Beyond the Cusp

January 8, 2018

Are the World’s Jews About to Come Out of the Desert?

 

There are some interesting numbers concerning the Jewish People over their history. Their time in Egypt supposedly was four-hundred years. These years in which them served as bonded workers building the Pharos’s city, left them unable to act as a people or serve in a military capacity. This resulted in their spending forty years in the desert wandering from camp site to camp site until the generations of bonded workers had mostly died off or were too old to be expected to fight, they had become the hangers on. The youth who came out of Egypt did largely have the ability to fight so were allowed to enter the lands which are Israel. With this math behind us, forty years in the desert to remove four-hundred years outside being responsible for protecting themselves, let us move onward.

 

Ezekiel said the Jews were to be punished for 430 years because they had turned away from Hashem. This was to become the Babylonian exile. The Persians under Cyrus the Great defeated the Babylonians and freed their Jewish captives about 70 years after Judah lost independence to Babylon. This left 360 years which the Jews would require a second exile to fulfill as one must pay Hashem when one strays. In Leviticus 26:18, Leviticus 26:21, Leviticus 26:24 and Leviticus 26:28 the Torah spells things out quite clearly, should the Jews not fully repent their sins they would be punished increased by a factor of seven. Since most of the Jews freed from Babylon decided to live in the Persian society and adopted pagan ways, which is not exactly repenting, their remaining 360 years were multiplied by seven meaning their time in the Diaspora or under foreign occupation became 2,520 years on the original lunar Jewish calendar which translates to 2,484 years. Count from 536 BCE forward 2,484 years and you arrive at 1948. One can only imagine how long it will take to bring the Jews from their over two millennial exile to having their faith restored in themselves as a people? What is interesting is the difference we have noted in the Jews who have returned from many corners of the globe living here in our little berg in Israel to the majority of Jews who have thusfar remained in the Diaspora. The differences are stark.

 

We have spoken about how the majority of people in the synagogue we belonged to in the United States were confounded when we informed them we were on our way to live in Israel. They could not understand why we would leave what they viewed as the promised land to go to the ravaged lands in the Middle East, of all places. They cried about leaving the safety of living in the leading nation in the world to live in an undeveloped land in the world’s hellhole. These were the same Jews who recoiled at the thought that one of their fellow members had served in the Army, even if it was the United States Army, because Jews did not serve in the military. They were equally if not more deplored at the news that we had firearms, numerous firearms, and we enjoyed shooting them at targets. Perhaps it was better not to talk about hunting season as even had we denied ever having shot any animals, they had already considered our morality shot, as were our targets. And that we voted for conservative politicians and refused to denounce Netanyahu for disagreeing with President Obama on Iran, well, what can we add.

 

One of our staff has resided all across the United States and can attest that this final congregation was pretty much indicative of the vast majority of Jews which they met. One thing, being the exception was something a politically conservative Jew outside of Orthodox communities was an outlier and treated as an outcast. Israel is slowly becoming more Zionistic and conservative, though many of our friends might take exception. With time, Israel is very likely to become more religious, and our same friends might disagree, but that is our best prediction. What is nice is predictions cannot be judged as valid or invalid until we reach the future. What could make a difference in the balance would be if large percentages of European and North American Jews make Aliya, bring their liberal politics with them, and refuse to alter their opinions to meet new realities. Then, many may not see any new realities and remain entrenched in their political bubble. That could be detrimental for the future of Israel as it already took Israel twenty years to come to the realization that the Arabs do not desire an actual state for their Palestinian brothers, they just want Israel destroyed and the Palestinian Arabs are the bludgeon they plan on using for that purpose and they will forget them should they ever succeed. Fear is that should large numbers of Diaspora Jews come to Israel because they are forced from their homes or feel a changing societal structure where they are no longer safe and secure, that might work to Israel’s detriment and it might just be the wakeup call needed to bring them to realize the world is not anywhere near the utopian dream they had imagined. Dreams are a difficult thing to give up upon, though sometimes reality has its way of forcing people to admit new realities and with it, make what would otherwise be drastic changes to their mindset.

 

