President Trump made a campaign promise to build a security wall between the United States and Mexico. This promise, just one among many he made, has become a central issue to the point where the president was willing to endure a government shutdown – now in its sixth day – in order to receive the $5 billion he needs to build the wall.
Remarkably, the political conflict comes in the wake of the arrival of 3,000 members of a migrant caravan on the southern border. Mexican authorities estimated that the number of immigrants at the U.S. border could go as high as 10,000. The presence of such a large group at the border should underscore the need for security but this seems to have fueled left-wing groups who have filed lawsuits, successfully bringing a restraining order against the executive order requiring asylum seekers to enter the U.S. via a legal port of entry.
The partisan conflict took on deeper meaning when House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi declared earlier this month that a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border would be “immoral.”
Congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez upped the significance of the conflict even further when she tweeted a Christmas greeting to the immigrants at the border, comparing them to Jesus in the manger.
“For all the anti-immigrant pundits uncomfortable with and denying that Christ’s family were refugees too,” Ocasio Cortez tweeted on Wednesday.
Her tweet was lambasted on social media as many people were quick to point out that the parents of Jesus were Jews and indigenous to Israel.
The issue of border security embodied in Trump’s seems to have struck a chord in the collective subconscious and Rabbi Pinchas Winston, a prolific end-of-days author, thinks this reaction is “divinely inspired,” citing a verse in Psalms.
This is Hashem‘s doing; it is marvelous in our sight. Psalms 118:23
“Whatever is made into a big deal in the world clearly has a big aspect of hashgacha pratit (divine intervention) no matter where it takes place,” Rabbi Winston told Breaking Israel News. “The fact that the security wall in America is becoming such an issue means that it is a big deal and we need to look at what Hashem (God, literally ‘the name’) is trying to tell us through it.”
The rabbi suggested that the concept of a wall has spiritual and conceptual significance.
“The Jews today pray at the Kotel (Western Wall),” Rabbi Winston said to Breaking Israel News. “In the Bible, the Children of Israel passed through walls of water when they left Egypt. The walls were what killed their former taskmasters. A wall is a concept that has great significance.”
The rabbi also noted how walls were described in the Bible, citing Ezekiel.
And the people of the land have practiced fraud and committed robbery; they have wronged the poor and needy, have defrauded the stranger without redress.30 And I sought a man among them to repair the wall or to stand in the breach before Me in behalf of this land, that I might not destroy it; but I found none. Ezekiel 22:29-30
The rabbi suggested that in addition to an actual wall in Jerusalem, Ezekiel may have been referring to an archetypal concept of a wall, walls pertaining to morality that would speak to all of mankind and perhaps to the United States in particular.
“The Bible is available to everyone, to teach them,” Rabbi Winston said. “The Prophet Ezekiel was clearly speaking to the Jews in Israel at that time.The U.S. is not Jewish in any way but the moment you have a large Jewish population in that country, it becomes similar to Israel on a level of hashgacha pratit.”
Rabbi Winston said that the verse in Ezekiel could be understood as referring to the current political conflict in the U.S.
“It is relevant to say that the message given by Ezekiel to the Jews of his time can be relevant to Donald Trump and America and what is happening right now,” Rabbi Winston said. “I’m not saying that Ezekiel was speaking directly about Donald Trump and his wall, but I think that it is a useful thing to wonder about. Apparently, the prophet was expressing God’s sentiment that the lack of a wall, any wall, in a place where walls are needed, could be a moral and spiritual disaster.”
Rabbi Hillel Weiss, the spokesman for the Sanhedrin, framed the current partisan political conflict in the U.S. in moral terms, indicating that the opposition to the president indicates a deep spiritual schism.
“The position of Trump and his supporters on the issue of the border wall is not only reasonable, but it is what people have universally agreed upon until today; that a country needs to protect its borders,” Rabbi Weiss told Breaking Israel News. “There has always been a dialogue about how to do so or to what extent. But the claim by the left that borders are immoral is unprecedented. It clearly goes much deeper than this one issue, this one border fence. They believe that nationalism is a murderous belief and that any border or boundary is unacceptable.”
Weiss explained that in the conflict between globalism versus nationalism, the Bible was explicitly on the side of nations.
“The concept of nations, of 70 nations in particular, originated in the Bible,” the rabbi explained. “It was a huge advance for mankind, giving a framework for men to connect to their neighbors in a positive manner. Of course, like any positive thing it can be taken to an extreme and become evil but living with a vague universal concept of brotherhood without boundaries has always led to human suffering. Some aspects of Catholicism which placed the Vatican above the state, and all aspects of communism, tried to wipe out nationalism.”
Rabbi Weiss examined the motives behind opposition to borders.
“People who want to remove the concept of a nation are always motivated by a desire to rule by themselves, he argued. They want to remove boundaries of the nation, boundaries of the family, of relations, and replace them with boundaries that they set.”
The rabbi explained that despite support from the left-wing, the unprecedented left-wing objection to the security wall went counter to traditionally liberal values and is, in fact, anti-Bible in its basis.
“It is not pluralism because they do not accept anyone who disagrees with them, even to allow them to live separately in peace,” Rabbi Weiss maintained. “They want to come across the world to Israel and demand that we open our borders to Hamas. They want to tell Israel where our capital is, or if we can even have a capital. God did not give the entire world to Abraham. He gave the land of Israel to the Jews. The people who oppose Israel and oppose Trump’s border wall support the claim that anyone can claim any land they want.”