Friday, December 02, 2005

Destroying Idolatry

Over at Hirhurim, Gil responds to the argument that being part of the government of Israel is idolatry by omission. The Satmar Rav argued that Christianity is idolatry for Jews and we therefore have the obligation to destroy the churches in Israel. When Israel don't do that, the government is implicitly accepting idolatry.

Gil points out that it's unclear that we have such an obligation even in theory. If it's not idolatry for those practicing it, there's no obvious requirement to destroy their houses of worship.

His last point is the most fundamental. In a nonredeemed world, destroying churches would put both the state of Israel and the Jewish people at risk. This cost would negate our obligation (if one exists even in theory) to destroy the churches.

I believe this argument can be extended to cover other situations, such as transfer. Even if we assume that the transfer question is moot (I argued in the past that it isn't) the same costs would apply to transfer. Israel would be put in a perilous situation and Jews around the world would be in danger. Our theoretical requirement would be mitigated because of these probable outcomes.

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