Hashem Continues to Supervise Human Affairs
Dovid: I contend that the complexity of our world indicates that Hashem has a long-term interest in our world.
Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan provides an additional reason to believe that Hashem cares about the direction of the world. He points to the experience of man and nations that only the good is stable, while evil tends to destroy itself.
Mark Twain unknowingly touches on the same point in his essay concerning the Jews. He wrote in the secular year 1897:
If the statistics are right, the Jews constitute but one percent of the human race. It suggests a nebulous dim puff of star dust lost in the blaze of the Milky Way. Properly, the Jew ought hardly to be heard of; but he is heard of, has always been heard of. He is as prominent on the planet as any other people….He has made a marvelous fight in this world, in all the ages; and he has done it with his hands tied behind him….The Egyptian, the Babylonian, and the Persian rose, filled the planet with sound and splendor, then faded to dream stuff and passed away; the Greek and the Roman followed, and made a vast noise, and they are gone; other peoples have sprung up and held their torch high for a time, but it burned out, and they sit in the twilight now, or have vanished. The Jew saw them all, beat them all, and is now what he always was, exhibiting no decadence, no infirmities of age, no weakening of his parts, no slowing of his energies, no dulling of his alert and aggressive mind. All things are mortal but the Jew; all other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality?
Pavlov: One could argue on how far the Greeks and Romans have flickered out.
Dovid: Yes, but we all agree, when taking a long look at history, that they haven’t had the stable track record of the Jews.
Pavlov: You haven’t convinced me, but you’ve given me enough arguments to listen further.
Tell me Dovid, if the good is stable, why has Judaism been wiped out from most of Europe?
Dovid: Just because Judaism is good, does not mean that it will survive in every place, but it does mean that Hashem will take steps to insure its overall survival.
For example, 5 days before Lenin came to power in Russia, the British issued the Balfour declaration, calling for a Jewish homeland in Palestine. As things got worse and worse in Europe for Jewish survival correspondingly conditions were getting better for Judaism in Palestine, known today as Israel.
Pavlov: True, the Jewish population in Israel rose tremendously after Balfour, but their attachment to G-d declined, as in every other place in the world.
Dovid: True, the mediocre Jews of Israel may have been hurt by some of the spiritual developments of the last few decades, but the more dedicated Jews vastly improved their Torah lifestyle. For example, the Talmud in tractate Ketuvot 111a testifies that the verse in Yishayahu “And the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick: the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity” applies to those who dwell in Israel. The Talmud also testifies in tractate Ketuvot 75a, that one’s ability to understand the Torah vastly increases when one emigrates to the land of Israel.
On a less mystical level, the religious Jew in Israel treats Sunday and December 25 as normal days of the week, while in Christian countries, the gentile culture and the gentile practices made and make an impact on the most Orthodox of Jews. Furthermore, in the land of Israel, Jews, both religious and non-religious, are far more fluent in Biblical Hebrew than their counterparts who lived and live among the gentiles.[Rambam’s commentary on Pirkei Avot 2:1 lists the learning of the holy language (Hebrew) as a commandment.] In Israel, the religious Jew has easy access to high quality, non-murcav arba minim that are needed for the holiday of Succot. In contrast most communities in the Diaspora depend upon imports to complete their set of arba minim.
Finally, being part of a country where Jews are the majority, enables the performance of many of the commandments that are unavailable to a powerless minority.
On a Kabbalistic level, the book Kol Hator prophesied that as the ingathering of exiles would grow, so too would the polarization between good and evil grow. (Kol Hator, Chapter 1, section 10, chapter 2 section 131)