Like the American Revolution, the Zionist Revolution succeeded in liberating a country from the mighty
In addition to physically ingathering a scattered nation, the Zionist Revolution has begun to weld the Children of Israel together from all the lands of our dispersion and give us a single language after nearly two thousand years. The revival of Hebrew as a vernacular used in the marketplace, military, industry and public school, constitutes a revolution in itself the magnitude of which has yet to be appreciated. From ancient Biblical sources and prayers, a new language has emerged fully equipped to meet the needs of everyday life and modern nationhood. Other peoples have vainly attempted to revive their extinct traditional tongues. But the Hebrew nation in our homeland speaks and creates in our own ancient language.
There is also the socio-economic Zionist Revolution. Exiled from our country, the Jewish people had neither a genuine working class nor a proper farming class to develop a modern economy under harsh soil and difficult climatic conditions. But the Jewish nation became builders and laborers and farmers almost overnight, making the desert bloom and building a modern working society. And perhaps the most astonishing aspect of the Zionist Revolution is the revival of Jewish military prowess. After an enormously long absence from the stage of history, Hebrew fighting forces began to reappear. Exclusively Jewish units courageously battled through two world wars. There were bold ghetto fighters in German occupied Europe and fearless resistance movements in British controlled
And last but certainly not least is the elemental goal of establishing a utopian society meant to serve as a light unto nations – a national example of morality and virtue that will inspire mankind towards genuine peace. This goal, perhaps the greatest objective of the Zionist Revolution, is what tugs at the Jewish soul and innately drives many well meaning Jews to support policies dangerous to the survival of our people.
When we step back and grasp Zionism’s enormous scope, there can be no denying its explicitly revolutionary character. And there is still so much yet to achieve. The Jewish nation today faces a potential nuclear threat from the east, immense pressure to shrink our borders from the west and increasing challenges to the very legitimacy of our state. Instead of downplaying Zionism’s radical essence we must employ it and direct it towards reigniting the fire that once drove Jewish teenagers to drain malaria filled swamps, fight wars of liberation and make the desert bloom. The revolutionary spark that stirred our youth to become builders and farmers and fighters in our land can surely lead them to take up the cause of Jewish liberation in our own times. By utilizing the full scope and immeasurable beauty of the Zionist Revolution, we can educate our children to see themselves as participants in the great historic drama unfolding in our days.