Monthly Archives: July 2010

Love the Stranger- Sam Fleischacker

Who is the Stranger today?
This weeks’ dvar Torah from Uri l’Tzedek offers us a return to the universalism of Hermann Cohen. Paam, once upon a time Herman Cnohen was an accepted part of a Rabbinic education, Mosad Harav Kook kashered him up and translated him, Akiva Simon and Harold Fisch debated which verses to use for Jewish universalism and Rav Soloveitchik did his degree on him. (And we get chief rabbis Sacks quoting him without citation.)

Samuel Fleischacker a professor at the University of Illinois offers us an expanded definition that seeks to overcome ethnocentrism. Hermann Cohen taught that we should judge a person’s ethics by how we relate to the economically and socially downtrodden. It is easy to pride ourselves on our ethic of helping our own community and building one’s own enclave. But what of those not part of the community, especially those who work for us or we live among?

Parshat Eikev by Samuel Fleischacker

This week we are commanded to love the “stranger.” (10:19) Who is this stranger? Halakha tells us that it is the convert. This is disappointing, if we are looking in the Torah for signs of concern for humanity in general, and it seems a clear stretch of the verse. For what 10:19 tells us, more precisely, is to love the stranger “because you were strangers in Egypt.” This echoes two verses in Mishpatim (Ex 22:20 and 23:9), which warn us against oppressing the stranger and note that we “know the soul of the stranger” from our experience in Egypt. We were, however, certainly not converts in Egypt. Rather, in knowing the soul of the stranger from our experience in Egypt, we know a generally human kind of suffering. P’shat in these verses would seem to demand that we not oppress non-Jews, should we ever rule over them as the Egyptians did over us.

And that supreme Being presumably cares about all sorts of strangers, not just converts to Judaism. Verses 18-19 indicate that we are to emulate this sort of love, to care about all humanity as God does.

Indeed, the Jewish philosopher Hermann Cohen suggested that it is only in loving the stranger that we fully express our monotheism. We understand God as truly the ruler of the entire universe, creator and guardian of all humankind, only when we recognize Him as the God of the stranger and not just of our kin. Loving the stranger is the most difficult of loves, the greatest challenge to our inclination to limit our concerns to the people and social system we know. But to care just about what we know is to worship ourselves, and to limit God to a being who takes care of the Jews is idolatry. True monotheism, a true recognition of God as source of or ruler over the entire universe, requires us to see God in the unfamiliar, the alien, as well as the familiar — in the complete outsider and not just in our neighbors.

In practice this means, for Jews in Israel, seeing God in the Palestinians, and for Jews here in America, seeing God in the Latina/os and other immigrants who work in our restaurants and stores and homes.
The God of gods… stands with all these people against their oppressors just as He stood with us in Egypt, cares for them as He does for us, and is ready to deliver them, as he does col adam, from one who is stronger than them, even when that stronger person is a Jew.
We were not delivered from Egypt to set up another ethnocentric system that oppresses outsiders.
We were delivered, instead, precisely to spread the message that the true God cares for all humanity (that is how we become a “holy nation”). And that requires that we understand “love the stranger” broadly and richly: not just in legal terms but in the expansive terms that allow us to mirror God’s own love, and help bring about God’s own justice.
Full Version Here

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A new blog with criticism of the Statement on Principles

Please continue to think about the last post “Quarreling with Orthodoxy” on what would be in a book to respond to post-orthodoxy and how would you address the problems. The Evangelicals in their discussions are showing that you wont solve the problems through more paternalistic liberalism or apologetics. The Evangelicals are showing in their struggles that one needs to properly name the problem, and then not to fix things with a repair kit but to offer a new vision combined with a return to basics.
A recent attempt for liberal tolerance for the issues in the community is last week’s Statement on Principles on Homosexuality. It was certainly needed to alleviate the suicide, depression, and self-hatred caused by a community that demands a single social aspiration and complete internalization of an external rule.

However, here is a new blog by two Orthodox women, both straight, grappling with the statements. I do not agree with many of their points. I am more catholic in many senses and do not think solutions will come via identity politics. But they raise the issues about liberal tolerance, hence they apply named themselves Accidental Radical.
I do know that whenever I am engaged in interfaith encounters and the other side starts with a declaration that we are all in the image of God and hence they would never do anything Anti-Semitic, then I know there will be no discussion of past Antisemitic acts, nor any plans to educate the laity, nor any apology, nor any commitments for the future since they already respect all humans.

