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Politics in Israel
Sunday, 3 September 2006
Hebraic/Biblical principles made the US such a great nation
Topic: U.S.A. Politics
The Jewish Roots of the American Constitution

by Prof. Paul Eidelberg
August 31, 2006

A. Historical Background

1. No nation has been more profoundly influenced by the “Old Testament” than America. Many of America’s early statesmen and educators were schooled in Hebraic civilization. The second president of the United States, John Adams, a Harvard graduate, had this to say of the Jewish people:

The Jews have done more to civilize men than any other nation…. They are the most glorious Nation that ever inhabited the earth. The Romans and their Empire were but a bauble in comparison to the Jews. They have given religion to three-quarters of the Globe and have influenced the affairs of Mankind more, and more happily than any other Nation, ancient or modern.

2. The curriculum at Harvard, like those of other early American colleges and universities, was designed by learned men of “Old Testament” persuasion. Harvard president Mather (1685-1701) was an ardent Hebraist (as were his predecessors). His writings contain numerous quotations from the Talmud as well as from the works of Saadia Gaon, Rashi, Maimonides and other classic Jewish commentators.

3. Yale University president Ezra Stiles discoursed with visiting rabbis on the Mishna and Talmud. At his first public commencement at Yale (1781), Stiles delivered an oration on Hebrew literature written in Hebrew. Hebrew and the study of Hebraic laws and institutions were an integral part of Yale’s as well as of Harvard’s curriculum.

4. Much the same may be said of King’s College (later Columbia University), William and Mary, Rutgers, Princeton, Dartmouth, and Brown University. Hebrew learning was then deemed a basic element of liberal education. Samuel Johnson, first president of King’s College (1754-1763), expressed the intellectual attitude of his age when he referred to Hebrew as “essential to a gentleman’s education.”

5. This attitude was not merely academic. A year before the American Revolution, Harvard president Samuel Langdon, declared: “The civil policy of Israel is doubtless an excellent general model[of government].”

6. The Higher Law doctrine of the Declaration of Independence is rooted in the Torah, which proclaims “The Laws of Nature and Nature’s God,” and appeals to the “Supreme Judge” and “Providence”—terms lacking in Israel’s Declaration of Independence.

7. During the colonial and constitution-making period, the Americans, especially the Puritans, adopted and adapted various Hebraic laws for their own governance. The legislation of New Haven, for example, was based on the premise that “the judicial laws of God, as they were delivered by Moses, and as they are not ceremonial, shall generally bind all offenders …” Thirty-eight of the seventy-nine statutes in the New Haven Code of 1665 derived their authority from the Hebrew Bible. The laws of Massachusetts were based on the same foundation.

8. The fifteen Capital Laws of New England included the “Seven Noahide Laws” of the Torah, or what may be termed the seven universal laws of morality.

9. Now, without minimizing the influence of such philosophers as Locke and Montesquieu on the framers of the American Constitution, America may rightly be deemed the first and only nation that was explicitly founded on the Seven Noahide Laws of the Torah. It should also be noted that the constitutions of eleven of the original thirteen states made provision for religious education. Some even had religious qualifications for office.

B. The Institutions Prescribed by the American Constitution

1. The House of Representatives represents 435 districts of the United States, where the people of each district elect one person to represent their views and interests. The idea of district elections is implicit in the Torah. We read in Deut. 1:13: “Select for yourselves men who are wise, understanding, and known to your tribes and I will appoint them as your leaders.”

a. Exodus 18:19 states: “seek out from among all the people men with leadership ability, God-fearing men–men of truth who hate injustice.” Similar qualifications are prescribed in the original constitutions Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island.

b. Each tribe was to select the best men to be their representatives. Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch comments that “each tribe (shevet) is to choose out of its own midst men whose character can only be known by their lives [hence whose character] is known only to those who have associated with them.” This is the biblical source of residential requirements for Representatives and Senators in the United States. Also, what is here called a tribe was called a district (pelech) after the Second Temple.

c. Finally, it is a principle of Jewish law that “No legislation should be imposed on the public unless the majority can conform to it” (Avoda Zara 36a). This requires legislators to consider or consult the opinions of their constituents. Hence representative democracy can be assimilated to Judaism by adding that representatives must be “men who are wise and haters of bribes.” This would make for an aristocratic democracy, or a universal aristocracy—a kingdom of priests, of noblemen.

2. The Senate. The Senate represents the 50 states of the Federal Union; it therefore represents the Federal principle. But the idea of federalism goes back to the Torah and the twelve tribes. Each tribe had its own distinct identity, its own governor and its own judicial system.

