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29 Kislev, 5773 (Dec. 13) Issue 7312

Help Moshe Feiglin establish authentic Jewish Leadership for Israel.
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Don't Take Miracles for Granted

Picture: The Temple Institute Gallery

"Why we do light Chanukah candles for eight days?" asks the Beit Yosef. "After all, the oil in the flask was enough for one day, so the miracle lasted for seven - and not eight - days. If so, what was the miracle on the first day of Chanukah?"

Manhigut Yehudit activist Meir Goldmintz offers his own solution. He says that the fact that after the Maccabees liberated the Temple Mount they went ahead and lit the Menorah in the Temple is a miracle - an internal, spiritual Jewish miracle.

We can appreciate this miracle in light of the situation in our era. After more than two thousand years, the Nation of Israel has once again returned to the Temple Mount. But today, Jews are not even allowed to move their lips in prayer at Judaism's holiest site in the world. The Maccabees on the other hand, made no excuses and feared no one. They fulfilled the commandment to light the menorah in the Temple and bequeathed the joyous holiday of Chanukah - the holiday of faith and hope - to the Jewish People.

Shabbat Shalom and Happy Chanukah,

Moshe Feiglin

     
The Feiglin Platform (Part 2) : By Moshe Feiglin
Israel's largest newspaper, Yediot Achronot, recently asked
Moshe Feiglin to write his manifesto for the State of Israel for the next
four years. Read Part I here .

 

Economy: Capitalism, Charity and Kindness
Everyone rightfully praises Communications Minister Moshe Kachlon for lowering the price of cell phones, calling him the "social minister." But the minister implemented his cell-phone revolution with free-market principles. Real capitalism – the kind that is truly equal opportunity – is a social tool that allows people to live in relative affluence and to enjoy the fruits of their labor without falling prey to institutionalized robbery.

Judaism sanctifies the connection between a person and his possessions. This is unparalleled in any other culture. However, Jewish economics is not exactly like the more familiar Western capitalism that exhausts itself and becomes a tool in the service of a thin slice of society. The motto of the rest of the world is: What is mine is mine and what is yours is yours. Jews recognize that everything comes from G-d and is simply deposited in our hands. This means that charity and kindness to others are not voluntary; they are our obligation toward He Who deposited the wealth in our hands.

Israel must privatize its assets to the public and not to control cores as per the model of Yaron Zelicha, who recommended privatizing Israel's Bank Leumi to the bank accounts of the public.

Religion and State: No Coercion
I oppose religious legislation and would be happy to see religious political parties disappear. The Creator does not need them. There is no law in Israel that requires parents to circumcise their sons. But the vast majority of Jews in Israel do so, nevertheless, because it is part of our culture. On the other hand, there is a law in Israel that prohibits the sale of chametz on Passover. But that law is openly violated because the Torah has not yet become an integral part of Israeli culture. Laws should express culture, not attempt to create it.

I am opposed to all types of coercion – both religious and secular. It is impossible to force a person to rest on Shabbat, or to force a soldier to listen to women singing (a totally ridiculous issue). I see discrimination against women as despicable. But it is unreasonable to force an ultra-Orthodox bus company to institute mixed seating on its buses against the wishes of its customers. It is unreasonable to prohibit homosexuals from parading in places where the majority of the public is not offended by their march. But it is also unreasonable to force a neighborhood in which the majority of residents will be offended by a homosexual parade to be on the route of such an event.

The idea of civil marriage is correct. Israel must allow the Ministry of Interior to issue marriage licenses to non-Jews, which will include all the privileges associated with a marriage license. However, we cannot force the halachic (Jewish law) authority to afford the status of Jew to those people who are not recognized as such by Jewish law.

The local community should decide what businesses should be opened on Shabbat.

Draft and Equality: A Volunteer Army
Israel's population in the sixties and seventies was half of what it is today. Organized armies sat on our borders, waiting for the command to destroy us. Nevertheless, army service was two and a half years and women did not serve in combat units. Today, the only regular army that is a threat to Israel is the Egyptian army (thanks to our peace treaty with Egypt) at the opposite end of the demilitarized Sinai. War has transformed into a high-tech, guerilla conflict. Nevertheless, soldiers are now drafted for three years, because the IDF is considered the "People's Army."

The IDF does not need all these new draftees and has admitted as much to a number of committees that it has established. Obligatory draft is fine for actual war. But it severely contradicts the principle of liberty. Israel should gradually transform the IDF into a professional volunteer army. It will be able to choose the best and brightest of the volunteers and to compensate them accordingly. These volunteers will receive the best professional and academic training. The rest of the draft age citizens – men and women – will be inducted, do a short basic training and will be immediately discharged. In an emergency, these people can be drafted for service on the home front or for further training. This will make the question of draft for sectors who are not interested in army service redundant.

