A Disengagement from the Rational
I wonder what great Power can create a mind fitted to the complex analysis and intellectual skepticism of Iyun learning, yet equally as capable of rejecting this mode of thought when it comes to Israeli politics. . . like a fashionable trend, the righteous indignation spread throughout the Yeshiva, compelling the socially aware to declare their disgust at Israel's soldiers and spout the propraganda already spinning around, and I quote, "the massacre."
An important clarification: I'm comfortable blaming the IDF for the Jew-on-Jew violence. I think ultimately the violence was their decision. The pictures and the blood send a frightening tingle up my spine- one that I worry will soon return.
What surprised me was the rationale, or more accurately, stupidity, behind the epidemic of opinion. Where came the irrevocable fact that "they were hitting us out of rage and hatred for Jewish settlers?" How can so many intelligent kids compare one day of 200 injuries to six years and six million? How can we equate a government seeking peace for Zion with a nation seeking our permanent destruction?
And how can we get away with it? Thank G-d, R' Elon yelled at the yeshiva for three hours- but despite his efforts, I don't feel comfortable speaking out in HaKotel. Judaism, as practiced today, has a dirty habit of infecting its social, political, and cultural mores with the religious significance that should be reserved for Halakha. R' Elon is special for many reasons, and the heat he takes for distancing himself from the Mercaz HaRav world on this issue only highlights the sad political-theological situation on the other side: where is the multi-faceted perspective, social conscience, and love affair with the Jewish people that Rav Kook represented? Along with G-d and Judaism as a whole, R' Kook's name is being hijacked to justify the current political minhag hamakom.
Sunday's rally at Kikar Zion was civil- but it missed the point. A protest against unnecessary police brutality is a noble show of universal values; woe that it became a color war between Israel's right wing and religious parties: who can pollute the most fliers, raise the largest banner, or boo every mention of Ehud Olmert with the most Haman-style intensity. Clearthinking Jews should not take their cues from 1984's hate hour; we ought to be above the propraganda and comfort in blind numbers that typifies . . . our Arab brethren across the checkpoint. If only it had been a rally against the violence, and not against left-wing politics, if only the demands for a formal police investigation weren't overshadowed by the anti-Kadima rhetoric, if only this had been the unifying, bridge-building, left-right-center dati-chiloni event it so rightly deserved to be . . . we could have witnessed an event not only unique, but effective. Something that would make the Israeli public take notice of our message, instead of see through our immaturity.
True, I feel for the injured bodies carried out of Amona- but I fear for the diseased minds. One can only hope that this great Power fashioned us so, as with the broken arms and bloody gashes, the coming weeks will see these intellectual wounds as they slowly fade away.