by Gary M. Cooperberg
(Project Shofar)

Strange is hardly the word to describe the concept of a religious Jew seeking to form any kind of relationship with Christians. Some would consider it, at best, naive, and, at worst, blasphemous. Considering the history of the relations we Jews have shared with Christians over the centuries, clearly such an attitude is understandable.

I have not forgotten the blood libels, the deicide accusations, the burnings at the stake, the tortured "confessions," the forced conversions, the pogroms, the expulsions from so many different countries, the Crusades, and, yes, even the holocaust which the Church could at least have abated. All these and more are good reason for Jews to stay far away from Christians.

I am an observant Jew. I believe in and worship only the Living G-d of Israel. When the genuine Jewish Messiah does arrive, true peace will reign and we Jews will continue to observe G-d's commandments as we do now. In those days the nations of the world will come to Jerusalem to lean the words of G-d.

But I am also observant in another way. I observe what is going on around me and cannot reject that which my eyes and ears tell me. I have witnessed the fulfillment of prophesy and the performance of miracles in my short life. I have participated and continued to participate in the redemption of my people and my country. What is most distressing to me is the fact that those, who purport to lead us in my country, appear to be oblivious to the miraculous reality of the rebirth of Zion. My own leaders have rejected these miracles and have sought to create a "New Middle East" in the image of all the nations of the world. They attempt to reject the Divine role we were given to be a light unto the nations, and instead they pursue darkness. Declarations are made asserting that we are no longer a "nation which stands alone among the nations," and that the "Bible is not our deed to the Land." Our leaders openly speak of a "post Zionist" era, implying that the goal of Zionism was merely for Jews to return to Israel and then to reject every fundamental Jewish obligation. Such leaders are clearly not cognizant of the role which the Jewish nation is destined to play. Redemption will come in spite of them, and eventually they too will repent and become worthy of bearing the mantle of the Priestly Nation of Israel.

Ironically, just as such blasphemous ideas are being espoused from within the halls of our Knesset, another small voice is heard from outside those halls. Not merely outside the Knesset, but outside of the Jewish People as well. The Christian Embassy, which established itself as an embassy in Jerusalem for the express purpose of showing the nations of the world that Jerusalem is the exclusive, eternal capital of the Jewish State, has put the Israeli government to shame. It has consistently spoken out against our rejection of the countless miracles performed for us which they recognize and our leaders fail to see. They call for a "not one inch" peace plan. They spoke out against the infamous "Oslo" underground sellout of the Jewish State. They have reached into their pocket to help bring Jews home from the former Soviet Union. They cry out to the Jewish government to act like Jews and maintain their Jewish integrity. They have initiated an annual Feast of Tabernacles convention which, among other things, seek to comfort the Jewish people and remind us that we are still G-d's Chosen. And now, just as the leadership of the Jewish people is seeking peace at the expense of Zionism, we see the Christian Embassy sponsoring the third Christian Zionist Congress in Jerusalem!

Isn't it strange for a Jew to openly hold out his hand to Christians? You bet it is strange. But we are living in the strangest of times. I have not forgotten what Christians have done to Jews throughout the generations in the name of their "saviour." I do not for one minute think that things have changed and that now all Christians suddenly love Jews. But if there are some Christians, even an overwhelming minority, who recognize the reality of the ongoing process of Zionism as a prelude to the redemption, and who accept the fact that it is only through the fulfillment of genuine Zionism that redemption will come, then to those Christians I hold out my hand. I hold out my hand in recognition of those whose actions have shown them to have independently sought to promote the Divine Process of Jewish return. I hold out my hand to thank them for their words and deeds of encouragement which are so needed by my people today. And, I hold out my hand to offer them comfort as well.

The fact is that, in spite of our blind leaders and their grave blunders, Zionism is a Divine process which cannot even be slowed down, much less stopped. There is no power on Earth that can destroy His nation, although many have tried and will continue to try. But, as we approach the end of days, the nations will be judged for how they treated G-d's Chosen. Those who stood up against the majority to be with the Jewish people in their time of crisis will get their reward.
The Blessing of Abraham still stands,

"And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee:
and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed."
(Genesis 12:3)
So my hand is not held out blindly to all Christians. it is held out in recognition of deeds already done, and in the hope that those good intentions will continue to bring blessing to those who deserve it.

The world is in peril. Evil seems to be everywhere...even in Israel. It seems that many, even in the Jewish State, are blind to the miracles and eager to believe lies. The "peace now" movement seems to believe that it can achieve peace by rejecting every Divine value in the Bible. Not only have they rejected their obligation to return to and rebuild all of our homeland; not only have they sought to take parts of our Divine birthright from their own people and hand it over to our enemies; not only have they chosen to free terrorist murderers from prison, justify their past heinous crimes and now arm them and call them policemen; but they have sought to adopt evil foreign immoral behaviour, elevating the sin of sexual perversion to an acceptable "alternate life style." For these sins and others we suffer greatly today. Make no mistake. Although we will be punished for our errors, the redemption goes on, unimpeded.

The Jewish People is still and forever will be the Chosen of G-d. Today we are oppressed by our own blind leaders. We have been oppressed before. Oppression by forces of evil is no stranger to us. It just hurts much more to suffer needlessly under our own people. This too, we will overcome.

In spite of the facts that: the government of Israel has made a peace treaty with those who seek our destruction; has freed murderers, given them weapons and called them "policemen" in the PLO army; and has surrendered Jewish army bases and cities and towns of Judea Samaria and Gaza to our most implacable enemy; in spite of these horrible and unnecessary setbacks we will still see a complete redemption. We will see it because G-d made a promise to our Father, Abraham. It was an unconditional promise which will be fulfilled in any event. Indeed, G-d Himself understood our weakness and told us through His prophet, Isaiah, why He will bring the redemption. Not because we are so wonderful, rather because we are the veritable symbol of G-d on earth. Thus, not for us, rather for His own honour will He redeem His people Israel:

Ezekiel XXXVI vs. 20-24:

And I scattered them among the nations, and they were dispersed through the countries:
according to their way and according to their doings I judged them.
And when they entered into the nations, whither they went, they profaned My holy name, when they said to them, These are the people of the L-rd, and are gone forth our of His land.
But I had pity for Mine holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the nations whither they went. Therefore say unto the house of Israel,
Thus saith the L-rd G-d; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for Mine holy name's sake, which ye have profaned among the nations whither ye went.
And I will sanctify My great name, which was profaned among the nations, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the nations shall know that I am the L-rd, saith the L-rd G-d, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. For I will take you from among the nations, and gather you out of all the countries, and ring you into your own land.
And He has already begun to do as He promised. We were scattered among the nations. And we were mocked by the nations which, in effect, were mocking the Living G-d of Israel. We lacked the strength and courage to sanctify G-d by returning home on our own, so He has begun to bring us back Himself. Dare anyone imagine that He will suddenly change His mind because Shimon Peres promised Arafat a Palestinian State in Judea Samaria and Gaza? I hold my hand out to Christian Zionists because I appreciate your good intentions and know that you are worthy of the Blessing of Abraham. You have taken the first step in the sincere attempt to comfort your Jewish brothers. I accept the sincerity of your intentions and seek to help you achieve the blessing you so richly deserve. To join forces with a minority against a vast majority, is not logical. But it is an expression of genuine faith in the Living G-d of Israel. It is this faith which will bring redemption to mankind. It is this faith which I encourage. For this I extend my hand to you.

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