from the days of King David till our days.
Dr. Asher Eder, the Academy of Jerusalem.
In our century, the words Zion, Zionist Movement, Zionist State, make increasingly more headlines all over the world. Often they are interchanged with, or used besides, or used instead of, the terms Israel and Jerusalem.
Arab states, in their war against Israel, like to pretend that they are not hostile against the Jewish people, nor do they see them-selves as anti-Semites (Sadat said they are Semites, too), but they come out vehemently against the Zionist State of Israel. Only as recent as Nov.10,l992, Faisal Husseini, a champion for a Palestinain state, expressed in a speach in Amman confidence in the Arab ability to pulverize the Zionist entity.
Many Christian Churches found, after the Holocaust, words of remorse for their anti-Semitic attitude in the past. They want to show some sympathy for the Jewish people but most of them refrain from showing sympathy for the Jewish State (for whose creation the Zionist movement was instrumental). A recent official documant of the Catholic Church says plainly that the modern State of Israel should be "envisaged not in a perspective which is in itself religious, but in their reference to the common principles of international law", i. e. like any newly formed African or Asian state (see "Notes on the Correct Way to Present Jews and Judaism in Preaching and Catechesis in the Roman Catholic Church", issued in June 1985 by the "Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews").
Even among the Jewish people in Israel and abroad there are Zionists as well as anti-Zionists, and among the Zionists there are many who content with the State of Israel as a haven of refuge for persecuted Jews. But was this the sole motivation for establishing the State? Dr. Theodore Herzl, the founder of the new Zionist Movement, said that the recovery of the Land of the Fathers is not its only goal; rather to establish therein a society which could eventually become a model for the nations. Martin Buber, however of another back-ground, observed: Should the Jewish people content with less than it is destined for, it would loose even that lesser part.
Words have their own dynamics even if the intellect does not grasp at once their full meaning. However, more often than not, concepts become controversial because they are not defined or understood properly. So it seems appropriate to search out more deeply the meaning of Zion. As known, this term, "Zion" appears for the first time in the Tanakh (the Hebrew Bible), however not in the Torah (Law of Mose) but in connection with King David's conquest of Jerusalem. Did King David introduce something new and unknown so-far? According to an ancient dictum, true prophecies and all the Jewish teaching must be based upon the Torah, and cannot depart from it, neither adding nor detracting from it.
In order to understand King David's deed and its consequence for our days, we shall first delve into the ethymological components of the term Zion, and than proceed to its prophetic and historic implications.
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The above parts A and B are elaborated manuscripts for two lectures delivered in Germany, Sept. 1992, at the annual conference of the ACI (Arbeitsgemeinschaft Christen fuer Israel). Dr. Asher Eder
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