Devarim Rabbah, Chapters 9 and 11, Anarcho Libertarianism and Judaism

This is my own English translation of the Hebrew, which you can find here. I left out chapter 10 which deals with the minarchic position that a King is required. That chapter is sandwiched between two anarchist sources, implying that the middle position of chapter 10 is rejected.

This was compiled by the Yerushalmi Chazal, as opposed to the Babylonian, who were of the opinion that appointing a king is a positive mitzva. The Yerushalmi, AKA Palestinian Chazal did not see it that way. Chapter 11 is a beautiful one. For beginners, Midrash reads like a Rabbinic stream of consciousness on the surface, but it is much more than that. The flow and order has messages of its own put in by the editors, and a lot of the wordplay that makes Midrash what it is, is sadly lost in translation.

The messianic vision here is obviously no king at all, just God ruling over Israel directly. That’s it.

Chapter 9

Do not let a flatterer rule, lest he mislead the people. (Job 34)

The sages say: Because kings ruled over Israel and began enslaving them, the Holy One Blessed Be He said, “Did you not abandon me by asking for kings?!” Hence: “Let me place a king over myself…” (Deuteronomy 17:14)

The verse states: (Psalms 146) Do not trust in princes etc.

Rabbi Simon said, in the name of Rabbi Joshua ben Levi: All who trust in the Holy One Blessed Be He merit being like Him. What is the source?

The verse states (Jeremiah 17): Blessed be the man who trusts in God, and God shall be his guarantor.”

But all who trust in idolatry, are punished to be like idols. What is the source?

The verse states (Psalms 115): Like them shall their fashioners be.

The sages say: All who rely on ephemeral flesh and blood will have their fortune be ephemeral, as it says (Psalms 146) In man who saves not.

What is written afterwards? His spirit will leave and he will return to the dust.

Said the Holy One Blessed Be He: Do you not know that flesh and blood is nothing, and you set aside My honor and say, “Appoint a king over me”?!

By your lives! By the end you will realize what will come upon you thanks to your king.

What is the source? As it says, (Hoshea 7) All their kings have fallen. There is none that calls to Me.


Chapter 11

Another interpretation:

I will place a king over me

The sages say: Said the Holy One Blessed Be He: In this world you requested kings and kings from Israel rose up and killed you by the sword.

Saul killed them at Mount Gilboa. What is the source?

(1 Samuel, 4) Israel fled from the Philistines (Note: I don’t know how this relates to Saul)

David caused a plague, as it says (2 Samuel 24) God sent a plague on Israel [because of David].

Ahab stopped the rain, as it says (1 Kings 17): There will be no rain or dew for these years.

Zedekiah destroyed the Temple.

When Israel saw what happened to them during the reign of their kings, they all started screaming: We do not want a king from Israel! We want our original King! (Isaiah 33) For God is our Judge and our Legislator. God is our King and our Savior!

Said the Holy one Blessed Be He to them: By your lives! This I will do!

What is the source?

As it says (Zechariah 14) And God will be King over all the Earth etc.


It is absolutely clear from here that Devarim Rabbah’s interpretation of that verse we all say at the end of עלינו is anarchy. No king, no government. Just God, king over all the Earth, period. That is what I pray for. That is what I want. By now I have finally expunged את צמח דוד from my שמונה עשרה. I no longer say it on autopilot.

Maybe I’m finally getting somewhere.


One thought on “Devarim Rabbah, Chapters 9 and 11, Anarcho Libertarianism and Judaism

  1. I take my comment back against throwing stuff in the sea if people don’t need it, even if I care about the sea cleanness. Just because.
    What is the ecological-coin?
    (France 2 is state sponsored)
    This man claims the states specifically aim to make people hysterical (hence violent) using ecological issues that actually uncertain for prediction:
    “He said he decided to write the book in June 2014 when Laurent Fabius, the French foreign minister, summoned the country’s main weather presenters and urged them to mention “climate chaos” in their forecasts.
    “I was horrified by this discourse,” Mr Verdier told Les Inrockuptibles magazine. Eight days later, Mr Fabius appeared on the front cover of a magazine posing as a weatherman above the headline: “500 days to save the planet.”
    In a distant galaxy, on a far away planet, Aliens have printed the right title on their Alien magazine about the strange planet Earth that they study (or try to invade as you wish to believe): “Apocalypse: a new state coin”
    P.S. fear of aliens – also promoted by govt agencies.

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