America, Whither Go You?

Cosmic X5/15/2012 4:30:55 am PDT

re: #5 Bob Levin

When you study Torah, the written Torah, and you do what all folks do when reading a narrative that they care about—they take a position in the story (yes?), when you jump into the text, where do you stand?

I would describe my way of learning as follows: I try to understand what the Torah’s position is and adopt that in my life.

Golden Calf: bad
Striking the rock instead of speaking to it: bad
Selling or killing Joseph: bad

That does not mean that I do not try to understand the other side of the story. It’s not too hard to sympathize with those who felt leaderless when Moses tarried to come. Also, there are various explanations why the brothers wanted to get rid of Joseph. And who can stand in Moses’ shoes?

What you asked reminded me of something closer to our time that I ask myself, “What would you have done?”

Before the birth of the modern State of Israel their were three para-military organizations here: the Hagana, the Etzel, and the Lehi.

The Hagana was the largest group and took its orders from the elected leadership of Jews in the land of Israel at that time. They praised “restraint”, and were most reluctant to do anything against the British, who were ruling the land at that time. The British were limitting the immigration of Jews, disregarding the mandate given them to create a Jewish Homeland.

The Lehi and the Etzel declared war against the British. During World War II, the Etzel put down their arms in order to join the British in the war against Nazi Germany. The Lehi refused to do so, for the British were continuing to block the shores of the Holy Land, sentencing the Jews that were trying to escape Europe to death at the hands of the Nazis and their helpers.

It is hard for me to say which group I would have joined if I had lived at that time.