Friday, October 12, 2012

Only in Israel, The Prime Minister Teaches Us The Bible

If there hadn't been so much interesting political news, I may have posted this on Shiloh Musings.

In the United States, if I got it right, there's said to be needed six people to connect to anyone.  In Israel, we're much closer, probably two or a maximum of three.  That's because we're a Jewish country, and between work and neighbors and the army, university, sports etc it doesn't take long to be connected to everyone, including the Prime Minister.

As readers of Shiloh Musings know, I do have my complaints against Bibi Netanyahu, but I also have admitted that I do admire some aspects of his personality, and certainly his knowledge.

Even though today's secular Zionist try to ignore the fact, Zionism is based on the Bible.  You can't be a Zionist without some sort of connection to the Bible.  Where else does Judaism come from and why else would we be here instead of trying to be sovereign in Brooklyn, Alaska or wherever?

Quite a few of our greatest leaders, politicians etc have been Bible lovers.  When Menachem Begin had been Prime Minister he held Bible study sessions, so when Netanyahu decided to memorialize his late father-in-law, Bible scholar Shmuel Ben-Artzi, the Menachem Begin Heritage Center was entrusted with the task of organizing them.

Photo-Jerusalem Post
You'd think that Bibi had nothing else to do the other day, with Iran's nuclear development, Arab terrorists terrorizing the Negev, elections in the very near future etc... but after inspecting the damage in the south, he was quickly flown in to study this week's Parshat Shavua, Torah Portion of the Week, Bereishit, In the Beginning.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spent two-and-a-half hours Thursday afternoon studying the Cain and Abel story, telling some 17 rabbis and academics gathered at his residence that the jealousy in the tale is a “powerful engine” that he has come across once or twice in his own profession.

No doubt Netanyahu was being a bit sarcastic saying that he only came across jealousy "once or twice in his own profession," since we know that political intrigue is fueled by jealousy, or competitiveness, which is a close cousin.

They brought up an interesting point:
One of the questions Netanyahu posed was why the punishment God meted out to Cain for the murder of his brother was lenient, and why he was not punished with death himself.

One of the participants responded that lesson to be learned was that repairing the world – Cain went on to build a city and beget offspring that enriched the world in various ways – was more important than vengeance.

There are times when a certain pragmatism must rule over law. The "big picture" is the most important one.  Here we see, in the very beginning of the world, G-d had to compromise.  If He had executed Cain, giving him the punishment a murderer deserves, the progress of humans on the earth would have had been delayed.  G-d would have had to have started all over again.

Many of us have children who aren't living their lives exactly as we had expected. L'havdil, they aren't murderers, like Cain, but they have chosen different lives and we shouldn't break off contact.  G-d allowed Cain to live, and we are all his descendants.  May G-d give us the strength to deal wisely with all of our challenges.

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