My latest column, as yet, unpublished . . . but you can see it! :)
By Michelle Nevada
As I sit here typing, the newest warrior in a religious war of sorts is kicking and punching and moving within me. As yet unborn, this tiny person represents the best hope for the future of Judaism, as do the new lives that are coming before and after. This child will be raised in a religious Zionist home, encouraged to be a part of Israel and the Jewish people, encouraged to pursue Torah, encouraged to marry Jewish and raise a family, encouraged to learn and grow and prosper.
This child, like its many siblings, will find love and comfort in our traditions and our people, and will be surrounded with Jewish books, Jewish friends, and Jewish life. Even more importantly, this child will be joined by thousands upon thousands of Jewish friends who will be raised with the same important guiding principles: the newest draftees in a war of demographics.
It‚s a war we are already winning, at first whispered among us˜as if saying it too loudly might somehow break the magical power of which we were beginning to become aware, and then spoken of in tentative terms: perhaps, if things keep going this way, Israel will find itself a majority religious nation . . . .
Now, as the headlines are beginning to build, as the newspapers and news shows are beginning to be more and more aware, and as the secular government ministers begin to speak with more and more panic about their inability to keep the state from it‚s religious roots, the parents and grandparents and aunts and uncles of this demographic force are beginning to smile outright.
We aren‚t ready to boast, or cheer, or go into the streets˜yet. We are still waiting for the inevitable last throws of secularism to try to push its weight around and eliminate our advantage, importing large numbers of non-Jews, attempting to give away strategic lands˜doing anything to maintain their illusion of power.
We look with sadness upon the last throws of their backward rein where they kowtow to terrorists and sacrifice our land and our people to the great idol of „peace.‰ We have seen how „peace‰ has stood, like a graven image, unable to move or speak, while our living G-d still gives us hope and promise of returning to our Holy places and reclaiming our Holy land. We know there is a lot of pain to come, but we also know the slow unrelenting mass of religious children are headed their way, and there isn‚t a whole lot they can do about it.
It has been going on for years. The secular public has been having fewer and fewer children, valuing life-style over life. The Reform and Conservative streams of Judaism in the US and Europe have been intermarrying, assimilating, and losing their Zionist ideals. As Reform and Conservative synagogues see their numbers decreasing over the years, religious Jews see their congregations growing.
The religious public--still in love with the land of Israel; still yearning for our holy places; still dreaming of a land where Torah is important; and still understanding that without Israel, we are a lost people--have made aliyah; moved to Yesha, Jerusalem, Hevron, and Tiberias; sent our children to religious schools despite the great sacrifices we‚ve had to make; defended the land; and established Hesder Yeshivas where we integrate Zionism and Torah. Even when we can‚t make aliyah, we send our children to Israel to study and to serve. And, all the while, all over the world, religious Jews have been growing in numbers. We have a high birth rate because we value life. Our numbers are increased by a great number of newly religious Jews, and a steady stream of sincere converts, who also value life and have many children.
Now we see news stories of how the IDF‚s officers are 40 percent religious
We are not yet a majority in Israel, but we know the time is coming soon
So, listen good Peres, Tamir, Beinish, and Olmert: your time in power is short. Soon our children will be in your seats, they will be making the decisions, and they will bring glory back to Israel in the only way it can be found: through G-d. It‚s something you can‚t stop. It is already upon us. The demographic war is one you have already lost and will continue to lose˜with each and every tiny foot-blow and tiny punch of new Jewish lives.