In some more extreme quarters of the Zionist blogosphere, there are increasing calls for violent uprisings against our Arab enemies, the secular Jews and against the current governement of Israel. While I have absolutely no reservations against repaying our Arab 'friends' for their 'kindnesses' against the House of Israel, I am completely opposed to sort of hatred, civil war and fighting in between Jews.
Call me naive or an idealist but my Torah does not permit the murder of Jews or fratricidal hatred. The Rav Kook, the first chief rabbi of Mandatory Palestine, taught that "the truly righteous do not rail against evil, but rather increase goodness." Yes we are upset that the governement of Israel is not behaving Jewishly! Yes we are angry that many Israelis have abandoned the Torah! The solution, however, is not to hate them, not to curse them, not to fight them. If we want to get out brothers to keep shabbat, is throwing stones at passing cars the way to do it? Of couse not! Only by teaching secular Jews about the beauty of shabbat and Torah will they start to observe them- not by stone throwing or name calling. "Better by far to err by the love that cannot see, than the hatred that is blind", said the Rav Kook.
Why was the First Temple destroyed? Because that generation transgressed the three cardinal sins: idol worship, sexual immorality, and murder.
Why was the Second Temple destroyed? Because of unwarranted hatred.
This shows how great is the punishment for unwarranted hatred. Because the generation of the three cardinal sins was redeemed after 70 years, yet for the generation of unwarranted hatred, its redemption has yet to come.
Talmud, Yoma 9
See how evil hatred between Jews is in G-d's eyes! Unwarranted hatred is worse than idol worship (!), sexual immorality (!) and murder (!) combined. Nobody is blameless in this kulturkampf and neither the secular Jews or the religious have the moral high ground. In G-d's eyes, there are no secular or religious, Left or Right, only Jews, Jews who keep some mitzvot, commandments, and some who keep more. Every single Jews is an integral part of klal Yisrael, even those who are less than perfect in their observance of the Torah. In fact, one of the spices used in the incense at the Holy Temple was "galbanum," which has a foul aroma. From this, the Talmud (Kritot 6b) explains that even the worst sinners are a part of the People of Israel.
Before Tisha Be'Av, when the Romans besieged Jerusalem, instead of uniting against the common enemy, the Jews began to fight amongst themselves. They were squabbling as Jerusalem was being destroyed. Today, we continue to squabble as Jerusalem is burning. The barbarians are at the gates and are ready to massacre, G-d forbid, us all, observant and non-observant. On Palestinian TV, a Hamas imam proclaimed that Jews must be massacred for Allah and that 'Likud or Labour, Left or Right, Jews are Jews'. Our foes understand this; why can't we?
According to a survey from the prestigious Guttman Institute of Applied Social Research, published in 1993, more than half the Jews in Israel light Shabbat candles. Approximately 70% keep a kosher home. Almost 80% celebrate the Passover Seder. Over 80% of Jewish males have a Bar Mitzvah, 92% have a brit milah (circumcision) and 98% go to the trouble of putting up a mezuzah on their front doors. While only 20-30% of the population of Israel is religious (40% indentify themselves as 'traditional'), over half of the officers of the IDF are religious. The Hesder program, which combines army service and yeshiva study, is growing rapidly. Haredi women are having 3 children for every 1 that a secular Israeli has. At this rate, Israel's future will surely be a Jewish one. With the growth of the Torah-observant public, more and more secular Jews will be exposed to Torah. This is how we will reach them- with love and not hatred!
Rabbi Boruch Ber Leibowitz, one of the great rabbis of pre-war Europe, was quoted as saying: "When I will stand before the heavenly court, and they will ask me, 'What merit have you brought with you?' What shall I answer? Torah? Is my Torah knowledge worth enough to be mentioned? Fear of Heaven? Are my deeds worthy of that description? There is only one thing I could possibly claim -- that I loved every Jew with all my heart. Whenever I walk in the street and I see a Jew, one thought comes to me: A blessing on his head!'" (from Aish HaTorah)
Next time you curse the secular Jews, remember that you personally are holding up the Redemption. Because you are caught up in sectarian squabbling instead of seeing your fellow Jew as a bother son of Avraham Avinu, the Moshiach has not yet come. Unless we put aside our pointless fighting, we will not be able to face the problems confronting our survival- namely the high intermarriage rate, assimilation (the 'Silent Holocaust') and the murderous sonei Yisrael who are waiting for a breach in the dam to, G-d forbid, apply the 'Final solution' to the 'Jewish question'. The Moshiach is coming, just remember to keep the mitzvah of Ahavat Yisrael, love of Israel.
"And you shall love your fellow Jew like yourself"
Vayikra (Leviticus) 19:18