Theocratic Judaism and "Palaeozionism"

One of the most bizarre phenomena in psychology is the denial of what lies directly before one's eyes for the simple reason that one's mind cannot accept it.  Yet most of American and Western culture suffers from a collective case of this denial.  There is an obvious fact that the Western mind, for various reasons, simply cannot seem to admit:  that Judaism is a Theocratic religion.

According to conventional wisdom, Judaism is above all a rejection of convention, of authority, of tradition.  Jews have suffered at the hands of simple-minded religious fanatics because they have always been "the turd in the punchbowl," the witness in fundamentalist religious societies that not everyone agrees on the truth and that therefore no orthodoxy should be enforced.  Judaism can only flourish, indeed, can only exist, in an atmosphere of absolute freedom and absence of religious authority.  Only then can Jews be free to assert their identity by celebrating their unique heritage.  It is the ultimate assertion of individual autonomy.


Now the evidence before everyone's eyes (which never seems to make it to the brain) is the world's most famous book:  the Bible.  For while everyone, in the spirit of pluralism, will admit that the Bible is the Jewish people's gift to the world, for some reason this thought blocks out just what that gift contains.  And when the contents are discussed--usually to be condemned and ridiculed--suddenly the knowledge of its origin seems to disappear.

All Right-Thinking People admire the Jews (after all, their sufferings taught the world that an objective religious truth is dangerous and fanatical).  All Right Thinking People credit the Jews with giving the Bible to the world.  But all Right-Thinking People hate the Bible as an evil, reactionary, racist, sexist, "anti-gay," speciesist, out-of-date, primitive mythology whose sole purpose is to provide an excuse to "exploit" or "oppress" out-groups.  And in between the first two strains of thought and the third, the brains of All Right-Thinking People seem to break down completely.  Jewish people, good.  Jewish people, heroic.  Jewish people, source of the Western world's great spiritual heritage.  The Bible--fascist garbage.

All Right-Thinking People are quite obviously psychotic.

The entire subject of the Bible is the Jewish People.  From beginning to end, G-d and the Jewish People are the two constants.  Yet somehow modern American and other Western minds can see only a people who have never waged a holy war or had a Theocratic polity, a people who can only breathe in an atmosphere that never even existed until the 17th and 18th Century "enlightenment."  They see an international religious denomination with a congregational polity whose membership is singularly appreciative of the supreme importance of religious subjectivism and secularism and the basis of a society.  But whatever became of those people in the book?

Those people are still here.  But they are practically unrecognizable because of their current polity--a polity developed only very late in their history.  And the loss of their original polity and worldview is what has led to the current crisis in Jewish identity and continuity.

This site advocates the restoration of "Theocratic Judaism."  This does not refer to some sectarian "restorationist" heresy in which a "long lost truth" is unearthed (a la Qara'ism and Protestantism) from under centuries of "false traditions of men."  No, the writer acknowledges authentic Torah Judaism as it has always existed, with its Oral Torah and its authoritative Sages, as the Supreme Truth.  And this Truth, though badly battered by the winds of history, still exists in its purity.  What no longer exists--and what needs to be restored--is the original Theocratic polity and worldview which every Torah Jew subscribes to in theory but which seems sadly absent in practice.

Until "emancipation" in the late 18th Century, the Jewish People were not merely citizens of their respective countries with a different religious belief.  Despite all the atrocities and outrages committed against them, they were an autonomous self-governing nation.  The Rabbis were not mere "clergymen" in the contemporary sense of that word, but judges and rulers of `Am Yisra'el who, when allowed to do so, exercised actual civil power over the Jewish People.  Because Judaism was not a "religious opinion" there were no denominations.  There was One Nation governed by One Torah.  And in theory, that is what the Jewish People is now.  But to the senses the situation seems very different.

