The Rabbis’ Letter forbidding Jews from selling homes in Israel to Arabs has become the latest controversy in Israel. It was placed on hold for a few days while the Carmel fire raged wildly around it, but is now comfortably back on the media’s “hot seat” – and the rabbis are indeed feeling the heat.
Some 300 rabbis have expressed support for the ruling, while several mainstream rabbis have come out prominently against it. What is a bystander to think?
Here’s one opinion: The question is not so much one of technical Jewish Law, but rather this: May Jews help Israel remain Jewish, or not?
It appears that the rabbis who signed on the ruling take very seriously accusations leveled at them in the past of “standing idly by,” “not being proactive,” and “ignoring dangers.” In fulfillment of the Mishnaic teaching, “Where there is no man, try to be a man,” they took bold and seemingly unpopular action to try to stem a tide that threatens to engulf all of us – reporters, modern rabbis, Jews in the Diaspora, and certainly the Jews of Tzfat, Lod, Ramle, the Galilee, Haifa, Arad, Tel Aviv, and all of Israel.
In a word, Israel faces a gerrymandering demographic threat, if you will. Instead of the slowly growing Arab minority to which we have essentially grown accustomed and which basically remains within specific areas, Arabs have now begun moving into specific Jewish areas, rendering many of the areas no longer Jewish.
Sunday, December 12, 2010
In Defense of the Rabbis' Ruling
Hillel Fendel has wrote an interesting piece on the latest controversy. This excerpt is to get you started. Be sure to read the whole thing: