The Zionist Conspiracy
Monday, November 28, 2005
G-d and Israel
Originally posted on May 12, 2003, before anyone read this blog.
This past shabbos, I was arguing about Israel with someone outside of a shul in the Upper West Side. I became a relative left-winger, because I argued that Israel must be open to territorial compromise for real peace, and cannot ignore the diplomatic and demographic realities it faces.
When I mentioned these realities, the other fellow asked me whether "God has anything to do with" the choices Israel should make. I replied that He does not.
I explained that all of us must make what we believe to be the correct choices. While faith in God is important, we cannot rely on God to avoid making rational, difficult decisions. A person who is ill must not rely on God to cure him, though of course prayer is appropriate and important. Similarly, 1900 years ago, it was a mistake to rely on God to defeat the Roman Empire and end the brutal Roman occupation of Israel. Today, divisiveness among Jews is not all that different from those times, and it would be a mistake to rely on God to save Israel from its challenges.
That does not mean we should not thank God for the miracle of the State of Israel, and pray that Israel and its people are secure. But it does mean that political and military decisions must be made based upon rational considerations, not on an assumption (as distinguished from the hope) of divine intervention.