Writing on this subject is very tricky. “Destiny” implies something far more than a mere political analysis. The truth is, the more I think about it, it is the destiny of the people of Israel that I am meant to pay attention to.
But before I go further, I need to set down some definitions, so that you, the reader, know exactly what I’m talking about. Otherwise the semantic confusion can prevent you from understanding either the meaning or the import of this article. In addition, I would like to express my thanks to Rabbi Yehoshua Friedman for fine-tuning certain points of Jewish law.
So, here we go.
I. Defining the terms
1. Zionist movement: a largely secular movement to bring Jews home to the Land of Israel.
2. State of Israel: the political expression of the Zionist movement.
3. Children of Israel: the descendants of Jacob (Israel), son of Isaac, son of Abraham, son of TeraH, a high priest in Sumer, in the city of Ur, who left for the city of Paran when the king he served died. After a period of time, Abraham, commanded by G-d, continued westwards to the Land of Canaan.
4. People of Israel (Hebrews): the descendants of the sons of Israel, who were divided into a number of tribes.
5. Land of Israel: territory designated by the Torah [BaMidbár/Numbers 34:1-15] or the Tana"kh [Ezekiel 47:3-23, 48:1-35] as the territory that G-d has given the People of Israel.
6. Kingdom of Israel: This has three definitions.
a) the Kingdom of Sha’úl (Saul), David, and Shlómo (Solomon) which extended as far as the Euphrates River at the height of its power;
b) the secessionist kingdom of ten tribes that separated from the tribes of Yehudá (Judah) and Shim'ón after the death of Shlómo (Solomon) and accession to the throne of his son ReHavám. With time, this kingdom weakened and the territory of the tribe of Benyamín became part of the southern kingdom of Yehudá (Judah);
c) in messianic times, the Kingdom of Israel will be the entity that succeeds the State of Israel and any other entity that rules here.
7. Jews: Originally, the descendants (tribe) of Yehudá, one of the sons of Israel. With time, the tribe of Shim'on merged into the tribe of Yehudá, and with time, the tribe of Benyamín merged as well [Scroll of Esther 2: 5-6]. At the time of its fall, the Kingdom of Yehudá represented the tribes of Yehudá, Shim'on, Benyamin and those people of the tribe of Leví who lived within the borders of the kingdom. The descendants of these people are the Jews mentioned in definition #1.
a) According to Halakhá (normative Jewish law), a Jew is the child of a Jewish mother, or a convert to the religion who accepts the entire corpus of 613 commandments of the Torah. If male, the convert needs to be circumcised. All converts are required to immerse in flowing water or a mikvá (ritual bath). According to the rules of the Rabbinate, the official Jewish religious body in Israel, the forgoing definition is the only definition of who is a Jew.