Beyond the Cusp

June 19, 2018

If Israel Was a Normative Nation

Filed under: Israel — qwertster @ 1:53 AM
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If Israel was a normative nation, then the fact that the percentage of citizens who were Jews would simply be an anomaly. If Israel was a normative nation, she would not worry about what was the right thing to do. If Israel was a normative nation, her actions would be completely based on what served her interests. If Israel was a normative nation, other nations and groups would fear the potential retribution she is capable of loosing on any threat. If Israel was a normative nation, other nations would fear her nuclear and other military capabilities. If Israel was a normative nation, Hamas and Islamic Jihad would have been wiped from Gaza a long time ago. If Israel was a normative nation, the Palestinian Authority, Fatah, the PLO and their security forces would have been sent packing to whatever nations would permit their exile and the Arabs would have been given the opportunity to reside as resident aliens provided they accept Israeli law and renounce terrorism. If Israel was a normative nation, none of the Arabs remaining within her borders would even give the slightest thought of entertaining any acts against Israel. If Israel was a normative nation, the world would not dare push as far as they currently push as they would know it would not alter how she acts. If Israel was a normative nation, her new northern border would be the Litani River or further north after making a deal with Russian President Putin to divide Lebanon between the two nations and pushing Hezballah into extinction. If Israel was a normative nation, so many things would so completely different. But Israel is not a normative nation and things are so different because she is so different.

 

Israel is many things, but normative is not even a possibility. The Children of Israel (Children of Jacob who was also referred to as Israel by HaShem) were the original nation beginning with Abraham passing Isaac and then with Jacob from whom we became the twelve tribes. Then we spent our formative years in Egypt in forced labor, like the majority of Egyptians whose laborers performed forced labor. Then Moses lifted us from the drudgery of forced labor and started the Children of Israel (Jacob) on the most formative journey in history, and it is recorded closely in Torah. The initial lesson we received after the Ten Plagues, which did not affect the area where the Children of Israel lived in Goshen, was being pinned to the Red Sea with the might of the Egyptian Army about to close and descend upon them. Next came HaShem parting the Red Sea, the Children of Israel crossing and the Egyptian Army following only to be drowned when the parting was released, showing the greatness of the power of HaShem. Now the Children of Israel camped at Mount Sinai, where they were to receive the Law, Torah’s Commandments, all six-hundred-thirteen Commandments. Initially, as the tale is told, HaShem came amongst the Children of Israel to allow them to individually hear His laws directly, the entirety of the people died and HaShem was required to revive them. This was attempted again the next day with the hope that after having experienced HaShem, being present would make a difference, but the result was identical. This resulted in having Moses receive the Law and then teach them after receiving them directly from HaShem, as only Moses was able to stand in the presence of HaShem. One would expect that such an experience would also have a lasting effect. These laws received at Mount Sinai were also one of the bases for the morality and systems of governance with its emphasis on the respect for human life and the proper treatment of the stranger and the fact that the community is responsible for even the most vulnerable amongst us which were referred to as the orphan and the widow. For almost another twelve-hundred-years, the Children of Israel lived under Torah and the mitzvahs and commandments finding themselves often falling well short of the expectations.

 

The Children of Israel resided in the area close to the lands they currently reside. The main differences are the northern border used to be the Litani River and some of the tribes lived on the eastern bank of the Jordan River (see map below). The problem was the Children of Israel were internal and external difficulties and challenges. The first was the splitting of the tribes with the northern ten tribes splitting taking the name of Israel and the southern two tribes taking the name of the larger and more dominant tribe, Judah. The northern tribes were conquered by the Assyrians and assimilated and became lost to history and the southern tribes were conquered by the Babylonians. The Judeans returned as a province of Persia, built the Second Temple, and then fell to Greece and eventually Rome who then dispersed the Judeans, now referred to as Jews as Judeans was too difficult for the Romans to say, but despite all the troubles, the Jews remained a separate group. The one thought which held all Jews together was the simple faith and knowledge that the day would come when they would be returned to their ancestral lands. As in all things, there are Jews who argue over when and under what conditions we are to return to our ancestral homeland. The one thing we all agreed upon was where that land was and that the capital would be Jerusalem. So, it really is no wonder that Israel is not a normative nation.

 

Eretz Yisroel from back in the time immediately after Exodus and before the additional conquest by King David and King Solomon with the original division of the lands between the Tribes covering both sides of the Jordan River. The Israelis and Jews in general could attempt to demand that Eretz Yisroel, the Land of Israel be made whole as was First Apportioned by Hashem.

