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How does today's aliyah fit in with the prophecies in the Bible?

May 16, 2008

Dear friends,

my parents are committed UK Christian Zionists working for "Christian Friends of ISrael", and talk to me a lot about Ezekiel, Isaiah and Zechariah prophecying the current return to the land, Eretz ISrael.

I am desperate to understand the classic Torah True Jewish view of this, as though I love Jews and the Jewish history (Torah) I cannot see the present events as divinely mandated.

Do you believe that the return from exile in Babylon under Zerubbabel, Ezra, Nehamiah in 536 BCE was the fulfillment of these prophecies of return from exile exculsively? ie Jeremiah 29:14 & 20 = Deuteronomy 30:1-5? = 536BCE return?

Or do you see todays aliyah as being a fore-runner of a significant fufutre fulfillment of these many prophecies?

Or if today's 'Aliyah' is nothing whatever to do with it, do you look to a future divinely conducted Aliyah - if so based on what key scriptures please?

thankyou so much for your time.

blessings friends,

Don Peters

Dear Don,

Some prophecies, such as in the passage from Jeremiah you mentioned, refer specifically to the return from the 70-year Babylonian exile. But the majority of prophecies refer to the return from our current long exile. Deut. 30 follows the description in Deut. 28 or our long exile, when we were scattered among the nations from one end of the earth to the other (v. 64) and when the last generation will see the Holy Land barren and desolate (29:21-22) so it is clearly talking about the future redemption. Also it says (30:1,3) that we will be gathered from many nations, not just Babylonia. By similar methods we can determine which prophecies throughout the Bible are referring to the future redemption. Here is a partial list: Isaiah 27:12, 40:9, 41:14, 43:5-6, 52:12, 54:7, 56:8, Jeremiah 16:15, 23:3, 30:10, 31:9, 33:7, Ezekiel 11:17, 20:34, 28:25, 34:13, 37:21, 36:24. Hosea 1:7, Micah 2:12, Zachariah 4:6, 8:7, Psalms 53:7, 106:47.

Today's aliyah is not the fulfillment of these prophecies, because the vast majority of the people came in a manner forbidden by the Torah and Talmud. The State of Israel was established by force of arms and the Talmud states that Jews are forbidden to reestablish their kingdom in the Holy Land by force of arms before the messiah comes. Ninety percent of the 5.4 million Jews who are there now came after the state was established in 1948. And of the ten percent who came before, most of them came with the intention of building a state before the messiah which they knew would have to be accomplished through war. The prophets, in the verses listed above, say that it will be G-d Who redeems the Jewish people from exile and gathers them in. This clearly cannot be referring to an aliyah and an ingathering that is done in violation of His commandments. Rather, it is referring to the coming of the messiah. It is the messiah who will gather in the Jews from exile, not Herzl, Weizman, Ben Gurion and all the rest of them.