Arrest Me, I Pray for a Jewish King and a Jewish Temple Every Day

Putting aside, for the moment, all the usual discussion regarding the Duma sideshow, I noticed that a rash of recent Israeli news articles all point out the same interesting ‘shocker’. In a Jerusalem Post analysis entitled ‘The Duma Terrorist and the Judean Monarchy Ideology’ Yaakov Laapin writes “…(there is) an underground movement of dozens of Jewish fanatical activists, who have set themselves the goal of toppling the state, replacing it with a “Judean monarchy,” and building a third temple, while expelling non-Jews from the land and creating a fundamentalist theocracy led by a king.” And in an online Israel Hayom news article, Lilach Shoval writes: “The group’s ideology was revealed, in what one defense official called “chilling detail,” in documents seized in the suspects’ homes. It entails violently overthrowing the government and replacing it with the “kingdom of Judea,” a halachic monarchy that would not permit non-Jews to live within its borders.”

Oh, horror of horrors; to want a king and a temple and a Jewish kingdom. Newsflash to the leftist elite of Israel — the Jewish people pray for this every day! Sorry to burst the ‘enlightened-Jew’ bubble of the Israeli media, government, and Shabak, but these are not the yearnings of some extremist radical fringe ‘terrorist’ Jew group, but (minus the violent government overthrow), this has been the ultimate end goal of the Jewish people that Jews have prayed for the past two millennia. Yearning for a Jewish king, better known as Mashiach, and wanting the Geula, which entails the redemption of the Jewish people and the Jewish land of Israel and the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple, is one of the thirteen fundamental principles of Jewish faith. Without it, sorry to say, you have no true grasp of the basics of Judaism.

This idea of a Jewish kingdom and a Judean monarchy, which is so foreign and shocking to the sacred democratic Israeli state, has been called, among many things, anti-Zionist and horrifying, and one would conclude criminal as well, given the administrative detentions several months ago of Meir Ettinger and other hilltop youth based on not evidence but ‘ideas’. So if this ideology is considered horrifying, anti-Zionist, and criminal, it begs the question ‘Are our prayers horrifying and criminal too’?

Every day we pray for exactly these things. Yup we do. Jews pray three times a day for what has been called horrifying. Some examples for the rebuilding of Jerusalem that we say in the Amida are:

‘Return in mercy to Jerusalem Your city and dwell therein as You have promised; speedily establish therein the throne of David Your servant, and rebuild it, soon in our days, as an everlasting edifice. Blessed are You Lord, who rebuilds Jerusalem. Speedily cause the scion of David Your servant to flourish, and increase his power by Your salvation, for we hope for Your salvation all day. Blessed are You Lord, who causes the power of salvation to flourish.’

‘Restore our judges as in former times, and our counsellors as of yore; remove from us sorrow and sighing, and reign over us, You alone, O Lord, with kindness and compassion, with righteousness and justice. Blessed are You Lord, King who loves righteousness and justice.’
‘And to Jerusalem your city may you return….Blessed are you, builder of Jerusalem.’ ‘May our eyes behold your return to Zion…Blessed are you, who restores his presence to Zion.’

And in the Birkat Hamazon — Grace after Meals, we recite:
‘Have mercy Lord, our God…on Jerusalem Your city, on Zion the resting place of Your glory…’ ‘and “Rebuild Jerusalem, the holy city, soon in our days. Blessed are you God who rebuilds Jerusalem in His mercy, Amen.’

And in the Al HaMichya blessing, we say:
‘Have mercy, Lord, our God…on Jerusalem, Your city; and on Zion, the resting place of Your glory… Rebuild Jerusalem, the city of holiness, speedily in our days. Bring us up into it and gladden us in its rebuilding and let us eat from its fruit and be satisfied with its goodness and bless You upon it in holiness and purity.’

I could go on with a ton of examples, but you get the drift. And for those who don’t realize, the rebuilding of Jerusalem that these prayers refer to is not the current Jerusalem of today (in what could perhaps be considered its partially re-developed condition), but it refers to a future glorious era of Jewish redemption following by a Jewish kingdom for the goodness of the Jewish people and all mankind.

It is in every prayer and in the psyche of every G-d fearing Jew. It is what I pray for. It is what Jews have always prayed for. But it appears that in the higher echelons of the Israeli establishment, they didn’t get the memo. Is it not the peak of irony that the most fervent prayers beseeching the rebuilding of Zion could possibly be interpreted as anti-Zionist?

Let’s not slide too deep into this slippery slope of faux Judaism and pretend that the current Israeli democratic state is the ultimate end goal of the Jewish people. It is far from it. And that anyone who professes their belief in G-d, and commitment to Torah and Jewish principles and all it encompasses is some radical wingnut. We are not. This is the norm of Judaism. Unfortunately, the Israeli establishment and its media supporters have veered so far left that what is routinely considered normal to most is to them unfathomably extreme and dangerous.

Granted, the norm of Judaism doesn’t attempt to bring ideologies to fruition through violent or murderous means, but despite the Duma case, which still needs the truth to be dug out of what appears to be thick layers of scandal and who knows what else, I think it’s safe to say that over the past two thousand years, there has rarely been a Jew, if ever, who as someone committed to these Torah ideals, would plot to overthrow a government let alone kill anyone.

Meanwhile, the real dangers are essentially ignored. Daily Arab murderous hate goes essentially unpunished and unnoticed. It has now been four months that Jews in the state of Israel have been subject to constant daily shootings, stabbings and car rammings. Other than some reactive measures such as setting up preventative posts at bus stops and destroying a few terrorist homes, nothing substantial or sweeping is being done. Arabs killing Jews is now the norm. Adhering to basic Jewish ideology apparently is not.

One day, the Jewish people will be shaken back to their core and rediscover their Jewish souls. Until then, I pray for a Jewish king and Jewish Temple every day. Come arrest me.

About the Author
Rachel Lefkowitz is a published author and a former editor at Tazpit News Agency.
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