06 May 2012

Why is Zionism Dying - Why Must it Die? Why is This Good for the People of Israel?

י'ד באייר, התשע''ב
6 May, 2012

Copyright © R. Kossover, 2012
 Published Originally as a Note on Facebook

     I have often asserted that Zionism is a dying movement - that it needs to move out of the way for the next stage of the evolution of the Hebrew People, of the People of Israel - Full Redemption.  Full Redemption involves not merely the "coming of the messiah"; it involves the full re-uniting of the People of Israel, of all of its Tribes, here and in Afghanistan and Pakistan as well.  It involves an immense upheaval; Jews will need to take a hard look at who they are, and what they have asserted over the last century and a half since the development of the "Self Emancipation Movement" that evolved into Zionism in the late 1800's, when Jews in England learned of the term Calvinists had appended to the concept of "return to the Land" that they had discovered, while studying our Tana"kh some 350 years ago.  It is these Calvinist theologians who had invented the word "Zionism".  This fact is rarely mentioned, if mentioned at all by the big shots at the World Zionist Organization.  This fact is not part of the curriculum of Israel high schools.  This is not to say that return to the Land by the Children of Israel - whether you call them b'nei yisraél or báni israíl  (which is what our Pashtun Hebrew brethern call themselves) - is a Calvinist concept.  Only a fool would make that assertion.  This is to emphasize, however, that the name of this movement came from Calvinist theologians.  Let us give credit where credit is due.  In addition, our Pashtun brothers will have to take a very hard look at who they are.  Assumptions they have made for 14 centuries will need to be re-examined.

     Let us also be clear on this point.  Zionism has not been a "wrong" movement.  It has been a necessary movement, and it has been a stunning success.   It has been the vehicle that has brought about a re-assertion of Jewish sovereignty over the Land of Israel; and the blessing of Jacob (Israel) to Judah was that the sceptre would belong in the hand of Judah. The sceptre of rule is in the proper hands now - and it will remain in the proper hands, from now through eternity - unless the G-d of Israel, the Creator of the Universe, decides otherwise.  In addition to being the vehicle of the re-assertion of Jewish sovereignty over this Land, Zionism has been the vehicle for raising the standard of living of all who live here.  The creation of the Zionist Movement, the State of Israel, is the economic engine of the Middle East, and its successor state will be the economic leader of the world, guiding the tiqqún ha'olám (recovery of the planet) that is so terribly necessary, and which will finally begin to occur in the Days of Full Redemption.

     So why must Zionizm die?  And more to the point, why is this good for the People of Israel?

     To begin to comprehend why, we need to look at events that took place 11½ years ago in Northern Samaria, when at Rosh haShana 5761, during the year 2000, the IDF abandoned a school near the Tomb of Joseph south of Sh'khém, yeshivát od yoséf Hai, abandoning also a Druze soldier who died when terrorists attacked it.  The soldier was named Madhat Yussuf.  Rabbi Herling, z"l, hy"d, head of the kollél birkát yoséf, was also killed about then  - from the "Joseph Lookout Point".  

     Rav Yossi Baumol, of Ateret Kohanim, wrote about this in a shi'úr parshát hashavúa, a lesson on the weekly reading of the Torah, parshát vayigásh.  It is reproduced in full below.  However, let it be clear that the copyright belongs to 'Ateret Kohanim.  I have highlighted certain portions of this essay - for they are crucial in understanding why it is that Zionism is dying, and more importantly, why it must die.   
Copyright © 1997, Ateret Cohanim - All Rights Reserved

"Ode Yosef Chai!" by Yossi Baumol

     In this week's Parsha, VaYigash, we read the moving story of there-unification of the Tribes of Israel, the "return" of Yosef to his family.Our Rabbis tell us "The Acts of our Fathers are a Sign for the Sons." The story of Yosef and what Yosef represents has a deepermeaning.

     Is it just a coincidence that the present conflict began with theRosh HaShana attack on Yeshivat Ode "Yosef" Chai at Kever "Yosef", that Madhat "Yusuf" was killed there, that Rabbi Herling the Head of the Kollel Birkat "Yosef" was killed at the "Yosef" Lookout Point?

     In both the writings of Rav Kook and the Vilna Gaon, "Yosef"represents the force of physical redemption. Just as Pessach precedes Shavuot, the future redemption is almost always described in theTanach in two stages - first the physical redemption of the land and the people and afterwards "A new heart and a new spirit" will infuse the people. In older sources these forces are referred to as Mashiach Ben Yosef and Mashiach ben David. This, by the way, is the reason the Sefardic/Chassidic order of "Ushpizin" on Succot puts Yosef immediately preceding David (Hoshana Raba).

