Zionism. What is it? Zionism is a modern movement which began in the 19th century. But its roots date back to the Bible. It represents an age-old longing of the Jewish people to reconstitute itself as a sovereign nation in its ancient land. (see definition on the Zionism101.org website). I am going to change the definition ever so slightly. Zionism is a modern movement which began in the 19th century. But its roots date back to the Bible. It represents an age old longing of all the people of Yisrael to constitute itself as a sovereign nation in its ancient land. (emphasis added)
A Heavenly Initiative
We hear terms like Secular Zionism and Biblical Zionism. However, can Zionism be separated out into different definitions? If its roots are in the Bible, can we make a distinction? May I suggest that the word Zionism alone is appropriate? In fact, I will also suggest that modern Zionism is simply an outgrowth of an ancient longing of all Yisraelites to return to their ancestral homeland. Who moved these individuals and why? The Elohim of Avraham, Yitzhaak, and Yaacov was the driving force behind it all. The modern fathers of Zionism such as Theodore Hertzl, Chaim Weizmann, Vladamir Jabotinsky, and David Ben-Gurion were all moved by Elohim. Whether they were disconnected or not with the God of Yisrael does not matter. Elohim lit the fire to return to Eretz Yisrael.
Preservation as A People
Yesheyahu/Isaiah 10: 20 It will come to pass in that day that the remnant of Yisrael, and those who have escaped from the house of Jacob will no more again lean on him who struck them, but shall lean on the YHWH, the Holy One of Israel, in truth. 21 A remnant will return, even the remnant of Jacob, to the mighty God. 22 For though your people, Yisrael, are like the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will return. A destruction is determined, overflowing with righteousness. 23 For Adonai, YHWH of Hosts, will make a full end, and that determined, in the midst of all the earth. 24 Therefore Adonai, YHWH of Hosts, says “My people who dwell in Zion, don’t be afraid of the Assyrian, though he strike you with the rod, and lift up his staff against you, as Egypt did. 25 For yet a very little while, and the indignation against you will be accomplished, and my anger will be directed to his destruction.” (emphasis added)
The fervor of Zionism hit Theodore Hertzl while witnessing the Dreyfus affair. This event in France caused Hertzl to realize that a homeland for the Jewish people was the only solution to centuries long hatred throughout the world. For those who are not familiar with the Dreyfus affair, Alfred Dreyfus was an obscure captain in the French army. In 1894 papers discovered in a wastebasket in the office of a German military attaché made it appear that a French military officer was providing secret information to the German government. Though the handwriting of these papers did not even match the handwriting of Dreyfus, he was charged with treason. This was another example of Jewish hatred throughout Europe; blame the Jew. Without a shred of evidence Dreyfus was found guilty of treason. It wasn’t until 1906 that Dreyfus was finally exonerated of charges and set free. Twelve years of imprisonment all because of Jewish hatred. Hertzl and our later Zionist fathers realized that we should no longer lean on those who are striking us. The prophet Yesheyahu all along spoke of the day of others who would see that we can no longer lean on those striking us. Zionism is the very preservation of our people.
Yeheskel/Ezekiel 37:4 Again he said to me, Prophesy over these bones, and tell them, you dry bones, hear the YHWH’s word. 5 Thus says Adonai Elohim to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live. 6 I will lay sinews on you, and will bring up flesh on you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am YHWH 7 So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold, an earthquake; and the bones came together, bone to its bone. 8 I saw, and, behold, there were sinews on them, and flesh came up, and skin covered them above; but there was no breath in them. 9 Then he said to me, Prophesy to the wind, prophesy, son of man, and tell the wind, Thus says Adonai Elohim: Come from the four winds, breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live. 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up on their feet, an exceedingly great army. 11 Then he said to me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Yisrael: behold, they say, Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are clean cut off. 12 Therefore prophesy, and tell them, Thus says Adonai Elohim: Behold, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, my people; and I will bring you into Eretz-Yisrael. (emphasis added)
Let me propose to you another definition of Zionism. Zionism is the act of living and breathing. If we remain satisfied in our graves (the nations), we will cease to live and breath. We will die as a people. Elohim built Zionism into us for our preservation. I know I am not the only one, but since it was declared that the first Zionist Congress for Bney Yoseph was going to happen; I have experienced an amazing energy that has charged my very being. An energy which is Zionism, the act of living and breathing.
Am Yisrael Chai,
Tzefanyah ben Yochanon—
Chazak Chazak v’nitchazek
Let us be strong, let us be strong and let us
strengthen (encourage) one another!