Rumblings, rumors, whispers and leaks that may or may not be intentional, have been seeping through the cracks of the closed door negotiations that are geared towards a conclusion the world at large is cynically labeling “peace agreement”.
For the Israeli nationalists, for the faithful, none of the news is good – on the surface.
In a world where everything is upside down, like café hafuch – where the truth is considered a lie, and a lie as truth, where history and the Arab narrative can be rewritten for popular consumption as if it were a mere Hollywood script, where murderers are set free on the insistence of democratic states, where Jews can be accused of “occupying” their own land, where Jerusalem can be ripped from the heart of its ancient people and given to strangers who turn their backsides to her in contempt……. In a world such as this, what we are hearing coming through those cracks is good.
Yes, you read that last sentence correctly.
The faces of redemption are many and we will see much darkness before the light. Our sages tell us that the period immediately prior to the advent of Moshiach (Messiah) will be one of great travail and turmoil. The devout will be reviled, the absence of logic and reason will abound and corruption and denial will spread.
If we should lose our biblical heartland, if our Jerusalem should be ripped in two, then bring it on. And, I smile to myself with the knowledge that it is the left who are, albeit unwittingly, hastening the redemption.
They have successfully managed to position the ridiculous, the preposterous, the most ludicrous plan of action ever taken by any sovereign government – a plan that defies all logic and rational – a plan that can only be termed as national suicide, to be the acceptable mode of operation in attaining a so-called peace with an enemy that seeks neither peace nor nominal stability.
And they cater to a world whose hatred and jealousy of the Jewish nation is reaching a fever pitch, where the nations of the world listened complacently as another head of state called for wiping Israel off the map. And now, as this hatred continues to grow in a crescendo of intensity, the ground has become fertile for the US Secretary of State to actually threaten the Prime Minister of Israel if he refuses to cut out the heart of our land in order to establish yet another terrorist entity bent on our destruction. To buttress his bullying, this same secretary of state stridently heralds the U.S.’s nod of approval for the world to isolate and sanction Israel should Netanyahu possess the temerity to stand up to his threat.
Throughout history the Jewish nation has witnessed the ongoing conflict between the secular and the religious. But, what needs to be understood is there are two forces of redemption. Moshiach ben Yosef and Moshiach ben Dovid. Moshiach ben Yosef is signified by the secular, from Herzl to the present day secularists that work to strengthen the material and physical aspects of the nation. They are those who drained the swamps, built the initial infrastructure, established a defense force and laid down the physical foundations for the reestablishment of our sovereignty over the Land of Israel.
The second force, Moshiach ben Dovid strengthens the spiritual. Inevitably the two shall meet and work together. What greater proof is there when the religious have too returned to work the land and at the same time, the most secular Tel-Avivian, unaware of the holiness of his action, is willing to sacrifice not only his life in the defense of this land, but his son’s life as well, no questions asked. Some liken this to Akeidat Yitzhak, when Abraham, who in his test of faith from God was ready to sacrifice his son Isaac on the altar, no questions asked.
We are close, but we are not there yet.
If we should lose Judea and Samaria, our enemies will be at our doorsteps ready for the final kill. And they will not be frothing at the gate for the blood of “settlers.” But, for the other “occupiers.” They will be coming for the Tel-Avivians.
According to our great Rabbeim such as Harav Kook and R’ Menachem Kasher we are living in the era of redemption. In the Talmud, a description of one inexorable sign of redemption is conveyed by Rabbi Abba: “You, O mountains of Israel – you shall shoot forth your branches and yield your fruit to My nation Israel, when they approach to come” (Sanhedrin 98a).
Today, Israel is exporting fruits and other agricultural produce throughout the world. Today Israel is the only country in the world which has more trees than it did a century ago.
The Prophets described the signs of redemption when God has “assembled the outcasts of Israel, and the dispersed of Judah He has ingathered from the four corners of the world” (Isaiah 11:12); “brought them from the northern land and has ingathered them from the uttermost land…and they return from the land of the enemy” (Jeremiah 31:7, 15); “caused the cities to be populated and the ruins have been rebuilt, and the desolated Land will be tilled, instead of having been desolate in the eyes of every passerby” (Ezekiel 36:33-34)
Kibbutz Galuyot – the ingathering of the exiles – is but the first stage in redemption. Today, there are already more Jews in Israel than in any other country in the world. We still have many stages to go before the redemption will be complete: restoration of true Jewish justice, destruction of heretics and heresy, the exaltation of the tzaddikim (the righteous), the rebuilding of Jerusalem (already well underway), the restoration of the dynasty of King David, and finally the restoration of the Temple service.
While the length of each stage may be up for interpretation, the first steps have already been taken.
While theTalmud cites the fructification of Israel as inescapable proof of the imminence of the redemption, the Midrash cites another sign by the prophet Zechariah: “Thus said HaShem, Lord of Legions: Old men and old women will yet sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each with his staff in his hand because of his old age, and the streets of the city will be filled with boys and girls playing in its streets” (Zechariah 8:4-5).
Zechariah does not foresee the rebuilt Holy Temple or supernatural miracles as part of any initial stage of redemption; only a placid suburban scene for Jerusalem. The scene he depicts here is one we take for granted, a scene so familiar in today’s Jerusalem that we don’t even see it as anything extraordinary.
But the final redemption is a process. The darker it gets and the more endangered we are, the closer we are to the end game.
Under those circumstances, when the nations of the world exalts the attackers and attacks the victim, honors evil and spurns the moral, when all is smeared in the clouded mocha of cafe hafuch and the sky over Tel-Aviv is blackened with thousands upon thousands of missiles, when Ben Gurion airport is forced to shut down and none can any longer scapegoat the religious nationalists, it is at that point of clarity when the left and the right can finally unite as one force that our ultimate redemption will come. When we as a people can drop the infighting, and unite as one sovereign nation, none can touch us.
Today, as the nations of the world witness ancient prophesies come to life, they, in a frenzy are desperately attempting to undo what is destined and will utilize all that is in their perverse and vicious arsenal to rip the heartland – Judea and Samaria – from Israel.
(Thank you to Alan Goldberg of Efrat for sharing your insight for this post)