Eretz Yisrael Time

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Thursday, February 28, 2008
Reader Naftali has posted the following request for discussion:

Or maybe you can speak about your views as to the extent of Torah legitimacy conferred on the Israeli state. I have always seen them as little more than administrative apparatus and a logistic foundation for the beloved IDF.

Religiously based or not, it appears to me that the Torah and more specifically the Halacha does confer legitimacy on an Israeli state.

Certainly, in 10 years from now when the majority of Jews in the world are in Israel that answer will be even more definitive.

Of course there are more serious issues that will need to be resolved once the majority of the world’s Jews reside in Israel. Many things that are non-obligatory or (possibly) d’Rabbanan now (such as Shmittah) will become d’Oraita.

The position you are implying has serious ramifications and implications.

Your question actually questions the legitimacy of the government of various kings from Malchut David who were not "frum". Would Menashe (for instance) not have been a legitimate King in your eyes, and his government nor a legitimate government?

He may have been and done evil, but it would seem that Jews give legitimacy to the government they follow including a Malchut-based government (Power derives from the People).

That a leader/ruler isn’t Torah observant, nor his ruling Torah-true doesn’t necessarily delegitimize his governmental structure (I am not saying that definitively, but it is something that needs to seriously be looked into).

Of course there is no obligation, and more so, one is even forbidden to follow his anti-halachic rulings, for the most simple reason, that in Judaism, even the king isn’t above the law and therefore can’t make laws that abrogate the Torah.

But the structure itself seems to have legitimacy derived from Torah and halacha.


Anonymous said...

Could someone please help me on this? In a nutshell, what is your point?

JoeSettler said...

Yesterday I called for an open Mike (Mic) and this was one of the topics raised. I thought it was intriguing and sufficiently controversial, so I discussed it.

Naftali said...

I have to say that I don't have much knowledge of the laws pertaining to this issue. It also doesn't help that those laws themselves are (seemingly)discussed less than other laws are.

With regard to the challenge to malchus Menashe:

I remember learning in Rambam that "we do (may? 'ain memanin') not appoint a King to begin with except Al Pi a Navi and a Sahendrin. I have always took the 'to begin with' clause to mean a new line of Kingship. This would imply that to establish a Malchus
one needs more than just the consent of the nation. Though this
is challenged by the Hasmoneein Malchus and perhaps by the Malchus of Herod.

There is however a Din of Sheva Tuvei Hair, who are elected democratically, who have the authority to enact certain civil laws such as taxes. This din seems to be a local community issue, though, and i would not be suprised to learn that the modern government
has a similar status.

However what would one say about a governing coalition whose majority
depends on the inclusion of arab
elected MK's? Has that ever happened?

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