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לימוד תורה

Sectoral propaganda

Parsha and its fulfillment - Parashat Beshalach - Rabbi Eliezer Shenvald - 5769

On the seventh day of the Exodus from Egypt, the people of Israel find themselves in danger of national existence. Trapped between the rock and the hard place. The sea ahead of them, the mountains to their right and left and the Egyptians behind them. The situation requires an agreed collective decision. The opinions of the people were divided into four parties: "Four cults were made of Israel on the sea: one says: We'll fall into the sea and one says: We will return to Egypt. And one says: We will fight against them. One says: yell at them. (Yalkut Shimoni Shmot 14, Remez 233).

Four parties stand on the sea. Each has an ideology close to its tendency and its way of seeing the world, trying to convince its members and itself that it is right.

The party of passive pessimists who are desperate and see only black in their eyes-called out to fall into the sea. In its view, the worst of all is liable to be realized, and in its intensification the danger and the threat it saw did not find a way out and a way to deal with the threat, preferring to commit suicide rather than falling into the hands of the cruel and vengeful Egyptians.

The pragmatic survival party - called for submission to Egypt and return to enslavement in Egypt. In a situation where there was no chance of winning and surviving, it is better to live, even if it entails a return to slavery. Perhaps there will be a chance in the future to be free.

The active militant political party - called for fighting the Egyptians. Believing that despite the military gap in favor of the Egyptians, they have the ability to defeat them. In any case do not despair and do not lose hope. To believe in national capability and do not surrender.

The Religious Spiritual Activists Party, which believes in supernatural miracles thanks to prayers, called for a general prayer. In a situation of military inferiority in front of the Egyptians, only prayers will help. "…for nothing prevents Hashem from winning a victory by many or by few.” (1 Shmuel 14: 6).

At the same time, the people of Israel were required to negotiate and persuade their parties to formulate an agreed national decision on what to do. Presumably the spirits and the tones rose. Every mature party is convinced of its ideology, claiming various claims against its sisters, including that their ideology is liable to lead the nation to destruction.

The elections are coming. Elections in Israel are choices between worldviews and ideologies. Even though the elections are becoming personal, between the stars and their party, it is still possible to discern a variety of ideologies that make up the Israeli political map: National secular, Socialist secular, liberal, pragmatic ideology, Ultra-orthodox religious ideology and National religious ideology.

The State of Israel has not yet finished designing its way. Existential and fateful questions are at stake. Each party treats them considering its ideology. The way in which the state conducts these questions at a certain point in time reflects the overall balance of power on the political map, and these are determined every few years in elections.

Before the election campaign began, there are already statements calling the National Religious Party a sectarian party. The statement came from those who advocate the integration of the religious public in Israeli society without maintaining a unique ideological tone and do not see the need for a party that represents a particular sector and will take care of the needs of the sector it represents. As far as they are concerned, the resources will be distributed equally. This is a tendentious and outrageous term. Propaganda emanating from large parties seeking to win the votes of religious Zionists at the expense of the national religious party. It must be stated unequivocally that a national religious party is not a sectoral party but an ideological one – Israeli in general. No less than the rest of the ideological parties.

A national religious ideological party is needed around the national decision-making table. Its absence, G-d forbid, could cause harm to the State of Israel and its conduct.

The portrayal of the party as sectoral and extortionist, that is only concerned with narrow interests and the needs of its population (and sometimes at the expense of other populations) is outrageous.

Is the commitment of its children to security, to education, to welfare and settlement sectoral? Is the struggle of this party for equal budgeting of institutions that are important to its ideology, such as the Settlement Division, the Garinim Toranim, which devote themselves to education and welfare and to the community in the suburbs and cities, and to bridge the gap between the various populations in the large cities, also sectoral? Is the existence of the pre-military preparatory programs, the national service, Hesder Yeshivas, sectorial? Who is the main beneficiary of the existence of these institutions - the national religious sector, or the public as a whole?

The public should not fall into the trap of sectoral propaganda.

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