Sinai versus Capitalism (Vol. 1, Issue 13)
The national Mizrachi Conference, which took place in Washington last month, may be said to have not been in vain—it learned of the being of a definite organization named Poel Hamizrachi. Though hurt and horrified, in the main, by the scope and thoroughness of the program of this audaciously ambitious group, innumerable converts to the cause were won—a most surprising and significant result.
It was Chaver Schraggai, world intellectual and leader of the Poel Hamizrachi, who threw the bombshell into the national Mizrachi Conference, giving food for an interminable series of discussions and arguments which started immediately and continued furiously until the end of the session.
Recently we were honored by having Chaver Schraggai speak at Yeshiva. On this occasion, he elaborated on the position of the Poel Hamizrachi much more forcefully and clearly than he did at Washington. Again a bombshell may be said to have been thrown into the large gathering. This time, however, its effect was to thoroughly destroy and blow into eternity every shred of doubt the students of Yeshiva entertained in regard to the sincerity, program, and power of the movement.
The Poel Hamizrachi stands revealed to us now as the. only true Jewish national party; truly Jewish because it places the relations between man and man on an equal footing with those which should exist between man and G-d.
The establishment of a co-operative commonwealth in Palestine, the only anti-toxin against the poisonous economic anarchy reigning in capitalistic countries today, is a fundamental and inviolable part of the Poel Hamizrachi program. Against these criminally short-sighted religious and non-religious leaders, who would enmesh Palestine into the powerful web of economic exploitation and distress, the Poel Hamizrachi keeps a vigilant guard.
No longer has the virulently anti-religious Histadruth a monopoly on labor, and no longer is the cause of labor championed solely by the godless. The Poel Hamizrachi, by retrieving the Torah from the perverted economic interpretation given her during the Galuth and by returning to her the beautiful system of equality actually inherent in her, has again made Judaism a living force, not only in the synagogue, but in the construction and maintenance of a social system that truly fulfills the supreme principle of fairness between man and man.
That religious leaders have shamefully closed their hearts and mouths to the exploitation and suffering that must inevitably come from the economic system of this age is the most discouraging betrayal of the true position of religion in the every-day life of all human beings.
The present hopeless situation, where the struggle for real social justice and an equitable economic system has been left to the radical, while religious leaders concern themselves with spiritual principles, refusing to fight for their, translation into real life, has been the most determining cause for the phenomenal decline of religious interest and observance. Even the religious have divorced religion from every-day life, allowing it to intrude for the sake of ritual and for its insistence on charity only.
But the masses of people today are yearning for a religion—not the religion of modern times, but the all-pervading religion of the Prophets, who fearlessly denounced injustice wherever it appeared, particularly among the rich.
It is this new religion, actually the Judaism of Sinai, concerned with every phase of Jewish life, that the Poel Hamizrachi is bringing to Palestine and to Jewry. Never was a movement more inspiring, more opportune, and more welcome.
The students of Yeshiva who, above all others, can really understand its significance should be and are rallying around this new banner. But the duty of gaining more knowledge, organizing groups, and acquainting the public with this doctrine should not be forgotten.
Only in this way will we eventually achieve a Palestine—not of the type of Communistic Russia, nor of Fascist Italy, nor of Plutocratic America—but one which will see the Torah of Sinai practiced in all its ramifications.