National socialism, known as Nazism, murdered Jews by the millions.
International socialism, known as Communism, murdered even more.
The combined death toll of those murdered by socialists may well exceed the total of all victims of all wars throughout all of history.
Still, the Jews are drawn to socialism.
It is a question that has perplexed me for many years.
In all other respects, I am proud of my community.
I may have found a clue that will guide me to the answer. I found it in a recent issue of Hadassah Magazine. This periodical has been finding its way to our mailbox for many years now regardless of the fact that we have never subscribed. Indeed, it follows us without fail whenever we move. The people I long suspected of having it sent to us have all died. Regardless, I have read each issue from cover-to-cover, always finding enough morsels of knowledge to keep me opening it each month. The December 2014/January 2015 issue contains a commentary by Mich Odenheimer that suggests an answer to my question. Please indulge me as I quote:
“Since the Jewish return to Israel, the debate around shemitta has been whether the laws prohibiting agricultural work can be halakhically circumvented [halakha is the collective body of all Jewish law including the 613 commandments (yes, 613, not 10) and others which may vary between Jewish communities] – religious Zionists [those who support Jewish reclamation of their traditional homeland] say yes, haredim [ultra-orthodox] say no – but this discourse has obscured the enormous social justice and environmental implications of shemitta. Israel's first chief rabbi, Abraham Isaac HaCohen Kook, understood shemitta in this broader light. He envisioned shemitta loosening the hold of free-market capitalism on the human spirit. In Rav Kook's Introduction to Shabbat Ha'Aretz (Hazon), he writes:
“A year of equality and of tranquility, expansion of the soul and its widening towards the divine which sustains life with loving kindness...no violating of the holy that comes with insistence on private property...and the desire for riches, which is aroused through commerce, is quieted.”
Thus, I begin to suspect that the Jewish inclination towards socialism, indeed socialism itself, may be rooted in this biblical exhortation. I would love to have a Jewish scholar join this discussion to clarify the issue.
Regardless, biblically inspired or not, socialism is a failure and Jewish votes for those politicians who espouse it has never proven wise. The political party that American Jews support grows progressively inimical to the interests of the Jewish homeland, Israel. Under their tutelage, the American economy has waned until the United States, which possesses the world's most powerful military, can't afford to deploy it and Israel finds itself in greater danger with each passing day.
It is at times such as these, reading such biblical passages, that I question if it is divinely inspired and if so wrong in this regard, how else may it be in error?