Wednesday, January 19

Deserving the Land

The most recent issue of the OU's Jewish Action just went on-line.
It contains a very good summary (by Myles Brody) of the debate which grabbed hold of the Israeli Dati Leumi community recently in the wake of an exchange between Yeshivat Har Etzion's R. Amnon Bazak and R. Yaakov Medan on the theological significance of withdrawal form Gaza. Get the PDF of the article here.

"Neither can be dismissed as a 'knee-jerk liberal' or a 'right-wing fundamentalist,' and their wisdom as well as their civility demand respect."

R. Bazak: "We may deduce..that there is no absolutevalue in advance into Eretz Yisrael--rather the absolute value lies in listening to the voice of God"--so the very possibilty of withdrawal seems to be punishment for our spiritual shortcomings. The religious establishment doesn't recognize this because of its "messianic illusions."

R. Medan: "If we lose the Land, God forbid, then we must indeed see it as a punishment for our sins. But until that time, we sinfully err in voluntarily surrendering any territory, especially to murderers that threaten all of Israel."

The full, Hebrew essay by R. Bazak is here. R. Medan's original Hebrew reply here. R. Bazak's counter-reply, here.

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