 

So, now we live in the age where almost half of the world’s Jews live in their ancient homelands and passing that halfway point is probably less than a decade away. The world can now honestly say that the ancient Kingdom of Israel has been reestablished. Israel has returned and her ancient language of Hebrew has become the first language to return to use after being a dead language used solely in prayers. That is but one of countless miracles which have come about supporting the nations of Israel which is obviously not normative. This little nation of Israel has been facing a constant threat from the neighbors surrounding her and well beyond her border all claiming that she is an interloper and a trespasser who deserves to be destroyed in order to set the world to rights. What makes things worse is that it appears that many nations, groups and international organizations such as the United Nations and its tentacle agencies all agree that if only Israel were destroyed, then all would be right with the world. Any normative nation facing such threats would be very belligerent and overly sensitive to threats lashing out with all their military might to defeat any and all potential enemies. Any normative nation if forced into a war for their survival and find that miraculously they had prevailed and gained lands five or even ten fold their original size would simply retain ever square-millimeter claiming rightfully that all the lands were required to give additional depth for her ability to properly defend herself. Any normative nation would be permitted such remittance from the people who had attacked and thus after the Six Day War, the new Israeli borders would have been the Golan Heights, Jordan River and the Suez Canal with Israel retaining the Sinai Peninsula. But that was not to be permitted for Israel, as she is not a normative nation. Piece by piece, Israel was required to return lands which could have permitted her to better defend her people and survive in a hostile neighborhood and there are pressures to return every millimeter that continues through today. Some nations clearly state with great volume and determination that Israel must not be permitted independence at all and must be completely eradicated, yet the world condemns Israel for not accommodating these enemies.

 

Star of David Ornate

 

But Israel is not a normative nation and as such she has been known in times of great distress in her history to have bent and bent and bent until it appeared she would break, but instead of breaking, Israel would snap and then become a very normative nation striking out at those who wished her harm with a ferocity of unexpected vehemence. That is one historic trait which the modern world has yet to witness, and it would be horrific should such become unavoidable. Israel is not a normative nation and probably wishes to avoid such a response as much if not more so than do those who would bear the brunt of such violence. What has been a great mistaken judgement by Hamas, Islamic Jihad and those supporting their current rioting and incendiary attacks using kites and balloons to burn almost a thousand acres, if not more by now, and their attempting to breach the border with promises of tearing out our hearts and eating our livers, and all sorts of threats depicting the ways they intend to wipe us from the world as we do not deserve to live on this their lands is that we will never defend ourselves. That is really a mistaken thought. The people of Israel are growing exasperated with these antics and the stressful conditions these threats produce. Do not believe that this is true only of the Israelis residing within the range of these attacks because not only is Israel not a normative nation, Israelis are not a normative people because we are all the Children of Israel, the Children of Jacob, we are all family and those who are threatened are actually our bothers and sisters and their families. This makes their children our nieces and nephews and we care deeply for our family members, enough to demand that our government begin to act like a normative nation and respond in like kind to these violences. As ours is a democratically chosen governance, the ruling coalition is not capable of forever ignoring the desire of the people for the Gaza threat to be eliminated with every amount of malice which can be delivered. Eventually, even if we really were saints, there is a point where provocations require a response and that response is almost always an overreaction. The measure of how much of an overreaction is often directly proportional to the amount of time restraint has been the practice. The Israeli public has been showing restraint for at least twenty-five years, and possibly seventy years, or someplace in between, and that reticence will not continue for much longer. We may have the patience of saints, but we are not saints, we are men and women who worry and care about our brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews and every other member of our family and that worry will drive our reacting, nay, overreacting. All we can warn our neighbors in Gaza, continue to push Israel until acting becomes necessary at your own risk, and it is your risk.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

February 17, 2016

The Israeli Political Class is the Problem

 

