Thursday, January 05, 2006

The Orthodoxy Test #2: The State of Israel

The State of Israel is

a) the work of the sitra achra
b) not religiously significant in and of itself and overall negative
c) not religiously significant in and of itself but overall positive
d) possibly a step towards Moshiach
e) Reishit Tzmichat Geulateinu
f) Leave this question out of my results

I chose (d). Well, heck, anything is possibly a step towards Mashiach. The World Wars were viewed as steps toward Mashiach. Why not Israel?

The other options were less convincing. Based on what I have been taught, neither (a) nor (e) is definitely true (though perhaps not definitely false either). ((D) basically translates into "Possibly (e).") I don't think the state is overall negative; I'm not sure how things would be better if Israel were a part of Jordan. I admit I seriously considered (c), but I ultimately decided that the state does have religious significance, if for no other reason than that it helps Rabbi Gottlieb's "Living Up to the Truth" essay.

By the way, at YU, the gabbai (depending on who he is) will sometimes omit the words "reishis tzmichas geulaseinu" from the Prayer for the State of Israel. It's the only place I've ever seen that done. I like it.

Another point: though there may be a statistical correlation between religious Zionism and modern orthodoxy, I don't see why that correlation need be theologically obligatory.

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