THE JEWISH NATION IS GROWING!
by Aviel Schneider (Israel Today News)
Ahead of Israel’s 67th Independence Day, the Central Bureau of Statistics announced that the country’s population now stands at 8.3 million, including 6.3 Jews. Despite all the threats, the Jews have returned to their biblical homeland; and the populace has kept growing since the First Aliyah (wave of immigration to the Land of Israel) began 133 years ago in 1882.
Then in 1948 the State of Israel was established, 1878 years after the destruction of the Second Temple. Year after year, the Jews in the Diaspora made this proclamation on Passover: L’Shana Haba’a b’Yerushalayim! (Next year in Jerusalem!) God heard this prayer innumerable times until it finally came to fruition according to the words of the prophets.
Defying the odds and predictions of doom, Israel has survived all the wars and dangers. But it must remain on the alert because it has many enemies who seek to destroy it. That is why the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is resisting the perilous nuclear deal between the world powers and Iran. If Iran acquires the atom bomb, it could threaten the very existence of the State of Israel.
Throughout history, many nations have sought to annihilate the Jewish people, both in the homeland and in the Diaspora. Pharaoh wanted to destroy the Jews, as did the Amalekites, Babylonians, Assyrians, Romans and Nazis.
The Bible talks about such hatred for the Jews (Esther 3:8) – There is a certain people scattered and dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom; their laws are different from those of all other people, and they do not observe the king’s laws, so it is not in the king’s interest to let them remain.” And the Passover Haggadah says “in every generation they (our enemies) rise up against us to destroy us, but the Holy One (blessed is He) saves us from their hands.”
The threat remains to this day. A report by the Foundation for the Benefit of Holocaust Victims in Israel found that nearly half of Israelis (46%) believe that a second Holocaust can happen, five per cent higher than last year. Anti-Semitism is surging, but this is lost on the West which pushes Israel for dangerous concessions to Iran and the Palestinians.
There is a saying in Israel: We have survived Pharaoh and Hitler and we will survive this too.” And yet, the majority (57%) of world Jewry still lives abroad, not here in the biblical Land of Israel. But there is a silver lining to the growing anti-Semitism: That is what pushes Jews to return home, even in comfortable places like Europe!