Synergy between the Israeli and the Jewish
An alternative of empowerment (synergy), between our Israeli and Jewish identities – rather than a confrontation between them.
As in most areas, even in the question of religion and the state – that is, the question of our national identity – we are used to seeing the Knesset and the legislative whip as the way to a solution.
Thus, the most fundamental question in our lives, the question of “who are we,” has become a hand-wrestling war that leads to polarization and hatred which most of the public does not want.
In their personal lives, the leaders of the struggle exist in both worlds and don’t see any contradiction in it.
Lieberman, who is the flag bearer of the struggle against the Haredim, has religious wife and daughter.
Netanyahu, the leader of the right-wing Haredi camp, is a secular liberal.
Gantz, who testifies that he is a Bible enthusiast, studied with Rabbi Druckman in his youth at the same high school that Minister Israel Katz and I also attended.
There is no doubt that, like them, the absolute majority of Israeli society, whether the dominant side of their identity is the Jewish side or the Israeli side, there is openness and a desire to derive contributions from the other side as well. In other words, there isn’t really a problem of conflict between the Israeli and the Jewish, but everyone wants to combine these identities in their own way.
What creates the problem for both parties is not the supposed contradiction between the Jewish and the Israeli, but the fear of coercion. Removing coercion from the game is not just the solution –
Removing the element of coercion from the game is removing the problem itself.
How to do it?
Most of the issues in dispute, public transportation and businesses opening on Shabbat, supervising kashrut, marriage and divorce – must be transferred from the national (Knesset) arena to the community arena.
There, in the community, it will be decided whether to have public transportation on Saturday, whether businesses can open, who the municipality is prepared to register as a recognized couple (civil union). Every rabbi will be able to marry couples according to Jewish law if he does so according to the chuppah standard set by the rabbinate. Any trader, company or corporation will be allowed to offer kosher supervision services according to a uniform standard set by the rabbinate.
Education and core studies.
The voucher method, a method that returns the responsibility of educating children to their parents by giving them a very significant education voucher, to be redeemed at any recognized education institution and educational method they wish – will create competition that will raise the level of educational in all streams.
It’s presumed that most of the parents, whose responsibility for educating their children will be returned, and who will possess the voucher and the means to realize their responsibilities, will choose what it says in the Mishnah (Tractate Kiddushin), that “a person must teach his child a trade” and won’t keep their children from professional education that will allow them to make a living when they grow up.
It’s an open secret is that most draftees in Israel don’t serve any significant purpose, if they serve any purpose at all – and it’s not just the Haredim.
In the model we aspire to reach gradually – the model of reducing compulsory service and expanding the permanent army, everyone – which means everyone – will go into the army and undergo an abbreviated training (Rovai 2), and be released within a few weeks. Of those who want to volunteer for continued service, the military will select who they really need and want, and will pay them a decent salary.
Religious and rabbinical services
Each community will appoint itself the rabbi they want. And his wages will be paid out of the municipal “cultural tax”, which will be a kind of “voluntary tax”. Don’t want to pay? Don’t pay, but you won’t be able to take advantage of this service either.
Next, the rabbis of the community will select from amongst themselves the town rabbi, and the town rabbis will select from amongst themselves the chief rabbi. Politicians will not be allowed to interfere.
In this way the institution of the rabbinate will be separated from politics and will have an independent, uplifting, and unifying status.
We know from experience that this approach is of great interest to both sides. This is a classic win-win scenario.
Both the Speaker of the Knesset and MK Shapiro Shafir support the transfer of Shabbat questions to the community arena.
MK Eichler and Ehud Barak both talk about a professional army.
Both many rabbis and complete secularists explain the need to separate the rabbinate from politics.
Everyone, without exception, will be happy to decide for themselves where and how their children will learn.
We are in an identity crisis that seems unsolvable, but this is the opportunity for a real solution, not a compromise solution that will always disintegrate, but a solution out of synergy through mutual trust and respect on the part of each side for the choice of the other.
When we stop threatening each other with legislation, we will stop fearing one another, too. And then we will begin to take an interest in each other and to derive contributions without fear – each side from the virtues of the other.
This is the only way the process of forming a shared identity will come about, so that our grandchildren and great-grandchildren won’t even understand what we were arguing about.
The Zehut platform is more relevant here than ever.