There are some who believe that Israel should form a committee to draft a Constitution which then should be voted upon by the citizenry. There are those who call for a simple change in how appointments are made to positions such as Judges, Attorney General, Police Commanders, Military Commanders and other political and justice and enforcement positions. There are many who are calling for Israel to annex all or parts of Judea and Samaria. Some are demanding that the Palestinian Authority be dissolved and its leadership and most of the security forces be deported. There are some calling for the office of Prime Minister to be determined by direct elections instead of by whichever political party receives the most number of seats and forms the coalition as they claim this results in granting excessive power to the Prime Minister as his party also controls the parliament and can prevent legislation from being considered at his whim. There are those demanding that the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) be more religious soldier friendly touting the infractions being imposed upon far too many religious soldiers which force them to choose between a good performance review and their religious ethics as often their training or activities present conditions which break Halachic Laws, and the military command is fully aware of these difficulties and are using them to drive religious soldiers from the ranks of the military and particularly from the officer corps. When religious officers reach the rank of Major they often face opposition and malice intended to drive them from the service and they face selected distrust which robs them of any possibility for further promotions as the Central Command seeks to retain their secular purity. All of these disparate forms of revolutions are simply pieces of the problems which could all be remedied through the efforts of one group of people from within the Israeli population; the Rabbinate.
The first step needed would be the unification of the position of Chief Rabbi. I am far from the sole Israeli Jew who has one parent who is Ashkenazi and the other who is Sephardi. With such a divide, while leaving the rule that my Father automatically is used as the determinative factor, despite in my case that my Mother was more involved in my religious education; such individuals will often have a clash if they marry opposite their father, be he Ashkenazi or Sephardi, with a wife knowledgeable of the opposite set of rules. An example comes next week during Pesach concerning whether or not one may have rice, for example. Still, with the number of intermarriage between Ashkenazi and Sephardi youth, the number of Jews who will not look at Judaism as much as being bipolar as Ashkenazi and Sephardi. Making such an alteration will require unifying Judaism such that there is a single prayerbook, a single set service, a single Kashrut standard which is accepted by all the now disparate Rabbinate factions. This will require many of our leading and most respected Rabbis to come together and reach an agreement which will make all of them relatively and equally uncomfortable with the final set of rules, prayers, prayer services, Hebrew language and a merging of Jewish history such that the story of all the branches are interwoven into a single story. This will leave everybody upset with the results and pointing to some fact here or there bemoaning that such an important event which occurred in Kutná Hora in what is now the Czech Republic or el Kharga Oasis in Ancient Egypt has been omitted from the combined histories. Yes, we picked these locations completely at random and any similarities to events or descriptions are purely coincidental. If the numbers of complaints are relatively equal from all angles, then the stories and other merging events are likely being performed correctly and with careful considerations. These are events which will be happening behind the scenes except for the merging of the positions of Chief Rabbinates into one office covering every Jew making a giant step towards the unification of Judaism at least within Israel.
All of these steps are in preparation for making a change in Israel which will take a great effort from the entire Rabbinate, each and every member from every faction working often in conjunction with one another for a maximum effect. Israel is in need of a spiritual awakening. She has been becoming a more religious nation with a greater percentage of the population attending daily services and living Torah observant lives. There are those who are returning into the Torah observance whose lives sometimes slip but are making strides. Meanwhile others are becoming Torah observant for the first time in their lives or the first time in years after leaving such a lifestyle either while in the military, university, workforce or simply having left their parents’ house. The challenge for such individuals vary with some facing having to learn for the first time a wholly new way of living and sometimes struggling in the process. These people and the secular Jewish population require more assistance than most with encouragements and gentle assistances. They will require education and reinforcement until the religious life becomes almost, if not completely natural. The greatest challenge will be introducing the secular Jewish population to a religious life in a natural and unthreatening way. What such efforts would require, you ask. It would need for the Rabbinate, every Rabbi, to spend time being more public in their lives and leading a life which invites people to follow their examples and piques their interests. They also will be required to be approachable and open to people and affable such that people will feel comfortable seeking them out for information and guidance. This will also require Torah observant practices to be instituted as to what would be considered appropriate and inappropriate activities, actions, practices and situations for members of the general Rabbinate to engage in. Many in the Rabbinate will require further education on the acceptable and preferred means for approaching people and guiding them back to their faith. Some in the Rabbinate may be found inarticulate or otherwise unable to perform adequately and will need assignments in other areas perhaps teaching or administrative. The entire Rabbinate will need be brought under a single administrative effort.
There will also be a need that the Oral Law be reinstituted as an Oral Code which will be written but also updated, altered and mediated periodically with the Rabbinate choosing from amongst their ranks those they consider best suited to make wise and meaningful changes at set intervals, perhaps every three of five years. Once all these programs are in place and everything arranged neatly and actually functioning, then the people of Israel can consider returning to life as intended by Torah with the adjustments and changes initiated under the new Oral Law. There are things which will require large alterations such as the sacrifices as Israel is no longer a sleepy little agrarian society as it was three millennia ago. Instead of a King we will likely maintain an elected democratic and possibly even Parliamentary form of governance but with the single alteration that there will be a higher office than Prime Minister or President, that of the Cohen Gadol (Heb.כהן גדול), the head priest. Once these changes have been accomplished there will be one last item which will have become unavoidable by this point, the rebuilding of the Temple, the Beit HaMikdash (Hebrew: בֵּית־הַמִּקְדָּשׁ) in Jerusalem. Long before we complete these changes the annexation of all of Judea and Samaria will have long been settled and completed and the world will have come to accept it as fait accompli. Should this transformation take place and Israel return to being the central home of the Israelite Jewish People living a Torah observant lifestyle, by and large, this will solve many of the problems currently faced by Israel and odd as it may at first appear, it will also make the world a better place with time.
Beyond the Cusp