The Guys Nobody Seems to be Talking About (But Maybe Should)
Other people want to complain that Shas are all sellouts, they are just interested in money for their causes and nothing else. Well let's take a look at those causes real quick. From what I'm aware of the majority of the money Shas funnels is into religious schools, ways to help educate non-Religious Jews in Jewish knowledge, and other general Torah learning institutions. Chazal says that Hashem created the whole world for the sake of learning Torah... so much so that if there was a moment in which Torah wasn't being learned anywhere in the world it would cease to exist. So for Shas to divert as much money into Torah learning as possible doesn't sound crooked to me, quite the opposite- I would think it would be the best investment this country could make.
Some want to criticize how they obey the directives of Rav Ovadia Yosef and seem to do whatever he says. Well if anyone has something bad to say about Rav Ovadia I would suggest you bite your tongue- for your own sake. This is because he is one our current generation's biggest Talmidei Chachim (if not THE Gadol Hador), and the Gemara's definition of a heretic is one who claims what do we need the rabbis and the Torah scholars for, what good are they?
I ask any right wing religious voter in Israel, or any religious voter for that matter, who would be a better choice? I don't even think I need to explain away Barak or Livni. Bibi? Last time I checked he doesn't sport a kippah on his head too often and he's already proven his diplomatic resolve and love of Eretz Yisrael and our religious heritage by giving away Hevron. If even Sharon didn't have the backbone to stand up against American diplomatic pressure do you really think he's going to?
What about Yisrael Beiteinu? Arutz Sheva recently reported an American diplomat has released a book of his experience dealing with Israel in which he tells that Lieberman once agreed to give in to the PLO's land demands and give away our precious Yesha. Even if he wants to deny this he can't deny things on his official platform like supporting civil marriage. Currently the Rabbinate controls who gets married in this country and Baruch Hashem there is a group responsible enough to make sure Jews are inter-marrying themselves into extinction like they are in America. Baruch Hashem I recently got married here and I can attest that as inconveniant as it may be having about 20 run-ins with the Rabbinut before getting your ketuba, at least they are making certain people are Jewish before letting them marry each other. Now what pray tell do we need civil marriage for in this country if not to allow inter-marriage and gays marrying each other? I asked a campaign worker for Yisrael Beiteinu the other day about this issue. He claimed it is one of the many issues being spun out of control to harm their image and that in truth Lieberman just supports some small concession to allow for tax breaks. This man wore a kippah as does Lieberman, so I ask them, do they believe in the Torah like their clothing suggests or not!?! If G-d explicitly forbids these types of marriages then why do we need to make even small concessions? Every concession one makes in his beliefs highlights a lack of faith in the Torah. And as far as Lieberman trying to advertise himself as the guy to get the arabs out of Israel? Doubtful. Not even Rav Kahane could do that after immeasurable blood sweat and tears, and this guys is no Rav Kahane.
What about Feiglin? I heard him speak at Tuesday Night Live this week and I must say he is about as much of a stand up guy as you'll find. The problem is he is number 36 on the list. In order to get him in you first need to get in 35 shall we say, "not so stand up" people first. He claims this is the only way to change Likud from the inside out. But changes like he is trying to accomplish take time, and in the mean time can we afford to put our hope in a 1 to 35 voting ratio while the future of the country hangs in the balance?
Then there is the Dati Leumi parties. Their hearts are in the right place but it appears as if they can't get their act together long enough to get along with themselves never mind lead the rest of the country. Plus there is the laws of probability that heavily weigh against them gaining enough seats to have serious influence in the government. One could counter that Shas doesn't have a chance of winning the prime ministership either yet that isn't important. Why? It doesn't really matter who is in charge, for we know that on Rosh Hashanah Hashem plans out of that whole following year who will go to war with who, which side will be victorious, and how much money every person and country will have as well as who will live and who will die. Therefore we could vote in the best party and prime minister in the world and if Hashem doesn't help us then we won't have a chance. Likewise we could have the most inept losers at the helm and if Hashem wills it then we'll be successful. Shas isn't going to be the biggest party, that's a given. But what is also almost guaranteed is that they will be big enough that whichever party does lead will have to take them in as a coalition partner. Therefore the stronger they are, the more muscle they have to get what they want- i.e. money to support Torah (something ever so vital now that much of the American philanthropy to Israel is getting hit hard from the world financial crisis). So if Hashem decides who successful we're going to be at war and diplomacy and the like who does it matter who "appears" to be in charge? What we should worry about is how we can affect thigns we do have control over like how many Jews are going to learn Torah or do Teshuva and have a support network to ease them into the religious world when they do.
Now at the end of the day I don't know how much my opinion counts because I am not yet able to vote here anyway. But I will say this, if you look around at all the political posters it's all attacks from this one on that one and counter-attacks the other way. Then you see the egged bus come by with a big picture of Rav Ovadia and it has a blessing to Am Yisrael or a quote from the Tanach, and always something optimistic. If nothing else, let's go with the "glass half full" people!Full post and comments...