In the Holocaust, God did not exterminate only the Jews, but the Judaism of Exile, a religion removed from daily realities. When the Jews went into the Exile, sages instituted a fence around the law, an extra-Biblical body of laws designed to safeguard the commandments. Such necessity became moot with the establishment of a Jewish state. Jews need to make their country holy rather than preserve individual holiness, as they used to do in the Exile. So objectively the Holocaust was a watershed event which should have ended the religion of the Exile and cleared a place for the original Judaism. That didn’t work. Orthodox Jews clung to the time-tested concept of individual holiness which prompted them to neglect outside abominations in Israel. They prefer observing myriad irrelevant rules to a few major commandments; they tear toilet paper in advance of Shabbat but ignore the commandment to cleanse the Land of Israel of natives and paganism.

The Exile Judaism in Israel opens the door to the most un-Jewish behavior: outside the semi-closed Orthodox communities, empty Zionism is rampant. But third-generation Israelis, who lack personal experience of anti-Semitism—the major unifying factor for Jews—have emptied their Zionism into a mix of racism, jingoism, and hatred of Arabs. Wait until the post-Zionists start suing religious Jews over the hateful pronouncements in Taniya, Shulhan Aruch, and the Talmud.

Judaism is the only sustainable national ideology for Jews. Judaism, returned to its original role as a practical way of living in the Holy Land—patriotic, militant, and proud. Judaism allows blessings over artillery shells and menorah images on tanks. Such Judaism may not be that far off. As conscription becomes unfashionable in Tel Aviv schools, the army will have to open its doors to the Black Kipas, and to Orthodox and haredi Jews, who would change its mode of fighting for the better. Once the army accepts their terms of conscription, from kosher food to kosher ways of fighting the Amalek, the state of Jews will become the Jewish state.

The Torah Judaism of the Holy Land can attract both sides of the spectrum. Atheist Jews—and I know many examples of such—will discover that Judaism is the only sustainable basis for their patriotism and Zionism, and will become moderately religious. Haredi Jews—and I know of a few examples—who enter the real life beyond their communities will abandon some of the superfluous rules that they adhere to now.

The time of praying for a return to Jerusalem—the time of preserving Judaism—has gone. We preserved Judaism, and we have returned to Jerusalem.

Religious Jews have to venture outside the fence of their own making, impose the law of the Torah on everyone from the Knesset down to kibbutzim and Arab villages, and make this land holy. In such a country of our own, we would no longer need the fence around the law.