“It was the best of times and it was the worst of times..”
Dickens’s iconic words come to mind as I sit in Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the independent Jewish state.
Clearly, there have been no better times for the Jewish nation in the last two thousand years.
The magnitude of the blessings and miracles that showered upon the Jewish nation in our generation are well documented and obvious.
No people could be expected to have survived and then risen again from the unparalleled, hopeless last blow the Jewish nation received, after two millennia of cringing in fear of the next catastrophe.
Cringing is the proper word to describe Jewish existence for two millennia. This was the condition of Jews as individuals and as a nation. And it was foretold in the Torah.
No nation suffered as much, and none experienced such miraculous redemption.
This too was foretold.
There is only one Nation chosen by God along with its particular expectations and responsibilities.
And so, as prophesied, the God of the Covenant brought us back “on the wings of eagles” to our promised land that had since become synonymous with desert and ruin and turned it into a paradise.
We defeated enemies far greater than us, as prophesied.
These are the best of times! Praise God.
So what happened?
How is it that once we chased powerful enemies and saw the backs of their heads as the bible promised and today we hide behind walls and run from stones thrown by children?
It wasn’t always like this.
How is it that instead of sacrificing for and loving every dunam redeemed in our beloved tiny land, we seek ways to give it away to our enemies?
It wasn’t this way.
How is it that we fear traveling in increasing parts of our beloved land?
How is it that we fear to plant trees in parts of our promised land?
How is it that we invite the anti-Israel enemy to share power in the Jewish state?
How is it that a few brave young Jews determined to secure and guard our limited expanses against the enemy’s land theft are the object of hate and hotly pursued by the Jewish government?
How did it happen that one of these wonderful youths was killed by the police and his blood calls out for justice?
How did it happen that Jews who dare mumble a prayer on the site of our holy temple are treated as public enemy number one and terrorized by both the enemy and the police?
How did it happen that Israeli police officers instruct Jewish policewomen to sexually entertain Arab terrorist murderers in jail?
How? When? Why?
As Rabbi Kook said, “to be a loyal Israeli one must first be a loyal Jew.”
There are no alternative paths to a successful “Israeli ” state.
An Israeli state that is not Jewish will be devoured by its cruel, vengeful, barbaric neighbors.
It is already happening.
We see how the vaunted IDF or start-up nation can not halt the process.
Trying to appease the enemy or the world does not do it either. It just accelerates the process.
Only once we know who we are, where we are, and why we are here can the tide turn.
There are no alternative solutions to the question of identity. It can not be escaped.
Only then can these be truly the best of times as was intended.
According to the prophets, these times will indeed arrive and there will be a happy ending
The story is not over yet.
I delve into these issues in my book, “Jews, Israelis, and Arabs” available on “Amazon” and “Book Depository”(free shipping to Israel)