Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Behold the Dreamer comes

Around the Jewish and right-wing blogosphere, I've been criticized for my belief in the divine right of the Jewish people to Israel, for 'naively' basing my support for Israel on a fairy tale called the Torah. I have to be 'realist' and I should know better, that the US and the rest of the world would never "let" Israel expel the hostile Arabs from its borders. I am simply a lunatic, a fool for believing in something as intangible as G-d. Don't I know that Israel's right to exist comes from the Balfour Declaration, or the League of Nations Mandate or the UN vote?

Realism- that's one of my favourite lines. Binyamin Zeev (Theodore) Herzl, founder of Zionism, who conceived of the ludicrous idea of a Jewish state in Israel, was no realist. His motto was 'Im Tirzu Ein Zo Agada, 'If you will it, it is no dream'. How could Herzl have been so foolish not to realize that such a thing was impossible? It had been over 2000 years since the last independent Jewish state in Israel and according to all common logic, the return to Zion was a fantasy. It was standard Church doctrine that the Jews would never return to Israel since they were the rejected people, and many Jews came to believe this themselves. 'Dream and deed are not as different as many think. All the deeds of men are dreams at first, and become dreams in the end', he said (The Israelis : Founders and Sons (1971) by Amos Elon, p. 57). Realism dictates that the Jewish people be extinct, that they have disappeared along with every other people of Antiquity. It is beyond logic or understanding that the nation of Israel survive expulsion, oppression, pogroms, Inquisitions and Holocausts or that they return to Israel. But as the Talmud says (Shabbat 156a) ein mazal leYisrael, 'Israel is not controlled by the Zodiac'- logic or realism has no effect on the Eternal People. Every single Israeli living in Israel in a certain sense rejects realism since what sane person would cling to a narrow strip of land along the Mediterranean surrounded by 7 Arab nations and millions of sworn enemies, with the entire world opposed to his dwellings. If we wanted realism, the Jewish state would be in NY or Uganda!
Our connection to Israel far predates Lord Balfour, the League of Nations or the UN. ''Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art, northward and southward and eastward and westward; 15 for all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.' (Genesis 13:14)- this is our claim. If we believe that our only right to the land is the permission or opinion of 100 non-Jews 60 years ago, what happens if 1000 non-Jews retract said permission today? Israel was not meant to be a state like any other state but a Jewish homeland, a 'light unto the nations'. We didn't return from a 2000 year-old dispersion to fill the land with discoteques, non-kosher restaurants or Gay Pride parades. If Israel becomes (G-d forbid) a multicultural secular state, a California along the Mediterranean, why should an Israeli remain there when faced with terrorism and war when he could easily live in the real California, in safety and security. Only if we believe with utmost conviction that G-d Almighty gave this land to us will we brave all danger, all adversity and stubbornly cling to our heritage. Israel cannot survive divorced from Judaism! A million Israelis have made yerida and now live in the Galut, being unwilling to overcome the potential hardships involved with living in Israel. How many of these people believe in the Torah's promise? 'The Land of Israel is the heart of the nation' (Or Ne’erav 5:4)! We cannot exist without Israel, without our land which G-d promised unto us. Without this promise, we cannot maintain the Land, cannot support our claim. We lived there 3000 years ago, so what? The Native Americans lived in America for thousands of years and were displaced but they don't demand that entire continent. Only by G-d's word do we exist! 'G-d said: The Land is Mine, and the People of Israel is Mine. I will give My Land to My People' (Tanchumah, Bamidbar 34).

Israel is no ones vassal and does not have to seek permission to defend itself from the United States or anybody else. Let the United States keep its aid! Every state has the right to expel from its borders those who seek to undermine its sovereingty and to harm it. This may be according to international law but the law of survival, the law that mandates that you preserve your own life, supercedes it. Israel's enemies don't abide by international law so international law is only a hinderance and a handicap. The world would gladly stand by while the Arabs massacred the Jews of Israel, as the world stood silently during the Holocaust. Jewish blood comes cheap and we only have our nation to stand on. 'In the day that thou didst stand aloof, in the day that strangers carried away his substance, and foreigners entered into his gates, and cast lots upon Jerusalem, even thou wast as one of them. But thou shouldest not have gazed on the day of thy brother in the day of his disaster, neither shouldest thou have rejoiced over the children of Judah in the day of their destruction; neither shouldest thou have spoken proudly in the day of distress. Thou shouldest not have entered into the gate of My people in the day of their calamity; yea, thou shouldest not have gazed on their affliction in the day of their calamity, nor have laid hands on their substance in the day of their calamity. Neither shouldest thou have stood in the crossway, to cut off those of his that escape; neither shouldest thou have delivered up those of his that did remain in the day of distress. (Obadiah 1:11-14) The nations of the world would prefer that Israel be destroyed and we must not let our decision for our survival be dictated to us by anti-semites.

The Jewish people are beyond logic, beyond reason, beyond realism. Our only reality is the Supreme Reality, the ineffable word of G-d that promised to our father Abraham that we should inherit the land of Israel and be an eternal people. We were returned for a purpose, to fulfill the Jewish destiny. Israel has the moral responsibily to protect its citizens and to expel those who hate the state, who proudly display hands convered in the blood of Jews to reporters.

Realism? No thanks, I am a Jew.


Deborah said...



Papa Frank said...

Powerful post!

Yehudi said...

Amen v'amen!

WomanHonorThyself said...

Stand tall and stand proud my friend!

Joe Gringo said...


I want you on my team.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

bk, i had not idea. what a wonderful post. keep up the good fight, realism is severely overrated. people always seem to tell you to be a realist when they don't want to see your vision succeed.

if the torah is a fairytale, then we are all accidents of fate. i prefer to believe that god has the hairs of my numbered and the quantities of my tears counted.

thanks for blogrolling me - i've added you to mine as well.

Goat said...

Posts like this are why I invited you to cross post to my site, one of the best blogger moves I have made. I stand with Israel but had not the knowledge to make the argument so well. You added a depth to my site that was very much needed, Thank You Bar for accepting that invitation from a complete stranger!

Brooke said...

Great post, BK!

Yehudi said...

BK, I just read the post for a second time and gleened more from it than I did the first time...the mark of a great read! I started a new blog that's connected to Jewish Pride...come over and check it out! L'Shalom, Yehudi

nanc said...

i've been looking for that verse which states the world will stand aloof and here you have it!

thank you so much.

our family prays for the jew and israel several times a day. it is where all blessings come from.

The Merry Widow said...

Genesis 12:1-3 has not been abrogated, G*D has spoken it, it will happen!
And it is NO dream when G*D has willed it!
Well done!


Anonymous said...

Herzl had another quote I like even more then the one about dreamers, he once said "realists never accomplish anything". Great post by the way.