certainty in the face of such complicated issues is through audio filtering. For that reason both left and right are semi-deaf. The left still doesn’t get what went wrong with Oslo and the right still doesn’t get why we pulled out of Gaza. To have productive discourse about the future of Israel and the Jewish people, we need audio faculty in “stereo,” with both left and right speakers working.

Anyway, here’s to rocking the Israeli vote on Tuesday. In strereo.

About the author

Laya Millman


  • Oy. I mean Rabbi Eliyahu is certainly entitled to his opinion. I remember a time when even Shas supported territorial compromise stating that pikuach nefesh (saving lives) was more important than keeping Jewish land in jewish hands. Of course they’ve since changed their minds, but the fact that they once held such a position is instructive. As for Yossi Klein Halevi’s position – hindsight is 20/20! He seems to be advocating a centrist position in a political context that is, in and of itself, pretty darn radical. Compare Israel today to what was here 100 years ago and try telling me how any party that supports the right of the state of Israel to exist isn’t radical. That whole Zionist dream thing is insane! That we were ever here is completely crazy; that we continue to stay and thrive and struggle is crazier still.

    I think it would have been more germaine to quote from the latest video by Tel Aviv rapper Subliminal and his crew TACT. The song is called Hoshet Lo Yad (and you can see it here) and the lyrics in question state:
    כי בסופו של דבר הרי כןלנו אנשים
    וכולם רוצים את אותם דברים בשמאל ובימין

    For those of you who are hebraically challenged:
    Because in the end, aren’t we all just people
    And everyone wants the same thing, on the right and on the left.

    Heh. Words of wisdom from Tel Aviv rap hooligans. In stereo for real!

  • While I love your quote of TACT, ck, I’m not sure I agree with your criticism of Yossi. Yes, he certainly is speaking in hindsight–I mean, his first book was “Memoirs of a Jewish Extremist,” so the man knows his radicalism. But I would argue that Zionism is just the type of stereophonic radicalism that is needed at the present. Yes the Labor Zionists believed in a workers’ state, but no, they did not believe in a binational state when push came to shove. Yes, Jabotinsky believed in a strong military for the Jews, but no, he did not believe in treating the Muslims or Christians in the land as subjects to be ruled. As such, they mixed the individually empowering ideology of the Left with the popularly empowering ideology of the Right–and thus the State of Israel was born, and thus it can be empowered to seal its borders today.

  • Well… the man knows his Meir Kahane back in the day. That WAS radical back then, especially with all the important Soviet Jewry work they did. I don’t find him particularly radical now though. And I must be totally missing your point. I wasn’t critiquing Halevi per se, merely stating the obvious. And who is this “they” that mixed ideologies? Forgive me but you are just a tad unclear.

  • Sorry about the lack of clarity–I meant to say that both the Labor Zionists and the Revisionists mixed the ideologies of the Western world with other, new Hebraic varieties to create the many colors of Zionism.

  • knee jerk defending of Rabbis? Well, this one I’ve met personally.

    Believe it or not, he actually sets aside time in his schedule to be godfather (hold the boy) at brisses of total ‘strangers’. My neighbour just called up his office (home) and luckily Rabbi Eliyahu had some time free on last Friday morning. So one of the most highly respected rabbis in Israel comes and simply does ‘favours’ for regular Jews, on ‘busy’ Friday before shabbat, and right before these ‘important’ elections too. It was quite incredible, like a rock star coming to your simcha.

    Laya, I’m sure you’d think he was the sweetest zeide. And trust me, this zeide does more for the orphan and the widow than you would ever know. Don’t try to be the jewlicious JohnBrown.

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