There is a malaise in Israel. The pale it casts darkens all horizons. There are those who claim they are Zionists; And those who claim they are Nationalist; And there are those hiding behind a title of Zionism and Union with the world. Let’s face it, if you are truly a Zionist, truly a Nationalist then you would hold to the dream, the dream of the great Zionist Nationalists who went before. The ones whose names precede the State of Israel; the ones whose names echo in the minds of those who have the flame within; the giants whose tombs we approached with reverential honor and a small amount of trepidation because we know those graves will ask us what we have done. What can we tell these giants who handed us a State, a Jewish and Zionist State which spread from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. They understand the land lost in the great first war where we were unable to regain Gaza and all of Judea and Samaria and even a small part of Benyamin but worst of all we lost half of Yerushalayim including the entirety of the Old City, the Temple Mount, the Mount of Olives, Mount Moriah, as well as Kever Yoseph, Kever Rachael and the Cave of Machpelah. We lost Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal which were the Mounts of blessings and curses respectively and the curses far outnumbered the blessings, a warning we should always heed. As it was written:

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 11:29:7
וְהָיָה, כִּי יְבִיאֲךָ יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, אֶל-הָאָרֶץ, אֲשֶׁר-אַתָּה בָא-שָׁמָּה לְרִשְׁתָּהּ–וְנָתַתָּה אֶת-הַבְּרָכָה עַל-הַר גְּרִזִים, וְאֶת-הַקְּלָלָה עַל-הַר עֵיבָל.
And it shall come to pass, when the LORD thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, that thou shalt set the blessing upon mount Gerizim, and the curse upon mount Ebal.

Jericho, Bethlehem, Shechem (Nablus), Hevron, and all the lands, towns, cities which existed under Jordanian occupation from 1948-9 until liberated in June of 1967 in the Six Day War are returned to Eretz Yisroel and must be incorporated into the land in order that we may settle the lands of Eretz Yisroel. As the Jordanians had granted to those who desired citizenship, citizenship which it claimed to cancel after their losing the lands, proving these Arabs, who were no different than Jordanian Arabs, had no value to their brothers unless they were displacing, what even Jordanians would call, the accursed Jews, we can just feel the warmth. Those who were granted Jordanian citizenship should have immediately been given a simple choice; remain in Israel as alien Jordanian residents of Israel; request and work through an acclimation and absorption series of classes in Hebrew, Old Testament and Jewish traditions and practices; or take a generous offer for their lands and structures such as homes and businesses and cross the Allenby Bridge all the wealthier and then proceeded anywhere in the world but Israel. This would have settled the problems with the liberation of the remainders of Judea, Benyamin and Samaria and incorporated all of the lands within their natural borders of Israel. As far as the Waqf and the Temple Mount, they could have been granted jurisdiction over actual recognized Islamic structures while the different Christian sects would work out between themselves who was responsible and was the official caretaker of what parts of which Christian holy site, and the State of Israel would guard, clear, clean and allow universal prayer rights to all across the entirety of the Temple Mount not within a structure and thus under some governance.

 

No areas of now fully liberated and free Israel other than specific holy sites would be held and governed by some foreign entity, especially a terrorist group which is exactly that the Palestinian Authority (PA) is, just prettied up by renaming the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) to Fatah and then allow an election to place them in charge of something called the Palestinian Authority (PA) and claim they are now a partner for peace. It is all a scheming lie thought out by the powers other than Israel in the rest of the world such as the United Nations, European Union and its predecessor the European Common Market, the United Nations, Soviet Union, United States, Britain, France, Germany and some individual people with more money than brains all decided that they were slowly but inexorably going to destroy Israel replacing it with an Arab State, not the Arab State but an Arab state as it would be the twenty-third Arab State because twenty-two are not sufficient so the one and only Jewish State must be erased from the earth and replaced with the twenty-third, or if Hamas makes one and Fatah makes one they would be the twenty-third and twenty-fourth Arab States. But that would not be fair to Islamic Jihad so perhaps they could have a twenty-fifth Arab State. And the twenty or so self-important families who have gained sufficient power and finances to demand their own fiefdom? We cannot slight them after all they have done to enslave Palestinians. Truth be told, whatever Arab entities are formed would all be dysfunctional requiring a constant stream of money in order to claim functionality. Thus the world would be demanded to continue the investment of billions of Dollars and Euros every year with it soon to rise to trillions except for one small item; once these entities have taken Israel out, the world will lose all interest and these entities will be on their own which would soon result in five to ten surges of refugees leaving these dysfunctional states seeking the comfort of the European Union and member state’s safety net to care for them as they plot the overthrow of whatever friendly bureaucracy was feeding them. One need remember that the sole thing these Arabs have been trained to do is throw rocks and claim themselves victim to any and all conspiracies happen to be popular, the one percenters at the bottom using the government to allow them to change places with the top one percent. Even if such were possible and the European Union actually did such a useless venture, the new top one percent would be the bottom one percent within three years and the previous top one percent would rise from the ashes as unto the phoenix reborn from the flames and depths of poverty right back to near if not in the top one percent. But the world would be left wanting, forever the poorer, if they destroy Israel.