     The Midrash indicates that Mashiach ben Yosef will be killed in Milchemet Gog U'magog and then Mashiach Ben David will take over. The Vilna Gaon claimed that this was not inevitable, that Mashiach BenYosef did not have to die, but rather his death might be replaced by a series of painful events and crises. The Gra taught his disciples tosay a special daily prayer for the welfare of Mashiach ben Yosef and also taught them that the suffering of Mashiach Ben Yosef could be mitigated by taking an active part in the physical redemption - in planting, settling, rebuilding Jerusalem, etc.

     The actual movement that took on Mashiach Ben Yosef's work ofphysical redemption is Zionism.  A century before the advent of Zionism, the Vilna Gaon pointed out that "Yosef" and "Zion" have the same Gematria - 156. This served to reveal many aspects of the redemption. For example, his disciples quoted his prediction that manyJews would not grant recognition to the validity of the physical redemption, as it says in the Torah that: "His brothers did not recognize Yosef".

     The argument as to whether Mashaich ben Yosef will die is the symbolic backdrop to the rift between the Chareidim and the Religious Zionists. The Religious Zionists believe that the Zionist movement or at least its political manifestation - the State of Israel - will evolve into the Messianic State. The Chareidim believe that there is no connection between the physical ingathering of Jews to Israel and the Messianic State.

     The truth is, though, that Zionism almost died - we call this phenomenon "Post-Zionism". The events of the recent weeks have pushed the most hard-bitten Post-Zionists into a corner - the rest of the nation seems to be shaking off the shackles of Post-Zionism.

     This is how both the advent of Post Zionism, as well as its demise, was predicted by Rav Kook in "Orot" over 70 years ago: "We have a tradition that a spiritual rebellion against Eretz Yisrael and Yisrael will take place during the initial stage of the nation's rebirth. The material bliss which will come to a part of the nation who think that they have achieved all their goals, will shrink the soul and will bring on a time lacking in motivation. The aspiration to lofty, holy ideals will cease, resulting in the descent and sinking of the spirit. This will be followed by a veritable whirlwind whichwill turn everything upside-down. Only then will it become apparent to all, beyond a doubt, that the source of Israel's strength is the Eternal Holy One, His Light, and His Torah."

     According to the Midrash, the original Yosef was released from prison on Rosh HaShana. This Rosh Hashana , Post Zionism was dealt a fatal blow and the Zionist Movement was dealt a reprieve. The burning of Kever Yosef is one of those painful crises which come in place of the death of Mashiach ben Yosef.

     "Yosef" still has a crucial role to play. Our Rabbis tell us that the passage: "And the House of Joseph will be a fire, and the house of Esau will be straw" means that the Guardian Angel of Esau can bedefeated only by Yosef. This too is the meaning of Yosef's blessing in Parshat "Zot HaBracha": "Bechor Shoro Hadar Lo, v'karnei re'em karnav bahem amim yenagach." - The symbol of Yosef - a bull - will gore the nations.  Let us take courage from the fact that Ode Yosef Chai - Am Yisrael Chai. May the painful passage from "Yosef" to"David" bring us a minimum of suffering and may we merit the re-uniting of "Etz Yosef V'Etz Yehuda.

     It's worth taking a careful look at the highlighted portions.  The first highlighted paragraph explains the concept of messianism as it developed in the Jewish faith.  We have not one messiah, but two.  One brings about a physical redemption - people coming home, settling farms, cities, factories, etc.  The second brings about a spiritual redemption - another way of saying a change in human nature.  

     The next two paragraphs explain what Zionism really is - the "messiah, son of Joseph", the first messiah, the messiah of physical redemption.   During the decade of the 1990's those Israeli traitors who viewed Zionism as evil, the black hats of history, ruled here, pushing materialism and a false solution of "two states for two peoples", where  the heartland of the country, Judea and Samaria, would be torn out and handed to a terrorist régime, all with the backing and blessing of the United States of America and the European Union. These were the "Post-Zionists" referred to in Rav Baumol's essay.  We continue to see their evil influence today in groups like "Peace Now", "Yesh G'vul", ICAHD and other traitorous groups of Israelis who are supposed to take the fall when the government does evil in the Eyes of G-d, by destroying the Jewish settlement effort in the land.

