Heaven help us. The Elections are upon us. The Chosen People are about to choose a new government.
There is no known vaccination, no known cure, no way of ignoring, disregarding, overlooking or neglecting our elections. They pop out of our media screens, scream at us from the radio, fill entire pages of our newspapers and magazines, stare down at us in busses, from buildings, across advertisements and signs the size of freight cars, and they will soon carpet the streets and sidewalks of the country in paper, flyers and ads. Worst of all, they fill our heads with unending promises, threats, prophesies and noise. Such is the price of democracy. It’s a messy process – so complex and confusing that one tends to discount everything he reads or hears. It’s enough to plunge even the hardiest of souls into electoral despair.
People tend to vote the way they’ve always voted except that in Israel, nothing stays the same. Our political parties tend to break apart, reassemble in different configurations, compose new jingles and attempt to paint new pictures, using mostly the same old faces and ideas. Somewhere inside all the confusion, bits of truth and wisdom struggle to emerge. We hope they will emerge intact, but we’ll have to wait until after the elections to know for sure.
But there is more than a glimmer of hope. There is a definite feeling in the air that it’s all part of a necessary purification process, of slowly but surely understanding that old political “truths” have not stood the test of time. They are not only evolving, but are finally being abandoned as we search for new and better ways. Our stumbling steps are evidence of a national quest for Jewish redemption. We are in the midst of separating the wheat from the chaff.
Today, very few Jews in the world – and surely even fewer Israelis – believe there is a difference between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism. The two are just a new way of packaging the same old product. We are now offered two distinct flavors, with the same sour taste.
One of the biggest fake-news stories of the last fifty years – that of a Palestinian nation fighting to return to its ancient homeland – has been sufficiently documented so that its blatant falsehood is apparent even to the most “peace-loving” of people. (As though the rest of us were war mongering.) A “Palestinian” nation did not exist until the Jews returned to their ancient homeland. Palestine was always, since Biblical times, simply another name for the Land of Israel.
Even the supposedly irresolvable conflict between religious and secular Jews in the Holy Land is waning away. Observant Jews mingle, work and study with their more “secular” brothers and sisters while the “seculars” have affirmed that their Judaism is dear to them. They are not willing to abandon their Jewish moorings for contemporary, politically correct theories. Family, tradition, morality, unity, nationality and yes… even Torah and the God of Israel…. are all possessions they want to bequeath to their children. Without these principles and memories, a people is bereft of its identity. But people are not solitary atoms and when raised as such, they search for meaning in ever more bizarre shapes and forms. Like Gollum in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, they turn into distorted, deranged creatures searching compulsively for a more promising life. Israelis prefer being traditional Jews.
So our messy elections are just another step forward in our search for Redemption. We ask ourselves: Who are we? Just one more nation on the face of the earth? Or are we different? What makes us different, special? Is there really a Divine plan for our People? For our Land? A labyrinth of political parties, each one grasping for power, isn’t exactly a clear-cut path to God, sanctity or serenity, but it’s the twisted path we poor mortals are destined to trod as we plod along on our way to Redemption.
Fortunately for us, the hearts of kings (i.e. all leaders) are in the hands of God, and our convoluted paths lead us where He wants us to go. As Churchill famously said: Democracy is the worst form of government except for all the others. The Age of Royalty is over for the time being and democracy is the tool we were given in its place. Since God is the guiding hand behind history, who knows? Perhaps this newest Israeli government will be the one to advance the process of redemption – or at least to light up the way. And if not this government, then surely the one to follow? A Jew never despairs.
Our elections are scheduled for April 9, the 4th of Nissan. The timing gives us hope. Nissan is related to the word nes – miracle. This is the month of our miraculous redemption from Egypt, the prototype of Geulah, a mere ten days before Pesach. At one hundred and twenty, before being granted admittance into the World to Come, a Jew is asked “Tzipita li’shua? Did you yearn for (literally: did you foresee) the Redemption?” And we shall answer: Li’shuatcha kiviti Hashem – I yearned for your Salvation, Hashem. Faithfully. Election after election.
And amazingly, despite both internal confusion and tremendous external opposition, with each election, the State of Israel has progressed. Sometimes it meant two steps forward and one back. But at each juncture, a bit more light is unveiled until, b’ezrat Hashem, sometime in the not too distant future, a great Light will illuminate the world and the Voice of Hashem (and the media!) will ring out. Am Yisrael will be recognized as God’s faithful servants, guardians of His Torah, secure in His Land. As in the time of Shlomo HaMelech, the nations of the world will come up to Zion to hear the word of God. And all elections will undergo an incredible evolution. They will be clean, quiet, sensible and civilized until finally, the descendants of the royal house of David once again rule the Jewish state in the Land of Israel.
May it all take place quickly, in our days! Maybe even in time for our forthcoming elections!
And if you hurry, you may even be on time to add your Vote for Redemption on the 4th of Nissan 5779!