NEXT YEAR IN JERUSALEM?
July 23, 2000
Am Yisrael is presently marking what is called "the three weeks," an annual period of mourning for the destruction of the first and second Temples, the "Beit HaMikdash." The mourning reaches a climax on the day known as "Tisha b'Av," the 9th day of the Hebrew month of Av, the day on which both Temples were destroyed, thousands of years ago. Fasting and refraining from any worldly pleasures for 24 hours, from sunset to sunset, commemorate this day.
Our sages teach us many reasons for the destruction of the most sacred of all sites - located in the "Old City" of Jerusalem, commonly known as "Temple Mount" or, in Hebrew, Har HaBait. These include blind hatred of our brethren, bloodshed, adultery, and idol worship. However, the primary cause of the devastation begins in the days of Moses in the desert, following the exodus from Egypt. Moses sent 12 men to spy in the land of Israel and report back to him. These men were the 'cream-of-the-crop,' the presidents of the twelve tribes, the chosen leadership of the Israelite people. When they returned after 40 days in Eretz Yisrael, this was their report:
'We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it. Howbeit the people that dwell in the land are fierce, and the cities are fortified, and very great; …'We are not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we.' And they spread an evil report of the land which they had spied out unto the children of Israel, saying: 'The land, through which we have passed to spy it out, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of great stature… and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight
And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night… said, 'Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would we had died in this wilderness! And they said one to another: 'Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt.'
Two of the twelve spies had a different reaction - Caleb and Joshua:
And Caleb stilled the people toward Moses, and said: 'We should go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it…''The land, which we passed through to spy it out, is an exceeding good land. If the L-RD delight in us, then He will bring us into this land, and give it unto us--a land which floweth with milk and honey. Only rebel not against the L-RD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us; their defence is removed from over them, and the L-RD is with us; fear them not.'
That night of weeping became a day of weeping over the generations, for that day was the 9th of Av, the very day, centuries later, when the Temple would twice be destroyed and the Jewish people sent into exile.
The events taking place at Camp David give us an opportunity to reverse the sin of the spies, an error that has plagued Am Yisrael through this very day. Their transgression was a rejection of Eretz Yisrael, the land given to us by G-d. The time has come for the Jewish people to prove that we do want Eretz Yisrael, more than anything else.
The scenario is as follows: Barak, Clinton and Arafat sign an agreement, giving the terrorists control over East Jerusalem, Temple Mount, and about 95% of Judea, Samaria and Gazza. The PLO flag will fly over the Holy-of-Holies on Temple Mount. Gazza's Jewish community is to be evicted as are Jews in Hebron and other settlements. Other communities will be abandoned, their Jewish residents left under Arafat's sovereignty. Barak will announce either general elections or a national referendum, as previously promised.
What can we do? What can YOU do?
All Jews throughout the world, from the United States, Europe, South America, Australia - Jews everywhere, who care about Eretz Yisrael, who reject abandonment of Jerusalem to the terrorists, who refuse to accept the above agreements as an inevitable given, must immediately come to Israel and declare Israeli citizenship. This does not mean that all Jews must presently decide to come live in Israel (even thought that would be nice), rather, for the time being, it is enough to declare citizenship. Offices of the Ministry of the Interior must be packed, day in and day out, with Jews filling out the necessary forms in order to be recognized as legal citizens of the State of Israel, who will have the legal right to vote in all Israeli elections, including the upcoming referendum which will reject or accept the Barak-Clinton-Arafat-Camp David II Accords.
At a minimum, hundreds of thousands of Jews will declare citizenship. After a few months, (it will take at least three months to organize elections or a referendum) all these Jews will come back to Israel and vote, OVERWHELMINGLY REJECTING THE TREATY WITH ARAFAT.
This is exactly the opposite of what the spies did in the desert when they rejected Eretz Yisrael. Am Yisrael, Jews from Israel and around the world, will declare their allegiance to the Land of Israel by rebuffing the accords intended to abandon the heart of Israel to our arch-enemy, who desires our total annihilation. Only yesterday the spokesperson for Hamas in Gazza, Abdul Rahman Rantisi said, "We must dismantle all the settlements, but first we must dismantle the settlement called Tel Aviv." Rantisi speaks not only for Hamas, but for hundreds of thousands of Arabs living in Gazza, Judea, Samaria AND IN ISRAEL PROPER.
My friends, there is a solution, there really is - but it is dependant not only on the Jews living in Israel, but on Jews all around the world. Eretz Yisrael belongs to all of us, and it is our responsibility and obligation to save Eretz Yisrael for our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. But not only for them. We must save Eretz Yisrael to sanctify G-d's Name. For what will people say when they see the miracles that have been performed over the years? Who could have imagined that four years after the ovens of Aushwitz Jews would be living in their own State, fighting and defeating Arab armies bent on our destruction? Who could envision the miracles of 1967 or 1973? What will people say when, looking back at history, say, "What happened to those Jews - is this the way they said thank you to G-d - by abandoning the GOOD LAND that He gave them, by repeating the sin of the spies in the desert, thousands of years ago? Why didn't they learn from their errors?"
Friends, how will you be able to look yourselves in the mirror, knowing that you did NOTHING to save Jerusalem - NOTHING to save Hebron - NOTHING to save ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY THOUSAND JEWS ABOUT TO BE ABANDONED BY THE BARAK GOVERNMENT?
MY FRIENDS, HOW WILL YOU, NEXT PESACH, BE ABLE TO SAY "NEXT WEEK IN JERUSALEM," KNOWING THAT BY DOING NOTHING, YOU ARE PASSIVELY PARTICIPATING IN THE ABANDONMENT OF TEMPLE MOUNT TO ARAFAT, THAT YOU ARE HELPING TO RAISE THE PLO FLAG ABOVE THE HOLY-OF-HOLIES?
My friends, there is a solution, but it includes you too. Do not let us down - do not let yourselves down, do not disappoint the aspirations of the Jewish people over all the generations - those Jews who were burned at the stake because they dared to say, "Next Year in Jerusalem."
Friends, which group do you belong to - the 10 spies who said:
'We are not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we… let us return into Egypt.'
Or the two spies who said:
'We should go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it…The land, which we passed through to spy it out, is an exceeding good land.'
Now it the time to make your choice. Tomorrow will be too late.
See the web site http://www.eretz.org for details on how to declare Israeli citizenship.