Realpolitik or Divine Providence?

In our world there are realities and perceived realities. Politics is based on perceived reality, and does not necessarily having anything to do with the facts on the ground.

That Yerushalayim is the capital of the present State of Israel is a fact, as it has been since the State’s creation. That was and will remain a fact, regardless of whether it is, or is not, internationally recognized. There are certainly many in the political arena who prefer to deny that reality, especially those who strongly believe that the partition of Yerushalayim is a prerequisite for peace.

However, another reality of this situation is that the Palestinian leadership, and perhaps the people they represent are, at the least, reluctant to embrace anything associated with active peace. As such, it is a utopian fantasy to insist that not accepting Yerushalayim as the capital of the State will change the Palestinians’ cooperation in the long-stalled peace process.

All of this is what we have come to call realpolitik. It is refreshing to see that President Trump has chosen to take an approach that, though not popular in many circles, has a historical track record of helping to hasten the finding of solutions, rather than perpetually delaying them. It is his expressed desire to bring some constructive good will to the region, if indeed a solution is altogether possible. As such, we hope that the president’s words and actions will allow Jews to live in Eretz Yisrael in peace and prevent further bloodshed, and not serve as yet another excuse for inciting violence.

The believing Jew, however, observes a world that runs partly on a perceived reality, part on realpolitik. But Eretz Yisrael is not part of realpolitik. Its reality is defined by einei Hashem mereishis ad achris; it is the obvious Divine Providence that sets the rules.

Hashem connected Klal Yisrael to Eretz Yisrael as our birthright. This is not dependent on recognition by the nations, but by the promise of Hashem to our forefathers. Eretz Yisrael is and will always be our “Promised Land,” even though the unfortunate conditions of galus prevent us from inhabiting the land in the manner that we long for.

Furthermore, we hope that any strengthened confidence of Jewish rule over the city will only bring more security and aid us in living up to our destiny as an Am Hanivchar, to do Hashem’s will; and not, chas v’shalom, to entice any among us to cross halachic boundaries. It does not change anything about our responsibility to recognize that, due to our present state of impurity, we must take all precautions regarding the makom haMikdash, where — because of its great kedushah — we may not tread.

We daven that the Shomer Yisrael, The Eternal Guardian of Klal Yisrael, should guide us through this process and that it should be a conduit only for our benefit. The passuk that says “ve’alu moshi’im” means a G-dly rescue of Tzion, not to be confused with hatzalah or ezrah, which mean just help. No matter what occurs through political or military means, the ultimate redemption is solely in the Hands of Hakadosh Baruch Hu.

We are thankful that Hashem has given so many Jews in our generation the opportunity to live in Eretz Yisrael and to see the Land prosper physically, and we rejoice in seeing the rejuvenation of Torah life that has taken place there. Yet, it remains in the Hands of Hashem alone to redeem us and make us a true am chofshi, not chas v’shalom meaning free of mitzvos, but eternally free from shibbud malchiyos and dedicated singularly to the service of the Hashem.