I Will Surely Bless You
July 21, 2020
By Harrison Kone
“I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed because you have obeyed My Voice,” (Genesis 22:17-18). This account, also found in the Bereshit in the Torah, is the root of Israel’s contribution to the world, which is undeniably traced back to the father of its people: Abraham. This passage, from the Christian Bible, coming at the tail end of the Binding of Isaac, or the Akedah, sets the precedence for the importance of Jewish contribution to global culture, politics, and economics.
However, the world, throughout recorded history, has not been kind to the Jewish people. From being forced into exile by the Babylonians to the Roman occupation and events at Masada, from the 1190 Massacre in York to the Holocaust at the hands of Nazi Germany, the Jewish people have showcased their resilience on a global stage through the founding of the modern state of Israel. This nation’s rebirth, along with the language of its people, is the result of the blessing proclaimed by the Lord to Abraham. Israel plays a vital role in the strategic defense of democracy and, not surprisingly, its foundation.
The United States of America is by no means the first successful democracy to grace the earth, but it is the most unique. Birthed through an integration of Greek Reason and Jewish Morality, the United States provides opportunity beyond the scope of any nation prior. However, the average American is completely unaware of their debt to the ancient Kingdom of Israel for their contribution to the fabric of American democracy, freedom, and way of life. Without the insertion of Jewish morality into the folds of the republic, the ethical undertakings of the United States might not have transpired.
To this day, Israel still shines that morality like a beacon cutting through the night, reminding the nations around the world of their commitment to their culture and sacred honor. For example, Israel has set up field hospitals along their border with Syria to care for those wounded by the tragedy that is the Syrian Civil War. Having stood on Mount Bental, overlooking Syria alongside a former IDF medic, who recounted his time in those hospitals, I was awestruck by Israel’s commitment to the greater human cause. The medic recounted how they didn’t sift through who might or might not be involved with terrorist networks, Assad’s regime, or an affected third party. They treated everyone who came to them, even air lifting out those in dire straits who desperately needed medical aid unavailable at the field hospital.
This same morality is only known among the nations that have adopted the morality of the ancient Jewish traditions. Sadly, this same, noble morality is waning as moral relativity increases. Emotion, not fact, is ruling the day, and this has had a negative impact on the way Israel is viewed by the major western nations. There are those who, recognizing the importance of strict morality as set forth by a higher being, stand firmly by Israel. They recognize the modern political, geographical, and militaristic advantages of supporting Israel. At the same time, while utilizing reason to support Israel, they also adhere to the Word of God, which promises blessing on those who bless His people.
However, as news continues to stem from the midst of the Palestinian conflict, emotionally charged individuals who cast aside both reason and morality, do not see a strategic ally in the Middle East, a beacon of liberty amidst barbarism, or a moral state. How can they when their metrics of gauging morality are subjective? What other nation warns noncombatants of an impending airstrike knowing that the information will fall into the hands of the enemy and likely render their offensive ineffective? Or continues to provide water even though the Palestinian Authority refuses to pay the bill?
Morality drives those policies. This morality permeates the Jewish culture on a molecular level. One cannot split the Jew from Judaism. It is not like other religions, it is ingrained in the cultural identity of being Jewish, which goes far beyond national, religious, or ethnic identity. The global migration of Jews serves to spread this morality throughout the world, with Israel being the central, ancient source of identity for an entire people. We should celebrate when nomads finally have a home, a place with which to identify a sense of belonging that is greater than national pride.
Even if we disregard the amazing technological advancements that Israel’s free-market economy consistently produces, which many do, we cannot fail to recognize and honor the contributions of the Jewish people in the moral advancement of humanity. The nation of Israel confirms this recognition like a living monument to a people who have endured and preserved through even the most hopeless and bleak of times.
Without Israel, what hope do the oppressed have? In addition to its moral contributions to humanity, the Jewish people serve as a testimony to the millions of brutally oppressed people spanning the globe. Israel is proof that there is a way to rise from the depths of oppression and forge for your people a safe haven through which to bless the world.
What God started in Abraham has cultivated into a movement for all of humanity on a spiritual and cultural level. Israel showcases that prosperity can rise from oppression, that democracy and freedom can thrive anywhere on the planet, and that moral conviction must be at the center of all human progress.
Harrison Kone’s essay was a winner of the Combat Anti-Semitism Abraham & Sarah “Israel in Me” essay contest.