Rabbi Yuval Cherlow in today's Ha'aretz:
…"I don't blame the extremists. It's their nature to be extreme. I blame the silent mainstream, which allows the injustice to take place. Their silence is costly, because people have already paid a price as a result of it."
He is less forgiving of the "theological concept" that developed in anti-disengagement circles and gained popularity on Internet forums frequented by young Religious Zionists.
Those who subscribe to this approach, which in religious jargon is called "measure for measure," [mida k'negged mida] believe that anyone who had a part in the disengagement has been the victim of divine punishment. That is how they explain the downfall of many public and political figures, whether as a result of illness (Sharon), legal intervention (Moshe Katsav, Haim Ramon, Ehud Olmert) or some other reason (Bassi).
"Now police chief Moshe Karadi has also suffered, and that is supposed to be clear proof of the argument," he says cynically. "I reject that from a religious point of view. To enlist the Shekhina [the Divine Presence] in order to support or oppose your political opinion? That is manipulative.
"What is hiding behind this is an entire theology of a war between the Sons of Light and the Sons of Darkness. Like the Essenes, these speakers also claim that until all of society sees the light, we will live in our sect, with our own internal language and according to our rules of behavior, and for example, we will advocate refusal of orders and disengagement from society. In the end they will be spewed out like the Essenes."…
I would point out the Essenes may (or may not) have been "spewed out." The Zealots, Sicarri, and other thugs should have been tossed out. They were not, largely because the leaders of that time, including the rabbis we revere, were too afraid to act. The Second Temple was destroyed as a result.
For all of you who complain about how the former Gaza settlers are treated by the government, Rabbi Cherlow notes:
Five days before the disengagement, rabbis Yuval Cherlow and Shai Peron, the heads of the Petah Tikva hesder yeshiva, were invited to meet with Ariel Sharon. The two raised the issue of compensation for the evacuees during their meeting with the prime minister. While they agreed on a series of additional benefits for the evacuees, their initiative - to their surprise, says Cherlow - was met with sharp criticism in the Religious Zionist community.
"Our view was that it was necessary to cooperate with the government," he says. "But immediately after the meeting with the prime minister, we were attacked by our fellow rabbis, who said things like, 'who goes to speak with the hangman?' and 'who cooperates with the gravedigger?'"…
That's right. This is more proof that a large portion of the problems faced by former Gaza settlers can be traced directly to the rabbis who led them. (Rabbis and Zealots together again. Makes one take pause, does it not?)
There is much more in the article that I do not have time to quote, including a bit about the various splits in the now-fractured National Religious community. Make sure to spend a minute reading it, if you can.