The Promised - and Undivided - Land

Passover was a time of freedom and later, a time for pogroms.

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Victor Sharpe

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Millions of the world’s population do not know the meaning of the towering festival of freedom and liberty known as Passover; a festival recognizing an event that has blessed the world for well over 3,000 years.

The first day of the festival begins always on the 15th day of the Jewish month of Nissan. Jews and Christians know from the Bible the story of the Exodus and of the salvation of the Jewish people from centuries of slavery under the Egyptian pharaohs: The creation and deliverance of an entire nation.

Such a seminal event in humanity’s history became the foundation for freedom and liberty – created many centuries before democracy was first enunciated by Greek philosophers who nevertheless lived within a polytheistic society.

Many people know in varying degrees the Passover story and of the creation and birth of the Jewish people and of their undying faith in the One and Only God; invisible and indivisible. Judaism has given the world monotheism in its purest and most undiluted nature. The Unity of God is what Jews have defended against all who attempted to suggest a plurality: even to enduring martyrdom.

The long suffering Jews under Egyptian bondage were led to freedom by the Jewish prophet, Moses, who brought them to their own very special and promised Land of Israel. Moses spoke with G-d in Sinai and brought a wondrous divine gift to the Jewish people and through them to all humanity – the Decalogue; the Ten Commandments, and the basis of today’s laws of Western and Judeo-Christian civilization and jurisprudence. These ten brief commandments – a mere 120 Hebrew words – are written on the walls of synagogues and churches and in public places.

But, as in all Jewish practice, Moses was never deified. He was shown in the Torah, the first five books of the Bible, as a man; nothing else. Indeed in order not to deify him or exalt him over others he is shown in the Holy Bible with human failings and his burial place remains unknown.

He sought the mountain top and beheld the Promised Land of Israel, yet was never to enter. In fact, in the Torah Moses is described merely as “the humblest and meekest of all human beings.” For in Judaism, only G-d is divine and besides Him there are none other.

Passover (Pesach in Hebrew) is the first of the Jewish holidays and festivals, coinciding with the coming of the Spring in the Jewish people’s ancestral, biblical and native land: the land given by God in an everlasting Covenant to the Jewish people; a land extending from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea and including Gilead (the possession of the tribes of Manasseh, Gad and Reuben) east of the river, in the present day Arab state called Jordan.

The Passover festival precedes two other harvest festivals based upon the agricultural cycles of ancient and modern Israel. Next comes Succot, which is known as Tabernacles, followed by Shavuot, Pentecost, which records and commemorates the giving to Moses of the Ten Commandments.  Mankind was, and is, blessed through the Passover for it is a veritable gift to those who accept its divine message and perform the ritual meal, the Seder, recording the Exodus story.

But there is an evil in men’s hearts, and it is a profound evil, for those who hate and envy this Jewish gift to humanity and its message of freedom, liberty and foundational democracy. They have chosen since time immemorial to rise up to destroy all that it stands for and persecute those – the Jews – who received it from God and who have shared it with all humanity.

Let me recount what Mary Antin wrote in 1911 about the horrors inflicted upon the Jews in Russia as they celebrated the festival of liberty in the Exodus story during the festive Seder meal. Ms. Antin wrote of what routinely took place at Passover and of how Russian neighbors reminded the Jews that for them it was another Egypt:

“… in Russian cities and even more in country districts, where Jewish families lived scattered, the stupid peasants would hear lies about the Jews, fill themselves with vodka, and set out to kill their Jewish neighbors.

“They attacked them with knives and clubs and scythes and axes, killed them or tortured them and burned their houses. This was called a pogrom.

“Jews who escaped the pogroms came with wounds on them and horrible, horrible, stories of little babies torn limb from limb before their mother’s eyes. Only to hear these things made one sob and sob and choke with pain.

“People who saw such things never smiled any more, no matter how long they lived and sometimes their hair turned white in a day and others went insane.”

In the Passover story, which is enshrined in the Haggadah, the book retelling the events of the Exodus and of the order of the Seder meal, there is a profound and millennial old passage: “Not one man alone has risen up against us to destroy us, but in every generation there have risen up against us those who sought to destroy us; but the Holy One, blessed be He, delivers us from their hands.” And so it was and still is.

Mary Antin spoke about unspeakable horrors inflicted on Jewish families in Russia; atrocities which had been repeated time after time throughout Europe and the Islamic world. Those relentless persecutions, pogroms and the shattering genocide perpetrated against the Jews during the Holocaust by Nazi Germany, in which a third of the world’s Jewish population was exterminated, were done when the Jews were still living in the long night of statelessness after Rome had destroyed Jewish Judea in 135 CE.