 

 

Arab World Showing Twenty-One of Twenty-Two States with Comoros off the Map South of the Arabian Peninsula and Depicted in Bright Blue the Sole Jewish State with its Original Borders of Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea And That They Claim is the Excessive Demand of the Jews

Arab World Showing Twenty-One of Twenty-Two States
with Comoros off the Map South of the Arabian Peninsula
and Depicted in Bright Blue the Sole Jewish State with its
Original Borders of Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea
And That They Claim is the Excessive Demand of the Jews

 

 

Why would we claim the world would be lost without Israel? Well, that is an easy one. Should Israel disappear, as the powers that be appear to desire, then soon the world would lose the remnants of the Jewish race as with nowhere to run and find other Jews ready to defend the family, they would simply perish as their connection to Judaism, true and Torah observant Judaism, is barely tenable as it is and would be cut forever without a place to call home. The rising anti-Semitism is claiming that its roots are in Israel and the brashness and irreconcilable rejection of making peace and allowing the formation of another Arab state taken out of its lands, its hide so to speak. The British Mandate lands were supposed to be the Jewish State but the British made as a justification for stealing over three-quarters of the land that the Jews would never number sufficient population to require as much land as was set aside, as if there would never in any future be the possibility of Jews in numbers to require more than the lands left for them which are attempting to again steal pieces. Jordan ended up with the lion’s share of the land but there is no manner of way the world would have Jordan absorb these people whom they once granted citizenship and then rescinded it when the land was returned to Israel. People need to understand that on the morning that Israel became a nation, her borders included all the lands west of the Jordan River, all of Gaza, all of Judea, all of Benyamin and all of Samaria. Jordan and Egypt were the true occupiers, the real colonialists taking lands from an indigenous people. But now there has been invented a new indigenous people who have their claimed roots in Judea and Samaria called Palestinians. They never resided in Syria, Jordan, Egypt or had ancestry from the Arabian Peninsula, they have lived in the “West Bank” practicing Islam for nine-thousand years according to a statement made and then retracted from the PLO Facebook page. Never mind that they were not present in the years before 1850 and almost none were reported residing here in Mark Twain’s account of his travels in the Holy Lands, neither Jew nor Arab as the entire population was as sparse as the vegetation, look it up.

 

But that has changed, and boy has it changed. There are bustling cities with tall new buildings with their glass and steel gleaming from amongst a patina of the old which still remains and refuses to surrender its land but slowly the new replaces the old as if a correction bringing modernity to a land whose ancient roots run deep into the soil. There is a vibrancy and in the north between the rising metropolises there are farms and open grazing lands still used by shepherds and their flocks who follow ancient routes to their grazing areas doing so as they have for centuries thus knowing when to move saving the lands so it will refresh for the visit next year. The mixing of new and old is even evident in the farming as in some of the less arable lands the water is recycled constantly with nutrients carefully injected into full hillsides of hydroponics raising crops and produce year round. There are orchards of olive trees seemingly as old as the hills whose sides they cling to as if to claim their area and protect it from other plants soaking up sun and soil. There are even mixtures of peoples with some wearing the dress from centuries gone faded into the past in Europe and the rest of the Western World but preserved as so much is in this truly ancient land that is sprouting a new shape amongst the old. Israel reflects the culture in which start-up companies appear in numbers unmatched around the world and only exceeded by nations beyond comparison in size and populations. Yet there is a hesitancy amongst many who fear the world and what it might think or say. In a land where boldness exudes from every corner and people strike out to force their way into the world and high-tech is the buzzword as well as the byword for so many, but those are not the politicians. Even those who made their name in technology and innovation and have now turned to politics soon lose their formidable presence and soon become hesitant, troubled. They begin to doubt even themselves, or so it seems. The brash and strikingly bold politicians who rose and defended the land in deed and word and always with style that was proper but always gave a spark of hubris appear to have deserted Israel and been replaced with the crafty and calculating always guarding their against misstep and so carefully crafting their words that they too often nuance their meaning making it unintelligible. The glamour and wonder of your words lose effect if their meaning is not starkly defined and presented framed and complete. Israel has too little precious land and lives in the midst of a roiling cauldron with wars surrounding her and threats come even from within the Knesset itself where more than a handful of traitors do stir. They are the ones with the brash boldness from which too many wilt. When they scream and make a tempest, it is requisite upon every true Zionist to take the wind from their sails and use it to sound the ram’s horns and bring down their pedestals like we brought down the walls of Jericho.

