Don’t Gimme that Old Time Religion

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Israel runs two public school systems: one secular, the other religious. The elementary school social studies curriculum for the later includes a section called “Love of the Land and the Temple” in which students are told (according to the Israeli newspaper HaAretz) that “It is impossible to talk about the Land of Israel without speaking about the Temple. The Land of Israel and the Temple are attached to one another… The Temple is at the pinnacle of the aspirations of the Jewish people and humanity as a whole.” As part of their studies, students are urged to pray “from the bottom of my heart for the Temple to be rebuilt” and “to have the privilege of carrying out [ritual animal] sacrifice there.”

If all Jews did was pray for the rebuilding of the Temple, I wouldn’t worry. After all, we’ve been praying for this for the past 2000 years and it has yet to work. But if we are raising generations of Jewish militants who see animal sacrifice (the Judaism of the Priests) rather than ethical living (the Judaism of the Prophets) as the pinnacle of Judaism, and who view the Muslim presence on the Temple Mount as illegitimate, and who seek Temple restoration and the destruction of the Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa Mosque we are setting the stage for Armageddon.

As Israel and its military become more religious the chances of a war over the Temple Mount becomes more immanent. Any attempt to rebuild the Temple will unite the entire Muslim world (most likely with the backing of Russia and perhaps even the European Union) and trigger a world war against Israel and, given the Evangelical support for a rebuilt Temple, the United States. The only winner in this war will be China.

The time is coming when Israel is going to force secular and liberal Jews like myself to support a Jewish theocratic State of Israel or abandon Zionism altogether. For me this will be an easy choice.

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3 Responses to Don’t Gimme that Old Time Religion

  1. Agnes Dippner November 2, 2015 at 8:14 am #

    I hope the prayer will change the direction from the outer Jerusalem to the inner Jerusalem, from fear to peace of the heart and the whole world. May there be a shift from the outer Temple to the inner Temple, from the slaughter of animals to the transformation of the mind, from aggression to mindfulness, wisdom and respect.

  2. April D November 3, 2015 at 12:56 am #

    I hope I can set your mind at ease in at least one sense, which is that any hypothetical war over the Temple Mount would not turn the US and EU against each other. The EU does not have a heavy strategic lift capability–they rely on the Americans for that. They are capable of defending themselves from major land-based aggression (see: Russia) but not any substantive offensive operations. So purely from a logistical standpoint, they’ve got nothing to gain from, and no ability to conduct a war against US interests. The US also has nothing to gain from attacking Europe for pretty much any reason.

    Further, thousands of US troops are forward deployed in Europe already, which would not be the case if there was even a crack of daylight between the military establishments of the US and the EU. There would have to be a significant worsening of relations, an absolute catastrophe of diplomatic failures, for this to change, and until it does, any war involving the EU member-states as a whole (really we’re talking about NATO here, as the EU has no “official” military capacity) would place the US and the EU as allies by default.

    With that being the case, there is a hard limit on the extent of Russian adventurism. Their military seems powerful because they’ve been picking on countries much smaller than them. Against a peer opponent, the Russian Army and Air Force would fold like a cheap lawn chair.

    A major land war in the Mid East uniting most of the Muslim nations against Israel also doesn’t seem overly plausible, as the various Arab nations are currently embroiled in a series of proxy wars against each other and all of them against ISIL. The old Shia/Sunni rivalry would suggest a united front would be unlikely, and there’s plenty of secular division in there as well. The IDF meanwhile maintains conventional arms supremacy, and as the current balance of warfighting technology favors the defender, there is a significant deterrence against any king of conventional aggression. Only Egypt and Saudi Arabia are equipped with the kind of weapons needed to fight Israel on an equal footing, and they get those weapons from the United States–who would promptly end the flow of ammunition and spare parts during any armed conflict between the Arab states and Israel.

    Should the Temple be reconstructed, there would likely be violence, but it would be of the sort we’ve seen in and around Israel for the last 20 years. It wouldn’t be WW3. It wouldn’t even be another Yom Kippur War.

  3. eebest8 seo November 27, 2015 at 12:21 pm #

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