Accidental radical
Blogger #1- Svara

I strongly applaud the efforts of those who wrote and signed the statement, as it is a necessary and long overdue acknowledgment of the undeniable presence of homosexual individuals within the Orthodox community.

However, when I reached item three, I was a bit surprised. “ Halakhah sees heterosexual marriage as the ideal model and sole legitimate outlet for human sexual expression. The sensitivity and understanding we properly express for human beings with other sexual orientations does not diminish our commitment to that principle.”

We try to be accommodating, we even spew apologetics from time to time. But we continue to stand firm on our most important principle of all – that halacha says homosexual encounters are a big no-no, and there is nothing to be done about this reality.

I am a proud Orthodox Jew. I tend to run in more modern circles, and am occasionally met with confused looks when I proclaim my identity – people wonder how could I so readily align myself with a community that is perceived to be backwards in its approach to women, gays, tax responsibilities, etc.
But my admiration of the strength and devotion of the Orthodox community, particularly in its commitment to halacha, has always trumped all of these problems that we have.

After all, if I am such a proud Orthodox Jew, shouldn’t I applaud this statement? Shouldn’t it be fundamental to any Orthodox approach?
I refuse to condemn homosexuality in any form.

In essence, what the statement does is tell the Orthodox community that we should not explicitly support our gay congregants, family, or friends’ homosexual relationships because they are not halachically valid, but if you so desire, when they want to come to shul or the family barbecue, with or without their partners and/or children, we should welcome them with open arms. I suppose my issue with this construct is that it continues to place the burden of blame for violating halacha on the shoulders of these gay individuals. We tell them that they’re violating halacha, but if they choose to do so (after all, is it really a choice to want to have a partner in life?), we won’t blame them for it. I just wonder if at any point the Orthodox community will explicitly grapple with the contradiction of halacha and our (independent?) moral instincts.

(In a similar vein, will we ever acknowledge that expecting Orthodox singles to be shomer negiah until they marry in their late 20s or early 30s is absurd? Because currently, many frum Orthodox singles in their 20s are “hooking up” on the side while pretending to be shomer negiah at shul, and this lifestyle is becoming increasingly widespread.) Will we ever stop handling these tricky questions by simply turning the other cheek, and instead step up and recognize how deeply this naive approach is hurting anyone who isn’t a married heterosexual Jew?

Blogger #2-Cashia
It bemoans me that the conversation on homosexuality needs to begin where this document does. Do we truly need to be reminded that all human beings are, well, human? Must we be told that we are prohibited from embarrassing, harassing or demeaning anyone?
It is an egotism to believe that we have the power to decide which aveirot are more severe than others. Who are we to proclaim that those who cheat on their taxes, those who treat others improperly, those who keep kosher homes but eat non-kosher in secret (perhaps I should add those who are shomer negiah in public but “hooking up” in private) are still worthy to be members of our community and receive honors, but those who have homosexual inclinations, or are in a homosexual relationship, do not deserve those same rights?

But I am conflicted by one of Svara’s points: “I just wonder if at any point the Orthodox community will explicitly grapple with the contradiction of halacha and our (independent?) moral instincts.” I wonder if this is the fear that permeates the Orthodox community which makes us so much quicker to condemn homosexuality and not kick out of our communities individuals who are convicted of attempted murder or child molestation: does halakha contradict our moral instincts?

My instinct is to answer a resounding no. But I have certainly felt that contradiction at times, this time being no exception.
I have many questions and no answers. But I will continue to grapple with these questions. Because I do not believe halakha offers us simple answers. But I do believe it has answers. And if those answers contradict my “(independent) moral instincts,” perhaps that is G-d’s way of telling me that I have not yet found the correct answers. And so we must continue to seek

For the Full Version- see here

Quarreling with Orthodoxy- more post-orthodoxy

Here is a book review from internetmonk.com, the blog from which I first adapted the term post-evangelical to post-orthodox. The problems of emphasis on body count and any technique or argument is good is it makes someone religious are obvious in the Orthodox community. The sentimentality and materialism of the community are standard critiques of Orthodoxy. His first problem of provincialism takes a bit more imagination to understand. Provincialism means that Orthodoxy means following the opinions of Teaneck, Riverdale, or YU and not the full gamut of the tradition. It also means that Orthodoxy is following the social enclave and mores of frum neighborhoods more than following God. The blog notes that now we need a book of solutions.

