For two thousand years, the two world religions that had taken their inspiration from the religion of the Jews did their best to grind the very people into whose well of beliefs they had dipped their buckets-- to dust. For a thousand years the voices of the world that weren't advocating ghettos and Pharaoh's whip and the Inquisition's stake, whispered eagerly that the only possible way for the Jews was assimilation. To mingle with the rest of the world and vanish forever.
Arnold Toynbee proclaimed that the Jewish people were the fossils of history. And then the fossils rose again. The cemeteries disgorged their dead. A nation composed of farmers and Holocaust survivors stood off the armies of the Jordanian Legion and that of five Arab nations, each of which was many times larger than Israel. And at the end a blue and white flag waved over a new land.
Within a decade that land was bursting with productivity and industry. With settled cities and great works. With toil and labor and art and song. A land that had once been a pile of stones and dust. A relic of history had become new again. And at the wall of the temple, priests who were the descendants of Aaron raised their hands once more to bless the people. "May the Lord bless you and keep you." And he had.
None of this stilled the fury. The world does not like miracles. Pharaoh did not respond to G-d's wonders by bowing out. He only increased his fury and viciousness. The Pharaohs of the world always do. For tyrants, whether they are tyrants who hold thrones or tyrants who hold academic chairs and whose scepter is the rule of the unyielding ideology of historical necessity, do not bow to miracles. Miracles only demonstrate to them that there is more in heaven and earth than had been dreamed of in their philosophies.
Pharaohs who see slaves becoming free, a nation reborn and the dead rising from the graves have one simple response, to fill the cemeteries with the dead again.
Thus the world whose nations, singly and collectively, had for thousands of years protested at the presence of Jews within their nations, which had cried unendingly, "What Shall We Do With This Accursed People", which had screamed and even now scream that the Jews had seized their industries, their jobs, their governments and were constantly plotting against them-- suddenly discovered that the one thing worse than the exiled Jews was the unexiled Jew. In the blink of an eye a hundred nations discovered that the best solution for the Jews was to live among them.
"Why would you possibly want to leave the socialist homeland?" the Soviet commissars implored, after half a century of massacres approaching genocide and perpetual discrimination and bigotry.
"Why do you need a state?" queried a baffled Europe, which had only shoved millions of Jews into the cemeteries only a few decades ago. "Come back. We're friendly now. We'll even rebuild some of your synagogues."
And then the barrage began. By the artful crafty propaganda of the Pharaohs in Moscow, London and Cairo, the forsaken people which had finally rebuilt its homeland were the colonialists and the hate-filled sons of an Empire that had blotted out and continued to blot out freedom and human dignity across the Middle East were its oppressed victims.
It was truly no wonder. Under the Czars, a hundred million Russians had wailed that the few million Jews dwelling in a handful of ghettoized villages were oppressing them. The German people had wailed that even less Jews were oppressing them. And now it was the turn of a hundred million Arabs to wail. The existence of a tiny state in an otherwise Arab and Muslim Middle-East was a blow to their honor they could not endure. They might live among dirt and as the dirt, they might murder their own daughters for stealing a kiss with the neighbor boy and they might make their pilgrimages to London and Paris as eagerly as to Mecca, buying up everything in the stores to haul home to their villas all the while laboring under this demonstration of the superiority of the infidel's commerce and culture; but to tolerate a Jewish State was too much.
And the world, as it always has, joined happily in their cry. And when these Pharaohs gathered their armies and harnessed their steel chariots and watered them with the oil that flowed from their wells, the world smiled its awful secret smile as it saw them go on their way to drive the Jews into the sea again, as if four thousand years had passed but like a day. Theirs was the smile of those who enjoy seeing the weak crushed by the strong. Who find secret pleasure in this reassertion of the natural order. An order devoid of miracles.
And then another miracle happened. And another.
And the Pharaohs fumed in their villas, there was a great gnashing of teeth in the halls of Moscow and all right-thinking Europeans wept.
But they did not weep for long. When a river turns to blood, Pharaohs know they can wait it out. When fire and ice fall from the sky, they may tremble but they will not bow. For the secret of the Pharaoh is that the Pharaoh knows that G-d may be strong but man is weak. And it is over men that Pharaohs rule.
