The Old and the New; God Bless America

  • After sin and evil entered the world the ideal of World Unity ended.
  • When you limit freedom, you limit the potential of the human being.
  • When freedom is attached to God it works. When freedom separates from God it is the seed of destruction.

America has the greatest potential to lead the world to World Unity and Peace. It is starting to go backward. America is one nation under God with liberty and justice forever. Removing God from America will also mean that America will not be forever.

Moses the prophet was disappointed. He had grown up in the house of Pharoah and he lived with gentiles. The daughter of Pharoah Batya reached her hand out into the Nile river to save him after Miriam his sister had placed him in a cradle and floated the cradle on the river. There was a decree in Egypt that all the male babies of Israel would be put to death. Moses saw in his life that there are good gentiles and there are bad gentiles. There are good people in the world and there are evil people.

Moses grew up with an ideal that God could make the whole world good. He didn’t want that there should be a separation between people ethnic and religious. When he met God at the burning bush, God understood him and his inner desire and love for humanity. God told him that he also wants World Unity and Peace, One world, one nation and one religion. This was the goal of Moses and also the desire of God.

President Trump has decided after many years of avoiding the issue of building the wall, the time has come to face the reality that America is in danger of illegal immigration and from liberal socialists. The time has come for a change. God created the world and placed Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. In the Garden of Eden there was World Unity and Peace because there was no sin for there were no other people. After sin and evil entered the world the ideal of World Unity ended. There had to be a separation of good and evil, a separation between families and nations. The only way of separating good and evil was to make law and order. The law of God distinguished between good and evil. Breaking the law is a crime. There are misdemeanors and felonies, minor transgressions of the law and severe criminal acts. Freedom did not go out the window. Freedom became a hidden secret, suppressed by religion and nationalism.

The reality of the dream of the perfection of the world was out the window when was built the Golden Calf. After all the miracles which had been done by God, ten plagues, the splitting of the Red Sea, the war with Amalek, and the revelation of God at Mount Sinai which was shocking to the people, evil again entered into the camp when was built the Golden Calf for worship. Moses was a man of idealism. For him it was possible to make a world to include in it the Jewish people and the gentiles together in one world in peace without anti-Semitism and racism. If God had the power to do these miracles, everything is possible. To Moses it was possible to build a nation under God with liberty and justice forever like the ideal of America without building a wall. Walls separate nations. Walls separate people. Color of the skin separates people. Different languages separate people. Religion separates people. There is an ideal and there is reality. Judaism became the reality religion in the world.

Freedom gives the opportunity for each person to develop to his highest potential. When you limit freedom, you limit the potential of the human being. When you build the wall around America, it no longer appears to be one nation under God with liberty and justice forever. America now appears to be like a dictatorship. There is justice but where is liberty? America didn’t build the wall for many years and was still surviving. Why now does there have to be a change? Why now does America have to give up its ideal? The President has made the decision that the time has come. Strengthening nationalism is at the expense of globalization. Perhaps globalization is a dream and not a reality. Nationalism and globalization conflict.

The Baal Shem Tov the founder of Chassidism taught to learn from things that we see in everyday life. Jews study the Torah which is filled with wisdom. There are 24 books in the Torah and commentaries without end written by intelligent scholars and holy men. The Baal Shem Tov taught also to learn from life experience. I have a leather bag which I found placed near a garbage can in Recovia the richest part of Jerusalem. I found it when I was panhandling in the neighborhood. I saw that the bag was already many years old but still had in it more life. It was made with fine leather unlike the bags used today which are not leather or weak leather and last a year or two and then thrown away. The bag is now by me for ten years which I use regularly in my work. A few times parts of the bag ripped and I went to a shoe repair man who repaired it. Finally it has ripped in several places and is no longer useable or worth fixing. Everything has its time. The bag is not an antique. Mickey Mantle the Yankee baseball star retired from baseball and was placed in the hall of fame with Joe DiMaggio and other stars. A hat or baseball with his signature is saved as an antique. If I was a celebrity it could be sold as an antique. You throw it out and replace it, the bag has no value anymore.

Ideals are not like physical objects. They need to be preserved forever. These ideals are preserved by religions. Religions become old and these ideals are always new. However these ideals are still not practical to use. The memory of the event of the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai is recorded in the Bible and preserved by the Jewish people in their religion. There was an ideal of World Unity and Peace One World, One God and one religion. Moses received the Ten Commandments written by the hand of God which would be the law for a religion for all of mankind without separating Jews and gentiles, no walls.

When Moses came down from the mountain with two stones engraved on them the word of God written with the finger of God the Ten Commandments. He heard fighting in the camp. His brother Aharon was in the middle of the war in the camp. It says about Aharon in the Ethics of the fathers, “Be from the students of Aharon, who loved peace, chased after and worked for peace, and brought others to the ideal of peace and truth.” Aharon saw that there were two sides in the Jewish camp which differed Jewish Nationalists and Global Resurrectionists. Moses was Global Resurrectionist an idealist and he attempted to bring his ideals of a nation under God with peace and liberty forever but failed. He broke the first tablets with the Ten Commandments when he saw that his goal and ideal was impossible to achieve now. He went back up onto the mountain to ask God for forgiveness for the people after fasting forty days and forty nights brought down a new law for a separate Jewish nation. The same argument exists today in America about building a wall to separate America from the outside which Democrats claim is against the ideal of a nation of liberty. Freedom and liberty are ideals. Even without freedom and liberty there can be justice. The Nation of Israel which was established in Jerusalem in Biblical times was a nation without freedom and liberty under God with justice.