Jerusalem: Full Sovereignty – Especially on the Temple Mount
The precondition for victory is belief in the justice of one's cause.
When Israel recognized the existence of a nation without a history and its right to its heartland in Oslo, we lost our most important weapon; belief in the justice of our cause. When the Hamas talks in the name of justice and Israel talks only in the name of pragmatism and the right to defend ourselves – the most state of the art weapons will not help. The side that does not believe that it is just cannot win. Victory has become a dirty word in the army lexicon.

We cannot convince the world that we believe that this is our Land if we do not restore our complete sovereignty over Jerusalem and the Temple Mount – the most holy site to Judaism that has been out of our control for years.

When we return to ourselves and to our justice, we will be able to triumph and defeat any enemy. (To be continued)
 

Comfort of the Sector or Challenge of the Likud?: By Moshe Feiglin
1 Tevet, 5773
Dec. 14, '12

Translated from the Makor Rishon newspaper

The struggle between the Likud and the Jewish Home party for Religious Zionist votes ignores the most basic fact of all. "You can't fool all the people all the time," they say in America. But in Israel, we say, "Old pushovers don't die, they are just replaced with new pushovers."

It is amazing to see how the same people can be deceived time and again. After all, the two new stars of the Jewish Home party, Naftali Bennet and Ayelet Shaked – both fine and worthy people – were preparing themselves to run for a place on the Likud Knesset list. This time, though, the competition for a realistic place on the list was very tight. It was clear that ministers and currently serving MKs would not be re-elected and that the chances to get on the national list were slim. And so the well-orchestrated political exit of Naftali and Ayelet – wrapped in Manhigut Yehudit terminology - was born. Their move, however, was the complete opposite of Manhigut Yehudit's ideology. It was a patently sectoral move.

The struggle for the votes of the Religious Zionists currently revolve around two parameters: Who will give more to the sector and who will better protect the Land of Israel. Both these parameters are an illusion. They divert the discussion to an irrelevant place and deflect attention from the main point of the debate. In both parameters, the advantage of a significant faith-based power base within the ruling party is clear and unequivocal. It has also proven itself well in the reality of the last four years. Real power cannot be acquired without the true integration that was expressed in the Likud primaries two weeks ago.

Why does the Education Minister send all Israeli students to the Cave of Machpelah in Hebron? Because of the members of the Jewish Home party? Why does Transportation Minister Katz pave every road he can in Judea and Samaria? Because of Jewish Home MK Uri Orbach?

The above discussion is really nothing more than a smoke screen. If someone thinks that he can get more for his sector with the services of a sectoral middleman instead of with a direct and binding connection with the relevant minister – so be it. Whoever thinks that he can better protect the Land of Israel from within a satellite party that is already committed to join a coalition with the ruling party – and that has no other option – can go right ahead. Whoever has forgotten where the Jewish Home's predecessor, the Mafdal, with its 12 mandates was during the destruction of Sinai; how Mafdal minister Orlev defused the political option for preventing the destruction of Gush Katif; how the Yesha Council – from where the current head of the Bayit Yehudi came- sidelined an effective struggle against the destruction; whoever has forgotten the entire sad history of sectoral politics - is invited to once again enjoy himself in the sectoral back yard.

The real discussion, however, revolves around a completely different point.

In a panel discussion in the Nechalim Yeshiva, Jewish Home MK Uri Orbach asked me who will ensure that the next Chief Rabbi will be a Zionist – the Likud or the Mafdal? This question perfectly illuminates the two paths open now before the Religious Zionist public. What is your dream? What is really important to you? A Chief Rabbi who sees eye to eye with you on the issues? Or a Prime Minister who believes in what you believe? All the other questions – like where you will get more funding – I think the answer is the Likud – are irrelevant.

Look yourself in the mirror and answer honestly. And then go to vote. But no putting your head in the sand; no buying the line that a new, improved Mafdal middleman with a secular fig leaf has suddenly morphed into the Likud and will lead the country. Tell yourselves the truth: What is your dream? Leadership of the country like you were supposed to have been taught over the years (even though the teachers really did not mean it)? Or the comfort and familiarity of your sector?

What do you prefer? The Chief Rabbi or the Prime Minister? Do you believe that you have something beside religion to offer Israeli society? What is the relevance of your Torah outside your closed communities? What do you communicate about yourselves and your beliefs when you flee the Israeli reality for the fenced-in sector? What message do you project when you are afraid to present Israeli society with a leadership alternative based on your beliefs?

12 years of intensive work have brought about a great change in the Likud. The national ruling party has opened its gates to the faith-based public as never before. The Likud Knesset list includes 7 settlers (!) and many Religious Zionists in realistic slots. The sectoral opposing wave threatens to wash away the advancement of faith-based energies to the fore of national leadership.

Ultimately, it is only deep-rooted leadership that can get us out of the vicious Oslo cycle and deal with our current challenges with a faith-based perspective. The question is if that is what you want.
 

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