 

Perhaps what we have are too many nationalists who can live with splitting off pieces of land arguing demographics to give this away today and Hashem knows what tomorrow. The Zionist knows the boundaries which were promised by Hashem and knows that the rest of the world is equally aware though they lie and steal ambuscading that which is known but all too seldom stood upon as the principle they are. We need more Zionists of the bravado and principle as those of ages past, those like Ze’ev Jabotinsky, Rabbi Meir Kahane or more recently Menachem Begin who was a fighter who also knew the value of an honest peace. None of these Zionists would have allowed the bringing into the lands the beating heart of terrorism and murderer of all Israel if given the slightest opportunity. There is no need for Israel to surrender even a single atom of our lands because the Europeans or the Americans say we must. We need only listen to what we know and from the words of Hashem revealed in Torah, everything else is noise and confusion. We have to deal in reality of our requirement which was spelled out for us three thousand years ago when we were instructed to go and settle the land. We were not told to go and parcel out the lands to those who would simply take what we gave them and use it to launch new wars and attacks on our people. We even tried that and Hashem has made clear what our mistakes have been, we surrendered lands which were not ours to gift as these lands belong to Hashem. They do not belong to the Ministers of the Knesset; they do not belong to the mediators such as John Kerry or previously Madeline Albright or Hillary Clinton or anybody walking the lands today, yesterday or tomorrow. Hashem made it very concise and clear, the land belongs to Hashem and we are to be the caretakers, which does not include giving it to those who will despoil the land and create abominations upon our specifically outlined duty to the land that Hashem portioned out for us to care over. Hashem did not say share the land, that was the group the “Guess Who.” We need to return to doing what is prescribed in Torah and in that pursuit we will be blessed and any deviation from that is an accursed act for which we will reap curses. Where have all the Zionists gone, certainly not into politics and we need such to sacrifice and walk into the dens of iniquity, the lions’ den and be assured that Hashem will walk with you.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

January 16, 2016

Israel and the Jews

 

Allow us to revisit some of the items we have had in articles and draw them together here in one article. This will not be a rehashing of the legal matters, treaties, conventions and other documents and agreements. This is about the Jewish People and the Land of Eretz Yisroel and there are effects which can be observed often only through experiencing and seeing the changes and other effects between the Jewish people and Israel, the land itself. The first thing is that Israel in modern times attracts Jew for any number of reasons. There are two main groups which sometimes cross over and merge for some Jews. There are Jews who feel this strange pull that can only be fulfilled by making Aliyah and return there to their ancestral home which is exactly how many Jews explain there coming to Israel. For some it is the commandment to settle the land which commands the Jewish people to sojourn and commit their only expansive conquest taking the lands promised to Abraham, Izsak and Yaakov in Genesis in the Bible, the Old Testament, the Jewish Bible. Some come to Israel to escape anti-Semitism as Israel is the sole nation which promises to take whatever necessary actions to protect Jews from persecution.

 

Despite the actions of the world to tie Israel’s hands by court threats, protests world-wide, coordinated violence from the Arabs both within Israel and from the areas of Judea and Samaria which have been granted autonomy where their government rewards families whose members attack and murder Jews with higher rewards for more Israelis murdered or mutilated for life. This is what drives the suicide bombers as they know their family will receive a greater salary for life called a pension for a martyr of the cause of freedom, which means literally that they died in the attack, often due to being a walking human bomb, making their family honored and given a pension which is often higher than most Arabs make even those working for their government. This pension, blood money, is an incentive for Arabs who find they are poor and have little hope of providing for the family, often a wife and more than four children that the only way an Arab may decide that a suicide assault on the Jews is their only hope for their family. There have been Arabs from the autonomous region, who have charged at IDF soldiers at a checkpoint with a knife in their hand hoping to be caught and not shot so they can be sent to an Israeli prison as, and some have confessed this, their life would drastically improve where he would have better food and general conditions. Some attacks are carried out by the younger males in a family who know that they will receive next to nothing as an inheritance and for a farming family that is close to a condemnation to poverty and helplessness and they believe their only hope is to kill Israelis so their family will receive a pension should they be martyred and a salary should they be caught and imprisoned.

