“In Every Generation”

By Rabbi Eliezer Waldman

July 2003

This week we will celebrate 55 years of Israeli indepen-
dence. At this time we must again recognize the reality
that our struggle for independence is not over. It is a
continuous battle for the basic rights of the Jewish
nation in its homeland. The nations of the world may
have officially recognized Israeli independence and
received us as a member of the United Nations organi-
zation, but in actual fact, we have not really been
accepted as an independent people.

The two basic rights of a free people are the right to
defend itself against those who seek its destruction, and
the right to build and settle their own land. The nations
of the world, both our enemies and even those who
supported us, have always sought to limit the complete
implementation of these basic rights.

I have long heard the echoes of these nations, saying to
Israel: “True, we have recognized your independence,
but we didn’t really mean you should be independent.
We will tell you where and when to settle in the Land
and we will determine when and how you can defend

The Jewish People have had to confront this grave prob-
lem ever since our national birth, when we were deliv-
ered from slavery in Egypt. Mitzrayim (Egypt) means
“straits,” signifying that the Egyptians wanted to prevent
the appearance of a Jewish, divine nation in the world
and that is why we were put into the straits of slavery.
These straits, that are meant to limit the growth and
development of this Jewish people, are continuing to
impede the natural growth of a Jewish nation in its land.
This prevents us from achieving our divine destiny,
which would bring a blessing to the nations of the world.

Amalek, who attacked the fledgling Jewish nation just
delivered from Egyptian slavery by the Almighty, emulat-
edthis evil process begun by the Egyptians. Since then,
throughout the generations, we have been confronted
by those who seek to destroy us, as well as those who
want to limit the freedom of a Jewish nation in its land.

In the Hagaddah of Pesach [Passover], we twice recited
passages that used the term “in every generation”. We
say that in each generation, a Jew must consider him-
self as being personally delivered from Egyptian
bondage. We also recite that in each generation, the
wicked rise up to annihilate us, but the Almighty saves
us. These expressions vividly describe the two-fold con-
frontation we face to this very day.

Thank God, the Redeemer of Israel, has helped us to
reach this stage of our freedom, and this week we will
joyously celebrate 55 years of independence. After a
century of Zionism, generations of Jews have succeeded
in turning a barren land into a Garden of Eden.

In order to understand the continuous evil hatred
towards Israel by our Arab neighbors and member
nations of the European Community, we must turn
again to our Biblical sources. The prophet Isaiah says,
“Many people shall go and say, Come and let us go up to
the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of
Jacob, and he will teach us of his ways.... for out of Zion
shall go forth the Torah, and the word of the Lord from
Jerusalem” (Isaiah II 2:3). In Psalms, it says, “The ene-
mies say, Come, let us destroy Israel as a nation and
leave no memory of them” (Psalms 83:5).

We believe that the prophecy of Isaiah will be complete-
ly realized and Israel will be a light unto the nations and
a source of blessing for all. Until this prophecy comes to
be, unfortunately, there are nations who still strive to
destroy the Jewish People as a nation.

In the same manner, we are sure that the only way to
deal with this national danger to Jewish existence is by
removing this threat from the face of the earth.

Remember, Mr. Bush and the Coalition, there is only
one solution to international terror and that is its com-
plete destruction by military victory. Yes, Mr. Bush, we
do not intend to surrender or commit suicide. We will
continue to fight our enemies until the Almighty helps us
ensure the security of the Jewish people in our homeland.

It is also important to understand, Mr. Bush, that we
cannot, and will never, agree to freeze Jewish life in our
land. No normal free nation would agree to that. We will
continue to build and settle and renew Jewish life in all
of Eretz Yisrael. n

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