Beyond the Cusp

July 22, 2013

A Jewish Israel Cannot be Destroyed

The ideas that people have about the Jewish faith and Israel have as much disinformation as any of the wildest conspiracy theories. The most erroneous myth about the Jews and Israel is that the two entities can be separate. How anybody can reasonably and logically believe that the Jewish people will ever give up on building their homes in Eretz Yisroel and erecting the Third Temple in their capital city of Jerusalem have obviously missed the lesson that came to a fruition on May 15, 1948 with the reestablishment of the Jewish State of Israel after almost two millennium. The theory that is spread through many of the communities who have chosen to have a confrontational relationship with Israel and the Jews is that if they can remove the Jewish presence in Israel they will have eradicated the Jewish people. This is far from an original idea as it has been tried previously by an empire that was probably the most efficient at crushing any adversary and erasing their memory from all of history. In the first centuries of the Julian calendar the Empire of Rome decided that the tribes that made up Judea (the remaining home of the Jews after the dispersion and loss of the ten tribes from the northern Kingdom of Israel who were conquered by Assyria around 722 BCE after which it is believed they assimilated so completely as to have lost all ties with Judaism) has caused Rome measures of difficulty beyond tolerance and dispersed the population to such an extent that Rome believed that they would cease to exist as a peoples. It took nearly two-thousand years but those dispersed tribes are now leaving the Diaspora and returning to their home of Yisroel. Conquer Israel today and all that will accomplish is to cause a reverent return to the commandments and covenant by the remaining Jews who will once again claim with all their hearts and end prayer in their homes on the nights of the Passover Seder including the prayer hoping for their next Seder will be held, “Next year in Jerusalem.”

The Jewish people have historically tended to slip from their religious observance and assimilate into their host societies as long as they are accepted and comfortable. Should their brethren become threatened they have historically come together and reestablished their roots and common heritage. Part of the reason behind this reaction has a historic root that often, whether they lived in Christian Europe or the Muslim lands of Northern Africa and the Middle East, when one area begins to persecute the Jews in their particular region the Jews begin to emigrate and as their number increase in the bordering area the new concentration of Jews makes this new location fearful of their increased numbers and react often by laying restrictions on the Jews to restrain their ability to flourish and gain too much influence and when this does not produce sufficient results, they too begin to persecute their Jews thus causing a wave of anti-Semitism which ripples across the landscape over time. This has been Jewish history through much of our many thousand year history replete with a fair number of exiles from which the Jews, or Hebrews or Israelites as they were also known for much of their early history, always returned to the same Promised Lands after each and every exile whenever it seemed auspicious. The main impediment until the modern age has been the logistics and cost of often traveling great distances across borders which were not always guaranteed safe passage and often lands whose transversal would be required forbid such transit by Jews. Even now there are communities of Jews who are unable to afford to return to Israel such as the Jews in Ethiopia who when they became threatened in their homeland petitioned Israel who has taken to ingathering these threatened Children of Israel regardless of the expense. Similar efforts have been extended for the Bnei Menashe Tribe of India, the Jews of the Soviet Union, as well as taking the influx that accompanied the nearly million Jews expelled from the Arab and Muslim world in the first decade after the founding of the modern state of Israel as well as the initial influx of the remnants of European Jews many of whom managed to survive the Holocaust only to find themselves penniless and dispossessed and turned away by the former communities who had taken whatever they had left behind when rounded up and transported to either ghettos, work camps, or death camps. Israel never placed their brethren into camps for extended times and did whatever it took to absorb and accept these Jewish refugees.

The Jewish desire and drive to inhabit the lands between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea is a part of their heritage and a tenet of Judaism. Abraham was directed to these lands when his name was Avram before the L0rd instructed him to adopt his new name of Avraham. This was the land the generation that followed their exodus from Egypt and bondage that they conquered and settled. This is the one small sliver of land in which Jews desire to reside and practice their religion and commit to performing those responsibilities and requirements of their covenant with the Almighty. The Jews of Israel have no desire to spread out into neighboring lands or to convert any non-Jewish person to Judaism unless they initiate the request, and even then we ask why they would choose to convert and have them discuss the why before allowing such conversions. The Jews do not proselytize as we are instructed to simply live as an example of a proper and good life obedient to G0d and be a light unto the nations. I would not claim that my brethren or I have necessarily been anywhere near as exemplary in practice as either we would desire or that is required of us by Torah. The only reason I might offer is we have only returned home for a little over sixty years and have not exactly been allowed to live without immediate threats and we have made some gains towards this idyllic code for righteous lives. But should the most unthinkable possible future include the loss once again of our home Israel it will not be the end of the story of the Jews who will return to longing for our homes to be in Israel. As a Jew one is not truly living a complete and blessed life as they are potentially capable of living unless they live in the Promised Land. As has been the contention of many of our revered Rabbis, a mitzvah which is committed in Israel counts as ten mitzvahs committed outside of Israel and merely living within Israel is a mitzvah all on its own. With this much importance placed on building a Jewish homeland in Israel over any other location in the world no matter how idyllic, how can anyone contend that the Jews can be removed from Israel and that the love and desire for Israel can be removed from the Jews. Neither is possible. So, instead of condemning Israel could the world just once give allowing the Jews their little sliver of land at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea? Then as long as we live within the borders as described in Torah and act in a manner that not only does no harm to others but is an example of how to live harmoniously with the universe, everybody simply leave us be. Furthermore, we promise to share all the medical, scientific, agricultural, manufacturing and other nonreligious discoveries we make with the rest of the world to their benefit. We have no desire to conquer the world or even establish an empire or impose our faith on anybody else. We simply want to live in peace, obey and observe Torah, give praise to the L0rd our G0d, and build a nation which exemplifies living honorably and in harmony so as to be exemplary in our dealings and be as a light unto the nations of the world such that they desire to live in peace and harmony as a result. We do not desire to expect, let alone demand, anything from those who live beyond our borders and wish to treat with kindness those who wish to live within our borders as long as they act without violence or disruptiveness thus disturbing the functioning of our society.

Beyond the Cusp

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