Toronto Wins NBA Championship; Middle East Conflicts Continue

  • Life is not a game.  Each person comes into the world into a battlefield. 
  • There is a force of evil in the world which causes war.  It causes sin and hatred between good people.
  • The future of Palestine is in question. Are they willing to accept a two state solution and to live in peace with Israel? Is Iran willing to accept American discipline and renegotiate their nuclear treaty?

The Toronto Raptors have officially become champions in the NBA after defeating the Golden State Warriors in a very close game.  Kevin Lowry scored 26 points leading their team to a victory.  Kevin Lowry was singled out for his opposition to the Toronto Raptors fans cheering the injury to Kevin Durant.  The injury to Klay Thompson in the fourth quarter was the final clincher in the defeat of Golden State.  Clay Thompson we see was the difference between the two squads. Golden State without Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson already gave Toronto the edge eventually the championship.  The injury to Klay Thompson when he went up for the layup was for sure not intentional.  It was just an attempt to block his shot. The ballplayers showed proper sportsmanship during the game and afterwards.

Israel and the Palestinians are at war.  Again the Palestinians in Gaza shot a missile on the city of Sederot causing damage to a building used by Religious students.  Yesterday there was another missile shot at a southern border village in Israel.  The Iron Dome has helped Israel counteract the aggression of Hamas but sometimes the defense system fails.  The missile last night hit the building in Sederot.  Israel is trying to play the game fairly under international law.  America is the peacemaker.

Life is not a game.  Each person comes into the world into a battlefield.  The war began a long time ago exactly when is not certain.  The Bible locates the first battle in Genesis 1 when Cain killed his brother Abel when he became jealous of his brother.  Cain and Abel were both good people.  There are circumstances when even good people fight.  The Arabs and the Israelis are good people.  Americans and Iranians are good people.  The cause of war is difficult to explain.  Germans are good people. Nazis are evil.

There is a force of evil in the world which causes war.  It causes sin and hatred between good people. On the individual level everyone is good; some better than others.  Some people are more intelligent than others.  There are two genders male and female.  Not all people are alike.  The differences between them cause people to unite in groups.  The wars are usually between these groups over their national interests.  Cain and Abel were two individuals who were at war. The jealousy was only on one side which was enough to create a war.

Mankind attempts to counteract the forces of evil to prevent wars and negotiate peace.  The United Nations was created for this purpose.  Life is not a game like basketball which ends with a Champion. Life is a constant struggle.  The greatest reward in life comes from the side of peace for artisans of peace. Abel was an artisan of peace. Cain was a warrior. God accepted the offering of Abel which was from vegetables and fruits.  The offering of Cain was the fats of a lamb.  There are two sides in life which are defensive and offensive. People take notice of offensive play but also is important defense.  Both sides interplayed in the final game of the NBA, but the one who scored the most points will usually be rewarded to be the Most Valuable Player.

The battle in life started from the first day of creation.  There were two sides Adam male and Eve female. Male is active and female is passive.  The goal in life is to unite the two sides in perfect harmony. Nations begin with war.  There is no nation without a land. Lands need to be conquered to build a nation. Israel was from the first nations on the face of the earth. The other empires before Israel have already been forgotten but their lands remain inhabited.  Today there are more than seventy nations on the face of the earth.  Each nation had its beginning. The history of the nation of Israel is recorded in the Bible.  The empires before Israel have vanished but have reappeared in the development of mankind and are part of the United Nations.  Some of these nations are still fighting for independence like Palestine but have not gained recognition.  Palestine was not an independent nation in 1948.  Palestine was part of Jordan.  The Gaza strip was part of Egypt.  Israel received independence in 1948.  The future of Palestine is in question. Are they willing to accept a two state solution and to live in peace with Israel? Is Iran willing to accept American discipline and renegotiate their nuclear treaty?

The State of Israel is not exactly like the state which the Jewish people have been praying for over 2,000 years.  The Jewish State was supposed to be built strictly according to Jewish law to include in it the Jewish Messiah their king.  Judaism is a national Jewish religion with a king.  In the Modern State of Israel, Judaism is under attack from the citizens of Israel.  The majority of the citizens of Israel want a free state and not a monarchy a dictatorship.  They also want that every citizen should be equal under the law without giving exceptions to the religious.  However Netanyahu, Shimon Peretz A”H, and Ben Gurion A”H, wanted a Jewish State in the land of Israel. To have a Jewish State requires the laws of Israel to define the status of who is a Jew.  The status of who is a Jew was part of the Law of Moses; a Jew is a descendant of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob born from a Jewish mother.  Who is a Jew is most important to the survival of the State of Israel as a Jewish State but the State of Israel cannot limit its immigration laws strictly according to Jewish law. The conflict is mostly regarding Russian immigrants who are classified in Russia Jews according to their father.

Menachem Begin in September 1978 on his way to Camp David with a meeting with Jimmy Carter President of the US over a potential peace treaty with Egypt stopped first to speak to the Lubavitcher Rebbe, in Brooklyn.  Part of the meeting was televised and can be seen on You-tube.

Menachem Begin his first words to the Rebbe is that our people is an eternal nation.  The memory of the National Religious State of Israel has survived in the diaspora even after it was conquered by Rome. It has survived as a religion practiced by Jews throughout the world.  The modern state of Israel is not the eternal nation.  The survival of the modern state of Israel depends upon political, economic developments and mostly the help of God.  Religion is secondary.  It was founded as a democratic state giving freedom of religion to Christians and Muslims.  The Biblical National Religious State of Israel was a Jewish State without freedom of religion.  The Biblical State of Israel did not allow prophets to start congregations in the land.  There was only one religion allowed in the land.

Wailing Wall, Jerusalem, by Gustav Bauernfeind (19th century).

Today Judaism lives under the kindness of the nations which allow Jews to practice Judaism.  The State of Israel allows Orthodox Jews to practice Judaism even to build religious Jewish communities. The Orthodox Jewish are part of the government.  In America Judaism flourishes.  In the Bible Chapter 22, Moses writes about a prophet of the gentiles Balaam and his prophecy.  Balaam said about the Jewish people, “How good are your tents of learning Jacob and your synagogues Israel.”  Judaism can live and thrive in all places where there is freedom. The State of Israel is not the eternal nation related to by Menachem Begin.  The State of Israel is attempt of the survivors of the holocaust, and the remnants of the family of the father of Israel to return to their homeland.   The Orthodox Jewish bloc defend their rights to practice Orthodox Judaism which threatens the freedom of secular Jews.  The land of Israel today belongs to the State of Israel.  Religious Jews have the right to sanctify the land according to Jewish Law but it is not their land.  The land belongs to the State of Israel.  The State of Israel won its right to be in the land in the war of independence of 1948.  The Jewish right to the land needed to be renewed and required a war like was the custom when Joshua entered the land, and is the custom of every nation in history.  The world was given to Adam and Eve without a fight.  They lost their rights to their properties including the Garden of Eden when they sinned.

Torah law says the land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people.  No one accepts Torah law today.  The Biblical nation of Israel needed an army to defend its claims. Judaism claims that every person born from a Jewish mother is Jewish and is obligated to keep the laws of the Torah.  In Biblical times there were allowed no exceptions; but the law was enforced by police and desecration of the law was judged in the courts with severe penalties.  Making claims requires the claims to be backed up.  Jews can be proud to be Jews to remember their heritage which has been preserved by its religion and the Torah.  Every day is a new day.  The past and future are important but today is real time and not for imagination.

The Jewish people have been praying for the Messiah for over two thousand years to return them to the holy land.  Officially the Messiah has not come.  Some call the State of Israel the beginning of the redemption but not yet complete until is established the Religious National government.   The State of Israel like any other country in the world is not eternal.  It has to defend its borders. The nation of Israel gained its independence in 1948 through the war of independence. The Jewish people pray to God for the survival of the State of Israel at the Wailing Wall:

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David Wexelman

Rabbi David Wexelman is the  author of five books on the topics of World Unity and Peace, and Progressive Jewish Spirituality. Rabbi Wexelman is a member of the American Friends of Maccabee, a charitable organization helping the poor in the United States and in Israel.  Donations are tax deductible in the USA.
http://www.worldunitypeace.org

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