Israel is the “Israeli State”

Is Israel the Jewish State or the Israeli State - and is there a difference?

Chaya Gross, | updated: 14:21

OpEds Chaya Gross
Chaya Gross

It is often said in diplomatic circles that Israel is the “nation state” of the Jewish people. What exactly does that mean?

Like Canada is the nation state of the native people?

At best, Israel is the repatriation of the Jews to their “ancestral” homeland after 2000 years of wandering “in EXILE” after the destruction of the second holy Temple and the dispersion of the remnants of our people throughout the known world at that time. In unprecedented historical fashion we remained a people, against all odds, and are returning. 

If that is what a nation state is then ok, fine...but somehow I am not convinced.

Our identity, and perhaps even more so in Israel today, than elsewhere, is definitely unclear. Israel prides itself on being a secular democratic state and that is more true to its nature than “Jewish” State!

So you may could you say that? Israel is THE “Jewish” State!

And my answer is simply another question? What is Jewish?

This too is getting much more difficult to answer and to define is our age of pluralism and inclusiveness.

At one time, not so long ago, Jews simply knew what Jewish was. When you had a son you entered him with blood, into the covenant of Avraham Avinu, the first Jew, at 8 days old. It wasn’t a was what Jews did. When we got married a man to a is as well known that we married and said as much, for all to hear...according to the Laws of Moses and Israel!

We knew that kosher, whether we kept it or not was what Jews ate. And, we knew that for a bar mitzvah a boy got a pair of tefillin, and was called up to the Torah for the first time, unlike girls! And we knew that Jews kept Saturday as the sabbath to G-d(to remember Him) and not Sunday.

And last but not least every Jewish wedding ended with ...”if I forget thee o JERUSALEM...”meaning the Temple, and for this tragedy a glass was broken as a reminder of our Temple having been destroyed and not yet rebuilt so even in our happiest moments we could not be completely happy...and we acknowledge that we are yet in exile from Our Land!

The Holy Land, the place of our Holy Temple.

Jews knew these things as these were the basics! Today there are no basics. Zionism is desperately trying to be the replacement ideology with Herzl as the “new Moses of our generation” quote unquote by none other than the Prime Minister of Israel!

But Israel can never replace Judaism and that is the struggle going on almost daily on the streets of Jerusalem and Tel parade, illegal so called refugees, Arabs waving PLO flags in Rabin Square...

We have forgotten that the essence of Israel, its very soul, is it is the Holy Land and we are G-d’s chosen people, and until we reestablish our status as such, nationality law, or even a US embassy in Jerusalem will make no difference.