Where is this leading, well, to the old discussion of what is one Jewish life worth? Through far too much of the histories of the two main Jewish societies, the one throughout Europe and the one spread across MENA* Muslim lands, a Jewish life often was taken without penalty. Under Sharia, a Jew was worth half that of a Muslim and often even less and a Jewish life could be taken by a Muslim for the most minimal of reasons without question. In Europe, often when there was some calamity, be it from natural causes, financial difficulty or any other cause, the Jews were often found to have been the cause and they were dispossessed of their wealth, if they were fortunate, or murdered often after torture and cruelty all but unimaginable in much of the modern world. Both lines of Jews had their golden ages when the Jews were free to study, invent, discover and make strides for the human race. These ages grew slowly and all too often ended quite abruptly and violently. Then there were the fringes where Islam and Christianity met. The two areas we will talk of are the Holy Lands in general and Jerusalem specifically for one and Spain for the other. Spain is the easiest example ever as when the Muslim conquests reached Spain, their initial plunge left Christian and Jew often fleeing their homes leaving much behind and those who remained often were put to the sword or dispossessed of their wealth and permitted to live in service of their conquerors. After a period, Spain had its initial golden age where all three religions lived with Jews residing in Christian and Muslim areas and enjoying the peace and security provided them. Then things changed when King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella decided that Spain would be a purely Christian nation and thus began the Spanish Inquisition. The initial and main target was to be the Muslims who were driven back across the Gibraltar Straights into Northern Africa and those captured were forced to endure torture and often death and if fortunate simply offered the choice of conversion or death. In some cases, they were executed shortly after their conversion for not having been sincere. The Jews fled with the Muslims, even if they had resided in Christian areas, as they were also being forced to convert or die if fortunate while others were simply tortured and then executed. These conversions led to a group of Jews known as Marranos who took on the vows for Catholicism but continued to practice their Judaism in secret evading the oversight of the Inquisition who at the slightest suspicion would raid former Jewish homes looking for signs of the illegal worship. These raids were also used to steal items containing precious metals, gems or simply stealing their money.

 

The other area where the two religions face one another was over the Holy Lands and Jerusalem. We list Jerusalem separately because of its importance to both religions, to the Christians because of Jesus’s life and death at the hands of the Romans with complicity of the Roman approved Jewish leadership in the Second Temple. The Jews were the religion between the waring parties and as they swept through an area; the Jews were often executed for virtually any reason. They were accused and convicted of spying for the other side, aiding and abetting the other side and even of taking up arms against whichever side was under attack. In Jerusalem, things were more severe and strict as whichever side controlled Jerusalem, their efforts to convert or sometimes eliminate all those not following their religion in a purification of the Holy City. Jerusalem changed hands numerous times during the Crusades and each time the Jews were to be counted amongst the losers. Christians swept in and Muslim and Jews were endangered and Muslims sweep in and Christians and Jews were endangered. There were brief periods when Jerusalem was not in danger of being attacked and all three religions were permitted relative freedoms though the ruling religion could change those conditions on a whim or suspicions of things more dire. Still, it must be noted that Jerusalem was a religious prize and not a political one as it was never named as the capital of any state, it was simply Jerusalem, holy to Christians as the place where Jesus preached and was crucified and to the Muslims because it was holy to Christians and Jews it represented their superiority over the other religions.

 

Burning Israel Star of David

 

The idea that a Jewish life is next to worthless has changed, at least in Israel and much of the developed world. Jews are no longer murdered by the actions of the state in most of the world and in places where being a Jew and practicing Judaism is illegal or almost extinct, such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, Judaism is treated almost as a museum piece, a curious oddity. The Daily Wire has a more extensive list which we chose not to use. Still, much of the Arab Muslim world and a few additional Muslim nations refuse entry to Israelis and some to any who claim to be Jewish. This and their having expelled the largest majority of their Jews with only the oldest remaining and thus their Jewish population is either not having children or are mostly marrying outside the religion and bringing the children up as their spouse’s religion, as allowing them to continue as Jews would make their lives far more difficult. North Korea is rumored to exclude Jews from entry except on diplomatic passport and has no surviving Jews within their population. In Europe, they are finding that protecting Jewish life can become expensive and burdensome. This is why, with few exceptions, protection of Jewish institutions is taken only after an attack on one and then only for a few weeks until the issue dies off and is not covered in the news and needing to show police guarding a synagogue or other Jewish institution is no longer necessary. France is a notable exception as they have stationed active duty military to guard Jewish schools, day care facilities, synagogues and even some kosher markets as promised by the former Prime Minister and the Parliament. We can only wonder how long that will last, probably until the next election when a more leftist government is elected. In the United States, the Jews are treated as equal to every other citizen, granted the same rights, have the same privileges, free to work or reside where they please, and are protected against any discrimination. Still, there is a growing anti-Semitism in the United States, and if you were to ask, most people would claim it was groups like the neo-Nazis, the KKK and other “right wing” haters (Nazis of any stripe are still socialist which is a leftist ideology). The problem is, unnoticed by many, the growing anti-Semitism on the left. They claim they are simply pro-Palestinian and are fighting against racism when in reality they are anti-Semitic or at least anti-Israel, which is much the same. These people did not protest when the Syrian government shelled their largest Palestinian refugee camp for three days straight and then bombed it with barrel bombs. That was Arab on Arab hate and not the kind of anti-Palestinian action about which they care. When Kuwait expelled three-hundred-thousand Palestinian workers after the First Gulf War, as Arafat supported Saddam Hussein, there was no cry from the pro-Palestinian forces, that was completely understandable and not at all like Israel when they shoot a Palestinian simply for brandishing a knife; well, brandishing and using to stab and slash Israelis at a bus stop or other gathering place. Israel has placed a high price on a Jewish life and has proven they will make war against those threatening Jewish lives. Israel has proven the value of Jewish life and all life by protecting their citizens with the most advanced defensive anti-projectile defense in the world, Iron Dome. Israel has developed and deployed a three and soon to be four-layered anti-ballistic missile and other projectiles defensive set of systems at great cost. Israel will defend Jewish lives, and all Israeli lives to the ends of the Earth which was proven with the rescue at Entebbe, the reason many Israelis celebrate July 4th as another miracle. The rescue was pulled off on July 4, 1976, with Operation Thunderbolt (video documentary below). Israel and the IDF protects innocent lives to the best of their ability. This is written into their “Code of Arms” the same as it is in most modern armies. Israel has made Jewish lives and all Israeli’s lives valuable and has even made efforts to spare civilian casualties and thus save non-combatant civilian Palestinian lives.