From internetmonk: A Lover’s Quarrel with the Evangelical Church

By Chaplain Mike
Warren Cole Smith’s book, A Lover’s Quarrel with the Evangelical Church has a title with which I resonate. If you’ve been reading Internet Monk for any length of time, you’ll know that we describe ourselves in two ways: We are evangelicals. We’re having struggles with the church. We are engaged in a critique of the church which bears Jesus’ name. We have become convinced that it is not very Jesus-shaped these days.

Many of us call ourselves “post-evangelical”—that is, we no longer feel comfortable within the system known as the American evangelical church.
In this book, Warren Cole Smith sets forth the question many of us are asking: What is it about evangelical theology or evangelical practice that is both so appealing and so troubling? (p.8 )

One of the great contributions Smith makes is that he gives names to the chains that bind us in cultural captivity. These are:
The New Provincialism: Evangelicalism has so cut itself off from history and Biblical and church tradition that, “the evangelical church risks ceasing to be a Christian church at all.” (p. 60)

The Triumph of Sentimentality: “Sentimentality is the result of our unwillingness to realign our desires with the reality of the world, but rather to remake the world in accordance with our desires” (p. 67). Having rejected history and our theological legacy, today’s evangelicalism is all about creating an alternate reality—through highly efficient, full-service megachurches, through technologically-generated “worship experiences,” through therapeutic, positive-thinking, and prosperity-Gospel preaching.

The Christian-Industrial Complex: The “Christian market” has expanded so dramatically over the past generation, that a vast industry has grown up to supply products to satisfy its desires. It’s the American way. Now, many aspects of church life are driven by target marketing rather than by theologically-informed, pastorally-sensitive ordained and accountable leaders.

Body-Count Evangelism: As any evangelical will tell you—size matters. Smith shows how today’s evangelicalism, fueled by such trends as the growth of the parachurch movement, has bought fully into the revivalist tradition with its emphasis on numbers, scale, and spectacle.

The Great Stereopticon: Rejecting the long understood fact that “the medium is the message,” evangelicalism has adopted the philosophy that any means is OK as long as one is communicating the right message. However, as Smith observes, “When you change the medium, you change the message, whether you intend to or not and though the words remain exactly the same. It is a lesson the evangelical church has not yet learned.”

I would love to see Warren Cole Smith write a second book for us—A Lover’s Proposal for the Evangelical Church—in which he might flesh out these suggestive ideas and help guide evangelicalism back to a more Jesus-shaped way.

From the Amazon review
Smith argues that we evangelicals are just as prone to being power-hungry, materialistic and being builders of our own empires as anybody else, to the detriment of community.
Evangelicals are also often guilty of a new provincialism. Provincialism usually means our outlook is narrowly determined by our small localized setting. For evangelicals, our narrowness is due to being stuck only in the “now.”

Now how would we solve each of these? What would be the chapters of the book about orthodoxy?

Copyright © 2010 Alan Brill • All Rights Reserved

Rabbi Ethan Tucker at Davar

A variety of Shabbat conversations and statements.

Conversation #1
Person #1 to me- We were discussing at lunch your opinion that Orthodoxy is about to change rapidly. Some of the people did not see it.
Me- Here we are at an event where an egalitarian rabbi is invited to teach in an Orthodox Teaneck institution and the people in this room are encouraging their kids to go to Hadar.
Person #1 – Oh, I see.

Conversation #2
Person #2 (educator in Beit Shemesh) You cant believe how Haredi Beit Shemesh has become. And it is amazing that the American Olim are going along with it.
Me- Is that what everyone expected when they moved there 20 years?
Person #2 – I don’t know, actually no they did not. They came as YU orthodoxy and now they are all Haredi, send their kids to Haredi schools and even the “modern” ones steer toward haredi. It seems they really just drifted and did not know what was going on.
Me- Why?
Person #2 It seems they did not realize how much they were new immigrants in a foreign country. They did not know the ideologies, they were out of the loop, and they lived in their expectation of presenting Yu of the 1980’s not israeli reality. Now their kids are either dat’lash or Haredi. They did not realize how much their kids would see them as immigrant foreigners who have little to teach. The system corrected the kids despite the deviance of the parents.

