Thursday, November 25, 2010

An Historic Moment - 1977

“K A H A N E”

The magazine of the authentic Jewish Idea

Tevet –5737        January 1977


We live in momentous times, in an historic point that reaches out to us and offers us greatness.  We no longer stand on the threshold of the Messianic era; we have taken our first steps INTO it.  Those who disagree are not skeptics – they are blind; they are not scoffers, but foolishly ignorant people.

The end of the great era of man’s wandering and stumbling through life in search of meaning and truth is drawing to a close and the drama of Jewish history with its crescendos of persecution and heroism, its drama and pathos, its kaleidoscopic wandering and journeys is coming to an end.  How can one not see that which confronts his very senses, which seizes him and demands to be heard and understood?

The massive Holocaust that thundered down upon the Jewish people and which, within the briefest moments, undid the work and creation of centuries – carrying away the best and the finest of our people is hardly an accident of history.

The inexplicable return of a people from 2,000 years and a hundred nations of wandering and bitter persecution; the revival of a language dead for longer than others where revival has been attempted and failed so that today children play in it and physicists create upon it, is not really inexplicable.

The majestic and soaring rise of Jewish resistance and force of arms, the explosion of the Jewish National Liberation Movement in the form of the Irgun Zvai Leumi, the Fighters for the Freedom of Israel and the Hagana; the shattering of the myth of the Jew as one whose blood is cheap and whose life is the gentile’s for the taking; the creation from the ash heap of history, of the Third Jewish Commonwealth, the State of Israel, is surely not a natural occurrence.

The astounding and massive ingathering of the exiles from North, South, East and West; the return of the Children of Israel from the far reaches of Yemen and the laboratories of London; the Second Exodus of the people of Israel from the Land of Muscovite – all part of the Redemption that is ordained and in full force today. 

The hysterical and historical, wildly wonderful and dreamy victory of six days in June; the flight of the enemies of the Jew before the legions of the Hebrew people; the affirmation of the Biblical trumpet: “And thou shalt pursue thine enemy and they shall fall before your sword.  And five of you shall pursue one hundred and a hundred of you ten thousand shall pursue, and thine enemies shall fall before your sword…”; the return to ancient Eretz Yisroel, the paratroopers who clutched with their fingernails, deeply, into the Wall and the others who run past the evil seventh barrier-step into the Cave of Machpela and those who prostrated themselves upon the grave of Rachel, our mother; the echo of the One who pledged: “Every place that your heel shall trod I will give to you…”

It is an historic moment and we live within it.  The exile is coming to an end for all Jews – those who wish it and those who do not.  The sands of time for the Diaspora are running out – in good ways and in terrible ones.  The Jewish people are being returned home by its Maker – of that there is no longer a doubt.  There is no longer a choice.  The Soviet Union is opening its gates and they will soon let out those who wish to leave – there is no choice.  The lands of wealth and prosperity will be afflicted with hatred of Jews and a tidal wave of persecution – there is no choice.  We are going home to Eretz Yisroel, or we will disappear in the exile.  That is clear. The Holy One, Blessed Be He, is bringing us back to the Land of Israel and those who wish to remain behind will be unable to do so – as Jews.

What a time in which to live!  What an opportunity to choose greatness!  Will we understand?  Will we, in the United States, be capable of perceiving and reaching that greatness?

Consider carefully; look about with eyes that are open, America, bitter, frustrated, filled with anger and self-doubt, ripped by violence and seething rivalries, moves swifter and swifter to an
explosion of hatred that will put an end to the safety, security, freedom and perhaps the very life of the Jews.  On the other hand, there stands the miracle of Eretz Yisroel – the Land of Israel.

It is a large land, this Eretz Yisroel. It stands from the Mediterranean to the Jordan, from Hermon through Sinai to Sharm-a-Sheikh.  It stands, capable of absorbing millions, many, many millions of its sons and daughters who have yet to come.  It is the land where one cannot move without colliding with the Jewish past.  This is the land where Abraham walked and Isaac and Jacob traveled; this is the land where David and Saul fought the enemy and Deborah and Samson smote the foe; this is the land where the Prophets raised their eyes unto the heavens and spoke to the people; this is where the Macabees preserved Judaism with the sword and where the Sanhedrin and Ben Zakkai continued it with the book; here died Bar Kochba and here is where his children will return. Here is Eretz Yisroel – here is home.

What a glorious challenge we have been given!  The gauntlet has been thrown down before us and we are presented with a demand that we climb the heights of greatness!

Aliya – going up to the land, going home to Eretz Yisroel, this is the task at hand.  Let us leave behind the dust of exile, the terrible fate that awaits us, our enemies of the Diaspora, who thirst for our blood and plan yet another Auschwitz.  Let us begin to make our plans to leave the graveyards of Galut and live in our own land – free, a majority, alive. Let us guarantee the preservation of our children and children’s children.  Let us watch them grow tall and tanned, strong and proud, secure and sovereign.

We need this land and it needs us.  Millions of new Jews pouring into Israel will fill up its empty spaces, guarantee the retention of all the liberated lands of Judea, Samaria, Golan, Gaza and Sinai; assure a vast Jewish majority despite the addition of a million new non-Jews; add western democratic and technical skills to the land. Eretz Yisroel will never again be lost to us.

Aliyah.  Above all, it will assure that the liquidation of the exile – which is underway regardless of our wishes  - will be completed with joy rather than with tragedy, with return rather than with disappearance.  What a moment in history!  How wonderful it would be if we were to understand it, clutch at it, become part of it.

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