Thursday, December 29, 2005

Modern Orthodoxy and the Failure of Nerve

In the Winter 2005 issue of Jewish Action, R. Emanuel Feldman bemoans the lack of protest in the American Orthodox community to the Disengagement from Gaza. In a rejoinder, R. Yosef Blau makes the following points:

1. Based on R. Joseph B. Soloveitchik's perspective, territorial compromise is not necessarily contrary to halakhah

2. It is bad policy for American Jews to protest the Israeli government because:
A. It will weaken Israel's international standing
B. It will set a precedent that non-Orthodox groups will use to protest Israel's religious policies

3. Many Americans believe that only Israelis, who are putting their lives on the line on a daily basis, have the right to make decisions about Israel's policies

4. Many Americans, even Orthodox Jews, supported the Disengagement for a variety of reasons

5. Many Americans were extremely uncomfortable with the extremism that seemed dominant in the anti-Disengagement movement, e.g.:
A. Calls for soldiers to disobey orders
B. Rabbinic promises that God would not let the Disengagement happen

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