By Arie Lova Eliav
Original yr of publication: 1988
New middle, New Spirit confronts the moral and ethical values of the Bible within the context of the serious state of affairs that Israel and Zionism are dealing with. It has sprung from the profound issues of an Israeli Jew who fears for the destiny of Zionism and Israel. The bonds of private and nationwide ethics that associated Zionism with the simplest of biblical values at the moment are weakening—in a few circles, to the purpose of removing the folks of Israel from its resources of existence. Zionism is changing into defiled. plenty of Zionists have deserted the natural wells of the Prophets in want of the muddy precipitates on the backside of our excellent culture. rather than carrying on with as a circulation of lifestyles and peace, justice and freedom, equality, brotherhood, and mercy, Zionism is at risk of becoming a move that glorifies warfare whereas permitting inner social injustice, love of energy, and hatred of extraterrestrial beings to flourish unchecked. so much scary of all, extremist forces try to justify—and even to glorify— those damaging values by way of extracting and distorting fragments of Biblical verses. for instance, those that select dominion over a “Greater Israel” instead of territorial compromise resulting in peace with Israel’s Arab pals regularly invoke “Holy Words” to justify their position.
It now turns out that the Bible—along with the complete Jewish culture based upon it—has been imprisoned via extremist factions in Judaism, Zionism, and Israel. those factions every one declare to be the only real approved interpreter of the Bible and of Judaism and search, through advantage in their “exclusive” nature, to transform individuals of Israeli society to their cause.
The Bible is not just the cornerstone of Judaism. it's a common asset, an essential component of the heritage of civilization. with out it there may be neither Judaism nor Jews. with out it, for that subject, neither Christianity nor Islam might have been based. which means such a lot of human tradition and historical past could were greatly diversified and seriously impoverished had the Bible now not been written.
The Bible is a piece of exalted spiritual and ethical revelation. however it can also be a compendium of principles and legislation, a continual background of the folk of Israel, and a chronicle recording the production of the area and the roots of humanity. In it are books of prophecy and poetry, knowledge and philosophy; its strains are set with symbols, legends, mysteries. but, notably, it's a e-book of ethics, an entice peace and social justice one of the countries and all humankind.
New middle, New Spirit specializes in seven common moral values expressed within the Bible and thought of by means of this writer as cardinal: the sanctity of existence, justice, freedom, equality, brotherhood, mercy, and peace. those values heavily resemble the seven attributes of goodness outlined in Jewish culture and prayer: peace, goodness, blessing, existence, grace, lovingkindness, and mercy.
This booklet is an outcry and a problem to [the xenophobic hobbies curious about “holy wars,” strength, land, and blood]. Its author’s goal is to symbolize the ranks of Israeli humanists who're trying to rescue the Bible from its captors and to set it and its values loose back in Israel. it's an try and bring up anew the banner of human values— Jewish and universal—sanctified within the nice booklet.
Foreward through Herman Wouk. Introduction by way of Amos Oz.
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