Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Secret of Superpower Status

Is America as the world's superpower on the decline? It may well look like it is, with Obama steering it to Hell, but this thesis predicts a more cheerful outlook.

One of the earliest superpower nations was ancient Egypt. While Jews lived there, its reign extended to include the entire world (with the help of Joseph). Subject nations were beholden to her with taxes and slaves. But once the Jews fled the country, Egypt lost this status (Mechilta, Shmos, 14, 5).

This Midrash tells that all nations that ruled over Jews achieved superpower status, projecting their control over the entire world. Why so? Because thereby G-d gives honor to His people. It would be unworthy of G-d's people to reside under the dominance of a nation less than the world's most powerful.

Babylonia too ruled the entire world, as G-d says in Yirmiyah (27, 6-8), "And now I make all these lands subject to Nevuchadnetzar's control ...,", with no exception. The same held true with the dominion of the Persians and Medes, then of Greece (under Alexander the Great), followed by the rule of Rome (Daniel, chpts. 6 & 7). 

The Alter Rebbe asserts the same thesis holds true today, namely, that the country which contains most of the Jewish population automatically gains superpower status - for the sake of Jewish honor. (Otherwise, who would even know what a Jew was, lost somewhere among two-bit nations ruling over them.)

I know too little about world history, but I'd not be surprised to learn the glory achieved by empires in Europe and Asia correlates with the majority of Jews they harbored within their borders.

Think back only a few decades ago, when both America and the Soviet Union hotly competed to see who could outmuscle the other with more intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of carrying multiple nuclear warheads. These mutual threats were grave concerns for these two superpowers of the world. Remember too that both Russia and America then housed most of world Jewry.

As proof for the above thesis, the Rebbe points out the moment Russia finally raised its "iron curtain" to  permit emigration and 95% of Jews streamed out of the country, the former mighty Soviet Union evaporated. Overnight, without a shot fired, it lost its awesome superpower status. Political pundits most likely attribute the Soviet Union's downfall to the policy and wisdom of Ronald Reagan. But their analysis omits the workings of divine providence.

Today, only the U.S. retains its superpower status.

Remember too, not long ago, how powerful became the industry of Japan, how everything was made in Japan, and how strong the Yen seemed to be? In the end, their climb to the top fizzled. Why? They have no significant quantity of Jews in that country, so why would G-d flaunt their banner? Are you worried about China and its projected power? Don't be - they hardly have any Jews there.

There's a sorrowful irony in this. The problem for Jews throughout history has been, that despite their major host country achieving superpower status, Jews continued to be hounded. This ill fate has, however, finally changed with our American host. Why so? Says the Rebbe, because we've entered the eve of the "Era of the Ultimate Redemption". (And for no other reason). This favorable fate shall continue until that era finally dawns.

The corollary of this thesis also held true, namely, whenever Israel was to be conquered, G-d would only allow the mightiest of nations to conquer His people. Paradoxically, that too was for the honor of the Jews.

This corollary holds true today too and I relate to the threat by Iran to wipe Israel off the face of the globe. Israel too, after all, with its own large population of Jews, is a powerful force to be reckoned with, despite some Obama-like creeps in the hierarchy. Iran is a punk-country and there's no chance G-d would allow it to subdue His people, just as Israel's enemies have been unable to beat Israel over the years no matter how many punk-countries colluded to destroy her.

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