It is indeed a sorry spectacle to witness the authentic Sages and rulers of `Am Yisra'el begging to be heard amongst the "clergy" of the other Jewish "denominations."  If the modern West has indeed learned the lesson of its sorry anti-Semitic history, let it prove it now by recognizing the sovereignty of the Jewish Nation and its unity under its authentic leaders, the successors of Moses.  And if the West hasn't learned its lesson--the necessity for this restored polity is all the more pressing.  The rulers are there.  The Battei-Din, the authentic Torah legal system, is there.  All that remains is for this ancient polity, the one ordained by G-d, to assert its authority.  Naturally, this will offend the secularist sensibilities of the "enlightened" mind of "modern man" (not to mention the image of the Jewish People in that mind), but the same "enlightened" minds think that the sovereignty of the Indian nations is a simple matter of "social justice."

Thus the restoration of Theocratic Judaism does not require the actual "restoration" of anything that has been lost; it is all still there.  All that is needed is the reappropriation of the ancient and authentic worldview so that these already existing instrumentalities may function as they were intended by G-d rather than as the archaic voluntary associations of one "denomination" of "the Jewish religion."

So what is "Palaeozionism?"

This admittedly clumsy term is my own invention and denotes the most difficult factor in restoring the ancient Theocratic Torah worldview.  Once again, Western minds are accustomed to thinking of Zionism as a modern, enlightenment, secular nationalism that arose in the 19th Century along with all the other nationalisms of the period.  It is true, as Zionists point out, that Jewish nationalism is much more ancient than all the others, but they usually procede to cut the ground out from other their position by advocating the translation of this ancient nationalism into modern, democratic, Western, and--ultimately--Hellenistic terms.  If the Torah is indeed the Jewish People's title deed to 'Eretz Yisra'el, then obviously any other than a fully Torah government is ultimately illegitimate.

In his book Israel:  Revolution or Referendum? (Barricade Books: Secaucus, NJ, 1990) the late Rabbi Me'ir Kahana' (zt"l, Hy"d) wrote of a Zionism very different from the secular European nationalism with which most people are familiar.  On page 128 he pointed out that the Oriental Jews, the Jews who lived in Arab countries, had maintained the original Zionism which dated back to Abraham--a Zionism unpolluted by Western philosophies and inspired by the Torah rather than by a mere desire to flee persecution.  This original Zionism, maintained in organic continuity with the past by Oriental Jews and in need of restoration among those of the West, is what the writer means by the term "Palaeozionism."

Unfortunately, the restoration of a purely Torah Zionism in Israel is probably even less likely than the restoration of Jewish autonomy in Exile.  The State of Israel as it exists today is almost wholly a product of non-Jewish strains of thought.  Thus the state is a parliamentary democracy with secular leaders (a president and prime minister), secular legislators, and secular judges, and maintains a secular form of citizenship which includes both Jews and Arabs (indeed, one now hears "the Jewish vote" mentioned in reports on Israeli elections!).  While the Halakhic debate of whether or not a sovereign Jewish State, even a Torah one, is permitted prior to the Final Redemption is beyond the scope of this article (aside from the writer being wholly unqualified to pontificate on the matter!) the fact remains that all Torah authorities agree that when the Halakhic state is legitimately restored it will be under the government authorized in the Torah--judges, Battei Din, and the Sanhedrion, ultimately under the restored Davidic King.  Those Torah Authorities who maintain that the Jewish People has a duty to begin the process even now should begin a movement in that direction.

Ironically, despite the "extremism" of the positions advocated by this article, they are ultimately held by all Torah Jews and Noachides.  There seems little need to bury them under the current secular mentality, which only makes them seem even more extreme and harder to realize.  And with so many Jewish leaders speaking of the "unity" of the Jewish People, it must be remembered that this unity is that of the Torah and is realized through the Halakhic Theocratic government of `Am Yisra'el.  Any other foundation for this unity--such as mere ethnic ties with 'apikorsim and heretics--will only muddle the witness and message of Israel to the world and give aid to the lies of `Amaleq (y'sh"v!).

All the false religions of the nations of the world stress their objective truth and their authority to act on this truth.  How strange that the one religion that is true--and that is almost universally acknowledged even by its enemies as having been true at one time--is so silent on these matters.