Complex Considerations

Think carefully before expelling the infiltrators

Pictures of buses crowded with refugees who will be removed from Israel will not lead to sanctifying the name of God in the world. We will be accused by all that we cannot pretend to enlighten humanity if this is how we treat refugees, especially after we ourselves were refugees for many years

(Photo: Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

The infiltrators gave the coalition a big gift yesterday. In a moment, the entire right hastened to explain that the rioting infiltrators must be expelled and those who blocked and are blocking this are in the High Court. Therefore, until we turn worlds around to achieve a traditional majority in the Supreme Court we will not be able to move a finger in this country.

And indeed, for a religious Jew, it is very easy to justify the expulsion of infiltrators.

The Torah guides us not to leave non-Jews in the land, and when it comes to infiltrators who make life bitter for the residents of South Tel Aviv, it is very easy for us to be concerned for our brothers and not for refugees who only harm us. Especially when the considerations of the Supreme Court stem from a place that diminishes national values, as it seems.

However, in my opinion, we should still think carefully about how to do this in a way that minimizes the damage, even after the issue is resolved for us in the Supreme Court.

The Commissioner of Police on the Eritrean riots (police spokesman)

The reason is that we have only returned from exile just a moment ago, after two thousand years, to finally fulfill the divine destiny for which we were created – "and through you, all the families of the earth shall be blessed."

We do not live for ourselves, but for the Kingdom of God in the world, the kingdom for which we will pray for two whole days in a little while.

These two factors, in addition to the anti-Semitic elements, cause the world to scrutinize us closely.

A people who had received the kindness of the nations of the world for so long and suddenly gained independence, we must carefully examine how we now treat the minorities living within us, the refugees who arrive just as we had arrived as refugees in various countries and states for hundreds of years.

When our people not only returns from exile and establishes our own kingdom, the purpose of its kingdom is also to sanctify the name of God in the world. It is natural that people will look to see if it is indeed morally upright enough to be a guide for humanity.

In the study hall, it is possible to explain well why the more ethical choice is to expel the infiltrators, but in practice, the Western world sees a high moral value in caring for refugees. Europe is torn apart over it.

In such a situation, pictures of buses packed with infiltrators being removed from Israel will not lead to sanctifying the name of God in the world. People will argue against us that we cannot pretend to enlighten humanity if we treat refugees in this way, especially after we ourselves were refugees for many years.

What is the solution? There is no magic solution. Enforcement and penalties in these areas can be increased, financial incentives can be offered to those who leave, payments can be made to other countries to host them. There may be several solutions. Even embarking on an educational campaign explaining why Europe is mistaken and that the more profound and correct moral choice is to expel them could be a preferable option.

However, as religious Jews, we must not automatically support expulsion.

Not because it is not right, but because we have a responsibility to our historical mission. Our destiny is to sanctify the name of God in the world, and it must be part of our considerations.

How can we stand in a few more days and ask "מלוך על כל העולם כולו בכבודך" ("reign over the entire world for your honor") when this mission is not part of the considerations of our leaders, including the religious among them?

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Rabbi Daniel Sigron is Rabbi of the high yeshiva "Tiferet Yisrael" at Yad Binyamin

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