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Forget ‘Kosher Cheeseburgers,’ Let’s Focus on Rebuilding the Temple

By Daniel Treiman

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Rabbi David Bar-Hayim thinks Israel’s Orthodox Jews are debating the wrong things. By way of example, the rabbi points to a few silly questions that have been posed to him about food:

Whether religious Jews should eat anything that looks non-kosher

Whether the desire for kosher cheeseburgers indicated a character or spiritual flaw

Whether one should eat in a restaurant at all

Whether one should stick to eating “Jewish food”

He points to these narrow arguments about diet as evidence of an “Exilic” mentality that is hostile to innovation and “incapable of providing the intellectual and spiritual leadership necessary for the flowering and growth of Jewish life in Erets Yisrael today.”

So what should Jews be debating? The rabbi has some suggestions:

Whether religious Jews should actively seek the reinstitution of the pre-Exilic customs of the Land of Israel

Whether the lack of desire for the Temple indicates a character or spiritual flaw

Whether synagogues should still be saying the prayer for the spiritual centers and Torah academies of Babylon”

How we can re-establish institutions such as the Sanhedrin and the Temple in order to “renew our days as of yore”

This is progress? Personally, as much as I share Rabbi Bar-Hayim’s distaste for holier-than-thou one-upmanship, I still find heated discussions of kosher beef patties topped with tofu “cheese” more appetizing than the alternatives he proposes.

Read the full article.

bernard roth Sun. Jan 6, 2008

Anyone striving to rebuild the Temple on Temple Mount in Jerusalem needs 20 years of rehab in a mental institute in BiroBijan. Firstly, you will have a Jihad of a Billion Moslems screaming for your pupek. Secondly a return to a hereditary priesthood, sacrifice of live animals, is a return of Israel to a worse slavery than Egypt. We are one of the few religions without an intermediary between us and GOD. I would drown all the intermediaries of all religions in the Red Sea, because their poison causes Jihad, massacres, and pogroms. We have survived as a people because the synagogue and the rabbinic era which superceded the Temple allow differences of opinion, change to meet the times, and Humanism. Save us from the Zealots, and give them directions to Masada.

Eugene Mon. Jan 14, 2008

well written, mr. roth!

Ariel Sat. Feb 2, 2008

Humanism... aren't those the same people putting out the red carpet for the jihadis so as to feel and commune with the "other"? They've got their eyes on humanists too, whether or not Bar-Hayim will build the Temple. Actually they'll probably respect *him* for at least living according to his holy book.

Self-respecting Jew Sun. Feb 3, 2008

Badly said, mr. Roth. Do you know why there already is a jihad of a billion muslims? Because they don't have any Mr. Roth's who feel that we should forgo our destiny in order to (possibly) attain temporary security. Because they truly beleive in their religion, unlike the Bernard Roths of the world who couldn't care less about Judaism. He claims that returning to a heriditary priesthood, sacrifice of live animals is a return to a slavery worse than Egypt?!?!?!?!?!!?! A more insane statement could not have been cobbled together by the residents of Bedlam. What he means is that if we return to actually being Jews and not circumcised Gentiles like we are today, if we return to the destiny laid out fo rus in the last 6 chapters of Isaiah, that will be slavery. What Lunacy!!!!

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