Ethan Tucker
If you are keeping mizvot only as an act of submission then they don’t trust the values of the Talmud and it is no different than someone who rejects the halakhah. If someone says the Talmud is against modern values and rejects the halakhah they are saying the halakhah rubs against human moral sense. But if you have an orthodoxy that emphasizes “teleological suspension of the ethical” or submission even if the halakhah feels intuitively wrong they are also showing that the Halakhah violates their natural feelings and their natural ethical sensibility. Both sides are the same, only that one side choices ethics over halakhah while the other side choices halakhah over ethics. We need a reading of Hazal that makes sense to us and the world. “For this is your wisdom, and understanding in the sight of nations.” The approach of submission shows that orthodoxy is alienated from the values of the halakhah, they can only be cynical, skeptical, estranged. (AB- ironic also)

Rabbi Tucker recounted that he was at Gush for five weeks and while there he hear a story praising the role of submission in the case of a couple where they discover one is a kohen and the other is a convert. The magid shiur emphasized repeatedly the need for submission to the halakhah. Then I knew this place is not for me. … Instead it could have been presented as the importance of preserving zera kohen as a sign of true lineage of Israel; it could have been a discussion of what is a kohen today to let me know Hazal’s values. Instead the story assumed that the listener is alienated from Hazal and can only submit despite his better sense.
For more on Rabbi Tucker- see this prior post.

Found at Mincha
When I went to get my stashed copy of the new Sifri Zuta, I found a full printout of the orthopraxrabbiblog. This group usually buys books hardcover and does not have web printouts lying around. They also dont keep up on the Orthodox blogs.

Only Zaddikim can Save us

I just read an article about Catholicism that with only a few changes could apply to Judaism. Everyday we read about people disillusioned with the financial, moral, and political scandals in the community. There are not many great rabbis that are not involved in scandals. Almost (not all) any Orthodox rabbi of authority has web pages dedicated to his scandals. Even though the defenders will argue otherwise, the rabbinate is more associated with misuse of power than role models of Torah lives. Many have been turned off by fundamentalist interpretations of the Torah. Yet, greater cultural engagement – history, philosophy, social science- wont bring people back. Vague mottos for modern Orthodoxy that do not require actual aspiration will not help. We need a real sense of before and after. We are proud of the materialism and careerism of Centrism without discussing the cultural trade offs. At best, there is moralism about a specific fetishized practices, but no core drive for values. This article thinks that only a new set of saints will help. New zaddikim are needed to enliven people and to show value. People I know have wanted a new mussar movement for a long time- maybe that can help. But real mussar is foreign. The early Hasidic Rebbes helped revive Ukrainian Jewry from its community decadence only to have their grandchildren be caught themselves in the morase. Telling Hasidic Torah wearing a bekeshe wont save us from moral decadence and misuse of funds, power, and authority.
What would a Jewish saint of the 21st century look like? What moral problems would be addressed? What virtues would be preached? What sort of saint could, or would, be followed in suburbia?

Only the Saints Can Save Us– J. Peter Nixon is an award-winning Catholic writer whose work has appeared in America, Commonweal, U.S. Catholic, and elsewhere

As Ross Douthat noted in a recent essay in the Atlantic, this was the year when the clerical sexual abuse crisis truly became global, reaching even into the Vatican itself. Douthat observed that “for millions in Europe and America, Catholicism is probably permanently associated with sexual scandal, rather than the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Most of the solutions offered are unlikely to have much of an impact. The liberal path of greater rapprochement between Church and culture has not proven successful for those denominations that have tried it. But an embittered and joyless defense of orthodoxy — the kind on display in far too many quarters of the Catholic internet — repels far more people than it attracts.

Our children and grandchildren are abandoning the faith because they perceive — rightly — that its demands are at fundamental variance with the lives we have prepared them to lead. We have raised them to seek lives characterized by material comfort, sexual fulfillment, and freedom from any obligations that they have not personally chosen. Should it surprise us that they fail to take seriously our claims to follow one who embraced poverty, chastity, and obedience to the will of God?

A revival of the Church in our time will require believers who are willing to take risks on behalf of the Gospel. I sometimes wonder what would have happened if Cardinal Law, rather than retiring to his sinecure in Rome, had instead made a penitential journey to Haiti and lived out his days in a hospital cleaning toilets and picking maggots from the wounds of street people. Some might have seen such a penance as inadequate to the offense, but it could not have been dismissed as an empty gesture.

