Thursday, January 05, 2006

The Tragedy of It All!

It is truly a tragic situation when good, decent people are relieved when tragedy befalls another Jew. It is not that these normally decent good hearted people want Arik Sharon to suffer or even die. They just want him out-of-the-way! As a result of divine providence or if you'd prefer blind fate, it looks like they'll get what they want.

The real tragedy is that Arik Sharon is not the problem. He has become the symbol, or focal point of the problem, perhaps even the "agent", but not the problem itself.

If so, then what IS the problem?

In my humble opinion the problem stems from the basic dichotomy and duplicity implicit in the movement(s) that founded the state. On one hand they needed to be perceived both by the Jewish People and the International Community as the legitimate representatives of the Jewish People, empowered to realize the Jewish People's millennium old aspiration to return as a people to the Land of Israel. On the other, they were totally alienated from the life blood of the Jewish People, its Torah and tradition. To compensate the nascent Zionist movement borrowed the language and outward trappings of Judaism without accepting any of its inner essence. The result was the ability to win the adherence and cooperation of all but the most strictly observant Jews, exploiting their energies, capital and children, all the while growing more and more alienated from the raison d'etre of Jewish existence.

What we are witnessing in this last decade is the Left's conscious or unconscious decision to stop "playing the game". Perhaps it is the realization that demographically they have no future. Cautious estimates forecast that by 2020 the secular Jewish population will be less than 25% of the overall population. The Observant Religious Jews and non-Jewish vying for the remaining 75%. Perhaps it is simply the impatience of the newest generation so completely cut off from the Jewish roots of their grandparents, coupled with the quintessential Israeli chutzpah that knows no justification for compromise or respect for others. Whatever the reason, the Oslo initiatives, and especially the "Disengagement" policies have brought the State of Israel to a crossroads from which there is no turning back.

Either these "Israeli" forces, succeed in forcing their anti-Jewish agenda on the people, or the (I'd like to believe) majority of Jews who came here because they wanted to live as Jews in a Jewish state somehow find a way to work together and gradually bring the state back in the direction of Jewish values and the realization of the age old aspirations of the Jewish People. Let us hope we do manage to find a way to effect this resolution without bloodshed.