Yet today, since the modern miracle in 1948 of Israel’s rebirth and reconstitution as a sovereign, independent nation, restored again to its aboriginal, ancestral and biblical homeland, some Israelis, primarily on the Left – despite all the overwhelming and empirical evidence of implacable Arab and Muslim refusal to ever accept it as a Jewish state – continue to urge unheard of and suicidal offers of “land for peace.” They embrace the dread euphemism, the “Two State Solution,” which for Israel mirrors that other ghastly euphemism and its reality; the “Final Solution.”

This seems an aberration, an illogical and deeply naïve offer in the face of so much evidence of antipathy and loathsome hatred exhibited towards the Jewish state by the Arabs who call themselves Palestinians. Indeed, to give away one inch of the land is a profound rejection of the Covenant made between His people and Almighty G-d. It is also a strategy of national suicide and a negation of Jewish sovereignty.

As Passover approaches again, there are deep fears that the president of the United States is poised to go to the United Nations Security Council to force upon the embattled Jewish state a terrorist entity to be called Palestine and ripped out of Israel’s heartland of Judea and Samaria.

Obama has turned his face against Israel and has assumed the role of Amalek. His hatred of an Israeli prime minister who will not bow to his diktats has hardened his heart, even as he has unleashed much pain and suffering throughout the Middle East and, in particular, upon the Jewish state.  Remember the words: “In every generation.”

I remember listening to the words of a one-time Arab terrorist who once planted a bomb in Jerusalem but has now become a passionate supporter of the Jewish state. Walid Shoebat stated to a Jewish audience in America the following: “Americans need to start looking at what really happens in Israel. They don’t see what happens in their media. They don’t see what happens to the religious places in Judea or what the world calls the West Bank.

“They have never seen what has happened to Joseph’s tomb. They have never seen every single holy place, Jewish and Christian, in Judea desecrated by the Palestinian Muslims. Americans need to see the reality on the ground and what happened to two Jews who got lost in the streets of Ramallah in the Palestinian Authority. If they did they would see the frenzy, the demonic frenzy of the Palestinian Arab population of Ramallah. How they tore out the human hearts, lungs and kidneys of the hapless Israeli victims.

“The media in America and around the world must show the reality of how the Jews suffer and of how the Jew cannot go from his home to worship in Joseph’s tomb or worship on the Temple Mount.”

The worst possible mistake Israel ever made was inviting Arafat and his terrorist cronies to end their exile in Tunisia and set up their new headquarters in Judea – Israel’s biblical heartland. This decision by the left-wing Israeli government of Yitzhak Rabin led to Arafat and his terrorist gang gaining international acceptance and the odious so-called Oslo Peace Accords, which in time became the Oslo War in which thousands of Israeli civilians were murdered and maimed by Palestinian terrorists and suicide bombers.

Israel should no longer seek to placate those Europeans, the present U.S. Administration, and the morally compromised State Department who remorselessly call for a “two-state- solution, which would reduce the Jewish state at its most populous region to a width of only nine miles: yes, only nine miles wide: A sure and certain recipe for self-destruction within the Middle East; arguably the most evil neighborhood on planet Earth.

So on the Passover festival, which brings light and blessings to all humanity but which also brings the maniacal threats of genocide against the Jewish people by those, like the evil mullahs of Iran who would eagerly usher in nuclear terror while spewing their hideous ravings and shameless libels against the Jewish state.

But Israel is not alone. There are still millions of Americans – perhaps the majority – who support Israel and want to fight for her in the media and in the political realm against grievous pressure from the Obama Administration but are waiting for Israel to give them the reason to do so.

So these timely thoughts and questions must be urgently considered before, during and after the time of Passover for it surely is humanity’s moral barometer.

As the great Rabbi J.H. Hertz wrote in 1935: “Though man cannot always even half control his destiny, G-d has given him the reins of his conduct altogether into his hands.”

May Prime Minister Netanyahu and his new government, should it assume office, take to heart the pleas of millions of Jews and non-Jews who yearn for a principled and resoundingly firm response from him to the ever humiliating demands upon the Jewish state from the Obama Administration, the State Department, the United Nations and all the flawed Chanceries of Europe and beyond.

And it would not go amiss to remind the Godless European Union of Passover’s gift to the Jewish people and through them to the world: The promised and undivided land.

Victor Sharpe is a freelance writer and author of Volumes One, Two and Three of Politicde: The attempted murder of the Jewish state.



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