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Judaism and Politics

by David Mendes

Some will even say the Torah was invented to favor the Jews, not explaining why they are so badly pictured. Whatever the case, it does affirm the Jewish nation started out of a dream of liberty, which has inspired them through the suffering derived precisely from their dedication.

At the time of Solomon, who stabilized the frontiers against brigading neighbors, Israel built a strong army, nevertheless they never nourished wants of domination.

The Torah, detailed by the oral tradition, says Abraham lived well in Babylonia, the very first empire and the cradle of false religion. Abraham opposed all that and barely escaped the furnace (Pesikta Rabbat S33). So he decided to leave the good houses of Ur and dwell in the wilderness.

From the sages of Babylonia he knew how the cult of truth was vanishing. And his promised land would be the surroundings of old Jerusalem, where a king of peace, Melkisedek, worshiped Iahweh (Genesis 14:17-20).

Abraham was honest, rare thing for that region and time, a man of work and peace. When his sheppards conflicted with those of his nephew Lot, he offered to go the opposite direction. But when later Lot was kidnapped by warring tribes, he was brave enough to gather his man and rescue him.

Abraham's progeny freed from Egypt swore to accept the kingdom of God (Sifra, kedoshim XI) and even after settling down in Israel they remained four centuries without a king, only choosing a war leader when attacked. In those days there was no king in Israel and everyman did what was right in his own eyes. Judges 17:6; 21:25

Some Israelis wanted a king and tried to make one out of Gideon, a valiant captain of war. But Gideon refused: I will not rule over you, nor shall my son. Iahweh will rule over you. Judges 8:23.

Gideon's son compared them to a worthless band dominating over valid people: Once upon a time the trees came to anoint a king, and they said to the olive-tree: 'Be king over us'. But the olive-tree answered: 'What, leave my rich oil by which gods and men are honored, to hold sway over the trees?' Judges 9:8-21

Prophet Samuel warned the people about the harmfulness of kings: 'He will take your sons to run before his chariot, will take your land, and you yourselves will become his slaves. You will cry out against the king you have chosen, but it will be too late, Iahweh will not answer you'. I Samuel 8:5-18

The earthly kingdom did come in effect but the prophets never stopped claiming a different Kingdom, God's one. (Psalm 37:10 Eclesiastes 8:9 Isaiah 2:4;61:1;65:22; Ezekiel 34:10; 45:8). Returning from exile the Assidean principle was not to recognize any king except Iahweh (Josephus-Antiquities XVIII 1 S1,6).

The Christian book of Revelation, which was taken from Jewish eschatology, denounces the State: (The beast) caused everyone to be branded with a mark, and no one was allowed to buy or sell unless he bore this beast's mark. Whoever receives the beast's mark shall drink the wine of God's wrath.

The kings of earth have committed fornication with the great whore and men all over the world have made themselves drunk. The ten horns and the beast will come to hate the whore and burn her to ashes. Merchants the world over have grown rich on the whore's bloated wealth. Revelation 13:16,17;14:9-12;17:1,2,16;18:3

With such a heritage it is no wonder why, once spirituality has decayed among the Jews, so many of them became revolutionary socialists, even against their own people and tradition. It is a pity they tarry in finding their true roots.