The Ultimate Objective: Redemption
Since the Nation of Israel was born, its ultimate aspiration has been the coming of Mashiach and the complete and final redemption. Unlike the very partial goals of modern Zionism (safe-haven, peace, international recognition, etc.) the goal of redemption is all-inclusive and redefines the motivation for the return of the Jewish People to the Land of Israel. It illuminates the life of the Nation with a new light, content and consciousness – for the individual and for the whole.
Our Sages have defined various stages in the process leading to redemption. These stages include establishing sovereignty, waging war against Israel’s mortal enemies, building the holy Temple on the Temple Mount and the ingathering of the exiles. The culmination of the redemption process is, of course, the Messianic era, when the world will be rectified and united in its service of G-d.
Will it Work?
Redemption is a Divine process that is already working! The redemptive process is well under way, as exemplified by the many positive and miraculous accomplishments of modern day Israel. We are pointing the way toward the next stage of this Divine process. When we realign our national goals with our ultimate, historic Jewish goals, we pave the way for determination and decisiveness in implementing our objectives.
Clarity of purpose affords leaders with the tools that they need to identify historic opportunities as they develop and to capitalize on them to further the nation’s goals. (If the goals are unclear, it is impossible to recognize historic opportunities. This leads to near-sighted policies and misreading of historic geopolitical developments — as most aptly demonstrated by current Israeli policy).
Determination to identify and capitalize on historic opportunities creates a national leadership that is also responsible. Leading one’s nation through the redemptive process is daunting, and the leaders may be tempted to take premature initiative to advance the nation’s goals. However, the knowledge that historic opportunities can and will arise as part of the Divine plan gives the leaders the serenity and faith to lead the nation on a calculated yet courageous path.
These are the ultimate objectives of the Jewish state. Authentic Jewish leaders must always have these ultimate goals before them so that they can recognize historic opportunity when it arises. As the Sages (Rambam, Laws of Kings and Wars 12:2) reiterate, though, we do not know exactly how these stages will manifest in reality until they actually happen. What we can and must do in the interim is to create the fertile ground in which these ultimate objectives can flourish; a Jewish state whose shorter-term goals propel us toward our ultimate goals.
By Moshe Feiglin
Cheshvan, 5769 (Nov. ’08)
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