Civilian and Soldier – Two Ways of Life in Conflict

  • In Israel and the Middle East is revealed the conflict between theocracy and democracy.
  • The ideal of peace is an end to the need to be a soldier at war but to be a soldier of peace.
  • Moses began the new beginning of the world with revealing Exodus - Freedom.

In a democracy there are civilians and soldiers.  In a theocracy every citizen is also a soldier of the nation.  A dictator will not allow the people of his nation to rest. They are always under his rule, the fear of their dictator is upon them. Freedom is a purpose in a democracy; in a dictatorship or theocracy the purpose of life is work.

A commander in the Army of Jihad.

A democracy gives a person the choice to be a soldier or a civilian. A true democracy will not draft its citizens to serve in the army only in an emergency. People who love their nation will enroll in the army of their own free will. Only in case of war does service in the army become an obligation. The nation needs an army for its own national security.  National security always precedes everything else. Draft may or may not be necessary.

There are nations in the world which are always at war. The nation of Israel today which is a democracy is always at war. The nation cannot rest and give people rest as long as its national security is at stake. Woman and children are exempt from military service but not civil service. Their principal service to their nation is in the home. There is no nation without a people. Service in the army in a democracy is not an obligation in times of peace. Peace is a goal and an end to war is a goal in a democracy. A theocracy is at war with other nations, there is rest on the Sabbath but only temporary. An eternal Sabbath is a messianic goal.

Many people prefer military service to civilian life. They enlist in the army for three years or even to serve in the army as their profession. After completing military service there is also reserve service where people return to civilian service until they are needed again in the army. Some people love to be a soldier; others prefer civilian life.

Gantz and Netanyahu in the middle of the conflict between soldier and civilian.

People living in democracy have the merit and choice to be civilians.  Very often they abuse their privilege. To be a civilian in the right way requires civilian service.  Civilian service is different from military service. There is work to be done for your nation as a civilian. A civilian is free from military service but not free from life and its obligations. The difference between civilian service and military service is the type of service to the nation. The nation and God will not allow people to be idle.  Everyone has a job in life and a schedule. Civilians have the work to prepare for their civilian service through education.  Democracy may give its people freedom; their freedom is the freedom to choose a profession, a service which can be religious or secular. It is not freedom to become an alcoholic or to sit on a roof and smoke Hashish like is done in Amsterdam, Kat Mandau, and Tangiers. The youth in a democracy sometimes become confused to imagine that they are exempt from service to their nation or to the world. The freedom of idleness is not freedom.

A soldier cannot imagine that he is free. Soldiers more than other people are obligated to listen to their commanders.  If they refuse, they are no longer soldiers and are sent for a prison sentence. Enlisting in the army is a safe way to avoid the mistake to believe that civilian life is free. Civilians can sometimes make this mistake but not soldiers. A theocracy does not let its children make this mistake. ISIS will not stop fighting. Zion will not stop fighting to return to its land. A Christian missionary will not rest until the whole world believe in Jesus.

Living in a theocracy, or under a dictator such as Stalin or Hitler does not give their people the chance to believe that they are free.  Lenin encouraged his people under communism, Learn and work. This was the culture of Communist Russia. Soldiers cannot make this mistake. In a theocracy or dictatorship all its civilians are soldiers. In a democracy where there is freedom there are civilians and soldiers. You have a choice of a religious or secular profession. A civilian is not a soldier. A civilian is another classification from the soldier but they are employed in service to their nation or to the world. Before becoming a clergyman is required to learn the Bible and discover the meaning of Exodus Spiritual freedom.

There are three classifications theocracy, democracy, and secular dictatorship like communism or fascism. In a secular dictatorship you are a soldier to your nation which has a secular national ideal like communism, fascism, etc.  In a theocracy you are soldiers to your nation and its ideals which is the religion of the nation. In a democracy, there is the choice to seek out spiritual freedom to be a clergyman as your civilian service, another profession or service or military service.  Democracy gives the choice to be a soldier, a civilian or clergyman. Being a civilian means serving your nation and the world in many different occupations including being a father or mother raising a family. Democracy gives the civilian a choice of occupations or even to enlist in the army. In a democracy there is freedom to choose how to serve your nation and the world. In a theocracy there is freedom to choose how to represent God and your nation within the laws and commandments of the religion of the nation but no secular service. A theocracy does not allow for its people to choose idleness. In a democracy people can make this mistake. They can be atheist or to believe in God.  They can be Orthodox, conservative, reformed or just secular. Democracy can be dangerous. People can choose to be criminals or the way of faithlessness; or the way of idleness.