 

 
As far as the future for Jewish lives, we foresee a critical point in time when virtually all Jews remaining in the world will reside within Israel. This is due to interfaith marriage being unbelievably high for non-Orthodox Jews in the United States and Europe. This means after one or at most two or three generations of interfaith marriage, the children will not be raised Jewish. They will have completely assimilated into the Christian population or the secular population having no active religion. This will mean that Israel will be the guarantor of the future of the Jews and not the United States, as many living in that great nation believe. They do not yet see the shrinking numbers in the synagogues as they themselves barely ever join in services and when they do on major holidays, everyone is there and things look wonderful, they are not. Most non-Orthodox, and that is whom we are discussing, do not go to daily services and most synagogues do not offer daily services. Some will offer a once a week service in an evening, often Wednesday, for those requiring Mourner’s Kaddish. Almost none offer morning and evening services, the three services of traditions. Even on Shabbat morning, Saturday morning, most synagogues have some degree of difficulty having a Minyan, ten males over the age of thirteen, and presumably cannot perform parts of the service including reading from the Torah. It is sad but that is where the slow fall away from the Jewish religion has reached. The same has occurred for many Christian sects but the Evangelical Christians appear to be holding better than most of the remainder but the Jews do not have the sheer numbers to afford to lose so many brothers and sisters to assimilation. Europe has seen its Jewish population continue to drop after World War II as living in Europe, as a practicing Jew, has become life threatening in some locations such as Malmo, Sweden and other major European cities. France has seen a virtual exodus with her Jews heading for the United States, Canada and Israel predominantly. These are hard times for the Jewish faith outside Israel so it will fall to Israel to set a high price for the life of a Jew and to protect the faith as the return has begun and what will follow will be determined by prophesy, Torah and the efforts of men and women great and small.

 

Star of David Ornate

 

The Jewish People are coming out of their years in the desert as they have proven they have the will to fight and make their lives count for something. Israel has taught her children well the value of a human life and the particular value of a Jewish life. They have internalized the lessons from the Diaspora and know that they must make the price of a Jewish life prohibitively high and see all life within Israel as equal in value. They learned that Judaism is not just a religion but also a family and as such, we must love each other as family which often means being a little more sensitive and understanding of one another’s shortcomings. We have hopefully learned that to be Jewish is a way of life and a way of living which is guided by Torah and the Mitzvot. True, there are a good number of secular Jews and sects of Orthodox Jews and each of these extremes have difficulty at times with the remainder, but these are problems that time will slowly erase. A Jewish life is not more valuable than any human life, but it does have something special that cannot be denied. Some proverbial stories tell of a king asking one of their advisors, often a Jewish advisor, to prove the existence of Hashem, and the answer has always been “the Jews.” The fact we are talking about the future for the Jewish People is partial proof of this miracle. The biggest problem for Judaism today is the final recognition that as Jews we belong as one family and thus acceptance of differences, while required, must be combined with the understanding that no one sect of our family is any different than any other and all must toil together if we are to make Israel function and reduce friction. We all, as Jews, have traversed difficulties to reach this time in Israel and no one group has any privilege or is owed special compensation over any other group in our family. Until we realize that we all need the soldiers, we all need the Torah scholars, we all need the scientists, we all need every last Jew because we must be special to one another if we ever expect the world to see us as special. When we are attacking one another, the world sees weakness and will use the very same arguments we throw at one another to lessen the value of every Jew making ridding themselves of their Jews acceptable, and we have all seen how that ends. We lost the Second Temple to gossip and interfamilial hatred, we must not lose Israel again for that or any other reason, as this will be our last chance to get things right. The mere existence of the Jews after all the persecutions and other blights which have befallen them above all others and they persist and retain their ability to produce. This was one of the items which appeared to have been noticed by many throughout history, as seen in this video with which we will close.

 

 
Beyond the Cusp

 

* MENA = Middle East and North Africa

 

1 Comment »

  1. Reblogged this on Oyia Brown.

    Like

    Comment by OyiaBrown — March 1, 2018 @ 8:46 AM | Reply


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