A survey recently published by the prestigious PEW Research Center reveals that a third of American Jewry has completely disconnected from the Jewish people, they are not even Reform, they do not identify with Judaism at all. Not with the people of Israel and certainly not with the State of Israel. Another weighty survey by JTA reveals that a quarter of American Jews have become addicted to the anti-Semitic belief that Israel commits genocide against Palestinians, just as the Germans did to the Jewish people during the Holocaust.
When we talk about a third of American Jews, we are talking about two million Jews, and when we talk about a quarter of American Jews we are talking about more than 1.5 million Jews whose fathers and forefathers were burned at the stake for not giving up their Jewish identity, and today they are leading anti-Semitism against the State of Israel with the boycott movement.
The bad news that emerges from these two in-depth surveys is that these extremist fringes are expanding and increasing from year to year. And the relevant question to ask is how we managed in the space of one generation to lose the best of our sons and have them join the greatest of the world's anti-Semites.
In order to answer this, one must learn from the history of the Jewish people. From the sin of the spies who were good people and did not believe in the future of the People of Israel. Good people who were erased from the people of Israel and have no connection to the future. They have no part in the Afterlife.
This is what really happened to the parents of the American Jews, about 100 years ago they chose not to immigrate to the Land of Israel in the belief that nothing would come of Herzl's dreams and Rothschild's delusions. They thought that there was no chance for a people who hadn't fought for their lives for thousands of years to regain control and independence. They thought there was no chance that the wilderness of the Land of Israel would return to being the Land of Milk and Honey. They thought we had no chance of renewing ourselves as a people.
That was exactly the sin of the spies on the Ninth of Av. They saw the miracles of the Exodus from Egypt but did not believe in the ability of the People of Israel to renew and return to itself. They knew the stories about the Fathers, but they didn't believe in our ability to return to the great faith of our Fathers, to their righteous virtues. To the great mission of being a light unto the nations.
Our Sages taught us that grappling with the belief in the future of the People repeats itself in every generation. Whenever we choose to believe in the good future of the People of Israel, to believe that G-d will not break His promise to the People of Israel - we triumph. Every time we choose to view ourselves as locusts, we pay the price once more, especially on the Ninth of Av.
Today, too, this choice stands before our eyes. If we think that Zionism has played out and is finished - we have faith in the past but not in the future. Do we think that Aliyah and settlement belong to 1948, or do we believe that the People of Israel have much more to develop, much more to grow, they have a mission to bring blessings to the world, and among other things, to inspire our brothers abroad with the belief that they can return and board the ship to the Promised Land. That they can be part of the success of the State of Israel.