“I will sanctify my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, and which you have profaned among them; and the nations shall know that I am the Lord, says the Lord God, when through you I will display my holiness before their eyes. I will take you - from the nations, and gather you from all the countries, and bring you into your own land.” – Ezekiel 36:23-24 (NRSV)
“Then you shall live in the land that I gave to your ancestors, and you shall be my people, and I will be your God.” (36:28)
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Look at this.
As of 2018, the Jewish population in the U. S. was 6,925,475. The Jewish population in Israel was 6,744,000.
So, what will motivate American Jews to return to their land—the place where the Lord wants to deal with them? ["I will take you - from the nations, and gather you from all the countries, and bring you into your own land.” – Ezekiel 36:23-24 (NRSV)]
AGAIN, THE QUESTION: What might excite or stimulate them to go? Would it be the beauty of the Judean hills… the beautiful cities including Jerusalem…the ancient archeological findings…the feeling that one is tracing the steps of the patriarchs and kings of Israel? Would it be the longing to be close to their rich tradition and the delights of living with their own people—the descendants of Abraham?
ANSWER: Presently, those attractions are of insufficient appeal to the American Jews.
ANSWER: Because they are in love with America!
(I am not blaming the American Jew. I am searching their minds.)
EXPANDED ANSWER-- these reasons:
The Jewish people have felt safe living in America.
The Jewish people have felt accepted in America.
The Jewish people have had the opportunity to strive for affluence in America.
The Jewish people have had religious liberty here. Those who are turned off by their traditions of Judaism can, in America, not worry about it. They don’t feel bound by “Halekhah”—the collection of Jewish Law.
The United States has accepted them. In contrast, Israel’s immigration policy is NOT inclusive. It is controlled by the Orthodox rabbis. This generation of American Jews look askew at that.
The difference: openness and diversity in America versus restriction in Israel.
Proof of this preference for America is this:
In November of 2013, Commentary Magazine (a Jewish periodical) reported the Pew Research Center’s “A Portrait of Jewish Americans.” That portrait revealed that most American Jews “are now choosing not to live as Jews in any real sense.” Just one example: intermarriage rates are now at 70 per cent. The article’s title: “Loving Us To Death: How America’s Embrace Is Imperiling American Jewry.” Author: Jonathan S. Tobin.
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THE NEXT QUESTION: What would it take for the American Jews to move to Israel? Since the prophets of the Old Testament—The Tenakh—prophecied that God will call them from the far corners of the earth, what would it take for the American Jews to immigrate to the land—“their land”—in biblical terms. They may not say to themselves that it is their land. But we speak here from the perspective of the Bible.
QUESTION: To put it crudely, God wants them in the land. What is He going to do to get them back there?
PLEASE: Do not think that I, Quinton Everest, need to see them go from us. I am a lover of the Jewish people and try to increase my encounters with them.
ANOTHER QUESTION: What prompted most of the Jews to go there in the 20th century? What caused those “alijah’s” to occur? (Alijah—literally “to go up”) --the great movements to that land in the 20th century?
ANSWER? FEAR! The threats, persecution, pogroms, waves of terrorism and the holocaust of the late 19th and 20th centuries in Europe. That was the motivation for the largest surge.
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ANNOUNCEMENT: Anti-Semitic acts are on the increase in America. Terror against the Jews. Just last Sunday a man using a machete entered the home of a rabbi in a home just north of New York City and knifed five Hasidic Jews celebrating Hanukkah.
Many Jewish publications both on-line and in periodicals are asking why the upsurge of anti-Semitism in America. Many of them are truly alarmed. For example, in a dialogue between Rabbi Mark Golam and David Harris, Executive Director of the American Jewish Committee, Harris stated that the attacks against Jews in New York is now an epidemic. Jews are singled out for terrorist acts. Most people in America have been unaware of harassment, especially in New York City, unless it involves multiple victims; but these physical acts against Jewish residents are worse than ever according to reports.
The sources of this Jew hatred are many: neo-Nazis, white supremacy, black anti-Semitism, Islamist anti-Semitism are just some of the groups. In addition, on university campuses across our nation, the Palestinian-Israeli tension is blamed on the Israelis, and those demonstrating often express their opposition to Israel with vehemence and sometimes violence. Those doing this are most always ignorant of history and usually misrepresent international law.
What if this phenomenon continues to increase in our nation? How will our Jewish friends react? For instance, will the millennial Jews stay in America, or will they eventually, along with other ages of Jews, elect to pack their bags for Tel Aviv?
Be watchful and prayerful.
The Lord says………….
“Do not fear, for I am with you,
I will bring your offspring from the east,
And from the west I will gather you:
I will say to the north, ‘Give them up,’
And to the south, ‘Do not withhold;’
Bring my sons from far away--
And my daughters from the end of the earth.”
-- Isaiah 43:5-6
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