On the Defamation of Israel


I have recently received an email from a reader who very wisely cautioned me against defamation of G-dís People Israel in the criticisms I post here. This warning is of course well taken, as defamation of the Jewish People is a great sin. But this raises the question: have I in my criticisms of current Torah leadership given comfort to the enemies of the Jewish people or confirmed any of the wicked notions of the anti-Semites? I sincerely hope not. But just in case there is any question on the matter, I wish to state my position here once and for all.

The Jewish Nation is G-d's Chosen Nation forever.  The Bechirah (election) will never pass to any other nation any more than the Holy Torah will ever be replaced by another religion (G-d forbid!).  Not only did G-d not make any "mistake" (as if such a thing were possible!) in His election of Israel, but the current state of Jewry is no surprise to Him.  G-d has foreknown all things from the beginning, and the entire world and all its history are somehow contained within the Torah.  If I may be permitted to quote a Southern Baptist preacher, "there is no panic in Heaven; only plans."  Though it most certainly does not appear so to mortal eyes, all things are somehow proceeding according to G-d's mysterious designs.  If Alan Dershowitz' place in the Holy Nation is an enigma to us it is not so to HaShem Yitbarakh Shemo, and never has been.

On a very deep and mystical level, the gap between Jew and non-Jew is eternal and unbridgeable because the Jewish soul is different than the non-Jewish soul, originating from a different place within the Heavenly Throne.  Only the Jewish soul, by keeping mitzvot, can actually channel G-dliness down into our world.  Once this is done non-Jewish souls can then spread this G-dliness throughout the world by keeping the Seven Commandments of the Sons of Noah.  However, all the non-Jewish souls in the world cannot channel G-dliness into the world.  This is the way G-d created the universe and the way He wills it to function, and anyone who rejects this rejects the Will of G-d.

Another factor which all of us must keep in mind at all times is that in every generation there are holy Tzaddiqim who bear the Shekhinah and keep the world going.  Likewise there is in each generation someone who qualifies as Mashiach should G-d judge the world ready for his kingdom.  If these holy souls do not identify themselves and do not shine before the whole world but choose rather to remain hidden then they must have good reasons for doing so.  Indeed, whatever it is they are doing in their concealment must have more worth in the eyes of HaShem than all the noisy "activists" in the world could ever muster.  I realize that in my zeal and frustration I have sometimes written as if I did not know this, and for this I ask forgiveness from G-d and from those I have offended.

While it may be said that my own criticisms of Jewish leadership are not too different from some within Jewry itself, I acknowledge that such criticism is Halakhically more problematic when coming from outside `Am Yisra'el.  Whether or not I have "crossed the line" is ultimately up to qualified poseqim to decide.  Until then I must take several things into consideration, such as that while Halakhah makes disrespect of the King of Israel a capital offense, G-d Himself invited 'Avraham, father of the Jewish People, to "argue with Him" (as it were).  But on a more mundane and practical level, have my criticisms given aid and comfort to the enemies of the Jewish People (G-d forbid!)?  And how do I justify my often angry-sounding words?

If anything I have ever written has ever given the slightest confirmation to the notions of the anti-Semites I most heartily regret it.  And I must warn such readers that they are in for a very unpleasant surprise.  If I am frustrated it is because I know who the Jewish People truly are, and when they act contrary to this they themselves give aid and comfort and confirmation to their enemies.  Knowing the true nature of the Jewish soul, I am frustrated when the light of Israel does not shine forth so brightly as to blind the eyes of the wicked.  But I know with absolute certitude that however long it takes this will happen.  The Name of Israel will be vindicated before all the evil nations who called them "decadent" and "subversive" and every other name in the book.  All Israel's enemies will confess "Moses is true and his Torah is true, and we are idolators."  If I feel a need for this to be done within my own lifetime, then I need to look deep within myself and see whom it is I truly wish to see vindicated.  Is it only myself?  If so, then G-d forgive me.

One final reason I have chosen to critique what I perceive to be failures in Torah leadership is precisely to show the non-Jewish reader that these failures (real or perceived) change nothing about the True Religion and the Election of Israel.  If I did not confront these failures then perhaps some readers might assume that the Noachide argument depends on a "picture perfect" Jewish nation.  I do not know why in our world today the Jewish heritage of G-dliness has come to be associated with the Nations of the World and opposition to G-dliness with Jewishness (though G-d knows the reasons for this).  But I wish to impress upon the non-Jewish reader that even in a world with this false dichotomy--indeed, even with the apparent silence towards it of the leaders of Torah Jewry--The Truth remains The Truth and nothing can alter it.  All the Dershowitz's and Abe Foxmans in the world cannot change G-d's Truth, and even if the Sages of our day do not act as publicly as we would like (for whatever reason), Israel remains for all time and eternity the chosen Priestly People of mankind.  I wish to make it clear to the non-Jewish reader that I am as aware as he of the bizarre spectacle of Israel and the Nations apparently having "switched places" (G-d forbid!), but that the illusions of the world cannot cancel out the Objective Truth of Torah.  Unfortunately, knowing this in part fuels my frustration.  I do not apologize for all my criticisms, as I honestly feel many are necessary.  I most sincerely apologize for anything I have written having crossed the line from that into defamation of G-d's People Israel.

May G-d help us all.