You ever wonder who the real first Zionist was? Ask different people you will get different answers. Such as Leon Pinsker-a, a late 19th century Zionist, Was the founder and leader of Hibbat Zion (Hebrew: חיבת ציון,) the Lovers of Zion movement. Theodor Herzl, who created the World Zionist Organization. Ze’ev Jabotinsky-Zionist philosopher and the creator of Revisionist Zionism. You may also hear names like Chaim Weizmann or even David Ben Gurion.
All those names are wrong. The first Zionist was a guy named Abram, who was born in 1948. Not 1948 in the secular calendar. Centuries ago, sages figured out Abram (later Abraham) was born in the Jewish year 1948, or 3835 years ago. Sadly, even after Abram was born, those sages still wrote 1947 on their checks.
The Abram story is in the Torah, the book of Genesis. Abram comes into the narrative in chapter 12. In case you were wondering, he doesn’t become Abraham until chapter 17. God changed his name to an acronym standing for Av Hamon Goyim, the father of many peoples
But the rumor was he broke some of his dad’s idols, and the idol-worshipping zealots were after him, and by Chapter 17, he changed his name so the idol zealots would have a harder time finding him.
Back to Chapter 12 and Zionism. Abram was 75 years old when he first heard from the real God.
Verse 1: And the Lord said to Abram, “Go forth from your land and from your birthplace and from your father’s house, to the land that I will show you.”
The land Abram was told to go to was called Canaan back then. Now it’s called Israel. But the order from heaven was that Abram would be the first Zionist. He would create a sovereign homeland for the Hebrews (nascent Jews) in the land God showed him.
You have to feel a little bad for him.. When the Lord told him to say goodbye to his dad,,. Abram was 75 years old, and the walk was over 600 miles. But the order came from heaven. Who knows? If Abram didn’t take the 600-mile stroll and become the first Zionist, he might have ended up in the belly of great fish.
Verse 2: And I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you will and aggrandize your name.
Notice it doesn’t say race or religion. From the very beginning, the Jews were a nation. According to Websters, a nation is A large group of people having a common origin, language, and tradition and constituting a political entity. It wasn’t written for that purpose, but that’s a great description of the Jewish people.
What does aggrandize your name mean? It doesn’t mean that Sari (Sarah) should put a sign In front of their tent saying, “Get Abe’s autograph, only 50 shekels-Cheap!”
Aggrandize means “make your name great.” That was done by telling his story when the Torah is read AND in prayer. For example, the Amidah, a prayer Jews say at least three times a day (on holidays, it’s more) begins with “God of Abraham, God of Isaac, and God of Jacob.”
In Chapter 15, God doubles down on the promise that the land to which he led Abram is the eternal homeland of the Jews, which is an essential part of Zionist thought,
Verse 7: And He said to him, “I am the Lord, who brought you forth from Ur of the Chaldees, to give you this land to inherit it.”
In other words, God made Abram walk 600 miles to give him and his descendants their eternal homeland.
The Book of Genesis, the one that begins with a quote about baseball (In the big inning - okay, it's an awful pun) is part of the Jewish. Christian and Muslim scripture. So, the next time someone tells you Zionism is evil, or Israel is not the eternal homeland of the Jews, just tell them to read Genesis. ‘
When the UN passed Resolution 181, without realizing it, they were carrying out what God promised 3,700+ years ago. A homeland for the Jews in the land where he told Abram to go.
It’s called Zionism.
Jeff Dunetz is editor/publisher of the blog "The Lid." and a contributor to Israel National News and The Jewish Press. He is a weekly Thursday Guest on The Schaftlein Report, a National Board Member of Herut North America and Herut Representative on The AZM Board