(photo credit: REUTERS)
I was sorry to see in “How to love your country when you hate its leader(s)” (Center Field, May 25) that Gil Troy believes Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “betrayed” defense minister Moshe (Bogie) Ya’alon by dismissing him.
I would say that Troy has it exactly backwards.
It was Ya’alon who betrayed both the prime minister and Israel in promoting what amounted to a military insurrection when he encouraged IDF officers to “continue speaking out” publicly in opposition to certain government policies. This encouragement was particularly disturbing, as Deputy Chief of Staff Maj.-Gen. Yair Golan, on Holocaust Remembrance Day, compared “certain trends” in Israel to pre-Nazi Germany.
Does Troy not know that in a democracy, the military takes its orders from the civilian government? Any disagreement the military has with that government must be voiced in appropriate private forums. In seeking to overturn this principle, Ya’alon undermined the stability of the state.
Ya’alon did us further disservice with reference to the young soldier who killed the terrorist who already had been neutralized in Hebron by saying, “This is not ISIS, you know.” This statement was a horrendous and wrong-headed comparison, with which he brought shame to Israel and himself.
Principled? I am so glad to see Ya’alon gone.
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Jerusalem Messianic Jews
The well argued letter from reader Terri Morey (“We’re still Jews!” May 25) shows that if one accepts the popular belief “that there are four streams of Judaism (Orthodox, Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist),” one is logically obliged to accept that “there are at least five, and... one of them is Messianic Judaism.”
From a false premise, one can prove that anything is true, which is precisely why Orthodoxy does not accept the Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist movements’ claims to represent valid interpretations of Judaism, since they deny some of the fundamental beliefs and reject some of the basic practices of Judaism as they are traditionally understood.
This is not to deny that their adherents, any more than the Messianists’, may be halachically Jewish – if they are the children of a Jewish mother – but this is irrelevant. Both the late Cardinal Lustiger and Bishop Montefiore were Jews in that sense, but nobody could claim that either one’s religious affiliation was to Judaism.
I have no objection to any of these movements setting themselves up as separate religions and being given state recognition as such, much as is the case with the many Christian denominations – so long as they are not treated as part of the religion recognized by the state as Judaism.MARTIN D. STERN
It is no secret that many Jews, including some genuinely great sages, have mistakenly believed someone to be the messiah.
Unlike today’s Christian Jews, however, they did not believe the messiah was God. That is heresy and that is where they leave Judaism.
This is not new. At the time when Emperor Constantine hijacked the Church, there were Jews, known as Ebionites, who learned Torah, kept the commandments and believed that Jesus was the messiah. Being Torah Jews, however, they refused to believe that he was God and rejected any notion of a trinity.
Constantine had them excommunicated and he turned Christianity into a travesty of Judaism that was convincing enough to hold Roman pagans who were converting in large numbers to Judaism, and sufficiently pagan to be unacceptable to the Jews.
It still is.YA’AKOV GOLBERT
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