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November 26, 2015 / 14 Kislev, 5776
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A Jewish Response To Annapolis

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All this with the official endorsement of Israeli leaders who are tired and confused, who lack Jewish pride and faith and have lost their Zionist road map. We pray that the God of Israel will save us from the ill-fated course of this Israel government.

The time has come to renew our true Zionist path by drawing inspiration from the faith, determination and bravery of the Maccabeans. The miracle of Chanukah is described in the prayer of Al Hanisim, where we mention the remarkable victory of the Jews against the Greeks, achieved not only by the few who overcame the many, but by Judah and his followers whose devotion to Torah brought them to arouse and mobilize their fellow Jews to fight the enemy instead of surrendering.

Many of the Jews and their leaders were tired and ready to submit to foreign Greek culture and alien values, abandoning Jewish faith and pride. Only those immersed in Torah study and Jewish faith had the courage and determination to fight and destroy the enemy who endangered Jewish existence. The lesson of the Chanukah victory was that the courage and strength drawn from the devotion to Torah life was the secret Jewish power of the Maccabeans – and it is still valid in our process of redemption.

Today, our Torah community is in the forefront of the struggle for Jewish existence; many Hesder soldiers are in commanding positions in the IDF while religious Zionist families are establishing new towns and cities in the Negev, Galilee, and Judea and Samaria which have become bastions of authentic Jewish life. We are not tired and cannot afford to be tired. We are ready and willing to defend Jewish pride and values by fighting for our land; our Zionist direction is clear and with God’s help we will arouse this spirit among the multitudes of our people who will become the faithful leaders of tomorrow’s government.

We must return to the basic Zionist ideology as described by the late Rabbi Kook, who portrayed Israel not just as a place for the protection of persecuted Jews, but as a land for the rebirth of our people and renewal of Jewish culture and Torah values, which eventually will, as God promised Abraham, bring a blessing to all the nations of the world.

About the Author: Rabbi Eliezer Waldman is rosh yeshivaof Yeshivat Nir Kiryat Arba.

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