These and Those

Musings from Students of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem

Dr. Micah Goodman: “What the Israeli elections teach us about Israeli society”

Posted on March 20, 2013 by Ruthi Wicks

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mgJust a couple weeks ago, Dr. Micah Goodman of the Ein Prat Academy visited us at Pardes to address the student body at shiur clali.

His insights into Israeli society were stimulating and refreshing. His analysis, based on the election results, that Israeli society is moving towards Jewish pluralism and openness was inspiring and very much complemented what I have been studying in my Modern Jewish Thought class. In that class, we have explored the tension between the particular and universal aspects of Judaism. Micah pointed out that as more secular Israelis learn Torah, the universal aspects of the Torah naturally come to the forefront, allowing the country to change and evolve in new and positive ways. Ultimately, this shift in focus – which is a shift in focus away from the Palestinian peace process – may be the best way to reach true peace.

He closed his talk by noting that as long we as a people only fear becoming slaves again, only worry that we never become subject to anyone else, we can’t take the next, necessary step in transforming from slaves to free people. Also very present in the Torah is the warning not to become Egyptians, not to become too intoxicated with our own power. This message is coming to the forefront as a wider range of Israelis learn Torah. After hearing Micah’s analysis I feel both better informed and more optimistic about Israel’s future. This country is moving in a good direction.