I spent many years learning in a yeshiva in Bat Ayin for English speakers. I was unlike the other students in several respects. Most of the students were recent university graduates. I was significantly older, having abandoned a cooking career in Manhattan. Most had come to Israel on visitors’ visas, planning on spending a few years learning. I had already lived in Israel for five years as a full-fledged immigrant, serving a short stint in the IDF that qualified me for one month every year as a combat medic.
To my surprise, I was an old dog that could learn new tricks. I was thrown into the high-level classes, learning Talmud with men fifteen years younger than me. We learned the same material and took the same tests. But while they saw the yeshiva as a form of graduate school preparing them for a career as a rabbi, I did not. I was trying to relearn life, reprogram my brain to reject the lies Western culture had taught me, and learn the eternal life laws of the Torah.
One of the methods for doing this is a concept the sages call naaseh v’nishma (we will do and we will hear) as expressed in Exodus 24:7. It has been interpreted to mean that when the Children of Israel received the Torah at Mount Sinai, they agreed to do what it said and then work at understanding the mitzvot.
Another basic concept in Judaism is manifested in the twice-daily reading of the Shema. The recitation of the single line is a statement of kabbalat ol malchut shamayim (accepting the yoke of heaven). Jews are the unquestioning servants of God, performing His will with total obedience.
While the Western mind steeped in the concept of individual liberty rebuffs these approaches to serving God, I found that following these two precepts brought me to better life decisions more often than not. After a while, I realized that Western concepts about relationships and life could only lead to misery. For me, learning Torah for so many years taught me to shut up and surrender myself to a higher wisdom.
Time and again, I understood that liberalism was designed to make a man slave to everything other than God and Man’s higher self. I began to realize that for a Jew, the only place to fully attach to God was in Israel.
So I was deeply disappointed when so many of these young men returned to the States and built careers there, clearly forgetting that the Talmud states that a Jew who leaves Israel is like a godless man. In a moment of frustration, a rabbi I respected said that a rabbi in America should be a travel agent, providing tickets for Jews to leave the exile. But this is not what my former colleagues were engaged in.
In our increasingly infrequent dialogues, I began to notice a change in them. The issue of abortion was raised, a subject we had learned in the yeshiva. While the Halach pertaining to the subject is complicated, the basic approach to the law states that ending a pregnancy is only permitted when the mother’s life is in danger due to the pregnancy. I was shocked to hear my learned colleagues claiming that it was permitted to have an abortion if it caused economic hardship for the mother. This was not Jewish law as we had learned it. For these Orthodox rabbis, liberal considerations trumped Jewish law.
The dominance of liberalism became even more clear in political issues. Iranian regional aspirations and the terrorist agenda that drives it have been the greatest existential threat to Israel in the last thirty years. I was shocked when my former colleagues used their pulpits and positions of influence to persuade their Jewish communities to support Barack Obama’s nuclear Iran deal. They even boycotted Benjamin Netanyahu for daring to address the US Congress in opposition to the deal. One young rabbi informed me that removing sanctions and allowing Iran to have a nuclear weapons program was in Israel’s best interest.
I remember this particular young man being held up as the intellectual paragon of the yeshiva. It puzzled me that such an intellect could come to such an absurd conclusion.
My former colleagues told me that Jewish law did not allow for a Jew to support Donald Trump. Some even went so far as to say that Jewish law did not permit moving the US embassy to Jerusalem and declaring the city to be Israel’s capital.
Since 1920, US Jews have traditionally been liberals who voted Democrat. Until recently, that worked well as the Democrats had an overwhelmingly pro-Israel agenda. This began to change in 1976 under President Carter who forced Israel into a “land for peace” agenda. This Democratic strongarming of Israel was reinstituted under Clinton who engineered the signing of the Oslo Accords with Yasser Arafat, an unrepentant terrorist with Jewish blood on his hands. This created the Palestinian Authority, a terrorist entity entrenched in the heart of Israel.
When 76% of liberal secular Jews threw their support behind Barack Obama, an apostle of antisemite Jeremiah Wright and a friend of Louis Farrakhan, Orthodox Jews had already begun to flee the Democrat party.
My former colleagues explained to me that it was forbidden for a Jew to vote for Trump. They explained that despite his Jewish daughter and grandchildren, he was an antisemite on the level of Pharaoh.
So 68% of US Jews followed the precepts of liberalism and supported Joe Biden who, within his first days of office, reinstated funding to the Palestinians and UNRWA, and lifted sanctions against Iran, reversing the policies of the Trump administration.
I have not spoken with my former colleagues since October 7 and I have no intention of doing so. I may be misguided (though I don’t think I am) but I attribute the attack to the change in policy.
But it gets worse. Less than two weeks after Hamas terrorists murdered more than 1,400 Jews and took over 200 hostages, the Biden administration allocated $100 million to the Palestinian Authority and Gaza. The PA has openly acknowledged that they will be paying the Hamas terrorists from their “Martyrs’ fund”. And even the United Nations acknowledged that “humanitarian aid” that enters Gaza goes through the hands of Hamas with very little trickling down to the needy.
Please don’t misunderstand me. Many of the most influential people who have helped guide me from the desert wilderness of secular liberalism to the garden of a life trying to connect to God have had the title of ‘rabbi’. It is ironic that the Haredi and ultra-orthodox eschew the formal trappings of rabbi-hood. ‘Rabbis’ became institutionalized in the exile, mimicking secular institutions. Liberal Judaism sought to lend credence and credibility to their institutionalized rabbinic ordination with formalized tests, courses, institutions, and accreditation, this does not ensure that a person with the title of rabbi has taken upon himself the yoke of heaven.
Liberal rabbis and liberal Judaism have misled the Jews in the US. Liberal values are not based in Judaism. Torah is not a value. It is the way a Jew serves God. And when liberal rabbis preach politics based on liberal values, they are absolutely steering their congregants away from Israel.
Every rabbi in the US should be screaming at his congregation to take down this evil empire that has Jewish blood dripping from its fingers. But the liberal rabbis are shockingly silent, afraid of a monster they created and served. Many liberal “Jewish” organizations are actively advocating for the Palestinians even as they murder Jews.
Your liberal rabbis lied to you. They sold you a watered-down version of the Torah. They removed the Torah scrolls from the synagogue and replaced them with the Golden Calf of Liberalism. They will never tell you the truth because if you listened, they would be required to get a real job. Even worse, they might be forced to actually do what the Torah says a Jew must do what God told Abraham to do: go to Israel.