Monday, July 10, 2006

the religous american's place in Israel

In Washington DC a Jewish boy was killed yesterday by thugs who were interested in rape and robbery. The boy was an activist in the Israeli scene and will be missed by the Jewish people. He was found by a policeman named Joe Gentile. No, really. I assumed Ynetnews had made a mistaken so I did a google search for Joe Gentile. I came up with a ton of people with that name.
Suprised, I did a google search for Joe Settler and Joe Camel and only found only one each.

Yesterday we went to Tiverya to eat in honor of our anniversary (my MIL treated and even stayed home to babysit so it was a full treat). We decided to go to the Pagoda instead of Decks because we were at Decks the last couple times we ate in the area and wanted to try something different. My wife thought the service was horrible, but I didn't think it was so bad. We got a great table, in the corner facing the Kinneret and had a very enjoyable evening.

After dinner, we visited with a former rebbe of mine and his wife who were staying in the area. We spoke about aliyah and the place for Americans in Israeli society today. I think the problem is that Americans don't want to look at the broad picture and are too concerned with the titles and stereotypes that those titles bring to an American religious family. In America, Dati Leumi is associated with modern orthodoxy, which religious dati leumiers call "dati lite." In Israel, they have their own yeshiva world with all the same type of politics etc. that are inherent in the American yeshiva world. If you look at a product of the dati leumi yeshiva system, you will not see much difference from an American yeshiva guy who went to college and got a job. The only difference is hashkafically, how they look at the State of Israel. But if you discuss it with them and how absurd their beliefs are, you will realize that it is 99% semantics. We believe this is the end of the exile and they believe that it is the beginning of the redemption. However, we are both looking forward towards a better reality. The end of an era and the beginning of another era are generally fuzzy enough that we won't know exactly how to define this time period for another couple hundred years as we look back and reflect on history.

Most of the more yeshivishe Americans don't necessarily fit in hashkafically with the Israeli chareidim, but they don't fit in at all with the dati leumis or with the Americans who left yeshiva to go to college and work. They would probably fit in well in a chareidi community and just be considered a bit modern.

1 comment:

JoeSettler said...

I'm a bit unique.