Once upon a time not so long ago Israel was the plucky little nation that could. What could that little nation the size of New Jersey do? Well, it could survive genocidal attacks from all fronts and several nations despite being grossly outnumbered and facing overwhelming odds. It could manage to have a capitalist system which included a core of social programs which cared for its people and through socialist structured kibbutzim was able to produce food and goods to such an extent as to export some of the world’s finest produce. Israel was that enigma wrapped in a puzzle surrounded by a query contained in a whirlwind of options that managed to survive. Israel used to be the proof that dreams can come to fruition and survive even against the harshest of threatening neighborhoods. So, what went awry? When did the train jump the tracks?
The answer is even more surprising than what one might imagine and so surprising that it is obviously simple, Israel was too successful and was making things work while those around the world kept falling behind by comparison. Israel was successful by taking the opposite road than the rest of the world had chosen. And Israel was pilloried by a sinister plot hatched to destroy her by the most vile measures of lies, innuendo, spite and infamy. Israel became the target upon which every nation, every peoples, every entity could measure their resentment against and join together to destroy this nation of the Jews, this Jewish entity amongst the nations of the world. Israel was to be treated to an unseen anti-Semitic assault not seen for almost two-thousand years. Israel was being returned to her former glory amongst the nations of the known world, of her known world, the nations singled out by every empire, ever conqueror, every abysmal force of contempt and evil which could arise from the human condition. Israel became the excuse for the failures of the everyman, the causation of every calamity, the target for all hatreds, disgusts, accusations, vile temperament which denied every definition as it refused to break no matter how twisted, bent, beaten or broken, Israel survived and came to return and thrive again.
It took a small amount of time before the obvious became noticed and once noticed became the raison d’etre for a hatred based in anti-Semitism but leveled at an international level equal to the forerunner which was the force spawned and inspiring the full force with which the Ancient Egyptians brought to borne against it as did subsequent powers as the Philistines, the Assyrian Empire, the Babylonian Empire, the Persian Empire, the Greek Empire, and the Roman Empire. The destructive forces and vile contempt did not end with the simple dispersal of the Judean remnant of the Israelites to the furthest corners throughout the great expanse of Rome, no, Rome also continued a level of persecution against these shreds of a peoples, these shards which remained as they continued to practice and perform individually the rites which would hold them as a people throughout the coming ages.
In this Diaspora the one family of Judah, the one tribe of the Jews became two separate entities, the Ashkenazim of central Europe and the Sephardim of Spain and across all of Middle East and Northern Africa (MENA) and eventually expelled from Spain with the Inquisition. Throughout these periods the Jews would face perils as they were beaten down and persecuted beginning with the immediate forces of the Roman Empire which had placed them strewn across the known world, followed by the Byzantine Empire, the Crusaders, the early Muslims in their origins of Mecca and Medina starting with the Battle of Khaybar, the Crusaders, the Caliph of Baghdad, al-Muqtadi imposition of Dhimmitude forced Jewish males to wear distinctive yellow mark upon their headgear to denote their Jewish religion and a weight around their neck marked Dhimmi and was the initial use of a yellow mark which would later become the Nazi source for the marking of Jews with the yellow star on their clothing, a series of pogroms and expulsions marked the lives of both the Ashkenazim and the Sephardim to such extents that it would be difficult to list all these events as in some cases, many probably still unknown, every Jew residing in a town, city, fiefdom or other demarked area might have been put to the sword, burned at the stake or other form of mass execution leaving no survivor to tell of the events thus passing without note unless related by the history of the designated area cleansed of its Jews.
Some of the more famous such events such as the Spanish Inquisition where Jews were forced to convert to Catholicism and if suspected of continuing to practice Judaism stealthily within the confines of their homes they were dragged into the street or town square and executed often in as horrific a manner as possible. Across Europe the Jews were often burned at the stake or murdered in other manners or simply expelled as the plague struck the Jewish sections of towns nowhere nearly as hard as it did the Christian areas due to the regimented cleaning of the Jewish homes annually for Passover when removing Chametz (leavened breads cakes etc.) thus less rodents and fleas carrying the plague existed in the Jewish areas by comparison. The locals would often claim that this was due to the Jews having contaminated the Christians wells causing their greater rate of plague and a pogrom would be organized which often after torturing and murdering some of the Jews the rest were forced from their location forced to flee with what they were capable of taking with them. Jews often found their families having to decide what to take and how long they should linger packing and remain safe.
In more modern times the main persecutions were propagated by the Czars who went so far as to write the book “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” which described the plot by the Jews to rule the world which was preposterous but even today in parts of the world these writings are still produced as proof of a Jewish plot to rule the world through devious and manipulative means. When the Communists replaced the Czars, despite many leading Jews assisting the rise to power, the Jews still were separated for special treatment and eventually simply persecuted outright. There was Nazi Germany and the Holocaust which destroyed over one-third of the Jewish world’s population, probably one of the greatest decimations of Jewish lives since the fall of the Northern Kingdom of Israel which was conquered by the Assyrians never to be recovered until modern times as these disparate tribes are being found throughout the globe and being brought back within the fold in Israel. The latest threat is growing in power and gaining weapons capable of unbelievable destruction by Iran and the outcome between Israel and the Iranian threat is still to be decided. It is looking more dire each passing day and one wonders how Israel will be able to find a path for her survival once again.
Facing the hatreds and attempts of continued decimations the individual Jew remained an identity always apart, always different, always struggling and striving towards that promised day their scroll, their Torah gave hope to the belief that eventually the dry bones would face one final crushing blow from which they would miraculously begin to grow sinews as they reassembled in the form of human skeletons and would grow flesh and appear as the flesh and bone remnants of a people from the Holocaust, the Shoah, and would grow muscles and return to their national homelands where the early Zionist had already gathered and prepared for their arrival. And then came the great purges throughout the rest of the nations of the world, the nations of MENA and the Sephardim followed on the heels of the Ashkenazim and were brought into their homelands and rejoined their family. The dry bones finally regrown were capable of further miracles every day and as the miracles grew and so the favor from what many referred to as the fates, but we knew was G0d our Father and our Staff when we grew weary and in need of support and Who would give us the power to wield that staff when set upon by other nations and once again His favor did shine upon us. The miracles happen in small increments daily with the little miracles, those miracles which explain the otherwise unexplainable because, as Torah teaches us, there is no such thing as coincidence, luck, or happenstance; just G0d’s will to shower every single day with His saving grace and love.
Then there are the much larger miracles, the ones we hear and can only take in the shock of the magnitude of certain unexplainable events. The victory in the Six Day War in June of 1967 was an obvious series of miracles as virtually everything went as well or better than expected. Even the altering of plans to fight on an additional front upon Jordan entering the conflict on the second day, or later during the first twenty-four hours, was successful and did not hinder the front against Egypt from where the reinforcements were redirected to go into Jerusalem where they made our sacred home back in Israeli hands. There was the eventual victory in the Yom Kippur War in October of 1983 when initially it appeared as if Israel was to be overrun. Then there was an utterly inexplicable event which was but a single instance which could have ended so poorly but whose circumstance was as beyond belief as was the saving grace which a battery of the Iron Dome system were to witness. We first reported on this event in our article How to Fight Terrorist Fanatics Unless You’re Israel where we quoted the story as reported in Israel Today titled “Iron Dome Operator: God Moved Missile We Couldn’t Hit”. Here is the story once again;
“A missile was fired from Gaza. Iron Dome precisely calculated [its trajectory]. We know where these missiles are going to land down to a radius of 200 meters. This particular missile was going to hit either the Azrieli Towers, the Kirya (Israel’s equivalent of the Pentagon) or [a central Tel Aviv railway station]. Hundreds could have died.”
“We fired the first [interceptor]. It missed. Second [interceptor]. It missed. This is very rare. I was in shock. At this point we had just four seconds until the missile lands. We had already notified emergency services to converge on the target location and had warned of a mass-casualty incident.”
“Suddenly, Iron Dome (which calculates wind speeds, among other things) shows a major wind coming from the east, a strong wind that…sends the missile into the sea. We were all stunned. I stood up and shouted, ‘There is a G0d!’ I witnessed this miracle with my own eyes. It was not told or reported to me. I saw the hand of G0d send that missile into the sea.”
Now, that was a miracle similar in kind and impact which was Bible worthy as thousands of lives were spared and the lack of other explanations was impossible. This was evidence of the hand of G0d at work as a pick-up in the wind is insufficient to move a rocket that far off its trajectory that late in its traverse such as to push the rocket a mere few feet but over a mile from its course in the final half mile or less of its traversal to target. What better place to end this article than with the realities of the force and faith in the L0rd our G0d and G0d of the universe for all people to love and share his love and acceptance of each and every last one of us no matter our past as long as we are making efforts to improve ourselves and be a shining example in His eyes.
Beyond the Cusp