Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Israel is not the Holocaust

What is the purpose of there existing a Jewish State in the Land of Israel?

In the eyes of many, the answer to the question is that the establishment of the State of Israel was the answer to the Holocaust.

In the State of Israel, the Jewish People would no longer be homeless; no longer be defenseless; they would become masters of their own fate. Every Jew in the world would know that in the State of Israel they had a refuge where they could always run to should the need ever arise.

That, in a nutshell, is the essence and purpose of the State of Israel according to Holocaust survivor and former head of the now defunct, anti-religious Shinui party, Yosef (Tommy) Lapid.

Dear European ambassadors...

...So when you have difficulty understanding us, think about the Holocaust. When you find yourselves searching for our motives, remember the Holocaust. When you try to understand the steps we take, consider the Holocaust...

No tragedy has left such a mark on our consciousness. There is no motivation for our actions behind which you will not find the Holocaust.

With all due respect to Yosef (Tommy) Lapid, who as a survivor, is certainly privileged to speak freely about what the Holocaust means to him, I, as a Jew who chose to move to the Jewish State of Israel, strongly disagree with his remarks.

If our sole justification for establishing a Jewish State in the Land of Israel is the Holocaust, then Iranian President Ahmadinejad is right, when he states:

“60 years have passed since the end of World War II. Why do the Germans and Palestinians need to pay for a war that the present generation was not involved in?... The nations of the West must grant them back their original citizenships. You are the ones that created this problem by bringing Jews to Palestine, and therefore you need to solve it.”

The notion of a Jewish State - the need for the creation of a Homeland for the Jewish People that would solve the "Jewish Question" once and for all - was not introduced by Theodor Herzl, who recognized (as early as 1894) the inability of the Jewish People to find lasting peace in any country that they tried to call home, and it was not a response to the Holocaust.

For nearly 1900 years before the Holocaust, the Jewish People, from the four corners of the earth would turn towards Jerusalem three times a day and ask the G-d of Israel to return them to their ancient and eternal Homeland, where they could live proudly and freely as Jews.

For nearly 1900 years before the Holocaust, at the end of every Peasach Seder, the Jewish People would utter the words, "Next year in Jerusalem"!

The idea of the Jewish State began thousands of years ago, when G-d first spoke to Abraham:

God said to Abram: "Go from your land ... to the land that I will show you." (Genesis 12:1)

This was followed by the establishment of an eternal covenant between the G-d of Israel and Abraham and his future descendants, setting aside the Land of Israel as the Homeland of the Jewish People.

On that day, God made a covenant with Abram, saying: "To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt as far as the great river the Euphrates. The land of the Kenites, Kenizites, Kadmonites; the Chitties, Perizites, Refaim; the Emorites, Canaanites, Gigashites and Yevusites." (Genesis 15:18-21)

"And I will give to you and to your descendants after you, the land of your temporary residence, all the land of Canaan as an eternal possession and I will be a God to them." (Genesis 17:8)

The mission of the Jewish People - a mission that can only be accomplished in the Land of Israel - is laid out in the daily prayer Aleinu, composed by Yehoshua Ben Nun, as he led the Jewish People in their conquest of the Land of Israel:

It is our obligation to praise the Master of all, and to ascribe greatness to the Creator of the beginning, for He has not made us like the nations of the lands, and He has not positioned us like the families of the earth, for He has not assigned our portion like theirs, nor our lot like their populations. For they bow to nonsense and emptiness, and they pray to a god who cannot deliver. But we bow, prostrate ourselves and give thanks to the Supreme King of Kings, the Holy One, Blessed is He...

We therefore put our hope in You, Hashem our God, to soon behold the glory of your might in banishing idolatry from the earth and the false gods will be utterly exterminated to perfect the world under the Kingdom of Hashem. And all mankind will invoke Your Name... As it says, "And Hashem will be King over the whole earth, and on that day Hashem will be one, and His Name One".

That (in a nutshell) is the mission of the Jewish People and the purpose of there being a Jewish State - to serve as a "Light unto the nations" (Isaiah 42:6), and to perfect the world under the Kingdom of Hashem. It is this Divine mission for which the Jewish People were Chosen by G-d to carry out that should be the motivation behind every action of the Jewish People and State, and not the Holocaust.

Before we have any hope of the nations of the world "understanding" us, we must first learn to understand ourselves.



8 Comments:

The Holocaust-Israel arguement irritates me. Yes, there may be an element of cause and effect in there, but as you point out, the wheels were in motion long before the Holocaust took place.

By Blogger ifyouwillit, at Thu Apr 27, 04:28:00 PM GMT+3  

The Holocaust as teh reason for Israel is also a terrible argument. I'll sum it up, Europeans killed Jews so Jews have the right to steal Arab land. No wonder the Secular have abandoned love of Eretz Yisrael the very reason for Israel according to them is inflicting evil on a innocent party because we suffered.
Only through the Torah is there any logical argument in favor of setling Eretz Ysirael.

By Anonymous kahaneloyalist, at Thu Apr 27, 05:14:00 PM GMT+3  

Someone please point out to me where Lapid said that the Holocaust is the justification for Israel (at least in this article).

What he did say is that because of the memory of the Holocaust, Israel will not take certain risky actions that will force it to depend on its "friends" for survival. He then listed the support that he expects these friends to provide if the Arabs and Iran ever succeed in doing what the Iranian president has been saying he would like to do.

By Anonymous mark g, at Mon May 01, 04:15:00 PM GMT+3  

Mark, thanks for the comment. lapid was saying that the driving force behind every thought and action of the Jewish State and People is the Holocaust, and that's just not the case, and for those that it is, it's very sad.

By Blogger Ze'ev, at Mon May 01, 04:37:00 PM GMT+3  

Dear Ze'ev:

With all respect to you for your choice to return to Israel, the promise of returning is not only to Jews, but to people of all races who worship God. But given the prophesy that Jerusalem will be destroyed, and neither man nor beast will remain alive there, should we not rather choose the high mountain wilderness of Iraq (formerly Chaldea) where God prepared his people to reinhabit Jerusalem? When He is ready, He will return us all to Jerusalem. Are you interested in topics about the bible prophesy, prophets, Canaan, Canaan's land, Land of Canaan, or the Christian future? If so you may enjoy reading " Land of Canaan." This is a free online book. The Link is http://landofcanaan.info/book.php
Let me know what you think.

Thanks,

Paul M. Kingery, PhD

By Blogger Paul M. Kingery, at Tue May 02, 02:43:00 AM GMT+3  

It's also one of my pet peeves, and I used one fo "those" quotations.
http://shilohmusings.blogspot.com/2006/04/core-of-post-zionism_26.html

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