A New Beginning of the World – Exodus.

When the Torah was given to the Jewish people, it was given with freedom. Exodus means freedom from slavery. It didn’t take long for the people under the leadership of Moses to abuse their permission to be civilians. They neglected freedom and built the Golden Calf. Moses broke the first tablets which gave the people freedom; and substituted them for a nation a theocracy under strict Jewish law where everyone were soldiers. The people accepted that they had sinned by worshipping the Golden Calf and accepted the Yoke of Heaven to be servants of God and their nation Israel. The Law of God forbids Jews to be idle. They were given the seventh day of the week for rest called the Sabbath. Even on the Sabbath there was no idleness. There are religious obligations on the Sabbath. The Jewish people were commanded to study the Torah day and night. Neglect of Torah study is a sin.

Jewish law begins with the Morning Prayer recited upon waking up “I thank God, the eternal king, that has returned my soul after sleep, great is your faithfulness.”  The Law does not allow a moment of idleness in Jewish life. When Jews and people have chosen the way of democracy, they are taking a chance to make a big mistake to believe that they a free from their obligation to God, their nation and the world. They may fall into the sin of idleness. Jews living in the diaspora have this conflict.

Theocracy took freedom out of life and substituted for freedom the commandments of God, freedom to be a servant of God. People were given a rigid schedule without any spare moments. In a democracy there is a time for rest each day after completing work, and maybe a day of rest or vacation. Most important the divine law removed the sin of idleness and gave each person a divine purpose to serve God, his nation, and the world. It also removed from life the ideal of spiritual freedom.

In a theocracy, there are religious and political leaders. The religious leaders are the most fervent worshippers and the most knowledgeable in the Law of the Nation. The Political leaders are also from the most devoted to the Law of the Nation but may not be as highly spiritual as their scribes and prophets. In a democracy religion and politics are separate.  Political leaders are chosen by the people. Each person has the choice of his place of worship; there is religious freedom. Israel is a democracy; America is a democracy.

Theocracy was once preferred over Democracy. The Biblical Nation of Israel was a theocracy. The Greeks and Romans instituted Democracy and they conquered the Nation of Israel. Later on Rome changed over to theocracy without freedom when they accepted Christianity. In the same way was built the Ottoman Empire by the followers of Mohammed. The Byzantine Empire based in Rome  and the Ottoman Empire based in Turkey battled over dominion throughout the world. They were two theocracies. Democracy was the remnants of Ancient Greece and Rome.  Slowly the world changed over from theocracy to Communism, Fascism and to Democracy.  Communism and Fascism are secular forms of theocracy based on secular doctrines. Communism and fascism did not allow freedom of religion. Religion which was in the law of theocracies now became in the background in Democracy. Theocracy was a one party government like Communism and Fascism.

In the times of the biblical nation of Israel, Judaism was the only religion of the nation of Israel. The law of the nation of Israel is the Law of Moses. It was a one party government.  The nation almost immediately broke off into two parts Judah and Samaria.  The Nation of Samaria called Israel was the beginning of reformed Judaism. Judah maintained strict Orthodox Jewish values.  When they were both conquered Judaism remained the religion of the Jewish people.  They had lost their land and the Jewish people were dispersed throughout Europe and Asia. Christianity and Islam are other forms of reformed Judaism based upon the Bible. The Christians accepted the Bible with the addition of the New Testament. Islam accepted the Bible but the Koran became the law of Mohammed called the last prophet.  Judaism, Christianity and Islam share World Faith. Once biblical Israel and Judaism was the only religion, the world has One Monotheistic faith. Today these three religions which share world faith.

Theocracy is a one party, one faith political doctrine. Democracy is not limited to one party and is a political system which can incorporate many ideals.  It allows also idleness and faithlessness. In Democracy, Torah which is called the Law of God becomes words of advice of God rather than commandments. Where there is freedom, there is no longer a commandment. Religion separates itself from Democracy. Religion restricts freedom, idleness and faithlessness. Democracy is an ideal, to offer freedom that the people will not choose idleness.  Theocracy was the most practical in its time.  In Democracy you can think that you are civilians without an obligation to God, your nation and the world.

The Tower of Babel: the first attempt by a dictator to conquer the world.

People were never happy with theocracy. Theocracy took out of life freedom which was given to Israel at Mount Sinai and the Exodus from Egypt. It was taken out because Democracy was abused when was built the Golden Calf. As long as Democracy respects and connects to religion it does not become like Ancient Greece and Rome again. Ancient Greece and Rome realized that they needed religion to give education and structure to their families. To Islam the children of Ishmael the son of Abraham Christianity gave too much freedom and they made a strict religion under Sharia. The desire for freedom was behind the civil war in the times when Israel was separated into two nations Judah and Samaria. It is still a problem today as the Jewish people have become divided into Strictly Orthodox, Modern Orthodox, Conservative, reformed and Secular Zionist. There will be again elections in Israel because of the conflict between theocracy and democracy, the new age and old age. In Israel there are two sides, secular with religious together and secular without religion.

There are two energies which conflict in the world and in life. Everyone wants freedom but freedom has in it dangers of idleness, faithlessness, hopelessness, and anarchy. At the same time even from the beginning the world could not be united into one faith or one dictatorship when God destroyed the Tower of Babel. Theocracy failed. Democracy is the hope of mankind. It is the greatest pleasure to be civilians which is only possible in a Democracy. Finding out the meaning of civilian is a life time work. It is easier to be a soldier where there is no free choice. A soldier is not allowed to be idle; a civilian can make this mistake.

When Democracy unites with religion which is the remnants of theocracy is created the unity of soldier and civilian. This unity is part of the prophecy of Moses.  The holiday of Succot follows the Jewish New Year and the Days of Atonement.  On the holiday of Succot Jews go out of their homes and dwell in temporary huts for one week. About this practice it says in the Torah, “All civilians citizens of Israel dwell in Succot huts.” There is a temporary time in life and purpose in life to find freedom and to enjoy civilian life. Most of life is devoted toward work. In work everyone are soldiers. Discovery of the meaning of civilian incorporating freedom in the life filled with toil comes through uniting Democracy with religion. In a Democracy you are allowed to feel like a civilian, but in truth we are all soldiers. Democracy became the way of the world when theocracy failed.  Theocracy did not completely fail but is left over from theocracy religion. This is the message of Baha’i faith and Progressive Jewish Spirituality to unite being soldier in life with the freedom of democracy, feeling the joy of the holiday of Succot the holiday where all people are also civilians for one week.

Trump defends the right of Israel to exist at the AOl Summit.

If you are only a soldier or only a civilian your life is empty and void.  The world in the beginning was empty and void, like it says in Genesis:2, And the earth was empty and void, darkness hovered over the face of the earth. God said, let there be light, and there was light.  These two lights are the light of freedom and the light of obligation, civilian and soldier revealed through the two Messiahs of heaven and earth. Religion only gives one part of the ideal of truth which is either obligation or freedom, a Messiah representing the law Mohammed or Moses and a Messiah of freedom. When are united Mohammed, Moses, and Jesus will be revealed the essence of life and creation revealed today.

The whole world is united with Israel. Israel is in the center of the World. President Trump recognizes its importance more than any other President in American history. The United Nations was established to unite all the nations of the world and prevent a third world war. Jerusalem is a central point of conflict between Israel and the world. The goal of peace can only be reached through democracy an end to war as prophesized by Issaih, “they shall beat their swords to ploughshares.”  There will no longer be a need to be a soldier.  Everyone will become civilians and rejoice in the Sabbath, the eternal day of joy and bliss. The reality of today is Israel and Jerusalem a city and nation in conflict.  It is a Jewish dilemma and a dilemma for the whole world.

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David Wexelman

Rabbi David Wexelman is the  author of five books on the topics of World Unity and Peace, and Progressive Jewish Spirituality. Rabbi Wexelman is a member of the American Friends of Maccabee, a charitable organization helping the poor in the United States and in Israel.  Donations are tax deductible in the USA.

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