22 August 2013
Failed idea or one before it's time?
16 Elul 5773
Just prior to this post, I quoted from an article by Michael Fuah of Manhigut Yehudit. It raises some very interesting and some very critical points, I think. The main gist of it, as I understand it, is that it is already too late to prevent further land withdrawals; therefore, in order to stop the suicidal retreat to the sea, we need to bring the battle to Jerusalem - force them to deal with the ultimate deal-breaker - JERUSALEM.
...On the diplomatic front, we must stop our attempts at halting the process; they are always too late. Instead, Jerusalem and the Temple Mount must be at the forefront of our struggle. They are the cornerstone of every negotiation process. The last few months have seen a secret, creeping transfer of sovereignty on the Temple Mount to Jordan, despite the fact that it is against the law. The PM is attempting to circumvent the question of Jerusalem in general, and the Temple Mount, in particular, by dividing Jerusalem and giving up sovereignty on the Mount in practice. His goal is to reach an all-inclusive agreement in which these issues will already have been determined by the facts on the ground. The agreements will simply reflect the situation and will not require any additional retreats.
An uncompromising public struggle on Jerusalem, led by the National Camp, can do more than ameliorate the dangers of the negotiations. It can restore the State of Israel to its sense of justice and improve its international standing. Today’s situation, in which the State’s basic laws are being trampled upon in the very place that is the bedrock of our existence – is untenable.
We need thousands of Jews to ascend the Temple Mount and demand freedom of movement and worship. Not only will this change the situation on the Mount; it will change our entire diplomatic situation. Ministers and MKs must uncompromisingly demand the sovereignty of the Knesset on the Temple Mount. They will dictate a new agenda that Abu Mazen will not be able to sustain.
Initially, we will be portrayed as crazies attempting to ignite World War III. But if we persevere, those threats will dissipate, just as all the states surrounding us are melting away. Our connection to our historical destiny, to build a center for prayer and sanctity in the holiest place on earth will restore the legitimacy and international recognition that we are rapidly losing since we declared that we are robbers and conquerors.
I hope and pray that this time, there will be enough community activists in the National Camp who will rise to the moment and will act with a broad perception of the situation. We need people who are motivated by a sense of mission and leadership. We owe it to ourselves, to our children and to the historical mission now on our shoulders.
This reminds me very much of a project which I conceived and promoted through website, blog, flyers and radio interview in the months before Pesach 5765 (2005). Basically this was my thinking before the expulsion of Gush Katif communities - that we must force them to go straight to the core of the problem and not allow them to lop off pieces bit by bit until this was all that was left. We would be too weakened by the constant bleeding to fight them by that time. I called it the Jerusalem Mandate. This was the vision...
THE VISION OF JERUSALEM MANDATE
What is the Jerusalem Mandate? It is first and foremost a global call to Jews everywhere to come up to Jerusalem this year to celebrate the Passover. It is entirely possible that those who respond to this call could become witnesses to an act of redemption unrivaled since the splitting of the Red Sea.
The Jerusalem Mandate is on one level a people's referendum on the mass expulsion of Jews from the Gaza District, and at another level, it is the ultimate peace plan for Israel. If we can make peace with our obligations as the people of G-D, this will ultimately bring peace to the world.
Stopping Sharon's "disengagement" program is our task of the day, but whether we succeed or not, know that in its wake will come something even worse unless we begin now to address the source of our difficulties.
Until now, we have been operating in reactive mode---treating the symptoms as they arise while ignoring the underlying cause. The Jerusalem Mandate attempts to accurately portray the problem; define the cause; propose a solution and offer a viable plan for its implementation.
At the end of Parshat Vayeilech (Devarim 31:29), Moshe Rabbeinu tells us: "...evil will befall you at the End of Days, if you do what is evil in the eyes of Hashem, to anger Him through your handiwork."
In 1967, we reached the pinnacle of return to our land---Jerusalem reunited with Har Habayit in our hands; not by the whim or good graces of a benevolent foreign ruler, but by the hand of G-D Al-mighty which established us as masters once again in our ancient homeland.
The glory of that day too quickly dimmed as a shadow fell over the land. Appearing as grasshoppers in our own eyes, we declined to extend sovereignty over the newly reacquired lands and turned possession of the Temple Mount back over to the recently defeated Jordanians. Quite a piece of handiwork that was and yes, it was "evil in the eyes of Hashem."
