REPRINTS FROM THE JERUSALEM POST; BY GOL KALEV, january 28, 2021
The astonishing similarities between the Exodus from Egypt and the exodus from Europe gifts our generation with unprecedented tools to understand the Torah and various aspects of Jewish history.
The Holocaust give us tool to better understand the destruction of the Temple, and the growing nuanced movement of Israel-bashing gives us tools to better understand previous iteration of European opposition to Judaism, including 20th-century antisemitism.
For example, in early 2021, a new blood-libel has been spreading: “Israel vaccinates its people, and lets the Palestinians die of COVID.” Ironically, this comes from the same people who view the Palestinian Authority as a sovereign government and refer it as “the State of Palestine.” This split-screen propaganda sheds light on older versions: Jews rejoicing in Passover eating matzot, and dead Christian children by the rivers. Then and now, the two sides of the screen portrayed truths. The hate lied in the causality. The death of Christian children was not caused by Jews eating matzot prepared with their blood, and the high number of COVID cases among Palestinians was not caused by Israel vaccinating its citizens.
Our generation can also better understand the biblical movement to go back to Egypt. We can learn from contemporary movements in America and Israel to philosophically “go back to Europe.” The antisemitic ploy about Jews and COVID made it across the ocean into America’s holiest of holies as a well-respected senator made exactly this argument in Congress!
The senator, a good friend of Israel and of the Jews, adapting old European dogmas, gives us greater ability to understand the 10 spies, whose actions led to God’s sentencing the Israelites to 40 years in the desert. Those were highly respected leaders of the community – presidents of 10 tribes. There is no evidence that they meant harm to the Israelites – they were friends of Israel. They just failed to internalize the values of the Moses Revolution. In applying old Egyptian dogmatic thinking, they failed to recognize that Judaism has transformed.
Similarly, post-Zionism in our early days of Judaism 3.0 gives our generation unique insight to the logic of Datan, Aviram and other leaders of the post-Judaism movement in the early days of Judaism 1.0.
The writer is the author of the upcoming book Judaism 3.0. For details, go to Judaism-Zionism.com. For his geopolitical articles: EuropeAndJerusalem.com. For his commentaries on the weekly Torah portion: ParashaAndHerzl.com
See feeder article: The essence of the Exodus from Egypt and from Europe
This article first appeared in the january 29, 2021 Jerusalem Post magazine and January 29, 2021 Jerusalem Post International edition – CLICK FOR THE PDF OF GOL KALEV’S COLUMN ALONG WITH RABBI DAVID WOLPE’S AND RABBI SHMUEL RABINOWITZ’S:
More articles linking Torah & Zionism: Parasha & Herzl
More geopolitical articles: Europe & Jerusalem
Related Jerusalem Post articles by Gol Kalev:
From ‘Then Sang Moses’ to ‘Then Sang Herzl’ -Herzl’s view of the Exodus from Europe in comparison to the Exodus from Egypt
Passover as Jewish particularity – Herzl created a new anchor for Judaism, having concluded that the primary malaise of 2,000 years of exile was not the persecution, but rather the lack of unified Jewish political leadership
The decades that transformed Judaism – Judaism was shaped through three brief periods of radical changes: the Abrahamic revolution that shaped Judaism 1.0; the 1st century CE destruction of the Temple that shaped Judaism 2.0; and the 20th century Zionist revolution that seeded Judaism 3.0
To Egypt or to Israel? – Both Herzl and Joshua & Caleb understood what establishment Israelite leadership of their respective time did not – the exodus from Egypt/Europe is the return to Judaism even before it is the return to the land of the Jews.
The inauguration of Judaism 1.0 – The Temple was the point-of-orientation for Judaism When the Romans destroyed the Temple, they destroyed Judaism’s anchor. Yet, Judaism did not evaporate. Instead it transformed, adopting a new anchor – Rabbinical Judaism, centered around Halacha (Jewish Law), the canonization of the Oral Torah and the yearning to return.
Jewish transformation – Judaism 3.0 – For 2,000 years of exiles Judaism was bound by internal glue of religiosity and external one of insularity. With the radical decline in religious observance and elimination of outer walls, once again, Judaism has lost its anchor. But at the same time a new one emerged – Zionism, which is now turning into the organizing principle of Judaism.
more by Gol Kalev on EuropeandJerusalem.com, including:
WATCH GOL KALEV AND ALIZA LAVIE DISCUSS HERZL’S LEGACY. SPECIAL GREETINGS BY PRESIDENT REUVEN RIVLIN
Get updates on Gol Kalev's upcoming book: Judaism 3.0
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