From Michah to Michah

On August 5, Michah Odenheimer’s message of “The Nation-State Law is a Danger to Israel” is clearly and brilliantly expressed… a warning to the heads of government who rule from out of Zion and Jerusalem.

From Michah  Odenheimer to the 8th century BCE  Hebrew prophet Michah, the words resonate with condemnation of injustice. Our Michah has inherited the spirit and the voice of the prophet of Moresheth-gath. K’shmo ken hu. As is his name, so is he.

The very name Michah is an abbreviation of the name Micaiah which means “who is like unto God”.

In the second chapter of the prophet’s message, he preached “Woe to them that devise iniquity…because it is in the power of their hand… thus they oppress a man and his house, even a man and his heritage”.

Does it sound familiar?  Prime Minister Netanyahu needs to take a lesson from the Hebrew prophets of old  upon whose words are the very foundations of Judaism.

In Netanyahu’s oppressive and discriminatory Nation-State law he devises iniquity because it is in the power of his hand to oppress man and his heritage… the non-Jewish minority citizens of the once-upon-a-time democracy in Israel.

Can there be words more powerful and more demanding than Michah’s cry in the sixth chapter?

“It has been told thee, O man, what is good and what the Lord requires of thee… ki  im asot mishpat v’ahavat chesed v’hatznaia lechet im Elohecha…Only to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God”.

The new Nation-State law does NOT do justly to our minorities, it shows no mercy, it deprives 21 % of our population of a 100 year- old law recognizing Arabic as one of our three official languages.

I do not know if Bibi walks with God (or only with Sara who is like a god to him) but he certainly does not walk humbly. He is autocratic and makes unreasonable demands of his Likud and coalition partners to support him in this hour of national and international displeasure with his unjust new law.

He stubbornly refuses to accept the pleas of our loyal and brave Druze, Beduin and Circassian citizens who serve in our army and whose red blood has stained our soil.

His law can be adjusted if he only had the will to submit to the demands of our steadfastly devoted and dedicated minority citizens.

Somewhere I have heard of a proposal to annul the Nation-State law and in its place to enshrine our 1948 Declaration of Independence as a Basic Law of our State.  It makes absolute perfect sense because in it our country is clearly defined as a Jewish nation and also because it clearly declares the equality of every citizen of Israel, regardless of race, religion or gender.

Should it be adopted as a Basic Law it will restore the honor to our nation and the dignity of our Druze, Beduin and Circassian loyal citizens.

Michah Odenheimer’s article was in the spirit of the prophet whose name he bears.

Let us hope and pray that by some miracle our prime minister’s heart will be softened and he will hear the voices calling out to him for justice and for mercy.

Perhaps Sara can influence him to do the right thing.  Hers is the only voice he listens to.

Out of love or out of fear?

About the Author
Esor Ben-Sorek is a retired professor of Hebrew, Biblical literature & history of Israel. Conversant in 8 languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French, German, Spanish, Polish & Dutch. Very proud of being an Israeli citizen. A follower of Trumpeldor & Jabotinsky & Begin.
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