I recently had the privilege of meeting with Aaron Lipkin of Lipkin Tours [www.Lipkintours.com]. Of the many things we spoke of, we shared a common concern regarding a dilemma that has plagued Jews for millennia – and is still with us today.
Everything about the Jewish people points to the fact that their identity within the sea of humanity stems from a single defining event – they are the chosen people of God, given Torah and a land. Even the Koran, the holy book of their great nemesis, recognizes Jews as the people of the Book. It is because of the Torah and the land God gave them, that Jews are Jews. To deny either – is to abdicate not only a position, but Jewish identification, reason and purpose of existence.
It was in discussing the deception of mistaken Jewish identity that prompted Aaron to share details of an amazing exchange that took place some 50 years ago between David Ben Gurion and his father, Avi Lipkin – (alias Victor Mordecai) author and expert lecturer on events in Middle East. With his permission, I’m honored to share some incredible insights with you.
His father had written Ben Gurion (in 1964), questioning his controversial statement; “…that all Jews must move to Israel and there was no future for the Jewish Diaspora.” In answer to young Avi, Ben Gurion was very clear that “…if a Jew wants to really be a complete Jew, it is only possible in the land of Israel.” We recognized that the essence of Ben Gurion’s statement lies in the secret of a Jew’s identity and desire.
Of the millions of Jews who made Aliyah, some did so for only better economic conditions, or to seek refuge in their ancestral homeland, being an unwelcome guest of a host country. Sadly, there was never any intent of assuming the mantel of their true identity. They came primarily to masquerade within safe environs as “transplanted” diaspora – unconnected to the Torah and the Land.
Millions now living in Israel prefer an identity as merely citizens of the “State of Israel” – and not to be “a complete Jew” as Ben Gurion envisioned. These Jews have divorced themselves from their defining union of Torah and the land. Alienated in heart, they can coldly divide their eternal capital of Jerusalem; cut off a piece of their life be it Gush Katif or another community, and worse – eviscerate the very heartland of Judea and Samaria to a ridiculous and absolutely suicidal “2-State” plan.
Though Ben Gurion graciously side-stepped being referred to as a prophet by writing; “…I’m not a prophet and must not be a fortune teller…”, he certainly was. The founding father of the reconstituted State of Israel clearly saw on the horizon the primordial issue of Jewish identity; which was and is ultimately a spiritual issue. In Ben Gurion’s heart and mind, to be a “complete Jew” is only possible in a unified, sovereign State of Israel, where “…everything is soaked with Judaism, the matter and the spiritual…” After all, Israel and the Jewish people are first and foremost a land and people of spiritual promise. When the defining spiritual vision is lost – so goes the territory and the people.
This was common ground on which both Aaron and I were united. We both shared the vision that what happens in Eretz Yisrael – ultimately leads to the global peace and the redemption that both Jews and Christians are longing for. As any true Christian Zionist believes, our biblical, spiritual vision anticipates the full and complete restoration of the Jews and the land of Israel.
Given such opposition to Jewish restoration by left-leaning, liberal Jews like J-Street, Peace Now, Jewish Voice for Peace (to name a few) who are backed by millions of dollars, Aaron and I also spoke of the important partnership and support of Christians to offset this spiritual imbalance undermining so much in Israel today.
It’s our Judeo-Christian foundation – and time for Christians to stand up for these mutually shared spiritual values and goals in Eretz Yisrael!