From the time of Abraham, followed by the miracle of the Exodus and Israel’s leader, the Lawgiver Moses, leading to the beginning of the taking of the Promised Land under Joshua, on to the building of a true nation by King David which led immediately to the building of the Temple by King Solomon, even through the hardships of the Babylon Exile and the near countless conquests by empire after empire from Persia through the Greeks and finally ending less than merciful Roman conquest that lead to the near two thousand years in the wilderness of the Diaspora, a people have been forged who have finally returned to their national home with a unique history intertwined with the experiences from every corner of the world and are finally on the cusp of realizing their true destiny. Now the Children of Israel face likely their most insidious of challenges, economic success with a pampered class of the permanently disgruntled. These children of discontent were on full display with their temper tantrum and extremist displays when the authorities actually refused to allow them the same license to disrupt life in the center of Israel’s cities with a replay of last summer’s tent protests. Their aim is to again protest the unfairness of the society which will not allow them to begin life at the top of the heap replete with all the comforts of their adolescence generously provided by their parents who had reached the pinnacle of long years of diligently toiling at their professions.
This denial of the indignant class to once again set up their disruptive tent cities in the heart of the Israeli hubs of commerce and business marks the beginning of the end of this hijacking of the Jewish faith by the liberal elites of Western civilization. As Jews, we have seen this play out numerous times over our history with likely the most memorable being the Bar Kochba revolt against the Greek Seleucid Empire of Syria in 165 BCE which is celebrated during Chanukah. This revolt was, in reality, more than a simple revolt against the Seleucid Greeks, it also was a battle against those Jews who had adopted a corrupted version of Judaism that knitted Greek culture into its practices and had adopted many of the Greek philosophies and practices. They were referred to as Hellenized Jews and were rejected by their brethren who saw their corruption of Torah and their incorporation of Greek practice into their Judaism as a form of idolatry making their Jewish practices compromised and impure. One of the initial killed was one such Jew when a Jewish priest from Modiin, Mattathias the Hasmonean, started the revolt by thrusting a spear through the Hellenistic Jew who had been willing to bow to idols and then the commander of the Greek soldiers which spurred his five sons and those who answered his call, “Those who are for G0d, follow me!” set upon and killed the squad of soldiers. Hopefully this rejection of the modern Hellenized Jews will not require such violence but will end simply due to a resurgence of traditional Judaism. What makes this even more hopeful is that we are witnessing two completely separate and different series of events within modern Judaism. A recent <a href= target=blank> article reports,</a> “New York’s Jewish population is on the rise after decades of decline. Researchers credit orthodox birthrates. The change was attributed to birthrates in the orthodox Jewish community, particularly in Chassidic circles. Forty percent of New York City Jews now identify as orthodox, up from Thirty-three percent a decade ago. Nearly three out of every four Jewish children in the city are growing up in orthodox families.” Similar results have been evident throughout most Jewish populations, especially within Israel.
This return to traditional Judaism and the sanctification of a people is a necessary prelude to the building of the Holy Temple and a complete return to fulfillment of all of the six-hundred-thirteen Commandments as spelled out in Torah. It is then possible for a new age of humankind to rise up and bless the Earth with peace, understanding, kindness and a mutual respect among the peoples that is written of in most prophetic works. As far as what other occurrences and events will befall humankind and whether these will be pleasant or turmoil depends on the course taken by the nations and the peoples. Looking over human history one would not be condemned for believing that before we attain a Divinely inspired world we will first face some horrific events and calamities. I have always held out hope that humankind will come to realize that more can be accomplished by assisting one another than is accomplished through conflict or chaos. Unfortunately, that Pollyannish worldview is often smashed to pieces simply by reading the daily news stories, but one can always hold out hope. But first it is necessary to work towards satisfying those necessary initial steps before we are able to even begin to work towards building that perfect society which most everyone at least secretly hopes is somewhere in our future. Even if it is beyond our days, we can only pray our children will witness such developments. After all, it is our hope of a better future which is part of why we bother to raise our children giving them our hopes and dreams to pass on until they become reality.
Beyond the Cusp