Judaism: Deny Zion, Deny G-d?
Dr. Phlip BrodieThe author worked at the University of Pittsburgh where he received his doctorate. He made aliya recently with his wife and lives in Maaleh Adumim.
From the moment the Jewish people entered the land of Israel as a unified nation some 3,300 years ago, our success on this land has depended upon our loyalty to G-d. That loyalty expresses itself through our commitment to our Torah, a precious gift of life-instruction given by G-d to His Chosen people. Our Torah is the holy glue, if you will, that keeps the nation of Israel connected to the land of Israel.
There’s more to this, of course. But the basic concept begins with a simple premise: Torah without land is a wife forced to separate from her beloved; land without Torah is a ruined marriage; Torah in the Land is the greatest Power marriage in History.
‘We saw Angels on the Israeli side. My men became frightened. I do not fight Angels.’
Today, our loyalty to G-d is not what it should be. Some deny Torah. Some deny land. Some deny both. Our loyalty seems flawed. Many believe that G-d will indeed return the Jewish people to Israel--but only when all accept Torah; and right now, we aren’t close to accomplishing that. But if that’s true, why do so many return now to the land without Torah—and why has G-d so persistently protected us from our modern enemies if our loyalty is so flawed?
Look at history. If you talk to Israelis who have fought in our War of Independence or our Six-Day War, many will tell you that there is no logical reason we should have won those wars. We were outnumbered. We were outgunned. We were surrounded. Talk to those veterans. Some will tell you, ‘G-d was there with us. We felt Him. We won because of Him.’
Could our passion for the Land be the catalyst for such miracles? Could Land be the key to our Redemption?
There is a story that, during one harsh tank battle in one of our wars, the enemy clearly had the upper hand. Every Jewish soldier on that battlefield knew that the battle was lost and that, within perhaps an hour, Arab tanks would break through the Jewish line and have an unobstructed run to Tel Aviv. Then, inexplicably, the Arab tanks pulled back, retreating.
That retreat saved Israel. After the war, the Arab tank commander was reportedly interviewed. When asked why he had retreated when, in fact, he was so obviously close to victory, he is said to have replied, ‘We saw Angels on the Israeli side. My men became frightened. I do not fight Angels.’
This is just one of several stories of Angels protecting Jews in Israel’s modern wars. Jews in our modern battles have—on an individual basis-- always spoken of inexplicable occurrences. They have spoken of miracles.
Who would reject these miracles? Who would deny G-d on those battlefields?
Why would G-d protect us?
More than 3,300 years ago, we crossed the Jordan River because of G-d’s miracles. More than 64 years ago, we gained our independence because of G-d’s miracles. More than 45 years ago we regained our holy city Jerusalem—because of G-d.
Ask the soldiers who fought. They’ll tell you. There were miracles.
Who would deny this? Who would deny G-d?
Why would G-d protect us?
When Joshua led Israel into our Israel, he brought more than Torah into the land. He brought G-d’s Light with him. That Light activates through Torah and Land. Look it up: it’s in the Fifth Book of Moses and in the Book of Yeshaiyahu.
Torah alone and land alone do not count. One without the other has always left us unfulfilled. The Jewish people may have been sustained because of Jewish dedication to Torah; but now, with a reborn Israel, something is different: G-d’s presence is felt on the Land. Why?
Today, the darkness of a nuclear holocaust threatens the Jewish state. Israel seems powerless to stop Iran and Iran practically celebrates its destruction of the Jews. How can Israel survive?
Through Torah, G-d hears us. Through Land, G-d sees us. Through Torah and Land, G-d saves us. Those who deny Torah, like those who deny Land, obstruct G-d’s Hand. Does their denial deny our safety? Can their denial deny our Future? G-d has worked miracles in Israel; do those who deny that negate the power of those miracles?
Zion is the spiritual Center of the world. G-d rests in Zion. This may be why Muslims and Christians turn to Jerusalem: they understand the Presence of G-d; they yearn to control it.
Through Zion, we wil
l see G-d’s Glory. Torah and Land activate and focus that Glory. Without Zion, Torah is a torch without a switch. Without Torah, Zion is dark.
But these two, Torah and Zion, are not equal; for if Torah is G-d’s gift, His Land is His treasure.
Torah becomes real only in Zion.
Torah activates only because of Zion.
Would you deny Zion?
Would you deny G-d?