“A Nation That Dwells Alone”: A curse or blessing

I mean no disrespect to Mr. Rabin or to Colette Avital. Mr. Rabin was a true hero and patriot and Ms. Avital has given many years of service to our country. However, their philosophy and politics neglected our Biblical heritage

In her Memoriam to Yitzchak Rabin (Jerusalem Post Nov. 15), Colette Avital (the former consul general in NY during the Rabin years) quotes the speech Mr. Rabin gave to the Knesset 27 years ago where he stated that “no longer are we necessarily ‘a people that dwells alone’ and no longer is it true that ‘the whole world is against us’”. With this one quote, I believe we can understand why the so-called peace process has stalled (or some might say never really got off the ground). This quote was said to the Jewish people in the desert by Bilaam, a gentile prophet who was hired to curse the Jews. But our Rabbis explain that because he could only relate his prophecy based upon God’s word, he ended up giving multiple blessings to the Jewish people. How could dwelling alone be considered a blessing?

Had Israel been established in a neighborhood that totally accepted us, would we have been forced to become the Startup Nation? If the surrounding Arab nations continued to be hospitable to their Jewish citizens, would the country have grown to 9 million people in 70 years? If we weren’t forced to defend ourselves, would we have become a world leader in arms and defensive munitions? Had we lived in peace with our Arab neighbors, would we have managed to accept each other’s differences: Ashkenazi, Sephardi, Ethiopian, Russian, etc?  Would we have had massive intermarriage as in America?

We are the “Chosen People” not because we are intrinsically better than any other people. We are chosen to be God’s messengers to bring His word to the world. That is a tremendous responsibility that requires us to “dwell alone” and not fall prey to the immorality and unethical behavior of many parts of the world. We need to set a moral and ethical example for the rest of the world. We can’t do that by being just another nation like every other.

There are two ways we can dwell alone: If we chose to dwell alone so we can be responsible to be a “light unto the nations” by bringing God’s word to them, God will bless us and fulfill his promise to bring peace unto us and the world. If, however, we neglect that responsibility and chose to try to be like all other nations, then God sends “the whole world against us” and we will dwell alone in fear. Based upon the recent rise of Anti-Semitism around the globe let us reconsider which option we have chosen and what will be our direction for the future.

About the Author
Strong religious zionist background: First trip in 1963 - bar mitzvah, spent a summer volunteering at Hadassah in 1970, spent a year in Yeshiva in Jerusalem in 1971-72, parents made aliya in 1979, Tried to make aliyah in 1983 but was told I wouldn't fit into the system (after completing a fellowship in Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center) Professional: Board certified in general surgery, private practice in Manhattan for 28years, the Chief of the ENT / Head & Neck Service at the Phoenix VAMC, Clinical professor of surgery at Univ of AZ-Phoenix for 8 years. Finally made Aliyah in 2016 to work in Rambam. Licensed and Board certified in Israel Hobbies: Skiing, Hiking, Creating
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