Avigdor Lieberman Torn by Two Sides: Secular and Religious Zionism

  • Israel is faced with a conflict between secular and religious Zionism.
  • Religious Zionism is a theocracy which is not recognized in modern times.
  • When the Biblical State of Israel fell, it broke into pieces of a puzzle which is impossible to put together.

Already Israel has reached a standoff in elections and in the formation of a government. In Israel there are two sides which are led by two of the major parties which is Blue-White and Likud. Both of these parties have received the same number or close to the same number of mandates but still have not been able to make a majority coalition government. Each of these parties need to reach 61 mandates which include mandates from other parties in the coalition.

Avigdor Lieberman again has in his hand to make the government but refuses.

In the first elections Likud (led by Benjamin Netanyahu) was almost able to form a coalition if Avigdor Lieberman representing the Jewish House party (supported mostly by Russian Jewry) agreed to join the government with Netanyahu. He refused to join Likud on the basis that the government of Likud would be controlled by the Orthodox religious parties. He speaks out publicly against Messianic Jewish religion. He himself is married to a woman who is a modern orthodox Jew and his children are also modern Orthodox. He lives in a mostly religious settlement in Judah one of the captured territories.  He is himself devoted to Zionism but against Messianic religious Zionism.

There is a difference between secular Zionism and Messianic religious Zionism. Secular Zionism connects with Democracy while Messianic religious Zionism connects to Theocracy. Theocracy of Judaism considers sacred their religion which includes the Land of Israel. Messianic theocratic Judaism preaches to fight for the land for religious reasons. Secular Zionism connects to the land but the attachment to the land is not sacred but today necessary for survival of Jewry and the lives of six million Jews.  Messianic theocratic Judaism cannot separate the land, the nation and the religion. It is all one with the goal of becoming in the future an exclusively Jewish State without freedom of religion.  Avigdor Lieberman believes in Judaism as a tradition but not as sacred. He believes that Judaism is a man-made religion which can be sometimes reformed.

The attachment of the Jewish people to the land of Israel is no question. The Jewish people have returned to their land. The connection of the Jewish people which were once a nation in Biblical times has been preserved for two thousand years after the nation was conquered finally by the Romans. Judaism and the Torah has been held sacred by Jews which has preserved the Jewish connection to their land in their hearts living in the diaspora. There is no nation on earth which has no homeland. The Kurds today are fighting in Syria because they identify with their homeland in Syria. Israel as the nation of the Jewish people identify with the land of Israel as their homeland. In Judaism was placed a Messianic desire to be able one day to return to their homeland and to reestablish their theocracy in the land.

Gantz and Netanyahu the two sides which Lieberman wants to put together.

The Ultra-Orthodox religious parties cannot accept The State of Israel as a democracy as being the will of God. The State of Israel was founded by secular Jews. They chose to make a democratic state for many reasons. One of the reasons is that the world would not allow Jews to make a theocracy.  Another reason is that the majority of Jews are not Orthodox religious. Messianic Jewry is as dangerous to the world as Islam extremism. Messianic Jewry is against freedom. Islam extremism is against freedom.  Both Islam and Orthodox Judaism do not accept a Universal God. Each one claims that their national God is supreme.  This is the source of the conflict between Arab Palestinians and Israeli nationals.  Both Islam and Judaism claim to be free of idolatry since they do not allow any graven images in their temples. They will not recognize that there is idolatry hidden in their hearts which is greed.  Christianity came into the world to oppose the idolatry hidden in the hearts of man. They made an idolatry visible to eyes of man statues of Jesus to confront the Jewish belief that they are a nation free of idolatry. There is idolatry on both sides Judaism and Christianity. There is an ideal of a Universal God who is one without sin but in this world it is not practical. Man is not perfect; only God is perfect.

The deepest secret of the Torah is the secret that man has been born in sin. The Torah called the Old Testament by Christians clearly describes what is called the initial sin of Adam and Eve that they ate from the forbidden tree called the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil through which was born two children Kain and Abel the beginning of mankind. Kain killed Abel out of jealousy. Neither Kain nor Abel were as perfect as their parents.  Even Adam and Eve were not perfect.  If they were perfect they could not be tricked by the snake to eat from the tree.