 

Jews native born to Israel, Sabras (Hebrew: צבר‎), is the name of a cactus Opuntia cactus (pictured below, known in Israel as “tsabar” (צבר) and as the fruit of the Sabra cactus has a hard and thorns outside and its fruit is sweet, soft, juicy and did I mention sweet. That description is really fitting in describing many original Israel born native Jews, some of which are my family. A few native families have resided in Israel since the early and mid-1800s while others have their family’s tree going back beyond and to before the 135CE and earlier 70CE Roman destruction of the Holy Temple and dispersal of the Jews from their land. This was executed in the hope that would destroy the Jewish people as they would no longer be attached to the land. This had worked just as they had done to the remnants of Carthage and possibly numerous other civilizations which we never knew as they did disappear from the face of the Earth. Some have family records which show their families having returned to Eretz Yisroel from the Babylonian Exile when Cyrus the Great of Persia conquered the Babylonian Empire on his way to establishing the Persian Empire, one of the largest and most storied in all history. Cyrus the Great gave the Jews his blessings to return and rebuild the Holy Temple and serve Hashem as directed by Torah. Some Israeli families arrived from Europe after the calamities of the Shoah and World War II. An equal or potentially greater number were expunged and forced from the Arab and Muslim nations of MENA (Middle East and North Africa) as well as Iran through edict, pogroms or legal restrictions making life next to or actually impossible. In most cases all property and wealth was confiscated and in the worst instances, forced out with one suitcase per person and those were inspected and anything of worth was removed.

 

 

Sabra Cactus with Fruit and Flowers

Sabra Cactus with
Fruit and Flowers

 

 

When they claim that the Jews of Israel return to their real homeland they are actually there. When the demand is for the Jews return to the lands where they arrived from, do they include the approximate half of Israelis whose former nation was throughout the Islamic world. Further, look at Europe with the European Union and their labelling of products from parts of Israel and the numbers of Jews literally fleeing European nations such as France, Sweden and others as well as the clincher, the unapologetic denunciations of Israel in every manner such that these are so egregious as they can only be described and blatantly anti-Semitic coming from the Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom. Her inflammatory accusations and denunciation along with her prejudging determinations which would be ruinous for Israel and against every agreement, convention, treaty, Mandate and other legal arrangements and pronouncement or still to be determined through formal negotiations and not the decree of some other nation not involved or even mentioned as a party to the situation are simply over the top. An example of her adamant refusal to take any moderation of her views is easily displayed in this recent debate in the Swedish Parliament where a member demanded of her an explanation of her extremist views shown below.

 

The lands of Israel have been conquered by nearly every empire which showed out of the Middle East, Europe and even from the Mongols from Asia and Egypt from Africa. The only empire to ever get production from the lands of Israel, which did not include simply ruling over and taxing Jews working the lands, were the Egyptians. There are those who claim the lands which today make up the nation of Israel, even if one were to concede Israel all the lands except Gaza from the Jordan River west to the Mediterranean Sea, were originally inhabited by a group of peoples, numerous tribes and city states, known as the Canaanites. This was a valid point in the times of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob but by the time the Israelites left Egypt this was no longer the case as the Egyptians collected taxes and provided protection against the Hittites who resided further north possible within what is today Turkey, and from any other invaders. As the Exodus from Egypt was a revolt against Egypt, there would be a natural series of events that a group who had been originally welcomed and over time and a change in the lineage of the Pharaoh that they had been enslaved as had much of the Egyptian people who revolted with a shove and assist from Hashem who arranged ten incentives to persuade Pharaoh to allow the Israelite nation to leave and have their own homeland. The lands the Israelites took forty years later, give or take a few months, was land which belonged to the Egyptians and it was the tribal chiefs and some Egyptians that were defeated over some time and finally the lands were solidified by King David and King Solomon with a fair bit to spare. This marked the end of Israelite expansive designs. Here are some maps of the areas in question.

 

 

Left side map depicts the division of the Promised Land amongst the tribes and right side map compares the modern promised land from the Jordan west to the Mediterranean Sea compared to the maximum of area during King David’s and King Solomon’s reigns.

