Judaism: Healing the Rift: The Draft Law and Pikudei
Moshe KempinskiMoshe Kempinski, author of "The Teacher and the Preacher", is the editor of the Jerusalem Insights weekly email journal and co-owner of Shorashim, a Biblical shop and learning center in the Old City of Jerusalem.
Today these pioneers are finally being seen as the forerunners and foundation-builders of modern Zionism.Yet their immediate impact remained small. It took the massive Aliyah movements that were predominately secular to push the fledgling community into statehood.
At the time of the formation of Israel’s fledgling army in 1948, Ben Gurion came to an agreement with the Chazon Ish, the leader of the Haredi Orthodox community in Israel. The secular leadership at the time were intent on creating a “ New Jewish Persona” in the new born state. The Orthodox establishment were concerned , with justification, that placing their young boys under secular command in the army would destroy their commitment to faith.
This was a system that could not be sustained and recently a growing group of Haredi civilians found ways to enter the armed service and still maintain their level of Jewish life. This process came to an abrupt end after the last election .The brash and, at times, arrogant Yesh Atid party decided to impose new rules and after 65 years, coerce a society to conform to its whims and desires. All this under the threat of financial and legal punitive measures. It is not surprising, then, that the Hareidi community recoiled and set up barricades of fear and hatred. The religious Zionist community that attempted to bridge those two opposing radical views then became the object of abuse and scorn from both sides.
The Torah portions of Vaykhel and Pekudei are usually read together in the synagogues. When the year becomes a leap year they are separated, though thematically they are intrinsically connected. In the portion of Vaykhel ( and Moshe assembled) the Torah teaches the power of being intrinsically connected to the Klal or peoplehood of Israel. The common purpose and destiny of the peoplehood of Israel carries within it the power to elevate, empower and heal the individual souls that make up the people.
The tabernacle which houses the glory of Hashem therefore was filled and created by the hearts and souls of every individual in the people of Israel.
The word Pakod does not only mean “to count” but to count so as to make sure that nothing is missing. To make sure no one is missing because everyone is critical otherwise the tabernacle could not achieve its purpose. What was true of the Tabernacle is true of the nation of Israel. When the opposing factions begin to realize and feel the vision and the pain of the other side, then the healing can begin.
At this point we only hear and read of arrogance hatred and recrimination. When the ultra-secularists and the Hareidi community begin to realize that they desperately need each other, only then will this nation will become the vessel for G-d’s plan of destiny.