Hosted free by tripod.com
America's Real War
There is no doubt that Rabbi Daniel Lapin's America's Real War is one of those rare books destined to inspire and enlighten readers for generations to come. Like Bastiat's classic The Law, Lapin's Real War reveals timeless truths about man, society, and government while devastating the contemporary proponents of ideas that destroy freedom, prosperity, and happiness. Moreover, Lapin scores his intellectual points while simultaneously building a bridge between two groups that have frequently found themselves on opposite ends of the ideological spectrum, American Jews and Christians.
The message of Real War consists of three parts. First, Rabbi Lapin develops the evidence that America was expressly founded as a Christian nation. This will not surprise readers familiar with the writings of the Founding Fathers or those who understand how liberty blossomed as Biblical ideas made their way into European political and economic thought in the centuries from the signing of the Magna Carta to the writings of Blackstone. But Lapin approaches the subject from a fresh perspective, demonstrating how America's Founders appreciated uniquely Jewish customs and ideas at a time when "Hebrew was an accomplishment of gentlemen."
Second, Rabbi Lapin demonstrates how moral ideas that can only be completely found in the Jewish and Christian scriptures work to produce wealth, liberty, and fulfilling lives. Lapin leads the reader to see how ideas like personal accountability and private property create incentives for people to use their God-given talents to get ahead by serving the needs of others. At the same time, Lapin shows that the causes of the political left - like abortion and opposition to capital punishment - are logically inconsistent, and that the sole idea uniting today's jackboot liberals is opposition to God's ideas revealed in the Torah and Bible.
Woven throughout Real War is Rabbi Lapin's third theme, a call to American Jews to return to the principles of Torah. In fact, with a chutzpah only a Rabbi could muster, Lapin unabashedly bases all of his social, economic, and political arguments solely on the Old Testament, as explained in the 2500 year old oral tradition of the Rabbis, the Talmud.
But it is this very approach that will make the book especially endearing to Christian readers. Christians know that Jesus came not to destroy the law or the prophets but to fulfill them. (Mt. 5:17) On page after page as I read, I found myself coming to a fresh and deeper appreciation of the Bible thanks to Talmud's ancient insight. There can be no doubt that the real challenge facing America today is a war of ideas. In showing that this war is really the timeless battle between good and evil, between ideas born of God and ideas born of rebellion against Him, Rabbi Lapin has crafted a work that will be relevant for years to come.
Dr. Kenneth Hutcherson:
Every church not only needs a rabbi, they need this particular Rabbi! His Torah teachings mesmerize church audiences while strengthening their faith in God's message to humanity - the Bible. Rabbi Daniel Lapin adds insight and wisdom to understanding the Old Testament and enthralls us with his brave insistence on how important our Christian faith is in saving America."An Ambitious Diagnosis of and Treatment of Our Social Rot, November 16, 2001
Rabbi Daniel Lapin's book opens with an ambitious attempt to deconstruct America's cultural decline. He follows up in later chapters with ideas about ideals to reverse this decline.
Rabbi Lapin's analysis is rock-rib conservative, and heavily slanted towards the past and future of Jews here in the U.S.A.. But great storytelling skills serve the reader well as he shares antecdotes from his world travels, amusing parables from colleagues of the rabbinate, and lessons of history.
The Rabbi makes a case that the key to our problems is a loss of God in personal and political spheres all across America.
I'm a liberal Democrat, but I find myself in agreement with many of the Rabbi's thoughts on popular culture. I part ways with him when he says that religion is a socio-economic and political cure-all. To me, his own evidence points to education, within a matrix of some moral framework as being the real answer.
Nonetheless, Rabbi Lapin's work is a fascinating overview from a fresh perspective. Predominance of his religious conservatism steeped in traditions of Western learning couldn't be too bad. In fact it is the best of all conservativism options from America's right.
The pilgrims quoted his story. Franklin and Jefferson proposed he appear on the U.S. seal. Washington and Lincoln were called his incarnations. The Statue of Liberty and Superman were molded in his image. Martin Luther King, Jr., invoked him the night before he died. Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama cited him as inspiration. For four hundred years, one figure inspired more Americans than any other. His name is Moses.
The Bible tells of the prophet Moses who led the enslaved Jewish people from the bondage of their Egyptian captors.
In Exodus, God parts the Red Sea so that Moses and the Jews can cross. Then God releases the waters on the pursuing Egyptian army.
In "America's Prophet," Bruce Feiler describes how the Moses' story has been sealed into the foundation of America.
"In fact, when those pilgrims got on that ship in 1620, their Bibles had Moses on the title pages," he said. "They were saying that you could stand up to the Catholic Church, and they were standing up to King James."
The founding fathers frequently referenced Moses, Feiler said. Thomas Paine likened King George to the pharaoh and Revolutionaries to the Israelites crossing the Red Sea.
Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams suggested Moses be on the national seal of the United States.
African-American slaves and civil rights activists held up Moses as the icon of freedom in the spiritual, "Go Down Moses." See Lift Every Voice and Sing
According to Feiler,
The Exodus story is a universal story. It applies to all of us in any time. That is why this story has worked so much in America. It provides this incredible example of "I'm not the first to go through an impossible situation. Other people have done it. I can take hope they succeeded and then maybe I can succeed, too."
The Vision at Bethel :Monument to the sixteen civilians murdered by suicide bombers of Hamas terrorism, in the city of Beer Sheva, Israel, 2004.
The engraved quotation reads:
"And he dreamed, and behold, there was a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven. And behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it!" (Genesis 28:12 in Hebrew)
|Rabbi Lapin's organization, Toward Tradition, is America's leading bridge-builder between Jewish and Christian communities; spanning the divide between Christians and Jews by sculpting ancient solutions to modern problems in areas of family, faith, and fortune.|
Webster: Bob Shepherd - "Grafted In"
Bob Shepherd (left) is not Jewish at all, except by cultural osmosis. But then, two thirds of the planet is, too. It could well be said that the most successful proselytizers the world has ever seen were the Jews - who did not proselytize at all. Actually, we are told that for a few brief periods, such as the Hellenistic era, Jews did proselytize. Both Christianity and Islam, in this sense, are very much daughter religions of Judaism. We are proselytes of the gate (marginal Jews, or Noahide believers). One pope (Pius the eleventh) even said that "Spiritually, we are all Semites." He reasoned that God's promise to Abraham was true, and we "spiritual Semites" are the proof. So yes, in that sense I am "Jewish" -- that is, I am grafted in, or adopted into Israel.
Abraham Joshua Heschel:
Dawn and DuskWe are God's stake in human history. We are the dawn and the dusk, the challenge and the test. How strange to be a Jew and go astray on God's perilous errands. We have been offered as a pattern of worship and as a prey for scorn, but there is more still in our destiny. We carry the gold of God in our souls to forge the gates of heaven. The time for the kingdom may be far off, but the task is plain: to retain our share in God in spite of peril and contempt. There is a war to wage against the vulgar, against the glorification of the absurd, a war that is incessant, universal. Loyal to the presence of the ultimate in the common, we may be able to make it clear that man is more than man, that in doing the finite he may perceive the infinite.
"The Meaning of Jewish Existence" in The Torch (1950)
site created by