Anyone for the God of Israel?
Tamar YonahTamar Yonah hosts the most popular English speaking radio talk-show in...
Countless Jews and even Gentiles are appalled and dumbfounded by Israel’s Government. Its prime ministers exclude God from the domain of statecraft. We hear nothing of His Name in the pronouncements and policies and diplomacy of Israeli prime ministers. They cannot understand how Jewish prime ministers, backed by an undefeated army, could so utterly ignore Scripture by surrendering Judea and Samaria, the heartland of the Jewish people. And to whom? To thugs! What else are we to call those who elected a villain like Yasser Arafat as their president? And what should we say of Arabs who used their own children as human bombs?
(Please note: This piece is a guest post from Prof. Paul Eidelberg)
But if these Arabs are beneath contempt, what shall we say of Israeli prime ministers who have consorted with these scoundrels, and have even given or rewarded them with Jewish land despite their having murdered Jewish men, women, and children? Such ignominy boggles the mind. Do you see Jews with down cast heads, let alone in sacks and ashes?
I am further appalled by an unanswered question. In view of the shameless behavior of Israeli prime ministers, what other events occurring in Israel are as important as to preempt the attention of journalists—the best and the brightest? And why don’t we hear outcries from Israel’s rabbis? Are these rabbis suffering from aphasia or spiritual laryngitis? Why haven’t they assembled and denounced one government after another for desecrating God’s Name?
Alas, all this was foreseen by the prophets and sages of old. They predicted that in the end of days the Jews would have a paltry government, that Israel would be ruled by “scorners” of the Torah. These scorners, said the Prophet Hosea (12:1-3), will fill Israel with lies and deception. They will strive after wind (“peace”) and make alliances with Israel’s enemies. And no one rebukes them.
The Prophet Isaiah (28:14-18) chastises these insolent Jews. He foresaw that they will make a “covenant with death,” but that this covenant will not protect them. Remarkably, the Targum translates this covenant with death as a contract with “terrorists” (mechablim)!
Indeed, the Zohar (Exodus 7b) predicts that in the end of days certain Jews in Israel will make an alliance with the enemies of the Jewish people. The Israel-PLO Agreement manifests that alliance, which was consummated by the Labor Party and upheld by the Likud. How shameless! Has any Israeli prime minister been held accountable for its murderous consequences?
The Babylonian Talmud (Sanhedrin 98a), tells us that in the end of days Israel will have the “cheapest” government. How else are we to describe politicians who hobnob with terrorists responsible for the murder and maiming thousands of Jewish men, women, and children? Do these politicians display any remorse or sense of guilt?
Let me cite and paraphrase the conclusions of Mishna Sotah (49b), and excuse me for my frankness:
“With the footsteps of the Moshiach, arrogance shall increase and honor will dwindle. The government shall turn to heresy [moral equivalency] and there shall be none to utter reproof. The council-chamber [the Knesset] shall be given to corruption…. [T]he dwellers on the frontier [in Judah, Samaria, and Gaza] shall go from place to place with none to take pity on them.
The wisdom of their writers [journalists and academics] will become insipid and degenerate [will become morally neutral, even anti-Jewish], and they that shun sin shall be despised. The truth shall nowhere be found [silenced in the universities steeped in nihilism]. Youth shall shame their elders, and elders shall stand up in the presence of youth [so commonplace in democracies] ... The face of this generation is as the face of a dog [impervious to shame] ... Upon whom, then, can we rely? Only on our Father in heaven.
● Is it not obvious that Jews in Israel cannot rely on political parties to save them from disaster?
● Is it not obvious from the Arab assaults in Lebanon and Sderot that Jews cannot rely on the Israel Defense Forces, given its policy of “purity of arms” and “proportionality”?
● Is it not obvious that Jews cannot rely on rabbis who pontificate about pikuach nefesh while saying nothing about the IDF’s suicidal “rules of engagement” which favor the enemy?
● Is it not obvious that Jews cannot rely on political and strategic analysts to stop the suicidal course of Israel’s government so long as these analysts lack the fire of the Torah?
● Is it not obvious that Jews cannot rely on the United States or on information campaigns (hasbara) to save them from the successors of the Nazis who have yet to be identified by their real names?
● And what shall we say of Jews who cling to Christian precepts such as “love your enemy,” “resist not evil,” “turn the other cheek”—which wise Christians know do not apply to war. Have not these apolitical precepts emasculated Israel?
Finally, and since I have not yet succumbed to desperation, allow me to call your attention to Rashi’s commentary to Genesis 1:1: “If the nations of the world should [question Israel’s title to Eretz Yisrael] and say: ‘You are robbers in that you have seized by force the territories of the seven nations,’ Israel can retort: ‘The entire world belongs to the Holy One, Blessed be He. He created it and gave it to whomsoever it was right in His eyes. It was His will to give it to them and it was His will to take it from them and give it to us.’”
To whom are these words of many centuries ago addressed? Of course to you and me, the ever-young in heart. For unlike the senescent prime ministers of Israel, we have chosen life, and having chosen life the future is ours. The words of Rashi are therefore alive, alive with truth. So we are not dismayed that no Israeli prime minister has girded his loins and cited this Rashi. Neither has any religious party, when signing a government coalition agreement, insisted on the inclusion of this Rashi! But the words of Rashi, like truth, will prevail.
Of course, it will be said the nations will mock these words of Rashi and laugh at us.” I reply: What have Israeli prime ministers offered in their place? Have their countless repetitions about “security” won the admiration of nations and made Israel more secure? Have their constant intoning he word “democracy” earned the respect of the democratic world? Has their willingness to yield Jewish land appeased the voracious appetites of Janus-faced Arab despots?
Has Israel won the respect of nations by yielding land to these pagans? Therefore I declare it is precisely because Jews have not based their claim to Eretz Yisrael exclusively on Rashi’s cosmological commentary on Genesis 1:1 that Israel is so often disdained and condemned by the nations!
Not that citing Rashi will convince any nation that the Jews have a God-given title to Eretz Yisrael. The task of the Jews is not to convince the nations of anything! This has been the compulsion of assimilated Jews. Too many Jews—religious included—want to win the approval of the nations rather than the approval of God.
Legions of Jews rely more on the empty rhetoric of politicians than on Holy Scripture and the God of Israel. This is why the above Mishna indicates that in the end of days, when Jews have exhausted the heresies and vanities of our time and feel utterly helpless, they will turn to their Father in heaven!
This is not a counsel of despair. It is a plea for rational analysis of what we have already experienced year after year with flawed governments and the plethora of dismal political parties. Stop relying like drug addicts on failed ideas and flawed politicians. Get out of the mire of democratic politics. Put God back into the domain of statecraft, Start proclaiming and insisting that God alone has given the Jews an eternal title to Eretz Yisrael—and never mind the scorners! Just do it and leave the consequences to our Father in heaven, Who alone is the Master of war and peace.□