Somehow I knew I would get to write this post in a matter of days. Last week the pope published in a book that the Jews did not kill Jesus. Many fine editorials gushing over this were written, and on a whole it was well received. However I knew it would take only days until some rabbi or another would feel hard done by. How dare those Christians take away from us the killing of Jesus?
Harav Baruch Efrati - who I've never heard of, answered a question posed to him:
" The pope wrote in his book that the Jews did not kill Jesus! Is this a chance for new relations with the Christians? How does Daat Torah respond to this?"
And of course instead of giving a nice balanced answer - He immediately claims that yes the Jews did kill Jesus, and yes we should be proud of it.(quoting a midrash that got censored) He then goes on to outline what the Christian religion needs to do to make "teshuva" over their 2000 or so years of Jewish persecution.
I'm not even going to try and answer him per say - basically because I've encountered this Israeli attitude before, and his answer is just too pompous to take seriously. Some religious Israelis seem to take a pride in stating "We killed Jesus" - normally with a "Galut Jews are too scared to admit the truth, but us sabras are real men, with hair on our chest" kind of attitude. It drives me insane. I'm even more irritated because when I do try and talk to them, they almost always turn out to be ignorant of almost all things Christian (what you mean there are protestants and catholics?). Making a point out of a claim that led to so much Jewish blood being spilt isn't manly - its just ignorant. They are missing the whole perspective of blaming the entire Jewish race for a metaphysical killing.
I hate all Israeli talk of the difference between Galut Jews, and the Israeli Jews. In religious circles it has become known as "Torat Eretz Yisrael" as opposed to "Pilpul Galuti". However it seems that the term "Torat Eretz Yisrael" is being used for abandoning logic, tradition and everything else, and justifying whatever crackpot alpha male strutting some rabbi is currently encouraging.
This is a twofold shame. Firstly - the abandonment of anything with a "Galut" smell to it, is really just finding an excuse to leave tradition, and mostly to be ignorant of it. Secondly - "Torat Eretz Yisrael" is actually a real concept developed by Rav Kook with some real insights (Harav Sherlo had an excellent article about it). Its current usage is a real crime against Harav Kook.