Yshai Amichai
Yshai AmichaiCourtesy

In a previous article I discussed 4 ways in which the Arabs have been helping us, obviously with the opposite intentions. I even went so far as to say that we should be thankful, not because I support the Arab hatred and violence, quite the opposite, I advocate for them to be severely punished. I do however see the Hand of God in history, a vision that I would like for you to see as well.

Most Jews assume that we have a Jewish state because of Zionism, due to the efforts of Jews who settled and rebuilt Israel. Of course, those efforts were necessary and even groundbreaking, but their success was highly unlikely. It was more of a hope or a prayer than anything else. A prayer that was Answered by God.

Jews did not wake up one day and collectively say, “Time to go back to Israel.” We were strongly encouraged and even pushed towards this by the gentiles. Do not underestimate the weight of Christian encouragement in our march towards Israel, whether the positive encouragement or the negative actions. Do not underestimate the role the Arabs played as well. But most importantly, see the Hand of God in history.

I encourage you to read my previous article from this perspective. The Arabs thought one thing, but God thought another. Even Zionism itself has been directing us towards failure, but God has other plans for Israel.

A Brief History of Zionism

Zionism was largely a secular movement for the survival of Israel. Jews who did not subscribe to the Orthodox view, but who also lacked interest in religious reformation, wished to focus on Israel as a nation, as opposed to a religion. Zionism is Jewish nationalism.

European Jews were being emancipated in those days, but they were not treated as equals. You can compare this to the emancipation of slaves in the American south. We were emancipated but segregated. We were made to feel different. This led many Jews to convert to Christianity to be accepted, and many others to hide their own Jewish identities.

Legally, a European Jew was due his rights and human dignity, but in reality things were different. This feeling of inferiority was magnified by the pogroms and blood libels that persisted in Eastern Europe and elsewhere. An emancipated Jew was constantly reminded of his inferiority as a person.

Orthodox Jews were less affected by this. They wished to be segregated and even repelled foreign influence. Reform Jews were preoccupied with their own religious movement and struggles. Secular Jews were thus the most influenced. In a bid to improve their lot, they involved themselves in secular movements and ideologies, particularly socialism and communism. Zionism was only one option for them, often pursued in combination with the others.

The main goal of Zionism was for Jews to be accepted as a nation like other nations, with national pride and dignity. They wished to remake the Jew in their image, as someone who could be respected, but they needed a land to achieve this. It is hard to respect a homeless man.

Many of the Zionists dreamed up a socialist utopia in Israel, but the reality was far from it. Jews were working together as laborers and guards, but they were struggling to survive. Most Zionists were happy to lend their support from afar, but they were hesitant to make Aliyah themselves.

Matters changed with the rise of European anti-Semitism and Nazism. Jews fled desperately from Nazi Germany, those fortunate enough to escape. They entered Israel illegally because the borders were shut. Seemingly overnight, and within a decade, European Jewry was nearly wiped out and Israel rose up from the ashes. Who could have predicted that?

The Zionists wished for Jews to be accepted by Europeans as another nation living among them, but the opposite happened, continental Europe turned against Jews everywhere, bent upon our destruction. The Germans did accept Jews as a distinct ethnic group, but for all the wrong reasons. They wished to murder every last one of us. How could anyone have known this would lead to Israel’s restoration?

No one in his right mind should have expected such an outcome. Not the Jews or the Europeans, and not the Zionists or the Nazis. They all seemed to be after different things than what was achieved, including the Zionists who wished to be accepted and respected. The outcome was obviously very different, and ultimately for Israel’s benefit, but does that mean God made it happen?

Accept the Prophesy

“That which enters your minds shall never come to pass, of which you say, ‘We shall be like the nations, like the families of the lands, serving wood and stone.’ Surely as I Live, the Word of the Lord your God, with a Mighty Hand, and with an Outstretched Arm, and with Outpoured Fury will I Reign over you. I will Bring you out from the nations and Gather you from the lands where you have been scattered, with a Mighty Hand and an Outstretched Arm and with Outpoured Fury, and I will Bring you into the wilderness of the nations and enter into Judgement with you there Face to face. As I entered into Judgement with your ancestors in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I enter into Judgement with you, the Word of the Lord your God. I will Pass you under the rod and I will Bring you into the Bond of the Covenant. I will Purge from you those who rebel and transgress against Me. I will Take them out from the lands of their inhabitance, but they will not enter the Land of Israel, then you will know that I Am the Lord.” (Ezekiel 20:32-38).

Serving wood and stone most commonly refers to idolatry, but it is also analogous to serving man-made religions and ideologies. Jews have throughout history wanted to be like the nations and serve their vanities, but this prophecy is specific to our more recent history, the one leading up to the Holocaust. The wilderness of the nations were the concentration camps, death camps and execution fields of Europe where six million Jews were murdered. This is comparable to the wilderness of Egypt where God Tested and Refined us for 40 years, killing off an entire generation of Israelites, before allowing us to enter Israel.

“Therefore, behold, days are coming, Said the Lord, when people will no longer swear, ‘As the Lord Lives, Who brought the children of Israel up from the land of Egypt,' but rather, 'As the Lord Lives, Who brought the seed of the House of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands to which He had dispersed them,’ and they shall dwell upon their own Land.” (Jeremiah 23:7-8).

Make Aliyah

Many Orthodox Jews refuse to make Aliyah because they say that Israel is a secular state, and yet they live in foreign lands and serve gentiles. How can a Jew who believes in God and the prophecies, and who is aware of our recent history and the miraculous restoration of Israel, refuse to make Aliyah?

Israel is God’s Land and we are God’s people. We should thank the Zionists for their efforts, but they are not the reason why we have a country. They did not invent Israel or create it. They were not the Guiding Hand throughout history. Were it up to them alone, we would have failed miserably.

Israel’s existence is God’s Doing. Refusing to be a part of God’s Plan would be your own undoing. The future of all Jews is in Israel.