Wednesday, August 29, 2007

political parties

Last night I was having a discussion with my 9 year old daughter about politics. She had brought up the subject because there was a newspaper on the table and she saw the name Olmert which looked like Voldemort, so she read it. So I told her there were political parties and the first one I mentioned was the dati leumi party. Then she wanted to know what dati leumi was. In order to tell her what dati leumi was, I had to explain that there were 2 groups of religious Jews today, the dati leumi and the chareidi. (Yes I know that conservative, reform, chasidic and Lubabvitch jews consider themselves religious, but for the purpose of this discussion, there are only 2 types of religious jews: chareidi and dati leumi).

We discussed the Jewish people having been given this land by God himself, and how he then took it away from us. Now we have it back and the question is whether the state of Israel is the end of the exile or just another part of it. The question being does the state have intrinsic holiness, and is the army a holy army.

I explained that we are somewhere in the middle of chareidi and dati leumi and for us it really doesn't matter because we are living here now and when mashiach comes he'll tell us if Olmert, sharon and their predecessors were the heads of the Jewish country or the country of Jews and whether it is a mitzva to serve in the army or only a civil obligation. I told her that in all of the wars of Israel there were miracles upon miracles, including in the war last summer against Lebanon. Because the chareidi do not believe that there is any holiness to the country, there point in being in the government is simply to protect their interests. The dati leumi, which believes in the holiness of the state is in the government to make sure that they keep the laws. (Of course it doesn't always work out that way, like the problem with El Al flying on shabbos, for example but I didn't bore her with extra details.)

And yes, he caused the Holocaust too (though how she came up with that question, I don't know) and there were plenty of miracles then as well, both for us and against us. The fact that it was possible to occur in civilized Europe is a miracle (bad for us) in of itself.

In any case, I don't know if she has any greater understanding of the situation, but I think I explained it to her on her own level answering her questions and not delving too deep into the muck.


Rafi G. said...

sounds like an explanation that works....

Anonymous said...

Interesting explanation. I think I would have gone with the shorter and easier, Olmert is a stupid poopy head that cares more about himself than others, explanation.