     Were it not for the fact that the terrorists who hate us in this land always bring us back to their own hatred of us with their thirst for our blood, with murders, stabbings, and a bombardment of missiles, we should have handed over all sorts of strategic territory to an enemy that our régime - the Zionist Régime - erected in the first place.  But we cannot turn our eyes from the fact that it is the Zionist Régime doing evil.  THEY erected the Palestinian Authority; THEY evacuated South Lebanon in 2000; THEY refused to clamp down with an iron fist on Arafat's Initifada; THEY allowed the rape of the Church of the Sepulchre; THEY ruined the lives of 10,000 law-biding Israelis with the expulsion and destruction of Gush Qatif in 2005.  THEIR High Court of Injustice continues on this path of evil, and THEIR security and police enforce the evil deeds of this High Court of Injustice.  

     And it is WE who have had to face the consequences of their evil; over 1,500 Israelis killed in terror attacks, a war in the north in 2006, a war in Gaza in 2008, the continuing bombardment of our towns by the terrorists in Gaza, and now the sending of additional troops to the border.  WE face 200,000 enemy missiles that can destroy this nation due to the evil of the Zionist Régime.

     In the fraying moral fabric of this nation, WE see the predictions of Rav Kook, z"l, in his work, "Orot".  Let me repeat what Rav Baumol wrote above to drive the point home.    

     "We have a tradition that a spiritual rebellion against Eretz Yisrael and Yisrael will take place during the initial stage of the nation's rebirth. The material bliss which will come to a part of the nation who think that they have achieved all their goals, will shrink the soul and will bring on a time lacking in motivation. The aspiration to lofty, holy ideals will cease, resulting in the descent and sinking of the spirit. This will be followed by a veritable whirlwind whichwill turn everything upside-down. Only then will it become apparent to all, beyond a doubt, that the source of Israel's strength is the Eternal Holy One, His Light, and His Torah."

     While Rav Kook was not a prophet himself, in 1930, he quoted a tradition which foresaw the future with scary accuracy.

     Zionism has to die because it is involved with physicality - with what our sages call gashmiút - materialism.  Take a trip to Tel Aviv or turn on Israeli TV and you will get the point very very quickly.  Chasing money, status, sex and entertainment does not bring you any sense of spirituality at all.  Violating the Sabbath and advertising oneself for sex does not change your nature at all; and Redemption will be a change in human nature.  But in the Zionist State, gashmiút  - materialism - is what it's all about; it's all cool.  So, the gashmiút, the materialism of the Zionist State, only brings down the Jew spiritually, and brings him further from and not closer to Redemption.

     But there is more.

     Ezekiel, in Chapter 37 of the his Book in the Tana"kh presents two distinct visions.  The first vision is the vision of the bones brought to life.  This is the vision made famous in the Negro spiritual singing about how "the thighbone connected to the kneebone, the kneebone connected to..." etc.  One can see in this the Holocaust of the Nazis, and the rebirth of the Jewish entity in our Land with soldiers who had been concentration camp inmates only 3 years earlier, fighting in the National Military Organization, the haganá territorial defense force of the kibbutzím, the  plugát maHátz, the night fighters and shock troops trained by the late and blessed Orde Wingate, the Fighters' Organization of Yaír Stern, and later the successor to all of these, the Israel Defense Force - in short, an abbreviated view of Zionism and the rise of the State.  The second vision in this chapter of the Book of Ezekiel, which is yet to occur, and which is just beginning to occur now, is the vision of the stick (tree) with the name "Ephraim" written on it; and the stick (tree) with the name "Judah" written on it - and that G-d has Ezekiel bring the two sticks together to create ONE stick - with ISRAEL written on it.  This vision is the vision of the reunification of the all the Tribes under one king and one law.

     The trouble with being a believer is that you have to believe.  And I believe in the Prophecies of the Tana"kh.  This vision is the future.  There are many more Children of Israel than the 15 million Jews who inhabit the planet.  There are the 30 million Pashtuns as well.  To hold them all, the future Kingdom of Israel will have to much bigger than the territory stretching from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River.  And it will be.   

