Jews (and Christians) who live in their oh-so-sophisticated Western bubbles never see it. Certainly, they never see it up close. It is there, however. It is there right in front of our faces. We, however, choose to disregard it. We invoke our habitual 'cognitive ego-centrism' to ignore, or neutralize, it.
'It' is the powerful hold that Islam has upon its adherents. 'It' is the ability of the cries 'Jihad' and 'Al-Aqsa is in Danger' to move Muslims to action.
I saw 'it' in action twice this week. The first time was when I watched the masses of Muslims march around the Qa'aba on this third week of Ramadan. The second time was this morning. Returning from a Brit in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, I enountered part of the 170,000 Muslims on their way to pray on Har HaBayit. They came from all classes. There were men, women and children. On their faces was a unified look of solemnity and grim determination. They knew very well that their presence on the Temple Mount (whose existence they deny) is not only an act of personal piety. It is a statement that the dhimmi had better watch out, for their days are numbered.
This is Islam Militans. This is the enemy that has risen, once again, to destroy us. It is absolutely irrelevant to argue that Islam need not be this way. Even if I grant that position, my concession would not cancel out the fact that this is how Islam manifests itself today. Islam militans seeks to realize Muhammad's call to annex the world to the Dar-al-Islam. Islam militans unites both Sunna and Shi'a. There is very little that the President of Iran says that is not fundamentally acceptable to a believing Muslim.
Islam militans. I saw it on the faces in the crowd streaming to our Maqom ha-Miqdash. It was unmistakable. It was very sobering. It will not be countered by numbering our sins or indulging in even-handedness, or moral relativism. It will not be turned back through negotiations. How can a reasonable person expect another to negotiate away his deepest raison d'etre?
The only answer is to return to ourselves, and to God. The pragmatists will say that this makes sense, because unless you believe in your right to live, you will lack the wherwithal to preserve it.
That is true enough. Pragmatism is, however, not enough.
It is time to return to God, and the demanding moral and religious regimen that entails. It is time to cultivate a devotion to Torah, Jewry and the latter's absolute right to Eretz Yisrael. That force still marks and increasingly animates the overwhelming majority of Israeli Jews and enables them to defend our people and our country, at the risk of their very lives. (This is with the prominent exception of the judicial, academic, journalistic, governmental and business elites who are busy trying to destroy every last scintilla of Judaism in this country. Hopefully, they are speaking to no one but themselves.)
You see, there is a God. He is the Creator of the Universe and the Author of History. For inscrutible reasons, He has been bringing Jews home for almost two hundred years. That return defies historical logic and precedent. That return demands of us, the returnees, not to repay generosity with ingratitude. We do exactly that when we corrupt the land morally. We do exactly that when we turn the Torah into something with which to beat up our fellow Jews. We do exactly that when we tell God that we'd rather follow our own rules and worship ourselves.
We have within us, a much greater solemn, grim determination than had Christendom, or than that which Islam presently flaunts. By looking within, we will find the only proven, and authentic way, to emerge victorious in the struggle that faces us.
R. Yitzchok said: The Torah should have begun with [the verse] "This month shall be [your first month]," it being the first precept that the Israelites were commanded. Then why does it [the Torah] begin with "In the beginning"? This is because [of the concept contained in the verse,] "He declared the power of His works to His people in order to give to them the inheritance of nations." Thus, should the nations of the world say to Israel, "You are robbers, for you have taken by force the lands of the Seven Nations," they [Israel] will say to them: "All the earth belongs to G-d. He created it and gave it to whomever He saw fit. It was His will to give it to them and it was His will to take it from them and give it to us."