Eretz Yisrael Time

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Sunday, October 12, 2008
It’s been bothering me for a while, and then Baruch Marzel mentioned it, and this past Shabbos, BaSheva mentioned it in 2 separate articles.

The key to the elections for mayor in Jerusalem relies solely on the vote of the Dati Leumi community.

Yet here we are again, debating whether to put in a Chareidi mayor (who has been good for the Settler community, but is primarily concerned with the Chareidi community) or a Secular mayor (who clearly doesn’t want Jerusalem divided, and is reaching out to the DL community, even if he doesn’t really understand it).

Yet both candidates are linked to communities and ideologies that are not necessarily aligned with what’s best for the dati-leumi community (or the country).

Another time I may give a breakdown of the differences between them, but the point of this post (and keep your responses to this point), is that the DL community has again fumbled the ball and not put up one of its own.

True, the DL community (with the Settlers taking the lead) are building up our (mid/high level) leadership roles in key positions throughout the country (army, industry, government, education, etc.), but so far, no one has taken the leap for the top jobs (Feiglin aside).

One explanation is that it simply takes time to build up candidates to reach the level required, but I don’t accept that answer, as there are people with the right qualities (and better qualities than those currently running) that could go for the jobs – particularly in politics, where even a nobody can move to the top very quickly (Livni proved that).

They just aren’t putting themselves forward.

It’s an attitude. It’s a bad attitude. It means that we haven’t yet internalized that we must take up the mantle of leadership if we are to help Israeli society move forward. Instead we continue to think that we must work from within, not from on top.

Effy Eitam is the perfect example. If only he had gone to the Likud (which had been courting him), instead of to a sectoral party, he could have been a serious contender for Prime Minister.

I have been talking with my wife a lot lately about how we want to direct our children.

I am a firm believer that parents should help direct their kids to the right career and life choices.

Obviously kids end up doing what they want, but parents should make sure their kids know what opportunities there are, which are the best ones, and help them open those doors. As parents we have experience, insight and vision that kids don’t yet have.

During our idle Shabbat afternoon discussions my wife and I talk about what we want him to do for a long-term career. Doctor? Soldier? Lawyer? Kablan? Hill-top farmer? Yeshiva student/Rabbi?

This Shabbos we settled on Prime Minister of Israel.

Am I serious?

Lately when you hear Prime Minister of Israel you think corruption, you think betraying your voters, you think scandal, you think dirty politics.

You think, who wants to go into politics? Who would want their kid to be Prime Minister?

(Admit it, that was your first reaction).

But imagine if we trained a generation which views the idea of going into politics as one of properly leading this country to the level of excellence it can achieve (both religiously and materialistically), and not for his or her own personal power and capital gains.

Imagine a generation raised on Jewish ideals and values taking on the mantle of leadership and bringing those values with him from the settlements to the entire country.

It could be amazing.

Most of our generation may be afraid or incapable of taking that visionary leap into actively attempting to become the leaders of our people and country, but that means all the more that we need to train the younger generation to be prepared to do so instead.

8 comments:

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

שנהיה לראש ולא לזנב

JoeSettler said...

Exactly! And that is what I think it actually means.

Anonymous said...

I would be proud to say my son is the President of the USA, or a Senator, or a Congressman.

But Prime Minister of Israel?!

Ugh. What an awful thought.

In Israel its all about how dirty a politician you are. And these last few Prime Ministers have consistently been the worst of the lot.

Why would you wish that on your son?

JoeSettler said...

That's exactly the point.

Do we leave the leadership of our nation in the hands of the worst our nation has put forth, or do we take it back and give it to the best?

Don't you want to reach a point where you would be as proud to say your son is an MK, as you would to say that he is a US Senator?

At the risk of repeating myself, imagine a good leader, surrounded by good people. It's not far-fetched if only we start preparing the groundwork for it.

But if we surrender and say politics is only for those who are dirty, or want to get dirty, then dirt is all we'll ever get (and deserve).

Anonymous said...

i'm voting for nir barkat for mayor of jerusalem and mafdal for city council. by the way, last time i check, neither you nor baruch marzel live in jerusalem. but i do. and i'm dati leumi and i like barkat.

Cosmic X said...

I don't know if you remember Shmuel Meir. He was head of the NRP faction in the Jerusalem City Council. Tragically, he was killed In a MVA by an Arab truck driver (perhaps it wasn't an accident). If he were alive today he would have made an excellent candidate.

JoeSettler said...

anonymous: Possibly a good combination. I actually lived for many (many) years in Jerusalem, and am there for work quite often throughout the week, so what goes on in Jerusalem is close to my heart (and affects me too).

CosmicX: I believe a settlement in Jerusalem called Har Homa is named after him, but I could be wrong.

Anonymous said...

this time, you're really on to something. this is probably correct, provided that the next generation is really grounded in torah and why it's so important to living a good life.

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