A group of Israeli rabbis issued a religious ruling forbidding Jews to rent homes to Arabs.
Even Benjamin Netanyahu could take the high road on this one. “How would we feel if we were told not to sell an apartment to Jews?” asked Netanyahu. “We would protest, and we protest now when it is said of our neighbors.”
Bibi gets this one exactly right, of course. The rabbis, however, display themselves to be ignorant of halakha (Jewish law), willfully or otherwise, and, even worse, to be classical anti-Semites. Consider the words of Rabbi Yosef Scheinen, who heads the Ashdod Yeshiva: “Racism originated in the Torah. The land of Israel is designated for the people of Israel. This is what the Holy One Blessed Be He intended and that is what the [sage] Rashi interpreted.”
I don’t know what passage Scheinen is referring to. But I do know he is wrong about the law. Doing business, renting, to non-Jews is not prohibited. Even the question of selling land in Israel to non-Jews is off-base—those laws deal with a post-messianic Israel, where Jews have already returned.
We may recall that Orthodox Jews opposed Zionism for many years, on the basis that Judaism teaches us that Jews live in galut (exile) by God’s decree, and only the coming of the Messiah can end that exile. Religious Zionism re-wrote Jewish history to accommodate the Talmudic acrobatics they needed to perform in order to poison Jewish nationalism with religious fundamentalism. Continue reading