WE'VE MOVED! IsraPundit has relocated to Click here to go there now.
News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

April 15, 2003

The breathtaking paradoxes of Israel's existence

Ready for shutting out for a moment the bruhaaha of everyday life and plunge into a meditation on the existential paradoxalities of the story of the modern Israel? Shalom Freedman will guide you into one in a way that will surely add a dimension to your grasp of the entire 'balagan':
..."It is as if everything has become mixed-up and confused, and reality corresponds and does not correspond at once to the prophetic divine promise of return to the Land in blessedness. Morever, our long history has made us special in ways that the Biblical, or even Oral Torah, tradition does not anticipate. The Jews are one of the great peoples of mankind in terms of their creative and constructive endeavors, in their intellectual and spiritual life. Jews as individuals have made remarkable contributions to the worlds of learning, science and technology. Jewish specialness has developed in unanticipated ways.

This applies also to the state of Israel, whose achievements in areas such as agriculture, or most surprisingly, in military matters, are far from what might be expected from a society previously devoted wholly to Torah learning. The disproportionate military power that small Israel has been compelled to develop seems incongruous in a way for a nation meant to be a nation of priests, a holy nation, one whose most famous founding king was not allowed to build the Holy Sanctuary because he was a man of war and bloodshed."

It must be read in its entirety.