Jewish, Jewish, Everywhere, & not a drop to drink
Monday, September 22, 2003
" 'Moshiach' (Actually, 'False Messiah') Bin Laden"
by Yishai Fleisher
September 18, 2003
Israel National News
"Osama is a tall, handsome man. He is charismatic and spiritual, inspiring millions of followers. They are prepared to die for the great mission of liberating Islam from the West and conquering the world in the name of the true religion. On September 11th, with the help of his suicidal henchmen, Osama successfully destroyed what he saw as the Twin Towers of American imperialism and idolatry. Three thousand people were murdered.
The world quakes at his every pronouncement. A threat issued from a dark cave in Pakistan or Persia resonates on the front cover of every New York City newspaper. Citizens stock up on water as the American economy struggles between code orange, yellow and red. Osama bin Laden has turned our world upside-down, replacing calm and predictability with fear, gas masks, harsh immigration laws and Homeland Defense.
But why does this Saudi millionaire embrace a life of self-sacrifice, depravation, and mortal danger? Why does he choose to live in the toiletless caves of Afghanistan instead of the Jacuzzi-laden suites of Monaco? What is the source of his resolve?
The Bible tells us that Abraham, the first Jew, had two sons: Isaac and Ishmael. Abraham was a man who loved and feared G-d and had the character trait of self-sacrifice. When G-d commanded him to sacrifice Isaac (the Akeida or the Binding), Abraham traveled for three days in mental excruciation preparing to sacrifice his beloved son. Finally, when they got to the chosen place (today the Temple Mount), Abraham bound his son Isaac and placed him on the altar. Just as Abraham was about to slaughter Isaac, an angel called out to him and stopped him. The angel of G-d said "I know now that you are a G-d-fearing man since you have not withheld your son, your only one, from me." The angel spoke further, "Your offspring shall inherit the gate of his enemy, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed by your offspring."
Question: Abraham had two sons, so why does the text refer to Isaac as "your only one"? Answer: Because Isaac, the grandfather of the twelve tribes of Israel was chosen to represent Abraham and his ideals forever. He and his offspring only, the Jewish people, are the true representatives of Abraham's heritage.
But wait! Islam has got this same story very differently. For Muslims, Ishmael, the father of the Arabs, Abraham's other son, is the one who Abraham bound and almost sacrificed to the Lord. Ishmael and not Isaac. In their minds Abraham is the first Muslim, Islam is the true religion, and Muslims are the chosen people; it is they who will "inherit the gate of their enemy." The fundamental disagreement as to who was at the Akeida is at the root of the Arab-Jewish conflict.
Modern-day Israel, with its shiny office buildings, hi-tech, miraculous victories and Biblical heritage is a testament to the veracity of Jewish prophecy and our version of the Akeida. Before the world's eyes, we have returned to our ancient soil and have made the wastelands flourish. The success of the Jewish people on the Holy Land is a blatant contradiction to Islam, because it refutes the Muslim claim.
Moreover, while Israel has been prospering, Muslim states have been inept, unable to build a decent modern state with the aid of all the oil money in the world. The Arabs suffered disastrous and humiliating defeats in five wars against Israel. As Bernard Lewis points out, jealousy, humiliation, and low self-esteem are at the root of Arab rage. However, Osama bin Laden, Jihad commander-in chief, has brought the fear of Islam back into the world and, in the eyes of his minions, restored the pride of the Koran. That is why he is seen as Osama the Redeemer, the Muslim Messiah.
Osama bin Laden has been doing everything a good Messiah does: uniting his brethren, harnessing their religious fervor and mobilizing them to action. We Jews on the other hand, seem to have become cynical, bourgeois and post-Zionist. American Jews are scared to send their kids to Israel; Israelis are scared to send their kids to Jerusalem. We are uncertain about Israel's future. Relative to our foes we are weak and divided. Sensing our weakness, militant Islam has hijacked our Messianic aspiration and converted it into a plot to conquer the world. They have stolen Abraham's virtue of self-sacrifice and turned into a suicide cult that wreaks terror, havoc and destruction.
Now they take aim at our rightful inheritance. In 1967, as Israeli paratroopers captured the Temple Mount, Motta Gur, their commander, radioed in the words we Jews have awaited for two thousand years: "Har Habayit Beyadeynu." - the Temple Mount is in our hands. Unfortunately, today, Islamic terrorists strut and trample on our holiest site, while Osama's cronies mock us with our own words: "The Temple Mount is in our hands." Their demands are clear: they want all of Jerusalem, they want all of Israel, and they want all of us either subservient or dead.
Now is the time for us Jews to remember that we are Abraham's true and only legacy. We are the Children of Israel, the carriers of the covenant. Now is the time to draw from that strength, to fight back, and to inherit the Land fully.
For Jews living outside of Israel this means Aliyah now. If we really care about Israel, then we should inhabit it. There are millions of Palestinians, Egyptians, Syrians and Jordanians who would love to live in Haifa, Tel-Aviv, Be'er-Sheva and Jerusalem; they plan on it. The only way to discourage them is by showing them that we mean business. The topic of Aliyah should be on the lips of every American Jew. America is not our true home; Israel is.
For Jews living in Israel, this means unity, fortitude, and faith. We need to gain a clear and unequivocal understanding that we have the ultimate right to the Land of Israel, and that we are no longer going to be duped by Arab double-talk and rhetoric. We must institute a zero-tolerance policy for murder of Jews. We must desire true victory over fraudulent compromise. We must replace fear with overwhelming conviction of our right.
Although Saul and the people of Israel were filled with trepidation when they saw Goliath, David was unafraid. He stood up to the big bully and said: "Thou comest to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of Hosts, the G-d of the armies of Israel, whom thou has taunted. This day will the Lord deliver thee into my hand; and I will smite thee, and take thy head from thee; and I will give the carcass of the Philistine camp this day to the birds of the sky, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth shall know that there is a G-d in Israel. And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord's, and He will give you into our hands."
So they may have al-Qaeda, but we have the Akeida.
They may have Moshiach bin Laden, but we have Moshiach ben David.
They may call to Allah, but the Eternal One of Israel shall not lie nor change his mind: We are His people and Israel is our land. "
Yishai Fleisher is the founder of Kumah, a pro-Aliyah grassroots movement.
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