The End of Days
One of my favourite quotations is from British Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli. "There's nothing worse than a stupid Jew!"
Though he [was] converted to Christianity, into the Church of England, at the age of thirteen, there is ample evidence that he saw himself as something of a Jew throughout his life. He knew Jews well enough to knowingly make his observation.
I want to present here a picture of, what I believe, is a non-stupid Jew. I know that I will offend many in this piece, but unperturbed, I begin to write.
Our current existence is on one hand possibly the best epoch Diaspora Jews have ever experienced -- we are certainly experiencing the greatest amount of religious and personal freedom since the end of Jewish life in Babylon one thousand years ago -- and on the other hand, a time of increased worldwide animosity.
We live in "interesting times". The nations of the world are united on almost nothing. But later this year, or the next, our post modern world is about to renege on their previous unanimous declaration of 1922. Under the guise of the League of Nations, the world agreed to set up a Jewish Homeland in Palestine -- all fifty-one member countries agreed without any dissent -- "Whereas recognition has been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country." Interestingly this declaration was the only positive act to come out of this austere body in its twenty year existence.
I want to make it clear at the outset, lest there be any misunderstanding, that I believe, absolutely, in the Torah as the sole word of God, as the particular purpose of creation. I firmly believe the words of the prophets and I daily witness their fulfilment. I await the actualisation of all of their prophecies, and like Rabbi Akiva at the end of Tractate Makoth, I have no doubt that, just as some of their words have already come to fruition, so will all of them, to the very last letter. And I accept unequivocally the interpretation of the Torah by the Rabbis of the Talmud. I also believe that anyone who does not accept this position, while remaining one hundred percent halachically Jewish, is missing, somewhere along the way, the point of what is meant by membership of this Jewish nation.
I believe that the essence of being Jewish is to live a Jewish life as defined by the Torah. Rabbi Shamson Raphael Hirsch once said that the worst thing that happened to Judasim was that it became classified as a religion in the Western sense of the word. It is not. To be Jewish is to be a member, a citizen, of a nation, whose only homeland is in Israel.
While I believe that there are racial elements to Jewishness, such as the special status of the priests, Cohanim and Levi'im, Judaism is open to all who truly desire to share the destiny of the Jewish people -- though according to specific guidelines outlined by our sages in their understanding of the Written Law.
I accept that people have free choice and, though remaining Jewish, may choose to ignore some or all of the word of God. Historically such people have within one or two generations ceased to remain an active part of the Jewish nation. Today lines are being blurred. People who are not halachically Jewish consider themselves Jews, demanding a say in all Jewish affairs. Jews who have lost all interest other than furthering their narrow political or personal ends, consider themselves indispensable to Jewish destiny. Sociology enters the fracas: there are gastronomic Jews, social Jews, sports club Jews and many more. Their Jewish affiliation is based purely on association with one or another narrow interest.
I also believe that the Torah is very explicit on the necessity of Jews, both as individuals and as the Jewish collective, to live in Israel; that God twice punished the Israelites of antiquity by expelling them from their land, making it impossible for them to live here, acting via a medium we call history; that via the same medium, specifically the unanimous 1922 League of Nations decision, the Diaspora ended. Were our claim to have longed and prayed for Zion through two thousand years of exile true, we would have all come home once their League granted Great Britain the mandate to carry out the declaration. But like the Jews of ancient Egypt, we became too used to the good life, ignoring our homeland and our heritage.
I accept that there may even be those who choose, voluntarily, to live outside of the land of Israel, and some of those who do so even consider it a religious duty to remain in their self-imposed exile. I say emphatically that they are acting against both the literary and spiritual meaning of the Torah.
If you do not accept my premises above or to my right to adhere to these principles, please feel free to stop reading at this point.
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Some of our Rabbis, while extolling the "end of days", the time immediately preceding the Messianic age, which the Rambam defines simply as that time when the nations of the world will stop pressuring the Jews, state that they are glad that they will not have to live through this tumultuous time. Living in the comparative idyllic religious and social freedom of mid first millennium Babylon, they foresaw the difficulties of the time to come. How accurately they envisioned the persecution and terror of the Galuth, the exiles from most European countries, the sword or death choices of Arab regimes, the catholic inquisition, the tens of thousands very brutally murdered in the Chmielnitzki pogroms of Tach v'Tat (1648-49), all culminating in the German Final Solution, is hard to ascertain. But they single out none of these. It is the awe of the final events of the Jewish exile that perturbed them the most.
Let's briefly take a look at the world today from a Jewish perspective. We number maybe twelve million. As terrible a statement as it is to make, we have actually decreased in numbers since the end of the Holocaust. We are losing people to assimilation daily, certainly more than 6,000,000 in the fast fifty years. The tragic murders and massacres of Jews over the span of diaspora unlikely have matched the loss of our people who remain physically alive but dead to the nation.
Today the level of official anti-Semitism, if not largely state sponsored then state condoned, is higher than at any time since the Holocaust, and in some ways even worse. It is growing rapidly. By concealing it under the banner of anti-Zionism, the enemies of God and His people have succeeded in seducing many humanist Jews into their fold. These deluded Jews are convinced of the absolute truth of the Arab narrative at the expense of their own -- due in large to their ignorance of their own heritage, but also because the underdog must be right. In an obscene reversal of reality, today Israel is the Goliath and the "poor persecuted Palestinians", David.
