I wholeheartedly agree with Dr. Simcha Katz (“Supporting the Jewish Homeland,” summer 2012) that greater kavanah in our tefillot is a key element in strengthening and supporting our homeland. Paying attention to the words of the tefillot leads us to understand how we may best support our homeland. And the conclusion we must draw, if we are honest, negates Dr. Katz’s second suggestion—political advocacy in the Diaspora. “Do not rely on nobles nor on a human being for he holds no salvation” (Tehillim 146:3). “For the kingship belongs to Hashem, and He rules the nations” (Tehillim 22:29). We say these words every single day. Time and again, throughout Jewish history, our prophets have been proven correct: a sovereign Jewish state’s reliance on foreign political powers, even if there are some salutary effects, will always lead to disaster.
Just as ancient Israelites tragically put their faith in Egyptian, Assyrian and Roman powers, modern Jews continue to hope that foreign government assistance will yield more for Israel than humiliating and absurd admonishments about when, how and whether we may exercise our military options and where we may build homes in our own land.
If we had the courage and conviction to actualize the words we pray every day, we would recognize that God did not intend for Israel to function as a “normal” nation. Though the Torah makes it clear that Israel must have a strong military, the ultimate solution to our woes lies not in ever–more sophisticated and expensive military hardware, but in Jews coming home to live and contributing to bettering our land through both practical and spiritual means.
Our nation can succeed as a light unto other nations only if we heed God’s command to settle, fight and sacrifice for this land financially and physically and imbue it with the Torah’s foundational principles of mercy, truth and justice. Let us leave American political advocacy in the capable hands of Gentile lovers of Israel, and simply come home.
Abigail Klein Leichman
Ma’aleh Adumim, Israel