Yshai Amichai
Yshai AmichaiCourtesy

“And wherever they went among the nations they profaned My Holy Name, for it was said of them, ‘These are the Lord’s people, and yet they left His Land.’” (Ezekiel 36:20).

Israel’s exile is a desecration of God’s Name. That is not something I made up. God Said it Himself through His prophet, Ezekiel (36:20).

How, might you ask, is Israel’s exile a desecration of God’s Name? The answer has to do with our broken Covenant with God and the Curse that followed us into exile (see Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28).

“I will scatter you among the nations and will draw out my sword and pursue you. Your land will be laid waste, and your cities will lie in ruins. … As for those of you who are left, I will make their hearts so fearful in the lands of their enemies that the sound of a rustling leaf will pursue them, and they will flee headlong, as one flees from the sword, and they will fall, though no one pursues them. ...You will not be able to stand before your enemies. You will perish among the nations, and the land of your enemies will consume you.” (Leviticus 26:33,36-38).

The fact that God’s people had become so weak and fainthearted that the nations could do whatever they wanted to them, is a desecration of God’s Name.

The argument of desecration was used by Moses to save Israel from God’s Wrath after the people, in their fear of war, refused to enter the Land of Israel: “If you put this people to death like a single man, then the nations that heard of Your Fame will say, ‘The Lord was unable to bring this people to the Land He Swore to them, so He slaughtered them in the wilderness.’” (Numbers 14:15-16).

The weakness of the Jews, particularly in the condition of their exile, is perceived by the nations as God’s weakness in the world. It does not matter that the exile was in fact God’s Punishment for Israel’s sins and should be perceived as God’s Supremacy over Israel. Instead, it is perceived as God’s inability to defend His people, therefore Israel’s exile remains a desecration of His Name.

This desecration has been greatly reduced by Israel’s Restoration as a nation in its Land, but with so many Jews still living in exile, it remains extant in many parts of the world.

The main difference now is that it is a desecration by choice. The many Jews who refuse to end their exile, choose to desecrate God’s Name. By their actions or their inactions, they help perpetuate a desecration of God’s Holy Name which they could otherwise help end.

On a personal level, every Jew who lives in exile should take that into consideration. The choices we make as Jews have powerful repercussions in the world. Not only do they affect us and those around us, but they also go so far as to affect God’s Name and Reputation, even to the point of desecration or sanctification.

That is a profound thing to think about. Do you want to be held accountable for desecrating God’s Name? You could be a saint in the land of your exile and yet, together with the other Jews there, you are harming God’s Reputation.

For those who take pride in their righteousness, that is a hard to truth to bear. But the solution remains available to them: They can sanctify God’s Name in Israel.

Yshai Amichai made Aliyah from Los Angeles in 2001, settling in Israel, where he met his wife and where they raise their six children. He may be contacted at: [email protected]