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On "Mixing" Faith and Politics

By Herbert Hillel Goldberg

"For Zionís sake I will not hold my peace, and for Jerusalemís sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth" (Isaiah 62:1).

Some people find fault with the "mixing" of religion and politics. But they must read a very thin Bible indeed if they have deleted everything political from between its covers.

The Bible speaks about the mutiny of the sons of Korach: Revolution politics. Per the Almightyís orders, Gideon reduced the number of his fighting forces to 300: Strategic-war or military politics. The departure of Israel from Egypt: Liberation politics. The selection of Saul as king: Election politics. In the New Testament, Jesus feeds loaves of bread and fish to the hungry masses and admonishes to give oneís second coat tot he needy: Social-welfare politics. The list is endless.

When one speaks about Israel today, it is impossible to leave politics untouched. The "return" of the displaced Jews to their homeland, the "rebuilding" of the cities, and the afforestation and tilling of the land have manifold political aspects: Communal politics, reconstruction politics, etc. Certainly the animosity and wars against the newly established Jewish state are international politics. The economic and political achievements of Israel are fulfillments of prophecy.

Also contained in the Bibleís pages are the calls to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, to bless Israel, and to comfort Godís people. This refers to spiritual, but also economic (financial) and active efforts.

In the New Testament again, Matthew 25:31-40 declares that the nations will one day be judged by their treatment of, and attitude towards, the Jews. Many Christians claim to love God, but demonstrate no active love to the least brethren of Jesus the Jew.

We must continue to speak the truth boldly and undeterred, "for Zionís sake" (Isa. 62:1).