     And it is for this reason that all these assertions that "I'm a Zionist and proud of it" are ultimately self-defeating.  Jews have to look at who they are, and take a very hard look.  We are the descendants of the Southern Tribes of Israel.  Zionism is a club only Jews can join as full participants.  The Zionist State cannot fathom the idea that while all Jews are Hebrews, not all Hebrews are Jews.  And saying, "I'm a Zionist and proud of it" means leaving out our Pashtun brethren - who never were Jews - even when they were the northern Tribes of this nation almost 3 millennia ago - and never will be Jews.   But we are ALL Hebrews - ALL sons of ISRAEL - and ultimately this entire land - and more - will belong to the sons and daughters of  ISRAEL.  

     Will our Pashtun brethren remain Muslims?  I do not think so.  They are the Children of Joseph, and ultimately, they will return home.  They will return home first to the Pakhtunwalí, and then to the Torah.  And they will return home to fight the sons of Eisav - the Americans and the Europeans.  They, the Children of Joseph, have already gored the British, the Russians and the Americans in the land they now call home.  The bull of Yosef has already gored Eisav.  He will continue to gore Eisav.  The questions are -  "Will Judah recognize Joseph as his brother?" and "Will Joseph recognize Judah as his brother?"  I believe the answers to both questions are "yes".  Whether this happens before or after the messiah arrives is not for me to say.  But Zionism will have to die for this to happen.  And all the sons and daughters of Israel will need to look hard and long at each other with eyes of understanding to bring about the true unity of our nation.

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The Bubbie of Ma’ale Levona and her Brownies


י'ב באייר התשע''ב

4 May, 2012
Copyright © R. Kossover, 2012
 Published originally as a Note on Facebook

            Ma’ale Levona is a small village at the summit of Levona in Samaria off of Highway 60, a few kilometers west of Sinjel and Jiljiliya.

            When the Ernst family moved to Ma’ale Levona in August 2000, they didn’t realize what they were getting into.  They didn’t understand terms like "Green Line", Kav Tefer (the "Seam Line") or the nature of how Jews and non-Jews got along – or rather didn’t get along – with each other.  Truth is, Jews and non-Jews deemed to get along rather well - until the First Intifada over 20 years ago.  That's how it seems to veterans living here in the village.  

    I guess I forgot to mention.  We also live in Ma'ale Levona.  But we haven't lived here for 20 years or so.

            A day or two before Rosh Hashanah that year, Ariel Sharon took his “stroll” on the Temple Mount, an event used by the PA to spark off rock throwing incidents, shootings and bombings, - all of which became known as the Second Intifada.  On Rosh Hashanah, the village rabbi, Ya’ir Shahor, appeared on the bima in the synagogue in full uniform, complete with gun, to conduct prayers.  Our neighbor, who was not yet the Bubbie of Ma’ale Levona, was in total and absolute shock.

            A few days later, several squads of regular army soldiers appeared in the village – doing nightly patrol, sitting at the gate guarding, and surveying the neighboring non-Jewish villages, like Sharkiya al-Luban, and patrol roads that surround the village.  This was when Aviva Ernst called her baking skills into play, baking pan after pan of brownies for the soldiers, usually 8 or 9 pans daily and more on Fridays, for one is forbidden to bake on the Sabbath.

            According to Aviva, this went on for months and months, as Ma’ale Levona is in the midst of Gush Shilo, where many shootings and rock throwing incidents took place during the height of the Second Intifada.  Many residents were injured, some severely, from these incidents.  Her husband, Yitzhak, would go into Jerusalem and buy SOG brand multi-tools and pairs of army socks, which he would give as gifts to soldiers guarding the village.  He bought so many of these multi-tools that he eventually became known in Jerusalem as “Saba Sog”, - or “Grandpa SOG”.  Aviva, the baker of brownies, gradually became known as the Bubbie, the grandma, of Ma’ale Levona.  Doing guard duty became a pleasure because Aviva makes good brownies; she saw to it that those sitting in the guard’s shack on the road into the village were always supplied.  And thank G-d, there were no infiltrations of the village, which is hard to get into, the way it is located on the Summit of Levona

            Eventually, the Intifada subsided and bit by bit, the soldiers have been withdrawn, and Aviva’s brownies became gifts to neighbors, and Yitzhak’s multi-tools and army socks, gifts to new soldiers like my son.  But her brownies are still delicious, and now the Bubbie of Ma’ale Levona makes baby- blanket after baby-blanket for the many Jewish babies born around here and all over the world.  In fact, just yesterday, Saba Sog sent a couple off to London.  As for me, I'm waiting to be a grandpa myself one day - then the Bubbie of Ma'ale Levona can make a baby blanket for our grandkid...

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