Lately I’ve been reading a blog called the Atheist Rabbi. I’m not exactly sure what kind of rabbinical work there is to do among atheist Jews, but whatever: he has his degree and it makes a provocative name for his blog.
I like the way he sets the tone of a recent post:
It’s been a year or two since I last attended a meeting of the local rabbinical association, but the last time I did, I walked out with a sick feeling in my stomach.
When was the last time you read such a line? The post is about Christians United for Israel, a Christian Zionist group. Most Jews I know who support Israel (meaning, who do not wish for its destruction) are ambivalent about Christian Zionists. On one hand, they are a broad support group; on the other, they are convinced Jesus is returning and Israel represents the site of Armageddon. I’m not too comfortable with the Left Behind scenario, not because I think it might actually happen, but because I don’t want that to be the reason behind any sort of political activity. Messianism is an awful idea.
The post closes on a secular, democratic note you will never hear sounded either by Israel’s most maniacal religious supporters or its most heinous “We’re all Hezbollah” detractors:
I support Israel, too. The version of Israel that I support is a secular, democratic state preserving Hebrew and Jewish culture while protecting the rights and dignity of the minorities in their midst. I care not one whit for “holy” stories, sites or borders. The only thing that is sacred to me is human life and well-being.
Accepting support from anyone who views Israel as the fulfillment of nonsensical supernatural legends is as irresponsible as it is ridiculous.
This is the view of a rabbi whose blogroll includes Richard Dawkins, Pharyngula and Greta Christina. I’ll be checking in regularly to find out what’s going on in his mind.
As a secular, atheist Jew I’m interested in more blogs like the Atheist Rabbi. What do Israeli atheists have on their minds? Are there any secular lobbies in Israel comparable to the Secular Coalition for America? I mean, if Turkey has all those atheists, what about a country in which a quarter of all its citizens claim to be nonbelievers?
Please send links.