3. The Presidency. Unlike Israel, which has a Plural Executive or Cabinet consisting of a prime minister and other ministers representing different political parties in the Knesset, the United States has a Unitary Executive, namely, the President. Of course the President has a Cabinet, but its members cannot hold any other office and they are wholly responsible to the President, not to any political party.

a. Now it so happens that a Unitary Executive is a Torah principle! Thus, when Moses told Joshua to consult the elders when he was about to lead the Jews across the Jordan, God countermanded Moses: there can only be one leader in a generation. And if you look at tractate Sanhedrin 8a, you will see that Jewish law opposes collective leadership. Nor is this all.

b. Just as a President of the United States must be a native-born American and not a naturalized citizen, so a king of Israel must be born of a Jewish mother and not a ger or convert..

4. The Supreme Court. Just as the American Supreme Court is the final interpreter of the American Constitution, so the Great Sanhedrin is the final interpreter of the Jewish Constitution, the Torah.

So we see that the original American Constitution was very much rooted in Torah Judaism.

C. Brief Comparison with Israel’s political and judicial institutions

1. The Knesset: MKs are not individually elected by the voters in constituency elections—hence there is no accountability. In fact, MKs can ignore public opinion with impunity, as 23 Likud MKs did when they voted for Disengagement, contrary to their pledge to the nation in the January 2003 election.

2. The Government: The cabinet is collection of rival party leaders competing for a larger slice of the national budget. This undermines national unity and national purpose. The average government last less than two years, which makes it impossible to pursue a consistent and long-range national strategy.

3. The Supreme Court: The Court is a self-appointed oligarchy. It refuses to enforce the Foundations of Law Act 1980 which would make Jewish law first among equals. Chief Justice Aaron Barak writes: “It should never be said that a particlar legal system has the primary claim to interpretive inspiration.” Imagine a US Supreme Court justice teaching Americans: “It should never be said that the American legal system has the primary claim to interpertive inspiration.”

Israel’s Supreme Court is the only court in the world that scorns the legal heritage of its own people. It has repeatedly handed down decisions that violate the basic beliefs and values of the Jewish people.

D. Conclusion: The political and judicial institutions of the so-called Jewish State are less Jewish than the political and judicial institutions now operating in the non-Jewish democratic world!

* * *

My Comments

As against the USA, the reigning powers and systems of government in Israel are those of Babylon (globalism and "mystery  religions") from which Abra(ha)m was called to form a new nation under our God of Israel in Canaan. It gave rise to an ongoing battle in present day Israel that the Bible typifies as a war between the sons of Greece and the sons of Zion. Ironically, Christians who stand on the Bible when it comes to Israel and Jewish rights, are very much part of the sons of Zion whether they realize it or not, and will eventually be persecuted for it. In fact, in general the sons of Zion include those with a Biblical stand on other issues as well, like abortion, gay issues, etc., that would also make them a target for liberals' wrath. Take courage though, the sons of Zion will finally be victorious. But we still have quite a way to go, since Christians are not that much under pressure yet in the West. For the few of us (Christian sons of Zion) who have been called from the nations to serve in Israel, the going is tough, though, due to the fact that Biblical rules concerning foreigners in the land are not in force. We constantly need to deal with visa problems and find ways to survive because we are not entitled to work. We therefore really need help to be able to stand with the persecuted sector of the Israeli population (about 50%) and to prepare a refuge for Jewish and Christian refugees from the nations. Please see my "Appeal" on my Holy Land Inc. Associates Page and my "Founder's Report" and please, seriously consider my plea for help. Please don't wait for real tribulation to start before you act. It might be too late!

Shalom from Israel.
Philip Blom
Founder of
Holy Land Inc. Biblical Zionist Sites
(http://holyland-inc-sites.tripod.com
 - visited more than 54,000 times the last five years or so)
See also:
Holy Land Inc. Corporate Associates Space: http://holyland-incorporated.spaces.msn.com/Default.aspx
My Personal Yahoo 360º Blog 360º Blog: http://360.yahoo.com/profile-oKr4rtE_dLIPJ.64cW8g7t4-

 


Editorial Posting at 5:14 AM
Wednesday, 24 November 2004
Thank G-d for Christian Zionists
Topic: U.S.A. Politics
Shalom Friends
I thought this article to really be of importance to take note of. It doesn't mean, however, that Pres. Bush would not do the unbiblical thing of trying to divide Israel as part of the strategy of global leaders - that which is best for Israel according PM Ariel Sharon and his leftist and Arab supporters, under coercion of the Freemason controlled Judiciary.
Philip Blom
---------------------------------------------------------------
"Michael Freund" <msfreund@netvision.net.il>  
Wed, 17 Nov 2004
Thank G-d for Christian Zionists
Following is an article of mine from the Jerusalem Post on the need for Israel to embrace US Christian Zionists. With the demographic decline of the Jewish community, Christian evangelicals provide the best hope for ensuring long-term US support for the Jewish state.
 
