Listen World

Listen world, listen very carefully. I am a Jew, a Zionist. And it is time you understood, clearly, what the State of Israel is and the meaning of the era in which we live.

Jewish tradition sees the redemption of the Jew as coming in one of two ways. If the Jew merits his redemption through his return to G-d and a yearning to fulfill his role as a holy people, the Chosen of the L-rd, then the redemption can come at any moment. But even if there is no repentance and even if the Jew remains estranged from his Father in Heaven, the redemption will come; it must come. Such are the mercies of a Father for a son, though he angers Him and corrupts himself.

Out of the ashes of a Holocaust that seared the flesh of the nation and burned out of its midst one in every three, from the trash heap of history, arose the Third Jewish Commonwealth. Even as the gas chambers still gave off their terrible odors and the ovens were yet warm and the living skeletons with the numbers tattooed on their arms gazed numbly about them, the redemption was beginning:
"Comfort ye, comfort ye, my people," says the prophet, and the rabbis place the word in the mouth of the Almighty and have Him say: "Comfort Me, comfort Me, My people..." Comfort Me for having to watch as the stubbornness and rebellion of My children must be punished, but comfort Me because from the whip of chastisement will come the redemption. And so it has. We live in momentous times, in an historical point that reaches out to us and offers us greatness. We no longer stand on the threshold of the Messianic era, we have taken our first steps into it. Those who disagree are not skeptics, they are blind; they are not scoffers, but foolishly ignorant people.

The end of the great era of man's wandering and stumbling through life in search of meaning and truth is drawing to a close and the drama of Jewish history with its crescendos of persecution and heroism, its drama and pathos, its kaleidoscopic wandering and journeying, is coming to an end. How can one not see that which confronts his very senses, which seizes him and demands to be heard and understood?

The massive Holocaust that thundered down upon the Jewish people and which, within the briefest of moments, undid the work and creation of centuries - carrying away the best and the finest of our people - is hardly an accident of history.

The inexplicable return of a people from 2,000 years and a hundred nations of wandering and bitter persecution; the revival of a language dead for longer than others, where revival has been attempted and succeeded so that today children play in it and physicists create upon it, is not really inexplicable.

The majestic and soaring rise of Jewish resistance and force of arms; the explosion of the Jewish National Liberation Movement in the form of the Irgun Zvai Leumi, the Fighters for the Freedom of Israel and the Haganah; the shattering of the myth of the Jew as one whose blood is cheap and whose life is the gentile's for the taking; the creation, from the ash heap of history, of the Third Jewish Commonwealth, the State of Israel, is surely not a natural occurrence.

The astounding and massive ingathering of the exiles from the North, South, East and West; the return of the Children of Israel from the far reaches of Yemen and the laboratories of London; the Second Exodus of the people of Israel from the Land of Muskovy - all part of the Redemption that is ordained and in full force today.

The hysterical and historical, wildly wonderful and dreamy victory of six days in June; the flight of the enemies of the Jew before the legions of the Hebrew people; the affirmation of the biblical trumpet:
"And thou shalt pursue thine enemy and they shall fall before your sword. And five of you shall pursue one hundred and a hundred of you ten thousand  shall you pursue, and thine enemies shall fall before your sword..."; the return to ancient Eretz Israel, the paratroopers who clutched with their fingernails, deeply, into the Wall and the others who ran past the evil seventh barrier step into the Cave of Machpela and those who prostrated themselves upon the grave of Rachel, our mother; the echo of the One who pledged: "Every place that your heel shall tread I will give to you..."

Israel is not a state; it is a Decree. Israel is not a land; it is a concept. We have returned not because of Socialism or pioneers or the army - though all these will gain their place in the history of the people for their self-sacrifice and readiness to do what others were not prepared to do. We have returned because the Almighty peered at the clock of history that was being wound by the suffering of His children and decided: It is time.

It is time because the rise of the State of Israel - the rebirth of Zion - is the Sanctification of the Name of the L-rd, G-d of Israel.

By Rabbi Meir Kahane
Listen World, Listen Jew
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