Correspondence with Senator Joseph Lieberman
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Senator Joseph Lieberman
Shalom Aleichem. I hope your flight back to the U.S. was pleasant. It was a real honor for me to meet you and Hadassa in Jerusalem.
I regret that I did not have an opportunity to fully answer your question regarding my understanding of the options for a resolution to the Middle East crisis. Before I do offer you my understanding, I would like to clear up an incident that followed the evening we met. Two days later, one of the guests who attended that evening related to me that after I had left, during your summation of your experiences in the region, you said that among the opinions you encountered, was the opinion of the artisan who spoke that evening, who responded to your question of 'what do you think should be done with the Palestinians' with 'kill them all.' This guest understood you to be referring to me. Being a long time friend of mine, and knowing my understanding of the situation, he was justifiably perplexed and came to me to ask if I had indeed said such a thing to you. I was quite flabbergasted. I asked him to call his wife, who also attended that evening, and asked her if she had heard the same thing. She affirmed the remark but had understood you to be referring to the harpist. I questioned him and he also denied making such a remark. Let me assure you, I have never even entertained such a thought, Kol V'chomer (all the more so) uttered it to you. I imagine your head must have been swimming with all the personages and opinions you had encountered during so intensive a trip.
That having been said, I would like to take the opportunity to answer your question in depth, and I would like to preface my answer with a bit of background.
I am living in Israel for 13 years now. I am committed and have chosen to take responsibility. I served two and a half years in Zahal (Israel Defense Forces), and carry the rank of sergeant. In 1982, as a result of a Cheshbon Nefesh (soul searching), I dedicated my life's work to rebuilding the Temple. I am a Levi (Levite), and have chosen to actualize the Duty given to me by G-d, to prepare for Him a Mishkan (Tabernacle). I believe in the truth and reality of out Torah as G-d's expressed Will to be actualized in this world, right now, today.
I am not a prophet, though I have been blessed with vision. I can not tell you how it will be resolved, but I can offer you an insight to how it could be solved, Mamash (untranslatable explicative). In seeking a solution to the Middle East cirisis, disharmony must be replaced with harmony. That is the whole task. Palestinian nationalism and Zionism are infinitely disharmonious. They can never be brought into harmony. In order to achieve harmony, the crisis must be seen, understood, and solved on another plane. A common factor must be sought out, and in the light of that common factor, a solution can be achieved. When dealing with Zionism vs. Palestinianism there is no common language. In G-d, we do have a common language. The Muslims believe in G-d, they also believe in serving G-d. That is two very strong beliefs that we share with the Arabs, and can serve as a basis for a multitude of bridges.
Our prophecies ordain that we will be ingathered from the far corners of the earth to again be a sovereign nation in our Land. The prophecies also ordain that G-d's House will be rebuilt. The Arabs believe in G-d, they believe in serving G-d. When G-d makes it manifestly clear to the Muslim world that it is His Will that the House be rebuilt, the Muslim world will not stand in the way of its fulfillment, Adarabah (just the opposite), they will run to carry out His Will. Halavei (It should only be) amongst the Jews.
Prior to the ascendency of King David, we were a confederation of tribes. With David's coronation, the first State of Israel came into being, with a national army as opposed to local militias. David's rule, lasting 40 years, is known to us as the period of the 'conquest', in which we conquered the Land of Israel to its greatest extent. David wished to build G-d's House but was prevented from doing so because he had blood on his hands. It fell to his heir, Solomon, who in the fourth year of his reign, after a four year period of transformation from conquest mentality to Service, began to build the Holy Temple, on the second of Iyyar (Hebrew month), in the 44th year of the State.
In the second State of Israel under Ezra and Nehemiah the scenario was repeated. The period of conquest was followed by a national Tshuva (return to G-d) and according to Josephus, the work of building the Temple was begun on Rosh Chodesh Iyyar (the new moon - or first of Iyyar), somewhere about the same time in the State's history.
We now find ourselves in the 42nd year of the third State of Israel. The first 40 years of the State are referred to 'in the streets' as the period of the conquest. Had you visited Jerusalem two years ago you would have witnessed, spray-painted on every wall in downtown Jerusalem 'Die L'kibush!' (End the conquest!). There is little doubt amongst the living that the period of the last 40 years of conquest has spent itself. There have been many who have wished to see the Temple rebuilt. However, Zionism can not rebuild the Temple, it has blood on its hands. We must look to its heir. Therein lies the answer.
The automatic response to the mere mention of rebuilding the Temple is 'what are you going to do, blow up the mosque?' This must change. We are taught that if all of Israel would keep but two Shabbats (Sabbaths) the Messianic Era would be upon us. Israel kept the first of those two Shabbats with the establishment of the State. It was an endeavor which the entire Jewish people invested its time, assets, labor, and blood. The second Sabbath, which remains to be 'kept' is the rebuilding of the Temple, an endeavor which will again require the entire people coming together to accomplish.
This is my understanding of the nature of the solution. All contemporary political solutions are doomed to failure. That should be evident to you. Being a long time resident of Jerusalem I have come to understand the way G-d works in this city; our meeting was not by chance. You were supposed to receive these thoughts. What you will do with them only time will tell.
Response from Senator Lieberman
Joseph I. Lieberman|
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510
September 12, 1990
Mr. Reuven Prager
Thanks for writing. I regret any difficulty my comments on the final night of our trip may have caused you. The remark I repeated was definitely not made by you. I repeated it without disdain, but only to demonstrate the range of opinions I heard from Israelis, including some from unlikely sources.
I found your faith to be moving and your thoughts to be substantial. I will keep them in mind.
I send you every good wish.