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Which type of government is suitable in the present world according to Jewish law? Is democracy allowed in Biblical or in Jewish law?

(I came to this question from wondering why the modern state of Israel is not a kingdom. But I don't know what its constitution is based on: Jewish law or not.)

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Hi, welcome to Mi Yodeya! Note that per our FAQ, questions about the modern State of Isreal are off topic. –  Double AA Apr 8 '13 at 20:15
    
Oh .. sorry. I will edit the question. –  manuthalasseril Apr 8 '13 at 20:19
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Suitable government for whom: Jews or gentiles? In Israel, or the diaspora? –  Seth J Apr 8 '13 at 20:57
    
Mainly question focusing on Jews and modern Israel. Now I also interesting to know about the others also... –  manuthalasseril Apr 8 '13 at 21:02
    
What do you mean by the present world? –  Seth J May 9 '13 at 3:23
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3 Answers 3

The Lubavitcher Rebbe (Kuntres Inyona Shel Toras Hachasidus Ois Gimmel, English translation here) relates:

There is a well-known story about the Rebbe, my sainted father-in-law [R. Yoseph Yitzchak Schneersohn], which illustrates this point. On one of his journeys, he encountered several men who were arguing and expressing differing opinions about the relationship of Torah to political systems, and debating with which system the Torah agreed. Each one of them brought forth as proof a source from Torah in support of his ideology. When they asked the Rebbe for his opinion on this question, he answered: "The Torah, since it is the absolute perfection of truth and goodness, contains within itself all of the best ideas which one may find in all ideologies."

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Did you mean that we can't particularly pointing anything according to Jewish law (regarding my question) ? –  manuthalasseril Apr 8 '13 at 20:56
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@manuthalasseril I meant to say that no man-made government system will totally consistent ideologically with the Torah (but each one contains some truth and good, and that good is what comes from Torah). –  Michoel Apr 9 '13 at 9:43
    
I don't understand this answer. Are you saying any system of government is ok from a halachik perspective? Are you saying no halachik system of government will be perfect? If so can there be some that are better than others? –  Double AA May 9 '13 at 6:30
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Rav Avraham Shapiro, a chief rabbi of Israel, wrote the following:

"There is no conflict between democracy and halacha. Throughout the long years of Diaspora the Jewish People maintained their existence everywhere by means of independently elected community institutions. They lived in a completely democratic manner, as we learn from the writings of the Poskim who discussed matters pertaining to the community's mode of life."

http://www.ou.org/torah/ichud/democrac.htm

Once Moshiach arrives, some probably believe that he will create a monarchy with most powers of government vested in him. I'm not sure if this is required under Jewish law, however; it's possible that democracy could continue even during the Messianic age.

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I think Judges(in Biblical Judges) is suitable according to Bible; because before allowing kingdom to Israel GOD says like that "Still I am ruling the Israel. But now I will allowing the kingdom" I don't know the source exactly, someone teaches me like that. –  manuthalasseril May 15 '13 at 18:47
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A government of a theocratic Jewish kingdom occupied by Jews and conforming to biblical/rabbinic law does not exist. We don't have a king or a temple. The governments of the world are for a non-Jewish world, not taking biblical law account but not being beholden to it beyond the obligations of the 7 Noachide laws. While Judaism puts preference on majority thought in many religious instances one cannot say that is a sine qua non of a "proper" civil government.

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The question is, "what's preferred," not, "what is wrong with the system today?" –  Seth J May 9 '13 at 3:25
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