web analytics
October 30, 2014 / 6 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Grasshoppers Of The Desert – Or Lions Of Judah?

Marlin-083112

“…we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.” (Numbers 13:33)

The land of Canaan was only gained in stages by the Israelites, who had to overcome many internal divisions in order to progress. The same holds true in our day, as Jewry struggles to maintain internal unity while vacillating in its attitude toward the Land of Israel. Though the Jewish right to a sovereign state in its ancestral homeland is incontestable – biblically, historically, morally, and legally – too many Jews and Israelis are self-shackled in the chains of constraint, still mired mentally in the vulnerabilities and fears of the last two millennia, unable to discard the Diaspora.

It is certainly an understandable phenomenon, but a crippling one – and we have suffered dearly from it for far too long.

For some elements of Jewry there remains an intrinsic dryness of the bones. Even some who dwell physically in Israel are psychologically in exile. They have gained the land, but have yet to take possession. Some of their apprehension is well-grounded; inimical consequences will likely result from Israel’s unilateral annexation of Judea and Samaria, or from its full-scale elimination of Hamas and Hizbullah in the next wars. These outcomes, however, can be prepared for and dealt with. Jews are no strangers to dangers. Moreover, the consequences of Jewish half-heartedness vis-à-vis the land and Israel’s enemies have themselves been seriously debilitating and have bitterly afflicted Jewry and Israel since the rebirth of the Jewish state over 60 years ago.

Our modern Jewish nation is a statelet, a quarter of historical Palestine, and much less without the crucial provinces of Judea and Samaria. While these areas, which include eastern Jerusalem and Temple Mount, have been under Israeli control since 1967, the Israeli government at that time insisted that Temple Mount be left to the Muslim Waqf and no leader since has challenged this arrangement. Conventional thinking held that land for peace would be a viable solution to the conflict, and in some places, at some times, with some peoples, it might have worked. But in the contemporary Middle East, history has definitively refuted that premise.

In Lebanon, the Gaza Strip, even in volatile Egypt, time and again land for peace has failed; only peace for peace can endure.

Those who argue for a re-commitment to the two-state solution have been bypassed by history, for the two-state solution to the question of Jews and Arabs in Palestine was implemented in 1921 when the sizable Transjordan was simply handed to the Arabs. Even the three-state solution came and went in 2005 with the ceding of the Gaza Strip. That is the status quo. So whoever speaks of the two-state solution – which really means the four-state solution (Israel for us, Jordan, Gaza and the West Bank for the Arabs) – is inadvertently trapped in nostalgia, for those halcyon days are long gone.

Our answer to the four-state solution must hold firm at No. The provinces of Judea and Samaria form the heartland of our homeland and were regained in a critical six-day war of self-defense against aggressive neighbors with genocidal intentions. For those of us who claim our heritage, these areas and their cities, villages, mountains and valleys are profoundly foundational, part of the bedrock of our collective identity, and no peace is worthwhile that requires the surrendering of our core selves to others. If ever there was a red line, this is it.

The evil report of the Israelite spies who reconnoitered Canaan and the order of its wording evince a poignant truth which we would do well to internalize today: Those who suffer initially from inherent low self-esteem will inevitably signal their denigration to others. As long as the Jewish people sees itself as weak, it will project weakness and embolden its enemies. As long as Jews waver in their sense of rightful claim to take possession of the land, their adversaries will detect spiritual anemia and continue to assail the enfeebled.

Hesitation and reluctance despite a just cause do not deter, but rather incentivize. When we belittle ourselves, none will magnify us. When we act like grasshoppers of the desert, none will treat us like lions of Judah.

About the Author: Brandon Marlon is a Canadian-Israeli playwright, poet, and freelance writer. He is the author of “Judean Dreams and Inspirations of Israel: Poetry for a Land and People.”


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “Grasshoppers Of The Desert – Or Lions Of Judah?”

  1. Your article makes sense to me only in a vacuum. 2,568,555 hostile Palestinians, not counting Jerusalem, beg the question, what do we do?

    I would love for Israel not to leave beloved areas, but I do hesitate about the many dangers annexing them would bring.

    You say these outcomes, however, can be prepared for and dealt with. But you do not explain. So I am left feeling the article is more cheerleading.

    It is a virtue to believe that Hashem is on our side. But that did not help us against the Romans.

    The US alliance is what keeps Israel strong. It is built on a complex web of mutual interests and public opinion. I seriously doubt it would withstand such a move.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Mu'taz Hijazi
Non-Apartheid Alert: Suspected Shooter Worked in Begin Center
Latest Indepth Stories
Adolf Hitler and the representative of the Palestinian Arabs, the Mufti of Jerusalem, Amin al-Husseini, December, 1941.

Palestinian anti-Semitism in 2014 is more extreme and mainstream than German A/S in the 1930s.

Sheldon Silver

Woven deeply through it all is the Jewish obligation to fight injustice.

Cravatts-Richard--new

Only in the inverted world of academia would Jewish professors denounce the AMCHA Initiative report.

Leb-103114

Many poskim were and are adamant about the responsibility of every individual to vote.

Individuals who may have been abused are the “clients” in need and receiving care and protection.

An accomplished Torah scholar and ardent adherent of Bobov chassidus, he was renowned for his self-effacing dedication and skills as an international lawyer and law professor

The fact that the United States government after World War II sought to take advantage of the expertise of German scientists, even those known to have contributed to the Nazi war effort, is well known and largely accepted as having been necessary for America’s national defense. (Wernher von Braun is perhaps the most famous and […]

The New York State comptroller manages the state’s $180.7 billion pension fund, audits the spending practices of all state agencies and local governments, oversees the New York State and Local Retirement System, reviews the New York State and City budgets, and approves billions in State contracts and spending.

Rabinovich is the author of several popular books on Israel’s wars, including The Battle for Jerusalem, The Yom Kippur War, and The Boats of Cherbourg.

To say he was beloved because of the way he loved his students does not sufficiently capture the reality.

The birth I speak about is to give birth to ourselves, to our full potential.

The extreme hypocrisy, contempt & vulgarity of the attacks indicate more than a policy disagreement

More Articles from Brandon Marlon
A Map of Eretz Israel during the Roman Empire

For Jews, the ancient tribal territories of Judah, Benjamin, Ephraim, and west Menasheh – a.k.a. Judea and Samaria or the West Bank – form the very heartland of the homeland.

Marlin-083112

The land of Canaan was only gained in stages by the Israelites, who had to overcome many internal divisions in order to progress. The same holds true in our day, as Jewry struggles to maintain internal unity while vacillating in its attitude toward the Land of Israel. Though the Jewish right to a sovereign state in its ancestral homeland is incontestable – biblically, historically, morally, and legally – too many Jews and Israelis are self-shackled in the chains of constraint, still mired mentally in the vulnerabilities and fears of the last two millennia, unable to discard the Diaspora.

The recently highlighted “crisis of Zionism” is in fact a quandary afflicting Jewry and no new phenomenon. Rather, it has two sources, each centuries old.

The Third Jewish Commonwealth has accomplished remarkable growth and productivity in its first six decades, and inspires the world with its resourcefulness. Yet as a young country, Israel has much room for improvement. Here are the Top 12 most pressing issues facing the reborn nation today:

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/grasshoppers-of-the-desert-or-lions-of-judah/2012/08/29/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: