Tuesday, January 31, 2012

On the Quality of the Land of Israel's Sacredness

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A real territorial exception, the land of Israel is far more than a territory. It is the image and the sign of the Jewish exception. Its intimate link to God sends back to God’s intimate link to Israel. Any change of the relations between Israel and its land is nothing but the clear sign of a change of its relations with God. However, no alteration of this kind is irrevocable and definitive. And none is as deep as appearances seem to tell. The land is a person endowed with will, which may be negative or favourable, now accepting now rejecting its inhabitants. Those who live on it, breathe a pure air and its dust for those buried in it has an expiatory power, comparable to that of the altar of sacrifices. Its successive conquerors did not manage to put down roots, which reveals its positive resistance to any illegal takeover. The land of Israel is hit by nothing but what it accepts to be hit by. Essentially pure, nothing could possibly stain it. The destruction and the oppression of a foreign ruler only has a limited impact on it: perhaps the divine impulse from above is no more as intense as it used to be, but evil has no grip on it, and it has itself the power to reject impurity. To consider that the effects of impious acts committed in the Holy Land through centuries are non-existent or fundamentally inessential is a way of implying that the relation of history to it, is like water off a duck’s back. The land of Israel is no more in history, but out of it. The rags of spoliation and destruction mask an essential, divine and unchanging land whose present troubles by no means affect it and which, some day, once again, is to reveal itself in all its untarnished glory. Indefinitely idealised, the land medieval Jews are dreaming of is this land toward which they turn to pray thrice a day. But it is also far more than that, and really something else. The more it is perceived as holy, the more it is lived as different – and as terrible.

The modern Jewish Zionist-inspired ideology, of course, tended to claim that after destruction and dispersion nothing in fact had jeopardised the Jews’ relationship toward the Holy Land and that this land had never even been weakened by some symbolisation of the sacred space or by the transfer of this sacrality to whatever space or institution.

From a lecture by Jean-Christophe Attias and Esther Benbassa: ISRAEL, THE LAND AND THE SACRED

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5 comments:

tiffany jewellery said...

Its like you read my mind! You appear to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with some pics to drive the message home a little bit, but other than that, this is great blog. A great read. I will certainly be back.

Anonymous said...

From the link

"The yerida, in some way, is a negation of the very foundations of Zionism the aim of which was to turn the land of Israel into the land par excellence for all Jews."

And what an epic fail that has been . Can't even feed its own kids.

http://www.yadeliezer.org/

Tonight One Third of Israeli Children Will Go To Bed Hungry
Over seven hundred thousand children in Israel live below the poverty line.

but obviously the settlers need the money more than poor Jewish kids need food.

YMedad said...

a) there were hungry and poor in Israel before 1967 and there was after the withdrawals & retreats from Sinai, from Yammit, from Gaza, and from N. Samaria.

b) in other words, there is no link between territory and poverty.

c) ask yourself why there are Arab poor & hungry despite Israeli withdrawals, either in Israell or among the Pals. no connection.

d) Oslo was supposed to bring a New Middle Wast a la Shimon Peres - what happened? There were other factors.

e) (pssst) there are poor & hungry among the Jewish revenant residents in Judea & Samaria, too.

tyr using logic for your thinking.

Mark said...

Why cannot there be a peaceful society where people are not classified as rich or poor. Food for all and end the hunger. If we could become a united world respectful of all religions then this could be possible. Too much greed and cruelty among humanity.

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