Those of us who identify with what is called "national religious" here in Israel (roughly speaking Orthodox Jews who send their sons to the IDF and their daughters to do a year of national service) have done a lot of thinking since the disengagement plan was implemented in August.
For some this thinking is mixed with a lot of bitterness and anger - bitterness at the perceived betrayal of politicians who changed their viewpoint midstream, and anger at the political system that had no way to competently address this occurrence. For most of us there is bitterness and anger at the use of the IDF to carry out the controversial step, and confusion as to where our loyalties lay now.
For some this thinking takes the form of "soul searching" - trying to figure out if there was a mistake made, and if so, what was it and what can be done about it.
A recurring meme in the "soul searching" category is the image of the leader running too fast ahead of the group he leads. Geva Rapp used this meme in a talk he gave on the Sabbath a few weeks ago in our settlement. A career officer who recently retired, Rapp is at the forefront of a group that engages in what we call here "Panim el Panim" - or face to face meetings. He organizes people to knock on doors and talk to people here in Israel about the importance of Jewish identity and values.
His point in using this meme, is that while the national religious camp forged ahead and built beautiful communities in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip, we "left behind" most of the nation.
In my opinion he has a good point, in that it is important to strengthen Jewish values here in Israel. I'm not sure that going door-to-door will necessarily accomplish this, but it certainly is a worthwhile effort.
My main problem, though, is with this meme itself. It smacks too much to me like the nitpicky parent who looks at a test paper with a 97 on it and says, "nu, what about the other three points?"
If you take the people of Gush Katif, for example, it seems a bit ridiculous to say to them, "Well, you built communities, and schools, and incredibly successful businesses from nothing, while at the same time enduring terrorist attacks and daily mortar shelling, but, geez man, you forgot to convince all of Tel-Aviv that this is a good thing!"
This is the country where the national heroes were the kibbutzniks who made the desert bloom. The people of Gush Katif shouldn't be blamed because the post-Zionist left seems to have convinced the nation that this is not heroic anymore.
A different meme is in order. I am open to suggestions.