Am I Wavering?

I wasn't born National Religious (dati leumi).

As my Jewish identity and then Israeli persona developed, I was attracted to the Dati Leumi camp as being a good fit for my faith (orthodox) and world-view (modern).

When I first came to Israel, I was politically inclined to the left.

It was the heady days of Oslo and I was enticed, together with throngs of Israelis, by the dizzying promise of peace in our time, no more war, etc.

When the three shots rang out, and Yitzhak Rabin was rushed to hospital, and before we knew he was dead, I immediately arranged for a group to meet in shul to say tehilim for our fallen leader. (Not everyone I called said "Yes").

I voted for Shimon Peres (=Peace) and Shas (=care for the needy).

As the mangled bodies, victims of the second intifada, mounted up, I grasped that the dream of peace, at least in the near term, had become a dangerous mass-delusion. With each time that terror victims were described by our leadership as "paying the price for peace" I became more sickened.

I became a Mafdal (National Religious Party) guy.

Come Sharon's outrageous "Disengagement" withdrawal plan from Gush Katif, I proudly & passionately waved my organge flags, sported orange tee-shirts, attended every demo, and encouraged my friends and contacts to join the struggle against the abandonment of Jewish Gush Katif.

My oldest kids were teenagers, and they were driven by a clear and youthful black-and-white ideology that labelled Sharon's plan as Evil and anyone who gave even tacit support were Enablers and Traitors.

I realized that maturity brings an understanding of greys, dilemmas, conundrums, a sophisticated world where every point of view can be helpful and relevant. 70 faces of everything.

I learned from my kids that sometimes, this maturity can blind one to the existence of real Black, and real White. There is emet and sheker, pure truth and absolute lies. Right and Wrong.

And Sharon's Disengagement Plan was Wrong. Lies. Evil.

I watched the Mafdal split and capitulate in the midst of the struggle, some even remaining in the Sharon Government throughout the Disengagement disaster.

In the years since, I have stayed with Mafdal, now Bayit Hayehudi as my most natural "camp".

However, I have watched my kids grow and mature, passionate advocates for the 'extreme right'. They put their souls and bodies into building (and re-building) shanty villages on desolate hilltops in the heart of Biblical Eretz Yisrael. They still (often) paint the world in blacks and whites.

They are with Michael Ben Ari, Baruch Marzel, Arieh Eldad - and are now chasing around the country handing out Otzma LeYisrael fliers, pasting up posters, hanging banners, organizing the chevre/gang of friends.

I thought Naftali Bennet's (head of Bayit Hayehudi) statement about supporting order refusal showed sincerity and ideological consistency. (Together with a certain novice's naivete)

And then I watched him unravel, u-turn, and deny.

While picking up more electoral support each day! How exciting and enticing - Bayit Hayhdi projected to win an unprecedented 15 seats!

But I have a doubt.

In the heat of political conflict, over Gush Katif, the Mafdal buckled.

In similar circumstances, would the Bayit Hayhudi be any more faithful to its own principles?

If Bennet u-turned over a politically inexpedient piece of personal honesty (that he would refuse orders rather than evacuate settlements) - what will he do when the political heat is really turned up??

I am therefore wavering....

I am considering giving my vote to my kids, as it were.

Putting an Otzma LeYisrael vote in the ballot box.  

Am I making sense, or losing my senses??


  1. Ah, my friend, "there's the rub" (to quote the Bard of Avon). Is it better to vote for a small party that will almost certainly have no influence on the decisions of the next Government (due to its perceived extremism), or a larger one which will probably have such influence, but may be forced by circumstances to choose between ideology and pragmatism (and may choose badly)? What will you do if you choose the former, and see decisions made that offend or hurt you and yours? What will you do if you choose the latter, and see decisions made that offend or hurt you and yours? The best we can do is to pray for guidance in making the best choice for ourselves, our children, our communities, and our country.

  2. Wait, you caught a politician prevaricating? You don't say...

  3. David, I believe that to have a clear conscience, one must vote for the right (pun intended) party.

    I believe that Otzma Le'Yisroel's team has 'what does HKBH want' clearly in their 'true north'.

    If you look at their platform, every thing in it can be traced back to a Torah oriented view. They see and in their past Kenneset voting have been at 97% with a Torah oriented connection between: Jews, Torah and the connection of klal Yisroel to Eretz Yisroel, HBKH's gift to us as a Heritage forever.

  4. It can be argued that Otzma L'Yisrael is a small party, which does present problems. But you can't say that Eldad and Ben-Ari have been uninfluential members of Knesset.
    Whether or not giving wall-to-wall approval of Netanyahu, with all his wavering on foreign policy, is the way to increase the influence of the faction one agrees with, is also not clear.
    On the other hand, Netanyahu is clearly effective in moving us away from Socialism and towards a free and prosperous economy.

  5. Despite the news reports, Naftali Bennet never did a U-turn on what he said.

    He said the first time he would ask for a personal exemption. He said the second time that he would ask for a PERSONAL exemption.

    If you are wavering because of false media reports...stop wavering!


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