Letters to the editor may be sent to: letters@jpost.com.
 
Your comments and feedback are welcome.
 
Thanks,
 
Michael Freund
 
 

 

The Jerusalem Post, November 17, 2004

 

Onward Christian Voters

By Michael Freund

 

By now it should be clear that George W. Bush wasn't the only big winner to emerge from this month's US presidential election.

 

In terms of flexing political muscle and shaping the outcome of the vote, no group proved more successful than America's evangelical Christians. They flocked to the polls, boosting the incumbent and helping to set the country's political agenda for the next four years.

 

While some American Jews view this development with mounting concern, my reaction is far more sanguine, even upbeat: Israel should be thanking God for the rise of the Christian Right. They are the best hope for ensuring long-term US diplomatic support for the Jewish state in an increasingly hostile world.

 

Sure, American Jews still wield a great deal of political power, thanks to their concentration in key states and their extensive involvement in the political process. But the American Jewish community is in the throes of a protracted demographic decline and their power will inevitably diminish over time.

 

By contrast, US evangelicals, many of whom proudly refer to themselves as Christian Zionists, are clearly on the upswing.

 

According to the Pew Research Center, evangelical Protestants accounted for 23% of the entire American electorate, or nearly one out of every four voters, in the recent election.

 

And, as the Los Angeles Times noted, "Christian evangelicals provided much of the passion and manpower for President Bush's reelection" (November 12).

 

Indeed, political guru Arthur Finkelstein was even more blunt, telling the Israeli daily Ma'ariv that "Bush's strategy secures the power of the American Christian Right not only for this term. In fact, it secures its ability to choose the next Republican president."

 

Even outside the ballot box evangelical Christians are a force to be reckoned with.

 

A recent study by the Scripps Survey Research Center at Ohio University found that an astonishing 38 percent of all Americans describe themselves as being "born-again" Christians.

 

In places such as the southern United States, the survey revealed that a majority of residents, or 52 percent, fall into this category.

 

And because of their attachment to the Bible, more and more evangelical Christians are stepping forward to embrace Israel, demonstrating a level of commitment and support that is both sincere and deeply-rooted.

 

For years, groups such as the Unity Coalition for Israel have been toiling both to build grassroots political support for the Jewish state and to explain Israel's case to members of Congress. They have helped win Israel numerous friends in mid-western American states such as Kansas, where the Jewish community is small.

 

Others, such as Pastor Robert Stearns of New Jersey, have succeeded in organizing evangelicals to pray on Israel's behalf. Last month, Stearns launched an annual "Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem, a worldwide effort that involved tens of thousands of churches from Korea to California.

 

Organizations such as Bridges for Peace, the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem, [Christian Friends of Israel in Jerusalem - Zionsake Editor] and the International Christian Zionist Center have been at the forefront of encouraging Christian tourism to Israel and raising funds for various social welfare projects, while leaders such as the Rev. Pat Robertson have been outspoken on Israel's behalf.

 

Hence, it is about time Israel and American Jewry put aside many of their reservations and doubts and started to engage evangelical Christians more candidly and openly.

 

Of course, we must remain on guard against missionary elements seeking to proselytize Jews. But it would be unfair, and even wrong, to suspect all Christian supporters of Israel as being surreptitious soul-snatchers.

 

Many are sincere and devoted in their love for Israel, their sole motivation being to live in accordance with God's promise to the patriarch Abraham: "I will bless those who bless you, and those who curse you shall be cursed."

 

To turn down their friendship and backing because of misguided stereotypes regarding their motivations would be an act of sheer folly on our part.

 

As Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, founder of the International Federation of Christians and Jews and a pioneer in the field, has argued, "It is wrong and shortsighted of Israel and the Jewish community not to reach out to these people, even as they become more and more powerful. The Jewish community needs to get its act together."

 

That message is beginning to get across. MK Yuri Stern recently created a Christian Allies Caucus in the Knesset, which works to promote better relations between Israel and Christian groups. And the Israeli Ministry of Tourism has been working more closely with US Christians to promote visits to the Holy Land.

 

But far more needs to be done. The bond between US Christians and Israel has all the makings of a historic alliance, one that could both heal the painful wounds of the past while paving the way for tremendous accomplishments in the future.

Properly cultivated, the relationship could help strengthen our position immeasurably and guarantee bedrock US support for Israel for years to come.

--------------------------------------

The writer served as Deputy Director of Communications & Policy Planning under former premier Binyamin Netanyahu.


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Editorial Posting at 5:48 PM

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