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Monday, February 05, 2007

Neo-Zionism "R" Us

Hi, my name is Yishai and I'm a Neo-Zionist Uberblogger.

To see this blog up and running is very exciting to me. I remember when Kumah first went up and how excited I was when we only had a banner up with no content - I knew then that we were beginning something big.

For many years our focus was just physical Aliyah from the Exile. Now our goal is to share ourselves more fully - to talk about Aliyah in the broader sense. Our vision of Zion is a holistic one, which sees our 'local' redemption as having grand implications to the world at large.

We are living in very exciting times, times when the majority of Jews live in Israel after 2000 years of exile. (Unreal! Why have we merited this?) We are also living in a semi-dark era when half the Jews choose to remain exiled, and even those who have been born to redemption, reject their spiritual inheritance.

Many commentators specialize in diagnosing the problem without offering much of a solution. I hope to use this forum positively - to focus on ideas and on the 'art of the possible.'

My incredible job at Israel National Radio allows me to interview some of the finest minds and souls dealing with the issues I care about, and I plan to use this forum to share with you some of those interviews.

It happens to be that today I interviewed Rabbi David Bar Chaim - a Neo-Zionist revolutionary with ideas as to how the Jewish people can fullfull the Torah more fully, more redemptivally. Recently he railed:

One of our greatest strengths as a people has been our adherence to tradition. Throughout the Galuth (Exile) our forefathers gave their all to ensure that we, their descendants, would continue to live in accordance with the Torah. To this end a strategy was developed, a central feature of which was an extremely rigid conformance to minhag (customary practice) and a sanctification of the present state of Jewish affairs. It is fair to say that in the fullness of time this came to be the essential yardstick and paramount concern of Judaism; the status quo became a mitzvah.

Present-day Orthodoxy, born in the crucible of Galuth, has no room for 'new Mitzvoth - even if they are very old. The essential article of faith of the 'frum' world - 'That which is new is forbidden' (first introduced 200 years ago as Orthodoxy's battle cry in its war with the German Reform movement) does not allow for innovation and originality, even when the Torah demands it. When faced with the task of implementing the Torah, in all its aspects and manifestations from Techeleth to trade and industry the rabbinical Establishment is, sadly, completely out of its depth. And when rabbis are unable to deal with Torah and make it work in the real world we, the Jewish people, are in a state of profound crisis.

Press "Play" below to listen my interview with Rabbi David Bar Chaim

So to sign off my first post of Kumah Reloaded I thought it fitting to quote Tank, Neo's operator in the original Matrix:

Goddamn, I got to tell you I'm fairly excited to see what you are capable of. I mean if Morpheus is right and all. We're not supposed to talk about any of that, but if you are, well then this is an exciting time. We got a lot to do so let's get to it.

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  • At 5:55 AM , Blogger Sarah said...

    Yay! :)

    What's an uberblog?

  • At 8:46 AM , Blogger Ezra said...

    What my esteemed fellow blogger meant was "Überblog."

    That answers your question, right?

    If not:

  • At 9:29 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Great food for the Jewish soul. May you continue to merit to bring the Jewish people closer to the guelah and the Temple.
    Go, Yishai!

  • At 2:50 PM , Blogger Louis said...

    Great blog. Learn more about Rav Bar-Hayim's vision at


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