 

 

Eventually the land fell to the Babylonians who forced the Israelites into exile working them in Babylon. What is interesting is that the records show next to no Babylonians remaining in the Promised Land more than likely because it refused to produce a decent crop or provide grazing lands. The Persians having some knowledge about the Hebrews and the Promised Land had those Israelite who desired to return to their lands to do so and required only a tax be paid each year. This arrangement worked for a while and the Persian Empire finally fell to the Greeks led by the Macedonian Alexander the Great. The land was again worked by the Israelites but rifts politically had split the lands with the norther ten tribes taking the name of Israelite with them and the southern kingdom was largely made up by the tribe of Judah along with the considerably smaller Benjamin. These were called Judea and had control of Jerusalem and the Temple. The northern tribes were conquered by the Assyrian Greeks and were dispersed throughout their holding and eventually went their separate ways becoming the ten lost tribes of Israel, literally. Judea fell eventually as well but remained in the lands. The Romans replaced the Greeks and from this point forward the life of the lands of Judea and their people who were called Judeans which eventually shortened to Jew.

 

The next part of the lives of the Judean, Jews, was related by a former MK Yaakov Katz in an editorial 407,118: The up to date number of Jews in Judea and Samaria, not counting Jerusalem. In the article he gave a description of what is a Jew which I hope to never forget as it was very relevant to Jewish history, our history. He said that the way to define a Jew is to define us by what others destroyed in order to eradicate the Jewish People, a depravity which has a way too often horrific number of repetitions throughout human history. The Egyptian by restricting us through slavery kept us from our Promised Lands yet we did not simply accept their gods, their idols or leaders who claimed they were gods. The Babylonians destroyed the Holy Temple hoping that would dishearten us and we would assimilate and they would be done with us. Then the Romans dispersed us such that we were scattered with only a few families in any one location which the Romans had done to others to destroy their cohesion and family. This, the Romans hoped would put an end to the Jews. Eventually, after many centuries it was the Catholic and, in turn, other Christians who forced conversion and removed us from our Torah and normal prayers hoping this would end the Jewish problem. Finally we would face the Nazis who decided they would simply annihilate the Jews and finally solve the Jewish Problem. So, if we learned anything, it is that we are defined as Jews by all of our enemies starting with the Egyptians through the Nazis and we find a Jew is the Promised lands of Eretz Yisroel from the covenant made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. A Jew is the Holy Temple, may it be built in our lifetime. We find a Jew is community and one another as then we have a support group with whom we are more able to remember our commandments and perform mitzvahs and observe the Sabbath. The Jew is nothing without Torah and finally the Jew celebrates life. So, what is a Jew? A Jew is the Promised Land as we were made for each other as well as we are enriched by the Holy Temple which allows for certain Commandments to be fulfilled as they require the Holy Temple and we are to complete the Commandments but those remain unfulfilled. Our need for community becomes evident when after the Roman dispersal we quickly gathered where and how we could and made our little communities where we observed our customs which with time were adapted to the world around us. A Jew without Torah is a Jew unstuck and disconnected from the commandments and mitzvoth which was part of the reason that the greatest of the Rabbis wrote commentary and put the oral law into writings. And finally, a Jew is all about the celebration of life and the great gifts that Hashem has shared with us. What is a Jew in the fewest words possible? I will give it a try. A Jew is the land of Israel with the Temple in Jerusalem and community to be a part of with Torah and celebrating life, Torah, Mitzvoth, and Hashem.

 

All the empires, the Babylonian, Egyptian, Persian, Greek, Assyrian, Roman, the various Islamic and Christian conquerors, the Ottomans and the British all could not make the land bloom; but bloom they finally have done. But that works both ways. The Jews make the land and the land completes the Jew.

 

Coming home to Eretz Yisroel was the most wondrous thing in my life and has lifted burdens from me in ways I find impossible to quantify, let alone to define. For the first time I feel accepted to an extent which surpassed even Colorado in the 1970s and I thought that was heaven yet that barely compares with the coming to Israel. I often need to go look out the window to once again impress on me that I truly am home. The people I meet are mostly willing to go out of their way to help and their efforts mostly are beyond belief as they put up with us not having learned to speak Hebrew. We have found a couple of closely defined niches where we can speak freely and not fear being told to never return. As I explain, we have finally found the Jews we had searched for in the United States and they are all mostly here. I have likely been exposed and learned more about being a Jew here in the last couple of years and the rate of learning is only increasing daily. There are so many people making sure I get things correct that my biggest hope is that I remember one third and I will be far wiser than I was upon our arrival. How would I sum up Israel and the Jews in the fewest words possible? Mutual Fulfillment.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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