Moshe received the Torah, but Yehoshua conquered Eretz Yisrael.
Many of us were a bit surprised with the outcome of the Likud primaries. Two of the biggest supporters for Jewish rights on Har HaBayit, Moshe Feiglin and Tsippi Hotovely, received very low spots on the Likud list and it's unlikely that they'll be in the next Knesset.
So what happened?The most obvious cause is that they were both victims of a hit list put out by Bibi and his cronies. This probably had a number of components that included:
- Voting lists. Bibi's organization promoted lists of "kosher candidates" or pre-filled ballots that did not contain Moshe or Tsippi. These lists are designed to utilize all of your votes so that you only vote for approved candidates.
- Phony deals. Moshe and Tsippi were probably the victims of phony deals. Part of the wheeling and dealing of primaries is that the various "camps" agree to support each others candidates, or for a portion of their voters to support each others candidates. Various camps strike deals with multiple camps and may prepare phony instructions to trick their so-called allies into voting for them.
- Irregularities(?). Without observers at all polling booths, there are the opportunities for irregularities during the actual counting of the ballots. If it happened, it probably wasn't too excessive, but just enough to make a difference.
- Defections. Some of Moshe Feiglin's supporters may have actually left the Likud in order to join the Bayit Yehudi. If true, this is actually the biggest news of the primaries and may represent the beginning of a seismic shift in the nationalist camp away from the Likud.
The Torah of Jewish LeadershipMoshe Feiglin brought the Torah of Jewish leadership to the State of Israel. The idea that we could have a religious leader of the State of Israel was all but unthinkable until he burst on the scene. Until Manhigut Yehudit, religious parties, including the Mafdal, only wanted to be in the government in order to get money to fund their sectarian interests, to "take care of their own." To actually lead the country, and represent all of its citizens... that was for others.
Whether or not he makes it into the next Knesset, Moshe Feiglin deserves credit for bringing the Torah of Jewish leadership to modern Israeli political discourse. Thanks to him, a boy with a kipa can dream of being Prime Minister. The idea of having "Jewish" leaders in spirit, not just in name, was Moshe Feiglin's Torah.
Although the Biblical Moshe received the Torah, he did not merit to lead the conquest of Eretz Yisrael. Yehoshua was chosen for that task.
Moshe Feiglin is the Moshe of Jewish leadership, but maybe he is not the Yehoshua. Whether or not it's Naftali Bennet, it is clear that Bayit Yehudi is taking a page from Manhigut Yehudit's playbook and working to unite all types of people who care about the country. They're reaching out to all people who are proud, unapologetic Zionists, from the Walla! news editor-in-chief to an Israeli Muslim woman whose sons serve/served in Golani.
Bayit Yehudit is definitely not the Mafdal of yesteryear. As Moshe considers his options, he should consider that although "there was none like Moshe before or after", he still did not merit to be the Yehoshua.