Those who saw themselves as ‘leftists’ suddenly discovered the left doesn’t want them. Those who called themselves ‘centrists’ were pushed off their high perch by events that called for commitment. Those who called themselves ‘rightists’ discovered that they needed the ‘leftists’ and the ‘centrists’ for a unified nation. So who is left out? The vast majority of world Jews who never truly identified as Jews, who never dressed like Jews, never prayed like Jews, never spoke like Jews, and hid in the social fabric of society seeking acceptance and desperately hoping never to be found out. These are the ones today who are truly lost, unhinged, unanchored, not knowing which way to turn, rejected by those they courted, and lacking any sense of belonging.
This overview could stop right here. But what would that achieve? So allow me to continue. We have an amazing opportunity right now. We can throw millions of such ‘lost’ Jews, ‘fifth sons’ (as the Lubavitcher Rebbe called them in the narrative of the Haggada on Pesach) a lifebuoy, a life raft, by extending our hand, providing unconditional love. We all make mistakes – even major life mistakes. And wouldn’t it be nice if a non-judgemental empathic listener were there to help us with the weight of our error and stupidity.
That is what’s needed today. Not argument. Not, I told you so. Not derision. Rather, compassion and friendship. Each one of us knows a ‘fifth son’. Reach out to them. Help them come to terms with the new reality. The reality is that Eretz Yisrael, Torah, and Am Yisrael are one. Don’t give the enemy the opportunity to dissect you into two –Jew and Zionist. This artificial division affords them a fig leaf of moral virtue. (“I am not against Jews, just Zionists’). Close that gap. Don’t be a spiritual schizophrenic. You are one. Be visible as a Jew. Wear a kippa. Wear your Jewish school uniform. Wear Tzitzit. Light Shabbos candles. Dress Jewishly. Don’t hide. If you are a believer in Zion, then you are a believer in Torah. The two are inextricably interwoven. You can’t be one without the other. Be true to your soul.