Arguing with Moshe

“I appreciate Eretz Yisroel,” she said, “but not Medinat Yisroel.”

He raised his eyebrows over the black glasses frames. Aside from the tan, he looked exactly as he had in Brooklyn. “A difference you see? Please,” he said, beckoning. “Enlighten me.”

She saw she had offended him, but this was a cherished opinion, a debate she’d had many times in coffee shops and bars. “The state is a creation of a secular body which has produced a secular state often at odds with traditional Jewish values. The Holocaust shouldn’t forever define us.”

The kind eyes watched her with tolerant amusement.


Friday Fictioneers


Add Yours
  1. rochellewisoff

    Dear Josh,

    An argument that’s been going on for two generations. Of course, if you count pre Holocaust times and the resistance the Orthodoxy had to Hertzl…
    Good one or Tov M’ohd. ;)



  2. Rowena

    I’m afraid I lacked a lot of background to truly grasp the underlying meanings here but it was well written and I think it’s important to debate how a nation or people should move forward. That way, you create a better, more complex and richer nation.
    I also question how much the next generation should be expected to carry the weight of history. I did honours in history at university, so I clearly believe in it. However, new things happen…both good and bad and the need to live in the present and also have a view to the future, means we can’t take it all with us. I keep all sorts of things for my kids and yet they need to have homes of their own and not be carrying my house around with them like a tortoise on their backs.
    At the same time, we need to remember the horrific things which have happened in our world. I recently found out about the black wars in Tasmania and the details about how most of the Tasmanian Aboriginals were wiped out. My husband grew up in Tasmania and knew nothing about it. They are now teaching our kids about it in school.
    Balancing the past, present and future is a difficult balancing act for us all, but particularly when we belong to a culture with such rich history as the Jewish people and the Holocaust was particularly horrific.
    xx Rowena

    • J Hardy Carroll

      It’s basically a question about the Jewish State versus the Jewish spiritual aspect. Some Jews believe that the actions of Israel do not accurately reflect the spiritual values of the Jewish people. That’s pretty much the gist of it. Israel was created as a response, in part, to the atrocities perpetuated against the Jews by the Nazis. Never again was the rallying cry in 1948.

      • Rowena

        I suppose the Jewish people are in a different position with trying to work out where that divide between Church and state should be. Here in Australia, it’s become quite secular and many don’t want any connection between Church and State at all. This cropped up in the news recently when the Greens sought the removal of the Lord’s Prayer from Parliament:
        I think you’ll find that article quite interesting.
        xx Rowena

  3. Nan Falkner

    I have thought often about the Holocaust, and the horrid atrocities that were dealt to a whole generation of good and kind people. Your story is wonderful! Nan

  4. Michael Wynn

    A debate I think of a lot. There has to be a happy median somewhere because you cannot forget the holocaust whilst at the same time moving on. Bravely and well written

Don't just stand there.