The future of the Church is not in the hands of its leaders, whose exhortations seem increasingly to fall on deaf ears… In the end, it is only the saints who can save us.

Marilynne Robinson and the Emergence of Ethical Man post 3 of 3

Marilynne Robinson claims in Absence of Mind that we overcome the materialist worldview of T.H. Huxley (exemplifying the new atheists) by appreciating the deeper sense within us. I started thinking that I have heard this before Yes indeed, it is the basic position of Rabbi Soloveitchik in the Emergence of Ethical Man. We need to overcome the materialism and selfishness of Huxley’s worldview by accepting the Divine command and emerge as moral beings.

Robinson is at the forefront of changing the popular image of Calvinism Calvinist defender Jonathan Edwards’s description of man as a “loathsome insect” held over the fire of Hell by God, such a task seems ripe and even overdue. In all of her works Robinson moves the emphasis to Calvin’s idea of a God given religious consciousness. We can sense where our life has gone astray and needs the word of God.

Such warring against historical miscomprehension, however, while effectively waged by Robinson, is not the main task of her essay. Instead, she seeks to describe the religious and spiritual experience of perception in Calvin’s theology, the experience by which seeing the world leads to loving it, and witnessing mankind brings about acknowledgment of man’s infinite beauty and potential. For Robinson, “wickedness is not the only inhabitant of man’s soul. There also reside stores and stores of grace, beauty, and holiness, stores that shine forth when we truly and lovingly look at our fellow man. Created in the image of God, mankind is filled with his divine presence; it is only in comparison with this potential for sanctity and goodness that Calvin so painfully denounces man’s wickedness.” – for more on her Calvinism-see here.

According to Robinson, we have to overcome a material bestial life and learn to appreciate our life stories filled with a wide ethical range of sin and beauty. In her novels, from what I have been told, we find ourselves confronted by God’s vision of human life.

Rabbi Soloveitchik starts with the same need to overcome the scientific materialism and amoral selfishness of Huxley, he also starts with the same Protestant pessimism about human nature in its natural state. So, his solution is the need to accept the divine command of being in the image of God and accept moral responsibility for our actions. Unlike Robinson for whom this is a natural faculty, Soloveitchik treats it as “a redemptive sacrificial act” or as a need to be “confronted by God’s revelation.” We need revelation of Genesis to give meaning to our lives. We rise from our nasty brutish existence to a life of morality and intellectual integrity. He presents this rise from materialism to ethical existence in several works including The Emergence of Ethical Man, Confrontation, Kol Dodi Dofek (in shortened form), and in Ubekashtem MeSham. We gain meaning to our suffering and cognitive gestures through revelation and then as Jews we have a double confrontation in that we also have a second confrontation with God in which we are transformed into the Jewish community of Torah.

Soloveitchik lacks a natural faculty but requires a revelation; this form of revelation is called a dialectic theory. All revelation is about how God communicates with humanity. A dialectic theory concerns itself with how we are redeemed from natural existence; it is not about receiving a corpus of doctrine. Nothing can be known in a dialectic approach without revelation so revelation is about one’s basic anthropology. (for more info google Karl Barth and revelation)

As a side point, much of the blog world not trained in theology is not used to distinguishing between revelation and Torah from Sinai. The former is where the divine breaks into the human condition and the latter is the Jewish concept of what occurred at Sinai. Rabbi Soloveitchik was always interested in the former – how we go from materialism to ethical and then to halakhic. He clearly writes that he was not interested in apologetics about the latter. The former was the more serious question.

Marilynne Robinson reminds us why revelation is the more important question. How do we understand human existence that helps us transcend skepticism, materialism, and man’s brutish nature? She answers with a God given sense of the sublime and Rabbi Soloveithcik answers with a double confrontation of man before the Divine.

As a useful contrast, David Novak in Azure set up the problem the same way but offers a different answer. Novak offer a single confrontation. Like Soloveitchik, we no longer use natural theology to know God as a first cause or His involvement in the natural order. We only know God as the commander who creates our moral standards. Novak answers the skeptics and materialists by saying, of course as modern we cannot compete with you and do natural theology that gives values to the natural order. Instead, we have to acknowledge the commander and know that he gives us a natural law to guide us. Whereas Soloveitchik has a double confrontation – our universal meaning in life and then our obedience in halakhah. Novak has a single confrontation and our universal moral sense of natural law should be used to generate a natural law halakhah.

