D’var Torah, Liberal-Style
Rabbi Yerachmiel Shapiro’s column (“Have Faith, And No Goal Is Too Lofty,” May 31) noted that the spies Moses sent to check out Canaan displayed diffidence — that is, lack of faith — that the Creator could keep His promise to deliver that land into the Israelites’ hands. But what if instead of diffidence, the spies had been afflicted with liberalism? Their report might have gone something like this:
“We have crossed the Jordan and toured the land of the Canaanite, the Perizzite, the Hivvite, the Amorite, the Jebusite, the Girgashite and the Hittite. It is a land flowing with milk and honey, and we are confident that the Creator can deliver it into our hands.
“But the Canaanites are descendants of Ham, darker-skinned people. For us to displace people of color would be ‘racist.’
“When we apportion the land of the Perizzites among our tribes and families, no woman who has brothers will inherit a share in the land. That would be ‘sexist.’
“When we conquer the land of the Hivvites, the Priestly class will have privileges and duties that no other class has, and the Levitical class will live in special cities with special property rights. It will be a ‘classist’ society.
“We learn that the Holy Land will ‘vomit out’ the Amorites as punishment for engaging in a list of forbidden amorous relationships. For us to help the Land vomit them out might be ‘homophobic.’
“Mount Moriah, where Abraham bound Isaac, is where Jerusalem will be someday, but today it is part of the Jebusites’ land, where they sacrifice to molten idols. If we smash their idols, as we are commanded to do, and build our Sanctuary on Mount Moriah, we will show ‘intolerance’ for the Jebusites’ religious freedom.
“If we drive out the Girgashites, any towns or farms or factories that we build on their land will be ‘settlements,’ in violation of ‘international law.’ International scholars will boycott our academic conferences.
“If we set up a barrier to keep the Hittites from hitting us after we take their land, it will be an ‘apartheid wall.’
“Finally, any nations that we do not drive out will have to pay us tribute and live under Israelite ‘occupation,’ for which the international community will impose ‘sanctions’ against us, boycott our products and divest from our enterprises.
“We Jews should hate ourselves for even thinking about setting up a racist, sexist, classist, homophobic, intolerant, settlement, occupation, apartheid state on other people’s land. Let us appoint a chief and go back to Egypt.”