Unreported News, Commentary, Resources and Discussion of Bible Prophecy
OBXBob wrote:Thanks Abiding! This is very helpful! I was thinking that present-day Israel only had a fraction of the land that they once did.
OBXBob wrote:So Laz,
Do you think the Jewish people have any right to the land known as Israel today?
Today we have Orthodox Judaism, Conservative Judaism, Reform Judaism, Reconstructionist Judaism, Humanist Judaism and who knows what else. The only point on which all these versions of Judaism agree so far as I am aware is that it is a good idea to celebrate the Jewish holidays. Humanist Judaism regards the concept of God as unnecessary, while Reconstructionist Judaism treats it as a metaphor for something or other. Conservative Judaism is generally supportive of the nation of Israel, while most of the other versions tend to the critical side. Orthodox Judaism equates virtue with performance of the mitzvot, while most of the others equate it with conformity to some kind of philosophic or ethical ideal.
In short, defining Judaism based on the doctrines of the Judaists is a hopeless task. I would propose a different method, which is to define Judaism based on the religion of the Jews.
Anyone who has studied this religion in any depth can have no doubt as to what it was all about. It was about the expectation that if the Jews performed the mitzvot correctly, the Messiah would come and restore the Jews to the land of their birth. This was the faith which sustained the Jewish people during the long centuries of exile, segregation and persecution. If there was a difference among Jews, it was between those who passively awaited the coming of the Messiah and those who sought to "force the end" by actions intended to bring about the ingathering of the exiles even without divine intervention.
From the 13th century onwards, those who sought to "force the end" were identified with the teachings of Kabbalah. And central to Kabbalah was a text known as the "Zohar", which taught that only in the land of Israel could the religion of the Jews reach its full stature. Starting in the late 15th century in connection with the expulsion from Spain and Portugal and the rise of the Ottoman empire, literally tens of thousands of Kabbalists, most of them Sephardim, did in fact settle in the land of Israel in the "four holy cities" of Jerusalem, Safed, Tiberias and Hebron. These Kabbalists were Zionists in all but name, and their Zionism was a direct expression of the religion of the Jews as they understood it.
However, the Zionist movement which actually succeeded in bringing about the ingathering of the exiles and the establishment of a Jewish state in the land of Israel was predominantly secular in character. Why was this? It was because the religious Zionists could not free themselves from the belief in miracles. The Kabbalists who settled in the land of Israel continuerd to await the coming of the Messiah once they were there. They failed to develop a realistic program for cultivating the land or defending themselves against Arab aggression because they expected God and the Messiah to solve these problems for them.
The only form of Zionism that could actually succeed was one which had entirely abandoned the expectation of miracles and relied solely on its own strength and capabilities. But the goals of the secular Zionists were at heart no different from those of the religious Zionists. Those goals were to create a Jewish state and society in the land of Israel that would serve both to rehabilitate the Jewish people and act as a light unto the nations. This was the program of the "Zohar" no less than it was the program of Ben Gurion, and Ben Gurion repeatedly described this program as "Messianic" in his writings and speeches.
Orthodox Judaism today also claims to perpetuate the Messianic tradition, but this claim has become highly suspect. Most Hasidim, who constitute the dominant element among Orthodox Jews today, regard the state of Israel as an illegitimate entity precisely because it was not brought into being by miracles. They say that they are still awaiting the coming of the Messiah and in the meanwhile claim to owe no real allegiance to the state of Israel. In short, their Messianism has no practical result, while the secular Messianism which did have a practical result they scorn and disdain.
Most of the other Judaists have explicitly repudiated the Messianic tradition. In particular, Reform Judaism, Reconstructionist Judaism and Humanist Judaism all say that they do not believe in the coming of the Messiah and do not regard the birth of the state of Israel as the culmination of Jewish history. They say that the true mission of the Jews is to spread some kind of vague philosophic ideal of goodness and mercy around the world. This doctrine does not have much in common with the religion of the Jews from which secular Zionism emerged. It must be Judaism, since they call it that, but it is a Judaism which faces an uncertain future since it does not greatly differ from many other religious and philosophic teachings.
"Most Hasidim, who constitute the dominant element among Orthodox Jews today, regard the state of Israel as an illegitimate entity precisely because it was not brought into being by miracles."
Salty Skipper wrote:Perhaps the Zionists and Hasidim will both win? We know that Israel will not succeed on their own...only when they turn to Jesus and He comes back to rule from His throne in Jerusalem.
OBXBob wrote:Hello Laz,
Thanks for the reply.
You wrote:"Most Hasidim, who constitute the dominant element among Orthodox Jews today, regard the state of Israel as an illegitimate entity precisely because it was not brought into being by miracles."
I totally disagree with this statement that was in the source you quoted.
Here are but a few verses that were prophecies about Israel becoming a nation again...fulfilled in 1948.
Keep in mind when reading some of these verses about how lush the nation of Israel will be that this area was basically a barren wasteland before Israel became a nation again. Today, Israel is the world's 4th largest producer of fruit.
Abiding in His Word wrote:Lazarus43 wrote:Who am I to disagree with most Hasidim?
Maybe a Christian who believes the Word of God?
The chapters Bob quoted in Ezekiel pretty much spell it out clearly, wouldn't you say?
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