Put Your Faith in G-d, Not a ‘King’

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2017/09/01/put-your-faith-in-g-d-not-a-king/

In the second reading of this week’s Torah Portion (Shoftim, or Judges), G-d anticipates that the Children of Israel will forget G-d many years after settling Eretz Yisrael (D’Varim 17:14-20) and demand a king like all the nations around it.  This occurred in Chapter Eight of the First Book of Samuel when the Israelites asked Samuel to give them a king because Samuel was old and his sons were corrupt.  Even though Samuel warned the Israelites that they would go from being servants of G-d to helots of the king, the Israelites still insisted on a king because they would be like all the other nations and their king would go out and fight their battles.

Samuel warned the Israelites what the manner of the king would be.  The king would conscript their sons into his army and their daughters as his domestic servants; take their property to give it to his acolytes and impose heavy taxes on what the Israelites produce.  However, because the Israelites had rejected G-d and wanted a king, G-d told Samuel to make them a king.  This proves that we should be careful what we wish for, because sometimes, we just might get it. 

Although G-d tried to mitigate the damage of having a king like all the other nations by setting out certain prescribed commandments that the king must adhere to, this ended up failing to curb the impulses of the Israelite kings from becoming kings like all the nations around it.  The Israelite kings ended up setting themselves outside of G-d’s law, thought that the rules did not apply to them, and acted accordingly.  Lord Acton said it best when he said “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” It is no surprise that the Kingdom of Israel ended up splitting up shortly after King Solomon died.  

I believe that human monarchy is bad for all people, and in particular the Israelites, the Jews of contemporary times, and Americans.  G-d wants us to accept G-d as our King.   G-d gives us the ultimate binary choice:  accept the gentle Yoke of Heaven, or accept the cruel Yoke of Man.   

I disagree strongly with Stone’s Torah commentary that Israel was commanded to seek a king.  My disagreement is not simply that the Torah commentary of Rabbi Joseph Hertz said that G-d permitted but did not require Israel to seek a king; it is also based on Israel’s experience with a king and the increased power of the President of these United States over the last 160 years.  I recognize that the natural tendency of any governmental body is to grow its powers, budget, and prestige; and I believe that the government that governs best governs least and closest to the people.  America fought against the yoke of the British Monarchy more than 240 years ago to secure our independence and natural rights.

I agree with former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice (and current U.S. Senate candidate) Roy Moore when he said that we cannot make America great again until we make America good again.  I believe that America cannot be good again as long as people are wise in their own eyes and turn their back on G-d and the Constitution.  America needs to stop putting their faith in statist political princes like Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Charlie Baker, Massachusetts gubernatorial candidate Setti Warren, and Newton mayoral candidates Scott Lennon, Ruthanne Fuller, and Amy Sangiolo.  Their desire to increase the size, scope, and cost of government continually erodes our freedom and puts us on the road to serfdom.

We do not need politicians who take their oath of office to uphold the Constitution at the beginning of their term of office and then proceed to violate it during their term in office, such as Barack Obama with his executive amnesty for illegal aliens.  We need public servants with a G-d-fearing worldview who will uphold our natural rights, such as life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  An example is Kentucky U.S. Senator Rand Paul, who has fought tenaciously to actually repeal the ObamaCare socialized healthcare regime and replace it with free market solutions.  We do not need men and women who act like the public’s masters and who promulgate their government-makes-us-happy worldview on us.  

In America, we can learn from the Israelites what happens when we go against our Constitutional, federal, republican system of limited decentralized government and replace it with a dominant central government led by a powerful personality who lacks a G-d-fearing, Constitutional worldview.  Examples of such politicians include Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, Lyndon Johnson, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama.  These former presidents contributed to the gargantuan growth in the size, scope, and cost of our federal government. Favored methods include king-size spending, increased taxation, burdensome regulations, left-wing social engineering, and reckless federal borrowing.


Joshua Norman is an Auburndale resident and a Baal Teshuvah (a Jew from a secular background who recently became religiously observant over the last year).