Sunday, December 20, 2009

Do Rabbis Dream of Holy Sheep?

Haaretz: Rabbis and teachers from Hesder yeshivas, which offer Torah studies alongside military service, released a letter to students in which they reiterated their assertion that soldiers must refuse orders if they are commanded to evacuate settlements, arguing that Torah law is above the Israel Defense Forces.

The letter emphasizes the importance of enlisting to the military, but instructs soldiers to adhere to Jewish law when it conflicts with orders handed down from superiors.

This letter comes as yeshiva heads closed ranks around Rabbi Eliezer Melamed, whose declarations in support of soldier insubordination caused Defense Minister Ehud Barak to oust his Har Bracha yeshiva from its hesder arrangement with the IDF.

"Unfortunately, the IDF has been used for purposes unrelated to Israel's defense and directly opposed to God's wishes for quite some time," the rabbis wrote in the letter. "This situation faces IDF soldiers with a contradiction between Jewish commandments and commanders' orders


Alain Badiou: What the patricians and bishops want is no doubt the pure and simple conservation of the previous order. In this sense, the past is illuminated for them by the night of the present. But, on the other hand, this night must be produced under the entirely new conditions which are displayed in the world by the rebel body and its emblem. The obscurity into which the newly produced present must be enclosed is engineered by an obscurantism of a new type. For example, it is futile to try to genealogically elucidate contemporary political Islamism. This is particularly true of its ultrareactionary variants, which rival Westerners for the fruits of the oil map through unprecedented criminal means. This political Islamism represents a new instrumentalization of religion—from which it does not derive by any natural (or ‘rational’) lineage—with the purpose of occulting the postsocialist present and countering the fragmentary attempts through which emancipation is being reinvented by means of a full Tradition or Law. From this point of view, political Islamism is absolutely contemporary, both to the faithful subjects that produce the present of political experimentation and to the reactive subjects that busy themselves with denying that ruptures are necessary in order to invent a humanity worthy of the name— reactive subjects that parade the established order as the miraculous bearer of an uninterrupted emancipation. Political Islamism is simply one of the subjectivated names of today’s obscurantism.

That is why, besides the form of the faithful subject and that of the reactive subject, we must give the obscure subject its rightful place.

In the panic sown by Spartacus and his troops, the patrician—and the Vendean bishop, and the Islamist conspirator, and the fascist of the thirties—systematically resorts to the invocation of a full and pure transcendent Body, an ahistorical or anti-evental body (City, God, Race. . .) from which it follows that the trace will be denied (here, the labour of the reactive subject is useful to the obscure subject) and, as a consequence, the real body, the divided body, will also be suppressed. Invoked by the priests (the imams, the leaders. . .), the essential Body has the power to reduce to silence that which affirms the event, thus forbidding the real body from existing.

Transcendent power tries to produce a double effect, which can be given
a fictional expression in the figure of a Roman notable. First of all, he will say, it is entirely false that the slaves want to and can return home. Furthermore, there is no legitimate body that can be the bearer of this false statement. The army of Spartacus must therefore be annihilated, the City will see to it. This double annihilation, both spiritual and material—which explains why so many priests have blessed so many troops of butchers—is itself exposed within appearing, above that which is occulted, namely the present as such.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Mehmet Shagatay,

Firstly, sorry for writing *Sh*. I do not have the initial letter of your family name.
I am Hiroshi Uchida, the author of *Marx's Grundrisse and Hegel's Logic*. I have found your cite today. I came to know that you write you want to know my curriculum vitae.
My email address is
Please send your email above.
With very best wishes.
Hiroshi Uchida
16th December 2011