In the previous section of the program, Part Three, we examined the structure of the Jewish world and questions that arise out of the Jewish people’s peculiar situation of being dispersed around the globe. In so doing, we added the largest circle – the entire Jewish world - to the model that we had previously constructed, with its family, community and national community circles surrounding the individual. Throughout the program, we have sought to examine the relationship between the individual and each particular circle that we have added. We have always assumed that the individual stands within these circles regardless of whether he/she wishes to recognize the fact. The individual might deny that there is a meaning to the circle that surrounds him/her, but the circle does exist and the individual stands inside it.
In Part Four, however, the issue changes. We will now add another element to the examination: the State of Israel. This circle is obviously part of the Jewish world but it is by no means clear whether certain Jews stand inside it. This circle does not necessarily surround the Diaspora Jew: it is quite possible for a Jew in the Diaspora to accept that Israel is a part of the Jewish world as a whole, but to deny any particular connection - meaningful or otherwise - with it.
For this reason, Israel’s connection to the Jewish world and of each individual to Israel - as both concept and reality - is the first question that we will examine. After examining the group of issues that cluster under the general headline of ‘connection’, we will proceed to assess a number of specific topics concerning Israel, always allowing the individual student his/her opinion. Finally, we will return to some more theoretical issues relating to Israel.