Many believe they have a "good" rounded Jewish/zionist education, either from attendance at Jewish day schools or zionist youth movements. The Australian experience, and I have no reason to believe other locales can claim a different record, shows that day schools and youth movements may mitigate intermarriage to some extent, but do not produce well rounded Jews.
Is there any nation like the Jews, filled with so many self-haters? Have you every met a self-hating Pole? an apologetic Frenchman? an ashamed Italian? Why are there so many Jews who are embarrassed to be Jews, or embarrassed by Jews who do not wear their modern western garb, ashamed of the high morality and ethos of the Israeli army? I am proud of my sons, of their friends, of their comrades in arms, because I know very well their moral fibre, at checkpoints, inside Arab villages and in the heat of battle.
How many times have I heard these deluded Jews explain to me, "I have been into Palestinian villages and have met with Palestinians and heard their stories, tried to understand their reality, seen on the ground what happens at non-violent protests, unlike the way the [evil] Israeli government portrays them." All the time ignoring that since the Oslo peace accords, well over a thousand Jews have been murdered, and thousands more maimed, going about their offensive occupational day-to-day activities in the streets of Tel Aviv and Netanya and Jerusalem, activities such as sitting on a bus on the way to school, drinking coffee in a café with friends or simply walking down the street taking their three year old to kindergarten. When you hear someone was only seriously injured, you say, "see there are no dead". But seriously injured usually means doing without a limb, or an eye, suffering eternal trauma, or worse, never getting out of bed in the morning, any morning. But you are not a fatality in the annual statistics.
"Yes I drove through Sderot and saw where a little homemade rocket landed in a field." Do me a favour and keep your pathetic sympathy!
How many have been in the Palestinian village when a suicide bomber is sent, with song and sincere thanks to Allah, on his mission? How many have witnessed children chanting "Kill the Jews", training with live arms, practising killing cats and dogs? No Menachem, you're making this all up. How many have read the Qur'an (Koran correctly pronounced by Hussein Obama) where it says that in order to achieve Jihadic aims it is permitted, even mandated, to lie to one's enemies, including signing treaties that you will certainly abrogate? Muhammed himself did this to the Jews of Saudi Arabia who unfortunately had taken him on face value but were later massacred by his forces. In Arab culture there simply is no such concept as absolute truth. (I am sorry if anyone finds this truth to be unpolitically correct, but I offer no apology.)
By bringing their anti-Semitism under the cloak of multiculturalism, the nations of Europe kowtow to their own enemies, not just ours, to the Moslems, who are taking over their very homelands, openly seeking to establish Eurostan or the United Sates of Arabia on their soil. Daily, no-go non-Muslim areas are added to the panorama across western Europe: France, Belgium, Holland . . . .
Today approximately half of the Jewish world lives in Israel and the number is growing, by natural growth and immigration. Conversely, many Jews who consider themselves Israeli, have voluntarily "returned" to the Diaspora. And make no mistake, Diaspora today, except for a handful of the remnants of the Jews in Yemen and Syria, is purely by choice and by choice only (double emphasis intended)!
Why were the Rabbis of old so fearful of living in our times? Did they not understand the prophets? Here is a sampling of the prophesies of the End of Days:
Some of these visions are occurring under our noses. Only some of us see, nay want to see. I won't go into my speculations or predictions on how these things will play out in specific actualities. Maimonides, the Rambam, warned not to waste too much time understanding what will be. We will only know for sure after the events have transpired. But that admonition did not stop him from calculating and attempting to understand how these days will pan out. How much more for us, in these times, who have already witnessed, and do so daily, a partial execution of their words.
The Ibn Ezra seems to be the only classical biblical commentator who does not see Rome (whose mantle in my opinion is the combined hands of the Americans, the Europeans and the Catholic hierarchy) as the fourth of Daniel's world dominating powers. He alone sees the fourth power as Ishmael, with Rome simply being a continuation of Greece in the role of the transmitter of Greek culture to the wider world, the Romans themselves introducing little new to civilisation in terms of philosophy or a new world order.
Ishmael, the world's fourth super-power; the Arabs, who have been conquering the world, under their Jihad ideology, since the inception of Mohammedan Islam in the seventh century. Sure, their successes have had ups and downs. They have held sections of Europe in the past: parts of the Iberian peninsula for nearly five hundred years, and they reached the gates of Vienna in the eighteenth century. Today they number nearly 25% of the world's population and are the fastest growing religion in the world, especially in the West. Their culture not only differs from that of the West with is fast losing sense of morality, but is strongly anti-West. Their tactics may change with the times, but the purpose is fixed, moving towards their sole target of world domination under the caliphate.
Supplementing the parallel prophecies of Zechariah and Ezekiel (Yechezkel), our rabbis tell us that Esau -- Rome/Europe/America/Church -- and Yishmael will join forces in marching on Jerusalem (read Israel). Eventually, following their [re]occupation, they will start to fight with each other. They will fight it out to the bitter end, here in our land.
Only at that point in time will we, the Jewish people, be truly independent of the nations. At that time, the remnants of the nations will come to us to teach them the true way, the way of God the Creator. And at that point, as on the day after the ninth and tenth plagues against Egypt, we will see, in broad daylight, who were the Jews who "made war against Yerushalayim"! And we will see in a very public way, a clear revelation of those in our recent history whom we thought were working for the betterment of the eternal people in its eternal land.
I only wonder whether the deluded Jews, duped by the Western narrative, will return home before, or only after, the passing of these apocalyptic events.
Menachem Kuchar, 26th May, 2011
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