The phrase, “A Jewish state in the Land of Israel” plucks at the deepest heartstrings of every yearning Jew. For generations, since the destruction of the Temple and the exile to the diaspora, we have believed and hoped, prayed and dreamed about the ingathering of the exiles and our return to living in our Land standing tall, asking God to “break the yoke of the nations from over our necks and lead us to our land standing tall.” The ultimate goal of our yearning is the complete redemption, the arrival of Mashiach and the construction of the Temple. There is no doubt that a Jewish state is an essential and central component of the grand picture of the redemption of the Jewish People. Yet, it is clear that the state that was established on 5th Iyar 5708 (1948), as it stands today, is still a far cry from that dreamlike vision that has warmed our hearts for almost two thousand years. It is not difficult to understand why many Torah and mitzvah observant Jews are reluctant to identify themselves with the state and its symbols. Attesting to this problem are the festivities of Yom Ha’atzmaut, around which rages a long and intense controversy within the religious community in Israel.
Introduction to the Platform One might suppose that the differences of opinions will not end in the near future. However, we can and must rise above them and unite regarding the main issue, which is: what type of state do we want and what are we doing to achieve it? This is a constructive and positive activity that relates to the future with the goal of rectifying and healing reality, instead of harping incessantly on the past and present situations. This vision should be so inviting and pleasant that every Jewish individual will readily want to identify with it, culminating in a critical mass of change – the “tipping point” – when a broad spectrum of the public will be active in actualizing the vision.
But before we present our “platform” for rectifying the state, it is important to stress that the order should not be perceived as inflexible – like a binding mathematical sequence – but as an initial suggestion within which there is a lot of room for flexibility. In practice, we need to turn a sensitive ear to what happens in reality – as in the Kabbalistic concept of “returning light” – seeing what needs to be done and how best to act at every given moment. This is because reality is dynamic, and just as our psyche does not necessarily work “according to the book,” and will never be a programmed computer, so too real life is constantly developing and changing. Thus a large measure of sensitivity is needed to determine how to act within it and how to elevate it.
Spiritual Motivation – the Crown
Rectifying the state of Israel begins from the “above ground” sefirah of keter (crown). It is from here that the rest of the system flows. Like a crown that is placed on top of the head, this sefirah represents the level of super-conscious experience in the soul. Within the crown are the three levels of faith, pleasure, and will.
The first thing that is needed to change a situation is faith, specifically the faith which begins with belief in God, the Creator, who does only good, and concludes with faith in the pleasant future that awaits us, “I believe with perfect faith that Mashiach will arrive.”
After the level of faith comes pleasure where abstract faith begins to be integrated as an initial experience of pure, simple pleasure that revives the soul. Here, even faith in the coming of Mashiach is no longer something ethereal and vague, but manifests as a motivating power, which we can tap into by in-depth study of those Torah issues that relate to redemption.
About the Author: Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh is the Dean of Yeshivah Od Yosef Chai in Yitzhar. For more of Rabbi Ginsburgh's teachings, please visit Inner.org.
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