Observing the political governmental scene in Israel today, this author’s memories harken back to the late-1980s in Philadelphia, in the years just prior to becoming Ba’al Teshuva.
The conservative synagogue attended for Rosh Hoshana and Yom Kippur had a practice of bringing in a young JTS (Jewish Theological Seminary) guest Rabbi to help and assist the synagogue’s long-time Rabbi who was getting on in years. This particular Yomim Tovim, they brought in a young fellow who proceeded to pitch the philosophies of Breira, one of the leftist-agendized predecessors of Shalom Achshav.
These were years before Shalom Achshav had succeeded in snowing and propagandizing hundreds of thousands of Israelis. And so this young conservative “traditional (sic)” Rabbi-to-be proceeded to turn the Torah’s account of the Miraglim on its ear. He portrayed the leftist Breira, Progressive, Shalom Achshav “ideology” of “land for peace (sic)” as a worthy sequel to Yehoshua and Caleiv, who took their lives in their hands to defend Hashem and who urged the people on into Eretz Yisrael. This wet-behind-the-ears so-called rabbi attempted gain new adherents to the “land-for-peace(sic)” cause by portraying himself and other Breira, Progressive, Shalom Achshav, Noam Chomsky-types as life-endangered, “poor, misunderstood” under-dogs when in fact they were the early version of what would become a full-blown, well-oiled, well-funded post-zionist machine which would steam-roll and endoctrinate the secular masses — the “golden youth” and their succeeding generations whose Jewishness and Torah rooting was anything but solid.
Through the systematic use of a growing left-wing print and electronic media and an ever-increasing leftist influence and control over Israel’s educational institutions, the left could impose it’s will and bring these secular masses to serve the avodah zoras of disdain for Torah, denial of the righteousness of the modern-day return of the Jew to his land, etc. This young conservative Rabbi-wannabe counted on the abject ignorance of American Jews to their history, to their heritage and even to events of contemporary modern days, such as the Entebbe rescue as a means of gaining gullible adherents by default. These were the predecessors of Oslo, of Road Maps, of Jew expelling Jew and of being “too tired to fight, too tired to win.”
But upon reflection, this leftist historical revisionism extends beyond Israel’s borders and even pre-dates our young conservative Rabbi-wannabe such that it may well date back to the hippie era in America. How many other Jews took a left turn with Abbie Hoffman or became associated with the Bill Ayers who plant bombs in US governmental facilities? How many of them teamed with a later “legitimized” Porfessor Ayers and helped make Barack Hussein Obama what he is today? And so, as with Communism and other fascist forms of governance which found adherents among “intellectual” Jews who sought liberalism and freedom of expression with no bounds, their descendents voted for Obama in droves, allowing themselves to be deceived when he played with their minds with the vagueries of the campaign such that many of his Jewish voters now decry his “new positions” on Israel.
Prior to the Miraglim setting out on their mission to Eretz Yisrael, Moshe Rabbeinu prayed for Hoshea, that he should gain the strength, conviction and principle to stand against the false testimony of the other spies and to eventually lead B’nei Yisrael. Moshe blessed him before the mission and changed his name to Yehoshua which conveys these attributes.
This prayer and blessing of Moshe Rabbeinu to Yehoshua begs the definition of the qualities which make a Real Jewish Leader.
The Sefer L’lmod Ul’lamed (Rabbi Mordechai Katz) on Parsha Shelach (page 138) gives an outline of the qualities which make such a leader.
He lists six major qualities expected of a Leader of Klal Yisrael:
1/ He must be a total believer in Hashem.
2/ He sets a personal example that others will respect and model themselves after.
3/ He has personal attributes of sincerity, affability and concern for others.
4/ He displays humility before Hashem and does not consider himself superior to his fellow man. He does not consider himself superior to the people he leads.
5/ He possesses firm and unwavering devotion to Hashem.
6/ If Hashem supremacy is challenged, he (the Leader) should react vigorously against challenging Hashem’s Laws.
The Sefer continues by quoting gemora Sanhedrin 7b which states;
“…a Jewish leader should be strong and dynamic rather than weak and vacillating. But, at all times, the Jewish leader should not let his position make him haughty. He should remember that he is but dust and ashes and that in the end his bones will rest in the same soil as do those of all other men.”
We learn that Moshe Rabbeinu was the epitome, the paradigm of these attributes and his tefillahs were answered when Yehoshua came to possess these attributes as well.
We live in contemporary times where the earliest vestiges of disunity and disdain for one’s fellow Jews and for our Eretz HaKiddusha manifested itself in propaganda displays, such as the convoluted logic of the JTS student noted above, and have evolved into engrained, morally corrupt historical revisionist institutions which have lost grasp of who they are and why they or we are here in the first place. But we, the masses don’t have to accept, support and rally around these contemporary false miraglim who defame OUR Divine legacy — Eretz Yisrael while endoctrinating and brain-washing successive generations.
We long for the attributes of a Moshe Rabbeinu, of a real Jewish leadership, which by its very nature, recognizes the necessity of national unity and the continued building and ingathering of the Jews to modern-day Israel. Such a leadership recognizes that success in Yishuv Eretz Yisrael, and in conflicts with enemies bent on our destruction are in the Hand of Hashem, but that the Yad Hashem depends on our unity and the labor, planning and efforts of our unity.
May we be zocha in this coming year that our brethren — the refugee families from Gush Katif be permanently settled and be made totally whole, that our dear brother Jonathan Pollard and kidnapped captive Gilad Shalit and the other MIAs be liberated and returned to us in ways befitting Al Kiddush Hashen and that we fulfill Hashem’s blueprint of B’nai Yisrael as a Unique people — an Am Segula, not to be reckoned with as with “the nations” and may we be zocha the Moshiach, the Ge’ula Shlaima, as Dov Shurin sings; “Yom Hashem V’Kol HaGoyim”, the Ultimate Redemption, bim hay v’yameinu — speedily, in our time”, — Achshav, Chik Chuk, Miyad, Etmol!!!
Moshe Burt, an Oleh, is a commentator on news and events in Israel and Founder and Director of The Sefer Torah Recycling Network. He lives in Ramat Beit Shemesh.