Secular lessons from a 7-year-old religious folly

Minorities can’t stop any change the majority decides is worth setting aside its differences for.

August 6, 2012 12:43
Protest of the Gaza Disengagement.

Disengagement orange jewish star 370. (photo credit: Goran Tomasevic / Reuters)

To a certain segment of the Israeli public, the Tisha B’Av fast that fell last week will always recall the 2005 disengagement from Gaza, which began the following day according to the Jewish calendar. This year’s memorial events included publication of a collection of articles and responsa by the evicted settlers’ rabbis, which inter alia addresses the question of how God could have let it happen.

My own answer to that question is simple: It appears repeatedly in the Bible, most saliently in a section of Deuteronomy incorporated into the Shema prayer, which religious men recite twice daily. Because of these verses, I always found it incredible that leading rabbis assured their flocks the pullout wouldn’t happen. But one needn’t be a believing Jew for their message to resonate; it has been echoed frequently by some of the world’s greatest (non-Jewish) statesmen. And it’s a message Israelis urgently need to recall today.


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