CREDOS: Jewish theology — II

How can this be, if we both follow the same creed and we both live in accordance with its precepts? After all, Orthodox Jews believe that God made a gift of the Holy Land to the Jewish people. Therefore, Orthodox Jews must oppose handing over any part of that land to foreigners not as a practical matter of policy but as a matter of religious principle. And they must oppose removing Jews from their homes in these God-given territories. So on what basis can I argue that Avraham, and most of my fellow believers, are wrong?

To understand why the settlers and their religious supporters see disengagement as a violation of God’s precepts, one must understand their theology. Any modern Jewish theology must address the significance of the Jewish state in Zion. The Jews have returned to their land after two millennia of exile. To them this fulfillment of prophecy and of age-long yearning must have religious meaning. The lion’s share of Israeli settlers in the West Bank and Gaza Strip identify themselves as part of a larger group of observant Jews who call themselves “religious Zionists” and “modern Orthodox.” Religious Zi-onism embraces a spectrum of religious approaches and philosophies. But in the 1960s-70s a large portion of the community’s younger generation was attracted to a particular religious Zionist philosophy associated with the teachings of Rabbi Avraham Yitzhak HaKohen Kook and his son, Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook. —