Zion. What does it really mean?
The question I am sure that we are all asking ourselves is, “How can I ignore the rabbis and still be 100% Torah observant?”
The answer is simple: Become a Zionist. Zionists do not have to listen to the rabbis. See, life can be simple.
Zionists never listened to the rabbis and that is why they succeeded in establishing a Jewish homeland. If the Zionists had listened to the rabbis, they would still be in Poland or Lithuania, waiting for the next pogrom.
For those of you who think I am joking about all this, think again. There is a good reason why Zionists do not listen to the rabbis. The reason is that the rabbinic system of Jewish Law (Halacha) and the Talmud it is based on are Babylonian Torah, and contains error and deception. The Torah of truth is the Torah of Eretz Yisrael, as it says (Isaiah 2:3), “From Zion the Torah will come forth and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” From Zion, not from Babylon.
The Light of G-d that shatters the Galut and brings the Geulah shines only upon Zion, as it says, “The eyes of the Lord your G-d are always upon it, from the beginning of the year unto the end of the year (Deut. 11:12).” And the rabbis are Babylonian. Even the Israeli rabbis are Babylonian. No one was more of a Babylonian than the Rambam. This is why his halachot block the Third Temple, the Ger in the gate, Kabbalah, nor does the Rambam include settling the Land as one of the 613 Mitzvoth, and he does not include it a matter of Jewish faith that G-d will return us to our Land. These are all key elements that lift us out of Galut and deliver us to Geulah.
Therefore, any sentient being, Jew or Gentile, who wants to believe in the G-d of Israel and observe His holy Torah, and would like to escape from the snares and entanglements of rabbinic Judaism and enjoy religious freedom, might consider becoming a Zionist.
But before your run out and Zionize yourself, you might ask: “Hey, what does Zion really mean?”
The word Zion, pronounced Tzee-yohn in Hebrew, means marker or signpost. The first time it is found in Tanach is in 2 Samuel 5:7, “And David conquered the [Jebusite] fortress of Zion, which is the city of David.”
The Jewish traditional meaning (mesora) of Zion is “the place that marks the Presence of G-d.” This means the Land of Israel, as it says, “By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat and wept when we remembered Zion. Those who scorned us asked with mirth, ‘Sing for us the songs of Zion.’ But how can we sing the song of the Lord upon alien soil. (Psalms 137:1,3,4).”
There are five levels of Zion in ascending order of holiness:
1. Israel (the Scriptural borders),
3. Temple Mount
4. Foundation Stone (Holy of Holies)
5. G-d Himself
Singly or collectively, these five are Zion, or as in Hebrew, Tzion.
In Solomon’s Temple, the Ark of the Covenant stood on the Foundation Stone in the Holy of Holies. From between the wings of the golden cherubim atop the Ark, G-d spoke to His prophets, as it says (Amos 3:7), “For the Lord G-d does nothing other than reveal His secret to His prophets.” That is the Torah that goes forth from Zion, which means both the physical place and the revelation of G-d, the Shechina.
No Babylonian Torah scholar can truly grasp this. Only a prophet can, because he is helped by the Light of G-d that shines in the Land of Israel, but not in Babylon.
The Torah of Zion is intuitive and prophetic. Without realizing it, the early Zionists prophetically gave us borders of Israel that closely resemble the Torah’s borders in Numbers 34:1-13.
The source of the Holy of Holies and the Foundation Stone (Even Ha-Shetiya) being called Zion is found in Genesis 28:12, where Jacob is on his way to Haran to find a wife. As the sun sets, he seeks a place to rest. And he finds some stones to place around his head as a protection. (Stones are code in Sefer Yetzirah for letters of the alef-bet.) And Jacob sleeps, and he dreams of a ladder reaching from earth to heaven with angels going up and down upon it. And Hashem, the G-d of Abraham, appears above it. He blesses Jacob and promises to protect him. And He blesses all the families of mankind through Jacob and his children.
And Jacob awoke and said, “How awesome is this place. This is none other than the House of G-d and this is the gateway to heaven.” And then it says, “And Jacob rose early in the morning and set up the stone that he had placed under his head as a pillar, and he poured oil upon it, and he called the name of that place, Bet El, the House of G-d.”
At its core, Zion is that place and that event and all later events that happened in that place. Zion is the glory of G-d as gotten through Israel. Its mercy is above its justice, way above, way way above. Its mercy is the bracha of Melchizedek, King of Jerusalem and priest of Kel Elyon, G-d Most High. The rabbis do not have that bracha, but the Zionist does and the Noahide Ger does.
Eric Hoffer wrote in The True Believer that when a mass movement’s purpose has been fulfilled, its creative phase begins. This is where Zionism is right now. It has fulfilled its purpose of establishing a Jewish homeland, and its creative phase is well underway.
Today, Israel is enhancing the human condition through humanitarian projects and technology, notably the innovative technology of turning sea water into drinking water, and countless other creative gifts to the world. CNN reported two years ago that more capital is being invested in creative research and development in Tel Aviv than any other city in the world.
Perhaps now is the time for Zionism to enter its creative phase spiritually, b’ezrat Hashem. Zionism can bring the world to drink the pure waters of the Torah, as it says (Isaiah 55:1), “Hey, all who are thirsty, go to the water, and whoever has no money, go, buy and eat, and go buy without money and without the price of wine and milk.”
That verse in Isaiah describes the Geulah as an entirely new world. This is where the rabbis get it all wrong. They perceive Geulah as a continuation of Galut, only more so. When the Lubavitcher Rebbe, zy’a, told people to live as if the Geulah were here, his Chassidim ran out and became stricter about their Galut.
The truth is that Redemption and Exile are opposites. Geulah is going to be nothing at all like Galut. It is going to be better than Galut and, therefore, different. The great difference will be what every Jew prays for three times every day: And let our eyes behold Your return to Zion with mercy. Blessed are You, Ado-nai, Who returns His Shechina to Zion.
Rabbinic Judaism abhors innovation, so it will remain in Galut forever. But Creative Zionism hungers for innovation, especially in the realm of the spirit.
Geulah is all about the revelation of G-d. And gilui Shechina does not exist in the religion of Galut, which is almost entirely din, strict justice. The religion of Geulah is not almost entirely mercy, it is absolutely entirely mercy, for it says, “G-d is good to all. His mercy is above all His works.”
Even today, the revelation of G-d exists in Zionism. Creative Zionism is Geulah. And Geulah is freedom. And freedom is the first of the new protocols of the Elders of Zion.
Next blogpost: Understanding Creative Zionism.