Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Israel Denial, part 2

Denying the State of Israel's existence has always been the vogue among Muslim and other hostile states. But recently we have begun to witness Israel denial tolerated in the mainstream.

Israel has been omitted from maps by NPR, Harper Collins, BMW and Air France, to name a few. (Links below)

Incredibly, this bizarre phenomenon has been predicted and mapped out (pun intended) nearly three thousand years ago in the Hebrew Scriptures.

Psalms chapter 83 describes a time when the nations will clamor for Israel's destruction. In an uproar, the nations will seek crafty pretexts with which to eliminate G-d's treasured people.

In verse 5, "They will say: 'Come, let us erase them from being a nation, and that the name Israel never be mentioned again.'"

אָמְר֗וּ לְ֭כוּ וְנַכְחִידֵ֣ם מִגּ֑וֹי  וְלֹֽא־יִזָּכֵ֖ר שֵֽׁם־יִשְׂרָאֵ֣ל עֽוֹד׃

In this context, the phrase "ונכחידם מגוי" has been traditionally translated "let us destroy them from being a nation." However, the verb כחד usually denotes to erase, omit, conceal or deny. It can be read, "Let us deny them from being a nation," or "Let us deny their statehood."

Alternatively, it can be read, "Let's hide or ignore the fact that they are a nation," or "Let's omit them from being among the nations," so that "Israel not be mentioned again."

The Midrash points out that the nations are referred to here as "Your enemies," i.e. the enemies of G-d, and that their war on Israel is in fact a war on G-d. "As long as Israel survives," the nations reckon, "He is called 'G-d of Israel.' But once Israel is uprooted, then whose G-d is He?"

The Psalm begins:
1. A Psalm, a song of Asaph.
2. O God, have no silence, do not be silent and do not be still, O God.
(This implies that the world stands by silently as hostile nations raise their heads insolently and call for Israel's destruction, or omission.)
3. For behold, Your enemies uproar, and those who hate You raise their heads.
4. Against Your people they scheme cunningly, and they plot against Your hidden ones  ("ויתיעצו על צפוניך").
Our Sages comment on "Your hidden ones" that just as G-d is a mystery, so is G-d's people a mystery. Indeed, they are "hidden" in "Your" inscrutable mystery.
(See previous discussion of the true definition of Israel)
5. They will say: "Come, let us erase them from being a nation, and that the name Israel never be mentioned again."
The nations' effort to erase Israel is due to the fact that G-d is concealed ("צפוניך"), and consequently the true value of Israel as G-d's people is likewise concealed.

Some commentaries explain that the Psalm refers to the world's hostile attitude toward Israel in the last days of exile prior to the Final Redemption.

It is obvious to me that we are witnessing the unfolding of a three-thousand-year-old Biblical prophecy and the arrival of the Final Redemption.

Let's hope and pray that the end of the chapter be speedily realized:
17. Fill their faces with shame, and they will seek Your countenance, O Lord...
19. Let them know that You-Your name alone is God, Most High over all the earth.
Meanwhile, the surest way to usher the final Redemption is by "putting Israel back on the map" by increasing in Torah and mitzvot, by living up to our lofty name, Israel. By summoning our secret reservoirs of self sacrifice ("צפוניך") to study Torah and observe Mitzvot, we effectively make G-dliness known all over the earth.

And then, even our biggest enemies will come to know the truth.

וְיֵדְעוּ כִּי אַתָּה שִׁמְךָ ה' לְבַדֶּךָ עֶלְיוֹן עַל כָּל הָאָרֶץ


No comments: