Tuesday, March 28, 2023

The “Commentary” column in the November 10, 2022, issue of The Jewish Link confused me (“A Reaction to a Reaction to the Israeli Elections,” by Rabbi Nati Helfgot). It is possible that my confusion stems from the fact that the author of the column insists, in his disclaimer, that the column “will not express a political view,” because his seventh paragraph says, “To put it in more direct political terms...”

I believe the author is mistaken regarding what the “essential Jewish character” of the state of Israel should be, for the following reasons:

In his reaction regarding the so-called “omissions” in the statement of the Orthodox Union about “the essential Jewish character of the State,” he lists “corruption of elected officials,” “weapons sales to foreign countries,” “minority rights” etc. One does not need a roadmap
to figure out what the author’s political views are.

If he has a problem with the statement of the Orthodox Union, isn’t that where he should direct his “non-expression of a point of view”? And unless I am mistaken, aren’t kashrut and conversion standards two major issues that the Orthodox Union was formed to help safeguard? So why was the statement of the Orthodox Union so offensive?

Where is the sense of achdus (unity) in this article? Frequently, my non-Jewish colleagues ask me if I’m worried about my family in Israel (bli ayin hara-a, all our children, grandchildren, siblings and many cousins, Baruch Hashem, live in Israel). My reply: “I have over 7 million family members in Israel, and I worry about each and every one”—even the so-called “corrupted elected officials.”

I apologize if my comments here offend anyone. But if the author is so upset regarding the victory of the so-called “right-wing” parties in the recent Israeli elections, he should come right out and say it—and not object to the statement of the Orthodox Union about “the essential Jewish character of the State.”

Robert Fixler
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