'And Judah Also Shall Battle Against Jerusalem'

Another piece of the puzzle falls into place.

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Moshe Kempinski,

Moshe Kempinski
Moshe Kempinski
צילום: PR
It is all about Jerusalem. It has always been all about Jerusalem.

Gush Katif, Joseph's Tomb in Shechem, and Hebron were all symptoms, but the undying passion to wrest Jerusalem away from Jewish hands is, and always will be, the disease. Without Jerusalem the Jewish People becomes a lifeless spirit. They return to being a
Without Jerusalem the Jewish People becomes a lifeless spirit.
wraith that appears in different places in the world, vanishes and then reappears in some other corner of the world. Without Jerusalem, this people become a floundering ship. Jerusalem is the anchor.

If the Jews represent a theological challenge to one's concept of who " G-d's people" truly are, then by separating them from Jerusalem, they simply become an impotent nuisance. If the continued existence of this people remain an irksome reminder of an uncomfortable universal consciousness, then by denying them Jerusalem they lose the power and effectiveness of their mission. Jerusalem in the hands of the People of the Book remains a threat to all those who, in essence, want to replace G-d with the vision of little men.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Secretary of State Condeleezza Rice and their friends intend to ensure that their power and grandeur will be sustained and their legacy assured. They believe that the sacrificing of Jerusalem, or the endangering of its neighborhoods, is but a small price to pay to ensure their goals. Secretary of State Rice and other like-minded State Department officials so desperately need to believe Palestinian protestations of peace that they are moved to ignore recent history, facts on the ground and the general unwillingness of the Palestinian leadership to battle terror. This passionate need comes out of their fervent desire to improve their battered legacy and their place in history.

Prime Minister Olmert and his cohorts are too embattled by police investigations and dismal opinion polls to even contemplate such lofty ideas. Their focus is to simply ensure their political survival. The political support for their ideas comes from Israelis and Jews suffering from the battered child syndrome so common to Exile and tragedy. After thousands of years of persecution, many Jews have come to believe that it is their unique identity that has brought upon them all that historic abuse. They have come to hope that if they deny their Jewish identity, separate from their unique destiny and embrace blind
Olmert has formed the basis for the fulfillment of another prophecy.
universalism, then they would be less hated and persecuted. Olmert has cynically manipulated that insecurity into fledgling support for his plans.

Without realizing it though, Olmert has formed the basis for the fulfillment of another prophecy regarding the heady days of Redemption. Another piece of the puzzle falls into place. The prophet Zechariah describes the onslaught of the nations against Jerusalem and, in the midst of the prophecy, utters a mysterious statement: "And Judah also shall battle against Jerusalem." (Zecharia 14:14)

Parts of Judah will also conspire against the very heart of this nation, against Jerusalem. We are witnessing segments of that prophecy unfolding before our very eyes. Yet, as Rabbi Akiva so eloquently described many thousands of years ago, if the prophecies of calamity come to fruition and are revealed, then we can also be assured of the inevitable fulfillment of the prophecies of redemption.

How such a reversal will unfold will depend very much how each of us stand up to the tasks spread before us. We are all bidden to pray for Jerusalem, to be concerned for its welfare and to ensure its rebuilding. That task is given to those who trust the words of the Bible. It is given over to all those who feel led by the imperatives of destiny and vision. We can all choose to be silent and forget Jerusalem and not be part of the Biblical text yet to be written.

On the other hand, we can cry out and stand on the ramparts of Jerusalem in her defense. The choice is in our hands.