Whoever believes that the disaster that befell the State of Israel is the beginning of its end is mistaken. This disaster marks, in my opinion, the start of a new beginning and it further strengthens my confidence that the Jewish state will not cease to prosper. This pogrom returned Israel (and the Jews) to the starting point, to the emergence of Zionism. The reason lies in the fact that it reminded them of the massacres and pogroms that were routine around the world, including in Palestine, before the establishment of the state.
The Jews, who until the beginning of the modern era were rooted in a traditional world of faith and religious observance, found themselves in the past being led like sheep to the slaughter in their homes. They used to bow their heads, submit to reality, and thank God for the good and the bad. They saw the calamities that befell them as a decree from God. It never occurred to a G-d-fearing Jew to ponder on the Lord's intentions.
This reality of victimhood was their fate until the rise of the Zionist movement, which sought to rescue them from their weakness and helplessness. The Zionist movement freed them from servitude to their faith, and converted the spirit of helplessness into a spirit of resistance and resilience, a spirit of standing firm in the face of challenges, confronting enemies and in brave self-defense.
Zionism managed to plant this spirit in Jews wherever they lived. Inspired by it, they began to leave their homes and immigrate to Israel. A spirit of bravery pulsated among them and they did well to withstand all the disasters that befell them and the difficult challenges they faced. The slogan "no more", meant no more massacres from today onwards.
No more are the days of Jews being slaughtered like sheep. The times when terrible riots were committed against them, including the killing of men, the raping of women and the slaughter of anyone who could not escape. Much like the Hamas terror organization did on October 7, 2023.
During Passover of 1903, a pogrom was carried out against the Jews of the Ukrainian town of Chisinau, which was then part of the Russian Empire. Dozens of Jews were murdered and hundreds were injured. More than 700 homes and workplaces were destroyed. Homes and businesses were looted and women were raped. Only those who hid in shelters or ran away survived.
It was that pogrom that motivated Herzl to conceive the idea of establishing a Jewish state in Uganda. For Ze'ev Jabotinsky, on the other hand, the Chisinau atrocities were a source of inspiration for the idea of self-defense and a full-fledged struggle against enemies and adversaries.
After the end of the pogrom, which lasted three days, during which the Jews were subjected to all kinds of torture, the Jewish Committee in Odesa sent poet Hayim Nahman Bialik to Chisinau to lift the spirits of survivors. During his visit there he witnessed the humiliation, weakness and poverty in which those Jews were living.
The survivors of the atrocities went to their synagogues to thank God for the miracle that happened to them. The thanksgiving prayer they recited called the "Father of Mercy," was composed after the the Crusaders attacked the Jews in 1096. Tens of thousands of Jews were murdered during the Crusades.
Thousands of Jews were also killed by Arabs in the Land of Israel in the several pogroms before the establishment of the state: the riots of 1920, the riots of 1929, in which 133 Jews were murdered and the massacre in Kfar Etzion in 1948, during which a hundred Jews were murdered and the settlement there was completely destroyed.
Now, 75 years since the establishment of the State of Israel, and after it had reached a high level of sophistication, humanity and a developed civilization, the killers of Hamas carried out this massacre. Some who dream of its destruction of Israel, saw this as the beginning of the end of the state.
In their opinion, this is the time when the Muslim prophecy about the stone and the tree will come true. "The Jews will hide behind the stones and the trees, and the stones and the trees will say, oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah, there is a Jew hiding behind me — come and kill him". The truth is completely different. The Israeli people, in particular the Jews among them, young and old, woke up as one, with a spirit of resistance, a spirit of heroism and a firm stance against the enemy pulsating again with greater strength than in 1948 and the wars that followed.
Even if the Jews of the country began to lead a life of indulgence and luxury, this pogrom came and woke them up from their slumber and false dreams of peace with Hamas. They are now returning to the spirit of resistance and steadfastness instilled in them by Jabotinsky and others. This spirit of Zionism began to pulsate in them anew after many of the Jews had forgotten it, and it itself began to wither and gave way to new "post-Zionist" spirits.
One of the distinct characteristics that the Jewish state is on the rise and prospering is the strength of the Hebrew language. It has not stopped developing and is thriving in the mouths of the young and old, among the Hebrews and even those who are not. The Arabic language, on the other hand, is deteriorating more and more. Al-Hassan bin Khaqan wrote about the Jews about 1,200 years ago in his poems:
The Jews of this time have arrived
to the end of their hopes and they became kings.
The strength in their hands and even the property.
From them came advisers and kings.
Children of Egypt, I advised you:
Convert to Judaism! After all, even the stars of the sky have already converted
The Jews of our time have not yet reached their peak, but they are on their way there. Before they forget that spirit that gripped them when they established the state, and before they reach the stage where blindness prevails, someone comes to wake them up from their deep slumber and brings them back to reality. So don't be afraid and don't falter.