Thursday, August 27, 2009

Parshat Softim: You should elect judges.

The Parsha of Shofetim and the portion of electing a king I find very interesting.

The question is: Is it required or is it something that we can request but is not required which of course leads to the question in the future will we need a king. I try to search for truth and I was reading some of the commentary and if anyone has something to add here I would love to hear from you.

Anyway in Deuteronomy (17:14) it says after you possess the land "I will set a king over me as do all the nations," you shall be free to set a king over yourself one chosen by G-d. Artscroll commends on Sanhedrin 20 that says one of the three things required when you land in Israel is to appoint a king and it quotes Exodus 17:16 that says the war against Amalek will be fought by the throne of G-d. It really doesn't seem like it is suggesting a human king but the G-d of Israel being the king. As it says in hebrew the throne of G-d.

Then you go to Shmuel and this request is repeated that we should have a king like other nations to fight wars and G-d criticizes them for needing a human king and not having G-d as their king but nevertheless gives in to this request even though seemingly it isn't the ideal because otherwise why was G-d critical of this. The wording is exactly as in Deutoronomy of having a king over us so it seems Moses was partially prophesying here and saying that we would want a king like other nations and G-d would allow us to have one even though in this case we were doing it to be like other nations.

If you read Shmuel (See Shmuel or Samuel Chapter 8) you see that G-d was not happy with the request but gave in and even warned the Jewish people that having a king may lead to AN ABUSE OF POWER and taking your sons and daughters for certain tasks "he will take your sons and place them in his chariots and cavalry and take your daughters to be perfumers, cooks, and bakers" (Shmuel 8:12-13). He will take a tenth of your grain (8:15) and you would cry out to G-d but G-d will not answer you on this day (8:18) son once you want a King and you then later on cry out on the harsh activities of the king G-d will need head your crying out. So this does not seem like some ideal. And after this warning they do agree and Shmuel picks a king for them.

But it does bear the question which I admit in the future where there is peace would we need a king since in the first place this was never an ideal as this all shows. So as someone who is searching for truth what is the answer to this as I do think most believe we will have a king in the future. I know the prophets view this ideal of each person (each family) under a fig tree and each having their own land. I don't know the passages for this. It certainly doesn't seem like it was a requirement but that the Israelites requested it and G-d gave in even though it wasn't an ideal. If it was why warn the Jewish people of abuses of power and taking your children and your property and letting them know that once you elect a king and then have second thoughts G-d will not hear you at that time because you were warned in the first place.

So I would love to here some other perspectives and idea's on this as I find it an interesting topic as I find it interesting that this whole idea of abuse of power by having a king and giving him much power is nothing new.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Jews in Gush Katif are still suffering?

This is a letter I received from a site that I have written to as it is run by a religious Jewish women to get support from Christian American's for area's in Biblical Israel, and I receive their monthly letters which are very good and informative and each month introduce you to another community. Anyway.

This is the first paragraph.

"Four years have passed since close to 9000 people were forcibly removed from their homes in Gush Katif. Four years have passed and so little has changed for these people. Only a handful are living in permanent homes. The teomporary housing sites in Nitzan, Ein Zurim and so many other places are still filled with families waiting for their homes to be built. And there is still a 20% unemployment rate, far higher then the normal rate, even during these difficult times.

I can't help very much sadly but what groups are giving
aid to those who were expelled from Gush Katif.

It goes on to say why we can't give up more land which is pretty obvious and it is pretty obvious the government isn't really keeping it's promises which to be fair weren't realistic in the first place. If something sounds too good to be true it usually is.

Are Yeshiva's in Israel cheaper because they are subsidized by the gov't. If true, if this a good thing?

I had dinner with my parents on my birthday in NYC and my parents were telling me that some are moving to Israel because Yeshiva's are much cheaper or free I don''t remember exactly what was said but something like that.

So my question is. A. Is this true? I have heard that from different sources so it likely is but the bigger question is B. Is this a good thing.

Well, what could be so bad if the gov't subsidizes the Yeshiva's. Isn't that good. The problem is this though if the gov't subsidizes the Yeshiva's the gov't also can push it's agenda's on the Yeshiva's and if they don't go along they can take away their funding. Is that being overly dramatic of conspiracy like.

I don't think so. I heard about Gush Katif and many relgious leaders went along with it and told Jews well you have to follow the gov't. Never mind that these are people in their 40's and 50's who have spent their life in this area being productive and at that age to start a new is very difficult and of course many of the Jews that were kicked out of Gush Katif still do not have homes and many are unemployed despite the gov't promises which any rational person could see that the gov't can't create jobs and houses out of thin air to 40 and 50 year olds that worked certain jobs in Gush Katif like the greenhouses and the crops that were grown there.

I think in the end being too dependent on the gov't makes it easy for the gov't to blackmail you and therefore you should try to be mostly independent that the gov't can't do this to you as you have more leverage then the gov't has.