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How one practices the religion ... is a personal choice.

Reader comment on item: El Al, "Goy" Airline?
in response to reader comment: Religious perspective

Submitted by Issac (United States), Dec 31, 2006 at 19:01

Yaakov- I see this discussion as completely relavant to the topic and do not feel a need to discuss this privately, and also I prefer not to give my E-mail address to someone from the internet. Nothing personal.

Judaism may take a holistic approach to understanding how body and soul combines to be the human being, but Israel is a secular state of Jews more than it is a religious state of Judaism and that makes religion subservient to the state and not vice versa.

When you say that one cannot avoid responsibility under [Jewish] law by denying the existence of the governing authority, which presumably is the Torah, you are imposing the requirement of practicing the rules of the religion on people that may not what to for whatever reason be it lack of knowledge, lack of will, or lack of being brought up in it.

How one practices the religion, if one decides to do so all, is a personal choice.

If Israel even were a state of Judaism as opposed to a state of Jews by blood, air travel from a religious perspective in general should not fall under a sabbatical prohibition because it would handicap the state if air travel were to be shut down for a day in mere virtue of restricting travel and also in case an emergency flight may have to be made. Shutting El Al down completely in particular on Shabbat would be foolish because sometimes there are emergences where El Al's jets have to be sent out.

As for dividing Jews into observant and non-observant, I'm sorry to have to disagree with you like this but you actually do and you seem to merely use semantics to cover it. What you say is that all Jews are incumbent to follow the Torah the way a standard orthodox person would, or else "That when the wicked sprouted up like grass and all who did iniquity flourished, it was only that they might be destroyed forevermore. as it says in 92:7. Do you feel that nonobservant jews or jews not observant as you are automatically wicked? Further, to take it further, do you feel that if a nonobservant jew gets hurt, it is the will of God for not being observant, as you seemed to have implied?

If so, such fundamentalist thinking that would be widespread in the year 1006, really has no place in the year 2006. Getting punished by God for not being a good person is one thing, but do you really think you'll be thunderbolted and sent to the bottom pits of Hell for having a Big Mac?

As for El Al security practices, the thing is a lot of religious people posting on this issue seemed to say that El Al's protection came primarily from following the Sabbath and not from any natural means ... however, let us look at something wikipedia says under its El Al article:

Following a strike that temporarily shut down the airline at the end of November 2006, El Al decided to fly some of their planes on Shabbat in order to get back on schedule. This led to a large Haredi uproar as well as calls to boycott the airline. El Al no longer has an official policy about flying on Shabbat, although they try to remain sensitive to the religious communities needs and abstain from flying on Shabbat unless there is an emergency. As of 26 December 2006, rumors surfaced about an agreement between the airline and the Haredim, but this has not been officially published.

In other words, the Haredi that knew nothing about running an airline, wanted to tell El AL about how to run an airline. This is like a patient telling a brain surgeon how to do surgery. To be in business, the airline needs to be on schedule but the Haredim did not care.

In the final analysis, it would appear that we should leave the talmudic analysis to the rabbis and everything else to the people trained to do it.

Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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