And so the Pharaohs which had divided the borders of the Middle East and proclaimed that this group of Arabs was to be Syrians and this group of Arabs, Egyptians and that Jordan would be ruled by a Saudi King who was to now be a Jordanian King, said that if G-d can bring forth a nation out of nothing, so can they. And as the Egyptian magicians had cast their staffs into snakes, the political magicians behind the Iron Curtain and across Europe and the Middle East cast forth their staffs and behold there was a Palestinian people.
And so the Pharaohs said to G-d, "You have created a nation and we have created a nation and we shall see which nation prevails."
Where G-d had created a Jewish nation to serve him and to bring light to the world, the Palestinian nation existed for no purpose than to strangle the Jewish nation. It had no identity except the name the Roman conquerors had given to Israel when they sought to eradicate the last traces of the Jewish people from their land. And fittingly, this became the name of a people whose sole striving was to do just that.
When they wrote poems, it was poems of murder. When they sang songs, it was songs of death. When they gave birth to children, it was to raise them up to kill and die. Old and young, men and women, they lived for no other purpose than to kill.
Given a piece of land, they set up rockets on it. Given a house they dug tunnels under it. Given a tool, they turned it into a blade. Given a child they turned him into a weapon. And as the worshipers of Moloch had done in ages gone, they passed even their own sons and daughters through the flame.
And having cast forth their serpents, the Pharaohs of the world leaned forward eagerly to see their work. And they lavished fortunes on them. And they ceaselessly agitated on their behalf in the international organizations of the world. Whatever Israel might do for them was spurned. Eagerly they waited for the end. Eagerly they waited for the cemeteries once again to fill with the dead.
And when the staffs had been cast, the burden had increased on the people of Israel. And they cried out as they sought to appease the Pharaoh, all the Pharaohs. They cried out against the redemption wishing only that they could return to the condition of slavery they had become comfortable in. They believed the Pharaohs who told them that it was only because of the redemption that they were being whipped.
They cried out in the pages of the Washington Post and in Newsweek and in the Sunday Times and in the letters column and on blogs and on television. "It is because of you who wish to go out that we are being whipped." As the Jews in the USSR had once cried out at the hardening of the exile against those refusniks who wished to go, so now the Jews in New York and Paris and Brussels cried out. "Let us live among our vegetables and our pots on meat in the suburbs of the Tri-State Area. Let us have our split level homes, our consumer electronics and our SUV's."
Their cry is always the same. Their cry was always the same. "If it was not for you, we might live in peace. If it was not for the trouble you make, the Russians, the French, the Germans, the Poles, the Arabs, the editors of the New York Times, would like us. It is because of you that conditions grow worse for you."
The cities may change. Ramses may become London and Pitom may became New York. The opinion makers may wear cassocks or coats or Armani suits or nothing at all. The broadcasts may be the gossip in the street or the transmissions of telecommunications satellites. The details change. The picture remains the same. The exile is ending and it is a bitter road to walk. The Amalekites converge on one side, the Moabites, the legions of Egypt, fire falls from the sky and seas turn to blood.
Israel may be a free nation but Pharaohs do not easily give up. The Pharaoh is the representative of man's tyranny over the world. The force that built up the Tower of Babel. The power that demands that all men be slaves, whether it is in the treasure cities of Egypt or in the academic theories of dialectical materialism. There are many chains and they are forged in many ways.
The redemption of G-d is the destruction of the tyranny of man. It is the miracle that shows that no matter how the chains are forged, they can be broken and no matter how strong the sword, it can be shattered. The culmination of the first age of the history of the world which will reach its close with the final redemption of Israel is the utter annihilation of the slavery of the Pharaohs, in whatever form it comes in. It is the fall of all the images of kings and leaders men have set up to worship. It is the destruction of all privilege and power that has set itself up in place of G-d.
It is the final undoing of history as man has seen it and its completion as G-d has chosen it. A dead nation has already risen and its flag waves over Jerusalem. And when the final redemption comes, the graves too shall give up their dead.