Tuesday, October 09, 2007


The descriptions of the Mutual Bank or Credit Union below are general.

They need to be tweaked to suit Jewish needs and this is a matter for Jews to sit down and discuss to decide how best this can be done.

As you can see, the idea is built upon the principle of free credit - and that is in line with Torah.

The system of banking that we have today in Israel is wholly corrupt. Every time we make use of a commercial bank in Israel we commit an avayrah. We are FORBIDDEN to earn interest on a loan to another Jews. PERIOD. No if. No ands. No buts. No "heterim". Gornisht.

To partake in and support institutions Jewish usury is not less an avayrah than any other. Any Rabbi who tells you otherwise is getting his salary to do so from the establishment. More about that establishment at the end of this post.

Today, most Jews in Israel outside of Me'ah She'arim have to do business with commercial banks. We can, we must, change that. ASAP.

It is incumbent upon us as Jews to establish Mutual Banks based on Mutual Credit. The residents of Me'ah She'arim have such a banking system. I am sure that they would be delighted to instruct us how to implement and run a bank like that.

The bank should be commonly run, should have wholly open books and there should be a Board of Governers who sit for a short period of time, who are elected by the community and are subject to immediate recall if they do not carry out their duties in accordance with Hilkhot Mamonot and common decency.

This system will eventually supplant gemachim. Although people who run gemachim can be very helpful in the establishment of such a Mutual Bank.

No one should have to borrow money from another person. We should all have what we need.

Let's get to the short overview then:

"Mutualists argue that free banking should be taken back by the people to establish systems of free credit. They contend that banks have a monopoly on credit, just as capitalists have a monopoly on land. Banks are essentially creating money by lending out deposits that do not actually belong to them, then charging interest on the difference. Mutualists argue that by establishing a democratically run mutual bank or credit union, it would be possible to issue free credit so that money could be created for the benefit of the participants rather than for the benefit of the bankers.

A credit union is a cooperative financial institution that is owned and controlled by its members. Credit unions differ from banks and other financial institutions in that the members who have accounts in the credit union are the owners of the credit union.Credit union policies governing interest rates and other matters are set by a volunteer Board of Directors elected by and from the membership itself. Only a member of a credit union may deposit money with the credit union, or borrow money from it. As such, credit unions have historically marketed themselves as providing superior member service and being committed to helping members improve their financial health.Credit unions may be viewed as non-profit organizations, or alternatively as for-profit enterprises charged with making a profit for their members (who receive any profits earned by the cooperative in the form of dividends paid on savings, which are taxed as ordinary income, or reduced interest rates on loans). This debate reflects credit unions' unusual organizational structure, which attempts to solve the principal-agent problem by ensuring the owners and the users of the institution are the same people. In any case, credit unions generally cannot accept donations and must be able to prosper in a competitive market economy. "

My dear Brothers and Sisters: There is nothing more revolutionary than to be a true Jew. The heart and Soul of Judaism is revolt against corruption and the mechanisms that are generated from it.

From the day we were commanded to slaughter the sacred cows of Egypt, we were commanded to live a life of perpetual revolt against power of man over man and the idol worship that supports it.

When the State of Israel was declared the rich and politically powerful understood that if Judaism was given true expression that we would create a world-wide revolution. They were right on correct about that.

So, all the forces of Hell were unleashed against us: they support the Arabs to keep us in a constant state of war; they fluoridate our water so that we will be debilitated; they bankroll an army of "Rabbis" to teach us that which is not Torah and keep us very busy with made-up things to do so that we will not remember the voice we heard in Egypt and at Har Sinai. They keep us in economic straits and worries, they keep us in thrall in a million different ways.

Why have they gone to all that trouble and expense. Because NO ONE is more dangerous to a corrupt system than a real Jew. Nothing works against a real Jew to get him or her to cooperate with corruption - not the carrot and not the stick.

And so, my dear Brothers and Sisters, despite all that has been set against us - real Jews we must be. A real Jewish society we must build. Real solidarity we must return to - the solidarity that we knew when we were a young people.

We have to return to a time when authority was invested in people only on the basis of the love and the wisdom they proved. We have to return to the time of the Judges - the time before a State and a government was set over us. The Judges were known by their communities intimately. Their every character trait was seen by all. If they were not immaculately honest and straight they would not have been respected. Their honor was their only source of power - and that is the only correct source of power.

Read the Book of Sh'mu'el. We were not meant to be ruled by flesh and blood!

Because our society is so sick our Judaism too is sick, paltry and in our hearts we know, sadly, largely contrived. We will only be able to find our way back to the true Torah as we institute mechanisms of righteousness.

Today we turn to HaShem in our poverty, in our fear, in our insecurity, with our broken hearts and broken spirits and broken bodies, after having been traumatized - and we fall victim to the "Rabbis" who are working for the rich and politically powerful to lead us astray.

Would that we would turn to HaShem in our strength and in our love and in our security! Would that we would turn to HaShem in celebration of the bounty we live in!

I saw on Kibbutz that when every material and social need is provided for still there is a feeling that something is lacking. I saw on totally secular Kibbutzim synagogues being built and b'tei midrash being put together and study groups forming.

When we have provided for one another's human needs, when we all live in abundance and in solidarity, when our consciences and our hands are clean and we all earn our livings in dignity and with honor THEN and only then will we be in a position to return to the true Torah. It is so easy to begin. We form food co-ops and mutual aid projects. We form a mutual bank that provides mutual credit. Soon others will emulate us.

Let's begin NOW. For I tell you truly, it is we who must usher in the Messianic age.

Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat, Israel

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