Torah is Neither Blue Nor Red

Friday, 8 July, 2022 - 2:03 pm

The Previous Lubavitcher Rebbe was asked which of the two politico-economic systems that were prevalent in his time were aligned with the Torahs view. His profound response should be very instructive in our current situation. Neither system is aligned with Torah. Each system has positive elements, whose truths can be traced to the Torah. Each system also has elements that are not in consonance with Torah and, as such, are not positive.

Our country is raging with debate over political issues. Folks are very passionate about their views. As Jews, we sometimes attempt to invoke Judaism or Jewish values as we defend our views. But we must remember that by and large (nearly across the board) no political view is completely aligned with Torah, even on a single issue, how much more so in the full picture.

I have little patience for the rush to quote a nuanced passage in the Talmud or Jewish law about a topic, while roundly demonstrating indifference or even disdain, for much of what Torah represents. This is true on all sides of the political spectrum.

The Rebbe often points out that Torah is described in three ways. Torat Chaim – the Torah of life, Torat Emet – the Torah of truth, and Torah Ohr – the Torah of light. As we sift through the multitude of opinions and views on the many issues being debated in our society, it is vital that as Jews we recognize that our allegiance is not to a political party or philosophy. Rather our devotion is the truth, light and life that emanates from Divine Wisdom.

The Torah is our tree of life, our pillar of truth, and the illumination of our path. Everything else is like a radio with a lot of static. Once in while you hear something useful, but otherwise it is just background noise.

Shabbat Shalom
Rabbi Mendel Rivkin

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