The G-d Of History

The G-d of Jews is the G-d of History. If He is not this, he is nothing. Only a G-d who creates, directs, decrees, shapes and ordains the present and future is worthy of being worshipped, is deserving of being a G-d. Only a people that believes that its G-d called the world and its inhabitants into being and controls and decrees their destiny, has any logical and intellectual reason to worship Him. A world that is haphazard and a destiny that is at the beck and call of finite man is a world that has no G-d. A G-d that has no control and decisive decree over the fate of man is a myth, a plaything conceived by Man, a thing deservedly consigned to the dust bin of antiquity.

The G-d of the Jews is the G-d of History. He
is; He exists; He dominates and controls. He shapes the present and decrees the future. "In the beginning, G-d created the heavens and the earth..." Thus the Torah begins its message to the Jew to let him know that the Jewish G-d exists as a real entity and not some intellectual plaything. He created the past and He controls the present and He wills the future. The Jewish G-d is the G-d of creation, the G-d of History past and future.

Before such a G-d there is fear and awe and in the face of such a G-d another kind of fear disappears. Awesome fear emerges as the Jew stands before Omnipotence and knows that nothing finite and nothing in this world matters in the face of the awesome and unlimited strength of the Divinity. And earthly fear disappears in the knowledge that the Chosen people of this Omnipotence need fear no nation or might or force on this world and that the Jewish Destiny is - guaranteed by the G-d of History.

Yes, there are practical consequences that are to be drawn and there are very real steps that are forced upon us by the reality of the Jewish G-d of History. From the existence of this G-d, from both the awesome fear on the one hand and the certain confidence on the other, emerges an inescapable and imperative path. It is the path of faith and belief. Faith in the Jewish destiny and that if only the Jew remains true to His G-d and his heritage he can never be destroyed or overcome. Belief in the power and will of his G-d to destroy the enemy of the Jews. Faith and belief that all the horses or chariots and all the Jets and nuclear weapons in the world are as nothing before the G-d of History. Faith and belief that the rational and logical and obvious and pragmatic wither away before the power of the Creator and Destroyer, the G-d who shapes and forms, the G-d of History.

And if this faith and belief are to have any real meaning they demand that the Jew live his own
personal life and that the Jewish nation live its national life, according to them. They mean that the individual and the nation make their decisions in the light of their faith in the G-d of History. They mean gazing upon a "real" world that appears to be fraught with danger and that calls for a rational retreat from duty and Jewish obligation, and to deliberately choose the opposite path, of a seeming madness and irrationality, because it alone is the path of fidelity and faithfulness to Jewish values and because G-d will protect those who have faith in Him.

If we
really believe that Abraham followed the path of the fiery furnace and that Nachshon leaped into the sea and that Gideon led 300 soldiers into battle against mighty enemy forces and Isaiah spat in the face of the all-powerful Assyrians, then we have cited the cases of Jews who truly believed and who believed in the only way that belief has any meaning - who, at the moment of truth, risked their lives on the assumption that the G-d of History did indeed exist. It is not enough to be a comfortable practicing Jew. Too many atheists practice a superficial kind of religious observance. We know so many of them. The Jew who believes in G-d until the war in Israel sends him flying back to New York. The Jew who believes in G-d until his son seeks to become part of the dangerous profession of Jewish freedom fighter. The Jew who prays for Zion from 5,000 miles away. All of them are Jews whose prayer shawls cover a body that denies the Jewish G-d of History.

The true believer is the Jew whose values are clear and unpretentious, with knowledge of what is finite and infinite, important and meaningless, permanent and transitory. Who knows what is expected of a Jew and who leaps into the battle to perform as expected, regardless of the odds against him and the pragmatic chances of success. Who walks hand in hand with a real G-d and knows that ultimate success
must be his, because of the Companion beside him. Who knows that it is not the breath of life of the gentile or the finite human that gives us existence and that the only criteria of one's actions must be: Is this the way of Judaism or not? If it is, plunge into action and fling yourself into duty. Success will be yours because the G-d of History is the Jewish G-d. If not, flee from it despite its promises and alluring temptations because you will surely fail, again because the Jewish G-d of History so decrees.

On this fourth day of the war, it is time that we considered this G-d of History carefully and what He implies for us, the Jewish people and for the State of Israel.

The G-d of History, the G-d of the Jewish people, called the world into being for one reason only and that was for the sake of the Jewish people and the Torah of Israel. All that occurs, all the eruptions of wars and catastrophes, the rise and fall of empires, have no meaning except that they affect the fortunes or misfortunes of the Jewish people. The Jewish nation is indeed, the heart of the world and there is no reason for the existence of empires, kings, rulers, masses or systems aside from their reaction to the Jewish people. This is the meaning of the destiny of the Jew and
that destiny is a guaranteed one.

There is a guarantee, a solemn oath, a surety, a divine bond that the Jewish people cannot be ever destroyed but rather that they and their G-d will emerge in days to come triumphant over the evils and the foolishness of all other nations. Zion will and must emerge as the mount to which all peoples will turn and the Jewish L-rd will be the One before Whom all knees bend. Jerusalem must be rebuilt as the throne of the world and the Exile must end with all Jews returning in glory and majesty to their land and a peace based upon acceptance of the kingship of the L-rd.

That final day will come and the beginning of the final era is upon us. The one who doubts this is not a scoffer; he is blind. The rise of the Jewish State from the ashes and dung heap of history; the return of the people scattered and ground into the dust; the reemergence of a language, consigned to the libraries and antiquities of the Vatican and the House of Study; the stranger-than-fiction, miraculous victories over overwhelming enemies thirsting for bloody destruction and holocaust - these are the first steps into the final chapter of Jewish triumph and Heavenly kingdom.

It is incumbent upon us to understand our greatness and believe in it so that we do not cheapen and profane ourselves. We must believe this lest we desecrate ourselves and think that we are like all the nations. We must have faith in this or we will make more errors similar to the one last week when, in fear of finite man and nations, we hesitated to strike first though we knew that the enemy was prepared to smash at us. Hundreds of Jewish youngsters fell because of our failure to recognize our own greatness and our refusal to acknowledge the G-d of History who has determined that the Jewish people will never die. Let this not occur again, this fear of the nations and what the gentiles will say and do. There is nothing that they can do to smite a Jewish nation that believes in the G-d of History.

So let us believe, and let us return to Him. In so doing we will spare ourselves tragedy and losses in battles. For though the ultimate victory is assuredly ours and though the Jewish State can never fall, our failure to return to our heritage and our unwillingness to recognize the Jewish G-d of History, will cause us to suffer deeply and unnecessarily.

Let this not occur. Let us not suffer from a national amnesia that causes us to forget who and what we are. We are the people of G-d; we are the Chosen and ours is the G-d of History. The Egyptians and the Syrians and the Russians, too, feel His heavy hand. Why should we fail to see it and delight in it?

By Rabbi Meir Kahane
October 9, 1973
(Fourth day of the Yom Kippur War)
Hosted by