There are nations without freedom and liberty without justice like the nation of Maduro in Venezuela. Justice is an obligation for all nations, freedom may not always be possible. God gave to Moses a law for Jews which was good for Jews the children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and gave respect to God, a nation under God with justice. The ideal of America was even greater one nation under God with liberty and justice forever. The nation has run into difficulties recognized by President Trump. When once America was proud to say that it was “One nation under God,” today it is ashamed of it. America needs God. It needs the ideals of its forefathers believers in God. When freedom is attached to God it works. When freedom separates from God it is the seed of destruction. Freedom needs a law which connects to God as its ideal.

The compromise which Aharon made with Moses was to make a nation under God for the Jewish people. The Jewish people had a special lineage which gave them a head start over the other nations. By making a free country it would be the destruction of their lineage. Moses wanted a nation under God with liberty and justice but the Jewish mothers wanted to protect the purity of their families. Justice is an obligation. Liberty and freedom are a gift. In religion there is justice and God without freedom. Religions separate themselves from evil. God reveals himself in different ways so there are different religions. There are also pagan Gods which are not included with justice. Freedom can also be pagan when it is made to be a God without justice. Freedom can become anarchy. Only when evil is removed from the world can be reached the goals of Moses. The evil influences around America from crime and drugs is behind Trump making the wall. America tolerated it for years; Trump wants to put his foot down.

America does not have to apologize to Thomas Jefferson and the founding fathers of America for building the wall. Liberty and freedom can sometimes be limited by walls and laws to protect the people from sin. Justice is an obligation; freedom is a gift and not always possible. God is the ideal. God includes in his name freedom. God is still God if you take out of his name freedom and there is left only justice. Today freedom of religion is an obligation for all nations. Other types of freedom like allowing criminals to come into America to sell drugs, as well as other abuses of freedom should be walled by making laws.

The perfect combination is to combine freedom with justice which is only possible in a nation under God. The Jewish people brought monotheism into the world with justice. Moses wanted to include in the constitution of the Nation of Israel liberty and freedom but he was vetoed by his brother Aharon. The first Christians attempted to add the freedom which Moses could not achieve but also failed. Rabbi Nachman of Breslov who lived about two hundred years ago said, There is no such thing as hopelessness and it is forbidden to give up hope. It is forbidden to give up hope on the ideal of freedom. It is part of the name of God which is Shalom. If it is part of the constitution of America, America has made the first step. Add to the constitution a heading “God Bless America.” America believes in One God, World Unity and Peace.

America needs the blessing of God. Freedom of religion gives America the blessings of God but more than religio God is faith. Faith is free to include liberty and justice. Religion is God with justice without freedom but with freedom as an ideal. The true potential of a human being can only be achieved when there is freedom. Moses wanted freedom for people to be able to achieve their true potential. To limit freedom is like to cut the dollar bill in half to read “In God” alone without the words “We Trust.” It was very difficult for Moses a nation without freedom. He had no choice but to ask each person to donate a half of a shekel as an obligation. Two people together make a whole shekel. The nation is held together through unity of Jews sacrificing for their nation. In a free nation each person has equal rights and freedom and is considered a whole person. The shekel is used as the currency today in Israel in memory of the half shekel that was given in the time of the temple. Israel became a nation without freedom. The rights of the individual were suppressed for the sake of the nation. The same is true with every nation people have an obligation to their nation and its survival even to serve in the army. No citizen has complete freedom but there is justice. Only God is free. The nation comes before freedom. Each dollar is taxed. The nation cannot give a whole dollar to each person. Moses wanted the ideal of freedom which was not possible a whole shekel a nation without taxation. It is written in the Torah, that in the generation of Moses in the wilderness the people ate manna bread that fell down from heaven. The generation of the wilderness with Moses as their leader lived on zero expense account; they didn’t even need to replace their clothing. It is written that their clothing never withered. However the people were still not satisfied. They wanted meat. Some say only fools believe in God; only fools believe in freedom. Nations are formed by people and even if they claim to be free with liberty; freedom is limited.

Nations sometimes can alter their constitution. They can add to their constitution “God Bless America.” Religions do not change. Religions are sacred. To change a religion means to make a new religion. Freedom is the new religion of America and the world; it has justice but there is room for improvement. Ideals are sacred like God. Don’t give up hope and the ideals of America. Moses has not given up hope. Jesus has not given up hope. Mohammed wants World Unity and Peace and is disgusted with his children fighting between each other. God is one and his name is one. Freedom is part of his name. Justice is the other part. The Lubavitcher Rebbe left the message to the world that there is hope and redemption on the way.

(The picture above is a sacred ancient scroll of the Torah. The Torah hasn’t changed, but the interpretations of the Torah have changed.)

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.

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