Thus began a slide into darkness that finally saw first individuals and then entire families slaughtered in a conflict our enemies ironically named the Al Aksa War. Today, widows and orphans stand watch while their homes and possessions are plowed under and synagogues are dismantled by Jewish soldiers. Entire communities along with the remains of their dead are now slated for removal and once again our enemies are given rest to rearm. Indeed, "evil has befallen us at the End of Days."
Almost thirty-eight years since we last held Har Habayit in our hands, Hashem is asking us again through the mouth of His prophet Haggai: "Is this a time for you yourselves to sit in your paneled houses while [My] house is in ruins?" We made a historical wrong turn, the same way that the spies did during the Wilderness generation. And just like them, we have to revisit that tragic error and correct it! We must not fail. The consequences are unthinkable.
How do we know Passover is the answer? First, because it unifies us as a people like nothing else does. It is the point at which everyone who identifies as a Jew can find common ground. Every poll I've seen indicates that anywhere from 97-99% of Jews circumcise their children and observe a Passover Seder; and second, when we were at our weakest both politically and spiritually, all that Hashem required of us was this one act of mesirut nefesh---the Korban Pesach.
What is more, Passover is a time uniquely suited to redemption and it appears to be the best opportunity for reconnecting to Har Habayit as a nation before the decree of expulsion is set to be carried out. And last, but not least, a passage from Yeshayahu 31:4-5 states ; "...so shall Hashem, Master of Legions, descend to do battle upon Mount Zion and upon its hill (clearly Har Habayit)... passing over and delivering." This indicates to me Passover, exactly as it says!
Waiting is simply no longer an option. Unimagined horrors and tragedies await us if we fail to take corrective action now.
What we are asking for initially is that Jewish men particularly, with their families if possible, plan to observe the Passover as a pilgrim festival this year by coming up to Jerusalem for the holiday. We see every year the lengths to which Muslim men go to make the Hajj to Mecca. Is the G-D of Israel deserving of anything less?
We will need to have a list of those who require assistance with lodging and a list of those in Jerusalem willing to provide for those needs.
Perhaps those Christian friends of Israel who were planning to visit this year would be willing to donate that trip to a Jewish man who cannot afford to make the trip otherwise. We are hoping that the righteous women of Israel will rise to this occasion and begin to inspire the men of their families in this direction and will work hand in hand with us to bring it to reality.
Unless we can convince the new Sanhedrin that the people are ready and prepared to follow their lead if they should issue an official call to bring the actual korban, the most we will ask people to do on Erev Pesach is to appear before Hashem at the appointed time in the vicinity of His Holy Place to be seen by Him and to make supplicatory prayers to be allowed to renew the Korban Pesach service as in the past as a sign of our true repentance. In this way, we will have voted in favor of Har Habayit, the Temple Service, the Land of Israel, our unity as brothers and our mission to be a light to the nations.
No one will be asked or encouraged to perform any act of force or violence. Quite the contrary. Hashem has reserved to Himself the removal of the obstacles which lie between us and the renewal of our service to Him. It is only awaiting a preordained moment in time and our cooperation. We can be partners with Hashem in that moment or we can be the victims of it. As always, the choice lies within our own hands.
Over the past year particularly, we have been bombarded with signs and messages that the structural integrity of the Temple Mount has been irrevocably compromised. The experts tell us that it is no longer a question of "if," but only "when" the status quo on the Mount will be drastically changed. Furthermore, there are several sources in Tanakh which speak within the context of Jerusalem's redemption in terms of a great wall falling. This will be our G-D given opportunity to correct the "evil" of the past which so horribly impinges on our present day.
The degree to which this proposal sounds like unreality is the measure by which we have been distanced from our true national character. It should be the most natural thing in the world for every Jewish male to be planning to come up to Jerusalem to bring the Korban Pesach. At the end of every seder, we make the heartfelt wish that we might indeed merit to come up to Jerusalem for the Korban Pesach next year.
The only innovation here is that we make the wish into a reality...this year!
I thought it was just another failed idea, but maybe it was only an idea ahead of it's time. Perhaps its time has now arrived.