The Torah and the Left

Jewish tradition teaches that the Torah is Divine and represents the ultimate truth and the will of G-d. We are taught in the Mishna that we are to make our ideals or will, coincide with the Al-mighty’s ideals, so that His ideals will coincide with ours.

Ideally, every opinion that we have on any subject, should be based on a legitimate Jewish source. Therefore, if a movement arises that expresses very definite views, we need to examine if such views are in line with the Torah and Judaism.

Regarding many of the views expressed by the Left, they not only are not in line with traditional Jewish beliefs, but actually oppose such beliefs.

We can begin by examining the special role of the Jewish people in the world. We were chosen by G-d for a special role in the world. We are given the task of teaching the world morality. We are to epitomize that which is right and holy. We were given 613 commandments.

We were also warned against mingling too much with the Gentile world on a social basis. Intermarriage represents a tragedy for the Jewish people. The Rabbis even adopted laws to prevent such social interaction.

The Left believes that all nations are equal and negates the unique role of the Jewish people. They do not see intermarriage as being so catastrophic. What is important is that two people love each other. What feels good is given great priority.

Traditional Judaism has very definite laws about right and wrong. There is a strong belief in the evil inclination that we are meant to try to overcome. “Feeling right” may be motivated by this evil inclination. This is especially true if what feels right is contrary to Jewish Law.

Another major clash between the Left and the Torah, relates to the subject of evil. The Prophet Isaiah says clearly that G-d created good as well as evil. He wants man to choose good so that He can reward him for not giving in to temptation.

The Left believes that man is inherently good and if he commits a crime, it is only out of frustration. If that individual received love and lots of hugs, he would behave. Dennis Prager pointed out that most terrorist attacks were perpetrated by the middle class and not the poor. Prager added, “Moral poverty corrupts. Not poverty.”

On a subject such as gun control, there is a clear dictum, that when one comes to slay you, slay him first. We are commanded to defend ourselves. Obviously, this can only come about,if we are armed.

Even a topic such as global warming, has a Torah source. The world is meant to last to eternity. We believe in the coming of the Messiah and the resurrection of the dead. This won’t happen if the world self
destructs to being overheated. It clearly challenges G-d’d being in control of the universe. Those who are concerned with global warming are questioning the power of G-d.

Regarding capital punishment, there are sources that say that it is merciful when the evil doer is put to death for his crime. The world becomes a better place as evil is eradicated from our midst.

It is so essential that we understand that a human being is not capable of having more compassion than G-d Himself. Admittedly, some laws are difficult to comprehend. Yet, it is clear that the more one surrenders himself and accepts that G-d knows better, the more peace of mind he has.

If the Left feels their value system surpasses our tradition, it borders on arrogance to say the least. We have been taught the dangers of what happens to a society where each acts according to what is “righteous in his own eyes.” We have chaos and anarchy.

Leftist views do not make the world a better place. Their world is filled with confusion and futility. It makes much more sense to return to the traditions and beliefs that have allowed us to survive 2000 years of Exile.

We have been rewarded for our convictions and closeness to G-d by seeing the rebirth of our people in the Land of Israel. Torah beliefs give us the resiliency to cope with every situation. We ultimately fulfill our role of being a “light unto the nations”, standing tall for all that is good and decent in this world.

About the Author
Rabbi Cohen has been a Torah instructor at Machon Meir, Jerusalem, for more than twenty years. He has been teaching a Talmud class in the Shtieblach, Old Katamon, Jerusalem, for the nearly seventeen years. Before coming to Israel, he was the founding rabbi of Young Israel of Century City, Los Angeles.