Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Should Anyone Care?

Elliot Resnick writes for The Jewish Press blog:

Does anyone think that Israel's situation will actually be better rather than worse ten years from now? Twenty years from now?

Does anyone believe that Israel won't cede more land to its mortal enemy?

Does anyone believe that Israel will ever protect its citizens from kassam rockets?

Does anyone doubt that the Arabs will be launching more, not fewer, rockets in the ensuing decade?

Does any of this matter?

Perhaps Judaism only requires one to study Torah and perform mitzvos.

Perhaps controlling the land of Israel is a nice amenity but certainly not a necessity.

Or perhaps living as a sovereign people in one's own land is of supreme religious and historical value if one can do so in a peaceful manner. Shedding blood, however, for such a venture is simply not worth it.

Or rather, bleeding for the land is fine. Making others bleed is the problem. And if we Jews bleed to death.... well, so is the price of living in the Holy Land.

Perhaps some Jews would run the country differently if they were in charge, but since they're not in charge, bleeding on the cross of national suicide would then constitute morality of the highest order.

But why am I going on? Does any of this really matter? Does it? Isn't Hashem truly in charge, and isn't whatever He wills going to happen anyways? So why bother getting angry, depressed, excited, active, revolutionary? Why?

Glory is for previous ages. An age like that of the Maccabees. An age of the "give me liberty or give me death" American revolutionaries.

Our age is one in which we wait for the hand of God. When He decides to redeem us, then we will be redeemed and sing His holy praises. And until then, we will cry, we will pray, we will perform mitzvos.

God wants nothing from us except to bleed on the altar of passivity. Proud, jingoistic patriotism is for non-Jews. Especially non-Jewish is patriotism translated into action.

Jews are international and spiritual. We don't need a land. We certainly don't need to fight for it. And certainly not when fighting for it requires sacrifices of a degree that many of us have not even begun to conceive of.