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WHAT DOES ONE SAY?
Across my desk the other day came two items: One was from a rabbi, Orthodox, famous; the other from a Christian minister. Let us play a little game. Let us see if we can guess who said what; in theory it should be rather simple.
The first of the men of the cloth wrote the following:
G-d, the L-rd says – if Israel will not be gathered voluntarily HE will bring them back with a mighty hand into their own land which I swear to Abraham and his seed.
. . . Anti-Semitism growing in our country is being animated by the Civil Liberties Union . . . getting the Bible and prayers outlawed from our public schools . . . demanding the Nazi the right to march in our cities; demanding the rights of the homosexuals, the lesbians; the right to sell traffic in pornography . . . Now all we need is a loss of jobs and the devaluation of our dollars and we will see the Jew being blamed for it, and with it will be driven out of the U.S.A. . . .
And now, the other:
. . . I have espoused the position that a Zionist need not commit himself to Aliyah in order to be identified with the movement . . . . . It is important at this critical juncture that nothing be done to alienate millions of Jews from belonging to the World Zionist Organization only because we want to impose on them a commandment they are not prepared to fulfill now or ever. It should be enough that they accept the centrality of Israel in Jewish identity and Israel’s indispensability for the survival of either Jewry or Judaism or both . . . to split the (Zionist) movement over an issue which may be ideological but so TOTALLY INCONSEQUENTIAL at this moment, would be most tragic.
Of course, you have guessed who said what. You know that it is the minister, a rather unknown one from a small town in Illinois, who so firmly stated the clear, Biblical truth that G-d will not allow the Jew to remain in Exile but will uproot him with terrible tragedy and force his remnant to come home to Israel. It is the minister who knows and believes the verse in Ezekiel that reads: As I live, says the L-rd, G-d, with a strong hand and with an outstretched arm and with anger poured out I will be king over you. I will take you out from the nations and gather you from the lands to which you were scattered, with a strong hand and with an outstretched arm, and with anger poured out” (Ezekiel 20:33-34).
It is the minister who understands that the refusal of the Jew to leave the Exile and go home is not “totally inconsequential” but a matter of life and death, literally, for the Jew. It is the minister who really does believe rather than pay lip service in a comfortable, non-demanding religious setting.
And it is the rabbi – whose ancestors wrote the Bible – who, when all is said and done, does not really take it seriously. He is a famous rabbi, an Orthodox Establishment elite rabbi, who, until recently, held the most prestigious pulpit in Orthodoxy (whatever in the world that may mean). But he is the one who understands nothing about the Divine determination of history and the immutable tragedy that MUST strike Jews who refuse to obey the commandment of living in the holy land and who, instead, despise the treasure of the Land of Israel by preferring Fifth Avenue.
Of course, the minister is right, and I have little doubt that he is an anti-Semite, to boot. But that, in no way, takes from him the words of truth as he warns the Jews of tragedy. After all, it is people such as he who will bring it about. It is well, therefore, to listen to his words, because these are the words of the real gentiles; these are the words the Jewish Establishment never hears as it meets annually with the National Conference of Christians and Jews to exchange plaques and platitudes. This is what the minister writes to a Jewish acquaintance:
We would hate to lose you as our friend in our country but as a Christian friend may we encourage you to go to your own homeland – while you can sell your holdings and go home with your pockets filled, before some radical . . . nut . . .rises up like a Stalin, Mussolini, Hitler, etc. and will deny you the liberty to leave with anything more than the clothes on your back. For . . . no flesh can deter or thwart the prophetic plan and promises of the spoken words of our G-d . . .
The pity is that the reaction of the rabbi to this would be to condemn the minister as an anti-Semite (true); to vow that he will never force Jews out of their land (America); and to blithely ignore the fact that it is indeed the L-rd who sends men like the minister to do to Jews that which the rabbi should be warning against. What does one say at a time when the rabbis have long since ceased to understand the Jewish Idea? Jew, stop listening to them. Get out now, before the minister and his kind come.
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