The “religious” Jew? Nay, say rather the Orthodox practitioner of Jewish ritual whose sojourn in an exile two millenia old has corrupted and and perverted the most basic of real Jewish values. Bearded and piously
payotic, or cleanshaven and woolly-skullcapped, they join with all the others in the ecumenical worship of the Golden Calf of our times: The Golden Exile.
Israel? Go up to the Land of Israel? Go up to the Land to which they turn in prayer three times daily – eticulously; never missing a ritual? Go up to the Land concerning which they shed hot tears every Tisha B’Av, anniversary of the national day of national mourning? Actually uproot themselves from the Exile and go dwell in the Zion and Jerusalem they piously seek every year, “next year?”
But the chandeliers and the expensive shaitel wig and the quicksand that is the good life are far more powerful than commandments.
“For you are to pass over the Jordan to go in to possess the Land which the L-rd your G-d giveth you, and you shall possess it and dwell therein…” Deuteronomy 11.
“And they scorned the desirable land…” Psalm 106
And so they invent all kinds of rationales, all cloaked in a tallit that is all blue. “Israel is also Exile…” “This is not the beginning of the redemption, merely the footsteps of the Messiah…”
Can one look at a state that rises miraculously after two millenia and watch an ingathering of exiles from a hundred lands and not see in this the beginning of the great vision and redemption? Regardless of the sins and
abominations in the land? No, that which we do not wish to do, we do not. But first, we must stamp the swine with the halachic label of kosher…
Nothing moves the “religious…” they have been inordinately twisted and corrupted by twenty centuries of abnormality. One simply cannot live as a minority for twenty centuries, two thousand years, supping at other’s
tables, pleading for a smile, a tolerant act, love, and remain normal. One cannot live in a stranger’s home and remain stable. A minority must, of necessity, inherit insecurities, complexes, fear, instability. A minority
must, of necessity, be exposed to and influenced by the majority culture that insidiously enters, corrupts, changes, lays its permanent hand on Judaism, so that the Jew assumes the Gentile value and assumes too, that it is Jewish.”
And no one can remain normal without a state, a nation, a concept of nationhood and statehood The religion that was totally intertwined with land and earth and nation and power becomes a pale vapid set of rituals. When roots have lost their hold on the land, they slowly die of malnutrition.
And so, they discover a new Zion and a New Jerusalem in the filth and impurity of the Exile. They immerse themselves in a ritualarium even as they wave high the impure creeping creature. They become Americans or
Englishmen or Frenchmen or Canadians of Mosaic piety, deeply pious piety. They stand firmly on the barricades to insure that their meat shall be more than merely kosher; that the gorgeous wig shall cover the rather plain woman as she wears her very expensive dress that overshadows her neighbor, but which properly covers the elbow as she installs her chandelier; that they shall live in the comfort of the swine and not have to risk the sufferings of the pure in Eretz Yisrael.
What matter that the rabbis decree that “a man shall rather live in the Land of Israel in a city with a majority of heathens rather than in the Exile in a city with a majority of Jews.” What matter that the rabbis proclaim that
“one who lives outside of Israel worships idols in purity…?” What matter that they intone that one who lives outside the land “is as one who has no G-d”? One knows how to explain away rabbinical injunctions when the spirit so desires…
The Jew waits. He waits to be a victim, twice over.