What do the Oslo Accords and the Roadmap to a Permanent Two-State Solution have in common? For starters, they are both epic fails. But more importantly, they represent Israel’s failure to recognize that they are negotiating with the wrong peace partner.
It’s time for Israel to make peace with the only One who is both preventing peace and Who can bring peace. It’s time for modern-day Israel to reach back and up in its consciousness and do what they were told to do a very long time ago – return to and make peace with the God of Israel.
Forget Oslo. Forget the Roadmap. And definitely forget whatever John Kerry is trying to implement. Israel is already in an accord, a treaty, a covenant, whatever you want to call it, with God. Whether Israel likes it or not, their forefather Abraham made an accord with the God of the Universe, who likes to go by the name of the God of Israel, that is still binding. And the fact that it is still binding is why every accord or treaty Israel tries to make with anyone other than the God of Israel is guaranteed to fail.
If you’re still reading this article, then perhaps you happen to not only believe in the validity of the Bible, but you also believe that it’s still relevant. Or maybe you’re just curious to see what other crazy ideas I have. Just know, though, that my ideas will pale in comparison to the craziness of the ideas of the politicians trying to bring about peace.
I don’t have any crazy ideas for peace like negotiating with terrorists, taking the advice of politicians whose own nation is falling apart, letting terrorists out of jail who have killed Jews, or destroying thousands of Jews’ homes. No the only “crazy” idea I have for peace is for Israel to keep the Torah.
Obviously, Israel keeping the Torah wasn’t my original idea. The Prophets of Israel were the original arbitrators constantly reminding Israel what the condition for peace was – keeping Torah. Isaiah related this idea in a poetic, yet powerful way in Isaiah 48:18 when he reminded Israel that “if you would keep the Torah then your peace would flow like a river.”
If I listed all of the passages from the Prophets of Israel equating keeping Torah with peace, this article would be very long. The coupling of Torah and peace is an on-going theme throughout the Bible. So for brevity’s sake, I’m only going to remind you of a few words from three prophets – Moses, Isaiah, and Micah.
In the Song of Moses, Moses reiterates that everything comes from the hand of God. Everything. In the passage from Deuteronomy 32, Moses gives narrative to the voice of the God of Israel Who reminded His people of the consequences of not keeping the Torah. “I shall hide my face from Israel and see what their end will be. I shall provoke them with a non-people and with a vile nation I shall anger them. I will accumulate arrows against them . . . for they are a nation bereft of counsel and there is no discernment in them. Were they wise they would comprehend this, they would discern it from their end. For how could one pursue a thousand, and two cause a myriad to flee, if not that their Rock had sold them out? I put to death and I bring life, I strike down and I will heal; there is no rescuer from My hand.”
Sure you can believe that the above passage is only regarding the generation of Moses. But deep down inside, at least if you are Jewish, you know better. No really. Your Jewish soul knows better. It’s just a matter of getting your head to believe what your soul already knows.
The Book of Isaiah is replete with the consequences of Israel not keeping the Torah, but also with the blessings of peace that come from keeping the Torah. In fact, one of the most famous passages about peace is from Isaiah 2 promising that swords will be beaten into plowshares and that all warfare will end. But before reviewing Isaiah’s famous passage of peace, let’s get to the hard part first.
Isaiah penned sobering reminders about Who Israel is really fighting against. Any earthly enemy is a consequence of Israel being out of sorts with their original peace partner, the God of Israel.
In Isaiah 42, Isaiah gives narrative to the voice of God and asks, “Who delivered Jacob to plunder and Israel to looters? Was it not Hashem, He against Whom we have sinned? They did not wish to go His ways and did not listen to His Torah. So upon them He poured the power of war.” Yikes.
Isaiah continues God’s narrative in chapters 43 & 45 by saying, “I handed Jacob over to devastation and Israel over to rebukes. I am the One Who forms light and creates darkness; Who makes peace and creates evil.”
As promised though, back to the good stuff. Back to Isaiah’s ultimate vision of what will happen not only in Israel, but the rest of the world, when Israel becomes a beacon of Torah. Quite simply, all warfare will end. Nations will look to Israel for answers to all of their problems. Goodbye and good riddance U.N. And nations will travel to Israel to worship the God of Israel at the Temple. (But that’s a subject for another article. I mean as long as I’m writing about crazy ideas like Israel keeping the Torah, I might as well write about the Temple too, right? )
Yes, we are living in the 21st-century. Nevertheless, the covenant Israel made with the God of Israel is eternal. There is no expiration date. And no modern solutions or politics are going to save Israel from its enemies and bring peace. Only Israel striving to make peace with God will bring peace between Israel and its enemies.
The prophet Micah left Israel a reminder of what it’s peace Partner expects. Micah says, “He has told you what is good! What Hashem requires of you. To do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.”
May Israel soon be blessed with leaders who will reject the politics of the nations, who will base decisions on the Torah, and who lead Israel back to keeping the Torah in a way that is pleasing to God.