Recently, it seems as though Israelis live in parallel universes. Everyone seems to have their own perception of reality, and anyone with different views is regarded as shortsighted, misguided, ignorant, or plain dim-witted. The government has been dissolved because of such disagreements; the police and the country’s attorney general are accused of corruption, and no one knows whom to believe; Israel’s former prime minister is on trial, and media reports are so contradictory that you would think they are reporting unrelated trials; the media, as a whole, has lost the public’s trust, and each side consumes only the news that cater to one’s views. As a result, the worlds Israelis live in seem completely unrelated and disconnected, parallel universes indeed.
Yet, these universes exist in the same space, and therefore frequently collide with one another. The perpetual clashes have weakened Israeli society to the point where it is disintegrating from within. The complete absence of solidarity makes everyone pull their own way, regardless of others, and everyone thinks that only their side is right and the other side is wrong. And as people behave, so do parties, until the entire structure crumbles.
The Jewish state is unlike other countries because the Jews are unlike other people. Each of us carries within him contradictory forces, desires, and discernments equal to those of an entire nation. Therefore, the only way to reconcile between us and connect us is to make mutual concessions. As long as we avoid it, we are sliding closer to complete and irreversible dissolution. In the summer of 70 CE, around this time of the year, a terrible disaster had happened to us. Now we are approaching a replay of that tragedy.
From the moment we began to endeavor to reestablish a Jewish state in the land of Israel, we began to feel as though we are locked in a cage with people we cannot stand. We are like wild beasts, gnawing at each other, while our enemies gleefully wait for us to finish each other off or make a run for it.
Even if we attempt to split the country into several smaller countries where people more or less agree with one another, it will still not help. The division is not only between us; it is within us! We need to make ourselves whole just as much as we need to make our society whole. Until we understand who we are as people, as Jewish people, what we need to do as Jews, and accept that we must carry out our calling, we will not make peace with one another, let alone with other nations.
Jews have always had disagreements. Parallel universes have existed between us and within us since the inception of our nature. They cannot be canceled, nor should they. They were given to us; they are inherent in our nature, and therefore cannot be revoked. Our task is not to make them disappear, but to build above these rifts such ties of love that will be stronger than the chasm and fortify our structure as a nation.
The connection and the unity of the people of Israel are very different from those of other nations. Other nations maintain unity by maintaining similarity of views, culture, or faith. Jews, on the other hand, maintain solidarity, if we succeed, by understanding the vitality of contradictions, embracing conflicts as an impetus to foster stronger ties, and building a stronger bond precisely because it has to overcome a deeper gap than any other nation feels.
It is an unnatural bond, a manmade love that challenges the natural hatred that nature has installed in us for anyone who is dissimilar to us. Nevertheless, it is precisely this connection that makes us sturdy, that builds a new nation based on people’s free choice to unite above their hatred.
This unique unity is the secret to the robustness and durability of the people of Israel. Understanding how to form such a bond is the secret wisdom that our nation must teach the world, and our inability to teach it is the reason that so many people hate Jews.
The parallel universes that exist among the Jews and within the Jews will never disappear, nor should they. But when Jews learn to build bridges of love between their parallel realities, they will find peace and happiness, and the world will find it with them.