“Refrigerator Zionism” is an approach which likens Zionism to purchasing a refrigerator. A refrigerator is an appliance which certainly possesses pragmatic and instrumental value and their invention may even spark Halachic discussion (e.g. may it be opened on Shabbat?) But by no means does the possession of a refrigerator penetrate to ones inner religious experience or impact his beliefs. There is no difference between a Judaism with a refrigerator and a Judaism without a refrigerator. To some people, Zionism is no different – there is no difference in their observance, beliefs or religious experience with or without the existence of the State of Israel.
On the other hand, one may view the coming into being of the State of Israel as similar to that of having a child; not merely a technical addition to our religious lives, rather the development of a new facet of our identity that impacts on a profound level. With the birth of a child, a parent defines himself differently, fundamentally changing the way he evaluates himself and his surroundings.
So too should we relate to the State of Israel as redefining our religious identity and experience: We are home. We are together. Our fate as a people is once again in our own hands, we can define for ourselves our relationship with the world and with history. We are better able to discover our capabilities and realize our full potential. In this sense The State of Israel is the child of the Jewish people.
Nevertheless, it is important to recognize, that those voices in the Jewish and Halachic community that relate to the State of Israel as no more than a mere instrument have value as well; they serve as a constant reminder that though we have come a significant way in the redemptive process, there is still much to amend, to perfect and to strive for.
In the meantime, let us be joyous and thankful for the gift of life given to us and inspired and motivated towards its continued growth. (250+87)
חג עצמאות שמח!!
One response to “Are you a Refrigerator Zionist?”
I think most people would agree that the State of Israel is our child. It always finds a way to take our money from us, and it never says “thank you.” Stam! very nice article, kavod harav :)חג עצמאות שמח גם לך