Synagogue vestibules in Israel have come to resemble library reading rooms, given the plethora of weekly pamphlets and publications distributed free of charge. Practically all of them deal with the weekly Torah portion, current events, religious-Zionist and/or hareidi-religious commentary, and more. This past week, however, a new and different publication joined the ranks: Tomorrow, published by the Jewish Leadership (Manhigut Yehudit) movement.
Known by its Hebrew name “Machar” (ch pronounced as in the Irish "loch"), its editors say they have both high hopes and concerns – “because, after all, this is a new concept: a publication that deals with the future, and not with the present.”
It will not remain only in the synagogue, however. Distribution will begin in universities and colleges around the country, “and this is our main audience,” editor Shmuel Lerman – a writer, author, and head of the Kivunim publishing-aid agency – told Israel National News.
In his opening mission statement, Lerman writes, “Machar will deal with presenting an outline, on various planes, of the Jewish State as all those who are loyal to the spirit of Judaism wish to see it.”
“Machar will present the State of Israel of today with alternatives in matters of government, foreign and security affairs, ethics and law, economics and society – and all of the other components that build its identity and form its image.”
“It will be more ‘pro’ and less ‘anti,’ more practical and less theoretical, more ‘tomorrow’ and less ‘today.’ The objective is to bring about a change in consciousness in Israeli society, in anticipation of a more Jewish and more values-based State.”
Articles in the first issue deal with brotherhood in Judaism and other societies, bank profits at the expense of the poor, enlightened capitalism – and a proposal to form a bank that does not charge interest. “Such a bank exists in Malaysia, a country with one of the highest growth rates in the world,” the article states.
Next Issues: Freedom, Education
Lerman said that the “upcoming issue will deal with issues of personal and national freedom, e.g., in terms of Israel’s relationship with the United States, and the one after that will deal with education and parents’ involvement thereof. We are building a Beit Midrash – a study hall that speaks Judaism – not in the language of religion, but in modern-ish.”
“We wish to open the floor to all who see themselves as partners in the historic, dramatic return of the Nation of Israel to its historic homeland,” the new publication states. “This return presents us with the great challenge of joining our spiritual and cultural tradition with a reality that we have not known for 2,000 years: that of a modern nation living sovereign in its land. This requires us to step out of the box and propose new approaches in various areas. To this end, we need the creative reservoirs of all circles – both religious and secular.”