Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Return to 67 Borders!

Dear Friends,

In light of recent statements by President Obama, I feel it's necessary to veer from this blog's usual apolitical stance and share my thoughts on the matter:

Personally, I am in complete agreement with the president's audacious remark. I too earnestly believe that Israel needs to return to her pre-67 borders.

In fact, therein lies the solution to all of Israel's problems, and, in fact, all the world's problems. Return to the pre-67 borders will unquestionably bring peace to the Middle East and to the entire world. It will effectively end the plights of all displaced exiles and refugees, thereby alleviating their suffering, compensating them for their millenia of yearning and eons of wandering. Indeed, it will right all historical wrongs and establish a new world order.

That's right, my friends. All this can be accomplished, if only Israel is willing to return to her pre-67 borders.

Yes, Israel needs to return to the borders of before 67 CE, the year Vespasian embarked on his military campaign to conquer and lay waste to the land of Israel and ultimately destroyed the Holy Temple (in 68 CE).

What were the pre-67 CE borders, you ask?

Well, for one, these borders contained areas most vital to Israel's security and defense (e.g. Golan, Gaza, West and East Banks, part of the Sinai, etc.). Moreover, they contained the heartland of Biblical Israel, including Judea, Samaria, and even Transjordania.

In 67 CE, there was no "Palestine," but only Israel, land of the Jews. No "Aelia Capitolina." No "East" and "West," but only one united Jerusalem.

But that's not the main point.

The greatest thing about year 67 CE and prior is the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.

What we need is a return to pre-67. We need to rebuild the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. And we need to do it right away!

The Third Holy Temple in Jerusalem will surely establish peace on earth and usher in the Messianic Era. It will end all violence, terror and injustice. "They shall neither harm nor destroy on all My holy mount, for the land shall be filled with the knowledge of G-d as the waters covers the sea bed." (Isaiah 25:9)

Obama was right! (Sort of. He was just 1900 years off. At least he had the last two digits right)

The expression "Israel needs to return to her... borders" is great too. It recalls the poignant words of Jeremiah (31:14) "A voice is heard upon high, bitter sobs...(Matriarch) Rachel cries for her children, she will not be comforted… (Says G-d) "Withhold your voice from crying and your eyes from tearing, for there is a reward for your actions… and your children will return to their border."

Fellow Israelites! Listen to our president. He is telling us to "return to our border" as prophesied in Jeremiah. It's high time to return to our roots. Let's bring Moshiach and "return to our border" once and for all!

Actually, the more I think about it, the 67 CE borders are not enough. What we really need is a return to the 67 BCE borders, back to the time that there was true Jewish sovereignty and independence from foreign domination, shortly before Pompeii invaded Jerusalem (during the civil war of the two Hasmonean brothers, Aritobulus and Hyrcanus, thereby commencing a long and painful period of Roman occupation). Now that would truly be something. Imagine an Israel free of foreign interference or prejudice. No UN bias, boycotts, or unfair pressure from US presidents. No foreign power telling Israel how or how not to protect her citizens.

Upon further reflection, I must now conclude that the pre-67 BCE borders are not enough either. What we really need is a return to the pre-567 BCE borders, before the ten northern tribes of Israel were exiled (in circa 556 BCE). Now here's a pre-'67 borders that would really solve our problems. Not only would it restore the territorial integrity of Israel, it would finally achieve true unity to the People of Israel by bringing back all lost and straggling Jews from all over the globe. The long-awaited ingathering of the exiles!

In fact, I must finally admit that I am not in agreement with Obama after all. What we need most of all right now is not a "return" to anything. We need to move forward, not backward.

The borders and conditions of 67 CE, 67 BCE, or even 567 BCE, etc., are not enough. No sir!

The Third Temple with be infinitely greater than its two predecessors, and the Third Commonwealth of the Messianic Era will be vastly and incomparably superior to anything we've ever seen in history. So no, we should not be returning or turning back the pages of history. Instead, it's time to move forward and achieve our destiny.

For then, and only then, mankind will achieve its destiny as well. All of humanity will turn to G-d together as one. No longer will there be war or intolerance, hatred or competition, disease or poverty. The occupation of the entire world will be to know G-d to the fullest of human potential.

Unlike some other deviant belief systems, the true coming of Moshiach doesn't involve any foreboding Armageddons, warlike Mahdis, or worlds coming to their end on Saturday at 4pm. Nor does it necessitate any cataclysmic tornadoes, tsunamis, earthquakes or nuclear fallout. Moshiach's coming is something that everyone can look forward to.

In fact, after the Redemption, there will no longer be any need for borders. "The Land of Israel is destined to spread over the entire world, and Jerusalem is destined to spread throughout all the Land of Israel." (Yalkut Shimoni)

Forget about 67 borders, or even defensible borders. We need an Israel with no borders.

Don't mean to border on sounding utopian or out of touch with reality. Quite the contrary. Realistically speaking, it seems painfully self-evident that the only better and safer option to Israel's current post-'67 borders is expanded borders. And the best and safest option is the Messianic description of no borders at all. A borderless Israel!

(Parenthetically, if you honestly believe that Israel sharing a border with a hostile, so-called "Palestinian" State is a solution, even a temporary one, then you are the borderline delusional. Maybe within the borders of your quixotic dreamworld, but not in the real world. In either case, this short-sighted viewpoint articulated by our president is alas more unrealistically utopian and dream-like than anything Isaiah, Jeremiah or the Yalkut Shimoni ever conceived of.)

If you truly wish to solve the Mideast crisis, and thereby solve all mankind's crises, personal, communal and global, for once and for all, let's discuss the only truly viable and lasting solution, the true and complete Geulah (Redemption).

So it's not about returning to borders, but about advancing and expanding our horizons to usher in a new era of Redemption.

So let's rephrase the president's ill-advised statement:

"Israel needs to advance to her destiny that will infinitely expand her borders and shine her light to the whole world."


Anonymous said...


Yocheved Golani said...

Where in Israel do you reside? Are we neighbors?

Rabbi Michoel Green said...

Halevai. I currently reside in Massachusetts.
לבי במזרח ואני בתוך מערב

Anonymous said...

I never thought I would agree with this option.