Avigdor Lieberman denies that the Torah the Law of Moses is God made but God inspired. Therefore he is interested in allowing busing on the Sabbath, leniencies in conversion laws and marriage, allowing stores to be open on the Sabbath etc.  Lieberman is for Israel National Security so he cannot be able to trust Arab Israelis on matters of security so he has difficulty joining a narrow government with Blue-White including the Arabs. On the other hand, the Likud government is stronger in National Security because they recognize more the sacredness of the land.

The Ultra-Orthodox have maintained for two thousand years their belief in the sacredness of the Law of Moses.  The Law of Moses made the Jewish people a nation. The Jewish nation survives because they have carried with them the Torah in every place in the world where they were exiled. Many Orthodox scholars have accepted the Christian rebuke that Judaism is not free of idolatry but they for sure will not accept Christianity which displays idolatry publically. Lieberman has a Russian practical mind like Putin. Putin cares about Russia and his people. He recognizes the need for World Unity and Peace. He doesn’t want another World War which would be disastrous.  Russia has become democratic and will not return to Communism. Israel has been reborn as a democratic nation and will not return to be a theocracy. The theocracy of Judaism is no better than the democracy of the State of Israel today. There is no perfect way but when theocracy breaks up into pieces like it did in the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem and the dispersion of the Jewish nation, the pieces can never be put together again. Like Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall, Humpty Dumpty had a big fall, all the kings men and all the kings woman couldn’t put him together again.

Tower of Babel an attempt of a dictator to rule the world who failed.

Theocracy and religion were the beginning of civilization. They have broken into pieces. Christianity into Protestant. Islam into Baha”i, Judaism into Progressive Jewish Spirituality. Communist Russia has become a democracy, the Soviet Union has broken up into pieces. It will not return to communism.

Nimrod a mighty warrior in the Biblical story of the Tower of Babel attempted to conquer the world and make the world into one nation, one religion, and one language under his rule and failed. His people were dispersed throughout the world. Hitler the fascist and Stalin the communist were the last attempt of dictators to rule the world. The nation of Zion of biblical times ruled over the Middle East. King Solomon built the holy temple. He married thousands of woman from empires throughout the world to unite them with Zion. His own people rebelled against his nation. Slowly the nation of Zion fell into pieces until the destruction of the first and second temple. The State of Israel today is the remainder of the Nation of Israel. There is more than one party Likud, Blue-White, House of Israel, Aguda, etc many pieces which are difficult to put together to fit into the rest of the world which is not Jewish.

Messianic Judaism which Avigdor Lieberman opposes will not give up trying to put the fallen pieces of the Biblical Nation of Israel together. Judaism was never a perfect system anyway. Democracy is also not perfect but there is no other choice.  The Vatican is the remains of the Byzantine Empire. Turkey is the remains of the Ottoman Empire. Israel is the remains of the Biblical Nation of Zion. Religion has retired to live in the home for the purpose of education of children not to rule the world again.

Lieberman who cares more for National Security than preserving religious values insists on forming a Unity Government.  Shaked and Bennet who are leaders of the right modern religious Zionist party are beginning to favor joining Blue-White which means breaking away from Likud. Likud may have to give in and also to join Blue-White. The ultra-orthodox will suffer and lose their control over Israel politics. The major authority on Jewish law Maimonides was of the opinion that even though the land of Israel is sacred living in the land of Israel is not an obligation. No one is forced to live in Israel if they have another passport. The Sephardic Jews living in Israel who came from Arab nations have no other passport but Israel Passport. The survival of the Sephardic Jewish nation more than the Ashkenazi European depends on the survival of Israel. Shas the Sephardic religious party may also have to join Blue-White and accept Benny Gantz as the new Prime Minister. Israel needs the world; the world needs Israel. Islam and Judaism extreme messianic philosophies may have to surrender to Baha’i faith and Progressive Jewish Spirituality and accept Christianity. Nationalism is important but there is also universal faith.

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David Wexelman

Author of 5 books on the internet on topics of Jewish mysticism, managing two websites. www.progressivejewishspirituality.net

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