We could say that statements about God are not scientific hypotheses at all, since we are not speaking of God as a cause operating within the natural order, which is the sole order about which natural science can speak with any cogency. And, even when we do speak of God as the creator of the universe and all it contains, we are not speaking of a God whose existence has been inferred from human experience of orderly nature. Instead, we are speaking of a God who commands our community, through his historical revelation to our community, to acknowledge his creation of that natural order in which our historical relationship with him takes place.

A neo-Hasid sees God glory in all things, and does not worry about the science. None of the three thinkers, however, allows nature to prove anything because then the materialists and skeptics win. Today, only fundamentalists conflate religion and science. These are not the only three approaches but Marilynne Robinson has given us a angle to bring together several dialectic thinkers.

Copyright © 2010 Alan Brill • All Rights Reserved

Interview with James Kugel in il Sussidiario

In your book On Being a Jew you make an argument in support of the value of orthodoxy. What is orthodoxy? What value does it have for contemporary people and societies?

I suppose orthodoxy in general can refer to all sorts of things – sticking to tradition (and, hence, a reluctance or unwillingness to change); fundamentalism or literalism, especially in regard to Scripture; a devotion to established doctrines and rituals, and along with this a certain mistrust of spontaneity or the lack of framework. Any of these can be valuable or harmful in contemporary societies – sometimes both at the same time. I think one of the things that orthodoxy in religion provides is a feeling of stability and continuity, and of belonging to something ongoing that is bigger than oneself.

Speaking in particular of the Jewish situation: Jewish orthodoxy is a broad topic. What is it? Who are the authors of the official line? Who are your points of reference?

Strictly speaking, Orthodox Judaism is a modern invention. This term was first used in the early nineteenth century as a rallying cry against Reform Judaism and the other forces that threatened traditional Jewish ways of worship and Jewish self-definition. But in a broader sense, Orthodoxy today sees itself as the heir to centuries and centuries of earlier tradition; it is the form of Judaism today that most directly and meaningfully continues the Judaism of the ages.

In this sense, its “authors” are the classical texts of Judaism: the Hebrew Bible, the Talmud, and later codifications of Jewish law. Since Judaism is all about serving God and occupying oneself with doing the things that God commanded, these texts are crucial for Orthodox Jews. They try to keep all the laws of ritual and ethical behavior scrupulously – this is sometimes a point of distinction between them and other Jews.

But the “who” of Orthodox Judaism is not an easy matter to define.

Today, the old Orthodoxy (sometimes styled “modern Orthodoxy”) continues, but the line between it and the Haredim has been somewhat blurred. What is more, the rise of the state of Israel, along with the entrance of non-European, Sephardic Jews into the broader religious picture in Israel, has made this matter of “who” far more complicated than it used to be.

Critics of organized religion assert that religion has been a cause, at least ostensibly, of war and division. Indeed, much of the world is involved in a war now that is, in many ways, a religious one. How do you think orthodoxy stands up to this charge?

It depends whose orthodoxy you mean. I do not think that there are many conflicts currently going on that could be blamed on Christian orthodoxy. Jewish orthodoxy, I am sorry to say, is not an entirely innocent bystander in the current crisis in the Middle East, but I hardly think that it is a main factor.

What do you think of Zionism as a project, and what does that have to do with your view of orthodoxy? Do you see the Jewish state as a Messianic project and expression of orthodoxy?

Zionism is the national liberation movement of the Jewish people. It began in earnest in the nineteenth century. Its original aim was to allow Jews to settle in the multi-national, multi-cultural Ottoman empire, along various tracts of land purchased in parts of Palestine, the Jews’ historic homeland. This movement soon came to focus on the hope for a Jewish state,

As for the role of Jewish orthodoxy in Zionism, in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries it was rather negligible; Zionism was an overwhelmingly secular movement. As its goals came closer to realization, however, religious Jews found it more congenial, and especially following the Six Day War in 1967, many such Jews saw Israel as nothing less than the fulfillment of biblical prophecy and even the forerunner of Messianic redemption.

I personally support the state of Israel – I am an Israeli citizen and have lived there for more than twenty years – but I am a bit uncomfortable with the identification of the state with any eschatology, Orthodox or otherwise. I’m glad Israel exists, but I await somewhat nervously the judgment of history.

Full version here

dont forget h/t