Netzavim: A Nation Apart: Is Israel’s Isolation A Bad Thing?



Isolation is the threatening word used today, both by Israel’s foes and friends, to emphasize the need for concessions. Please Israel, so many are imploring, if you don’t compromise and give the Arabs what they demand, you risk becoming isolated and left all alone in this world.

Thomas Friedman, who cannot control his antipathy toward Israel’s right, and never misses an opportunity to jab the settlers, writes in his column under the heading, Israel: Adrift at Sea Alone, that he has “never been more worried about Israel’s future” due to the latest events which threaten to plunge “Israel into deeper global isolation and drag America along with it.”

Isolation – really?! Is that what we should be afraid of?! As if Israel was not isolated until now? And is it a bad thing? In fact, isolation is actually considered Israel’s virtue and blessing, as expressed by the evil prophet Balaam, one of Israel’s greatest enemies, of all people.

So perhaps we should welcome this week’s lynching at the UN – it demonstrates the true nature of Israel – a singular, isolated nation that dwells alone.

Isn’t it amazing providence that in the week when the world’s nations (let’s not call them “United” Nations) stand ready to demonize and isolate Israel, we prepare for the New Year, and we read in this week’s Torah portion: “You (Israel) stand upright this day, all of you, before the Lord your God.” And that: “God will gather you from among all the nations where He scattered you… and He will bring you to the land that your ancestors occupied, and you too will occupy it.

Let us return to our divine covenant and all together “stand upright this day,” all of us, before the Lord our God, as we read in the Torah. And let us be a singular light unto nations.

This is a two part sermon:

PART I: Should We Fear Isolation?
PART II: How To Mount an Offense

Note: You can easily incorporate into this sermon any breaking developments regarding the present confrontation with Israel at the UN.


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