What is the gravest danger facing Israel today? Lord Jakobovits, Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the British Commonwealth declares,* "No, not Israel's security. Nor Soviet Jewry. Not resurgent anti-Semitism either. It is the vanishing Jew."
Lord Jakobovits is an alarmed man. He has watched his own British community of Jews reduce itself by over 20% in just 20 years. The number of British Jews in 1969 was some 410,000 to 450,000. Today there are between 330,000 to 350,000.
Shall we put it another way? At least 20% of British Jewry have been liquidated in just half a generation.
In the United States, the Rabbi said, the shrinkage is even more catastrophic. Already in the 1960's, it was calculated that the percentage of Jews in the country would drop from 2.9 to 1.6 by the turn of the century.
An article written by the assistant director of the Harvard Center for Population Studies for the U.S. Bicentenary reckoned that in 100 years (2076), American Jewry would be reduced to 10,420 souls if existing demographic trends were maintained.
JEWISH BIRTHRATE AT MINUS ZERO
What are the factors accounting for this unprecedented doomsday forecast? The principal reason, he says, is the phenomenal low birthrate among the approximately 13,000,000 Jews of the world, invariably lower than the non-Jewish rate of the society in which they live. Lord Jakobovits cites the Jewish birthrate in England as 11.6 per 1,000 compared with 18.6 per 1,000 in the general population. He continues, "In most Jewish communities we now have a minus net growth rate."
He points out that all our Jewish campaigns for Judaism, Zionism, Israel, Soviet Jewry or against anti-Semitism-in other words, all our current concerns and campaigns, when set against the overriding worry about the physical disappearance of the Jews becomes progressively meaningless.
"The figures are indisputable, they are increasingly acknowledged, and hardly even occasion surprise any longer. But what is surprising is the Jewish reaction to them, or rather lack of reaction."
Incredibly, Jewish leadership, both in the diaspora and in Israel are not taking these figures seriously. "In America itself there are also three million Jews who are just as alien to their religious heritage, just as ignorant of Hebrew and Jewish literature, just as remote from Jewish education and observances, and just as rarely to be seen inside a synagogue as the same number of Jews involuntarily divorced from their people and religion in Russia.
"Yet, here no one cries or agitates or demonstrates. How can one explain such indifference or indeed such discrimination in the targets for Jewish indignation?" If Western Jewry is not aroused with the disappearance of Western Jewry the question then arises as to why we have been so vociferous over the forced loss of identity of Soviet Jewry.
ISRAEL WILL NO LONGER BE JEWISH WITHIN A FEW YEARS
However, Rabbi Jakobovits fears most of all the ominous projections for Israel where the birthrate among Arabs is about twice as high as among Jews "presaging a non-Jewish majority in the Jewish state within 10-15 years."
When Lord Jakobovits approached Menachem Begin about these alarming figures, the then Prime Minister dismissed the statistics saying that more Arabs than Jews were leaving the country.
The fact of the matter is that yerida (Jews leaving Israel for good) is growing with every passing year, and areas such as Galilee in the north and the Negev in the south are becoming depopulated and their once promising settlements ghost towns and deserted farms.
Lord Jakobovits continues, "In Israel, furthermore, the catastrophic combination of a relatively low birthrate with a high rate of emigration is aggravated by a phenomenal high abortion rate at 40,000 a year (a figure given to me as early as 1970 by the Israel Medical Association) proportional two or three times higher than in England and the United States.
"Since the early 1970's, I have constantly agitated in speech and in print, against this self destructive evil."
2,000,000 ISRAELI BABIES DESTROYED
"In 1979, The Jerusalem Post endorsed the existing liberal practices without a single reference to the cumulative loss through such practices of some two million perfectly healthy sabra (Israeli born) boys and girls smothered in their mothers' wombs."
This prompted the Chief Rabbi of Britain to submit a letter, which was published on Dec. 1, 1979: "As a national death wish, with catastrophic consequences, few items can rival your editorial (November 2) in support of the pro-abortion lobby, duly followed by success in the Knesset...It advocates pity for the unwanted children by strangling them.
"Unwanted, one might ask, by whom? Perhaps by you and the vociferous abortionists. But certainly not unwanted by the nation or by those parents to whom every child, once it is born, is an infinitely precious blessing, what ever the sacrifice, and last of all by the children themselves who treasure life whether they were "unwanted" or not before they were conceived.
In fact, the latest figures of Israel's Bureau of Statistics* show that since 1981 more Arabs have been born each year than Jewish babies in the land now under Israeli control. In plain language, the Arab population of children 0-8 yrs. old is now larger than the Jewish population of similar age.
And each year the gap is widening; Arab figures are increasing while yearly Jewish birth rates are actually dropping. In absolute numbers between 1980 and 1986, 514,657 Jews were born in Israel, Judea, Samaria, and Gaza, while 550,016 Arabs were born there. By 1998, there will be more Arabs than Jews of army age inside Israel.
THE CHIEF RABBI'S SOLUTION
The ultimate solution says Lord Jakobovits, "lies in cultivating a religious conscience through nurture in the spiritual treasures of our faith."
Addressing the Institute that projected only 10,000 Jews to be in existence in the year 2076 the Chief Rabbi wrote, “You leave out of account the relatively prolific natural increase of the strictly observant segment of the community, particularly the already fairly massive Hasidic sects.
Governed by their religious conscience, they have a birthrate which, combined with a virtual absence of any defections by assimilation or intermarriage, may well be four or five or six times as high as that of the rest of the Jewish people, whether in America, Israel or elsewhere.
"If this disparity is maintained, I think they are likely to constitute the majority of self-identifying Jews within two or three generations…"
(Messianic Jews should take heed that if our brethren are brought into the Kingdom of God now, our job will be much easier than if we wait until most secular Jews disappear, and we are left facing a tiny remnant of Orthodox Jews who fanatically see their last hope of existence wrapped up in Rabbinical Judaism).
ORTHODOX GAINING THROUGH UNPRECEDENTED BIRTH RATE
He cites the recent Israeli elections where the Orthodox won a shocking 20% of the vote as merely the new demographic reality. He presents other indicators too, such as the burgeoning Hasidic schools in London that are growing 20% a year- purely by natural increase. Families frequently average seven children-a growth rate, he says, that is unheard of and has no precedent among Jews.
He claims that, "the most intensely committed enclaves in Israel and the West, are now doubling their number every eight years. "A spectacular increase" he notes, "probably without parallel in Jewish history…"
The phenomenon, he says, is all the more startling when it is remembered that it is the Orthodox that lost 90% of their leaders and followers in the Holocaust.
”Only a pitiful remnant survived, transplanted as tiny, isolated minorities into a hostile environment utterly alien to their way of life. And yet this remnant now constitutes the only growth element on a colossal scale, with the rest of our people threatened by a frightening process of self liquidation."
HARDSHIP CAUSES COMMUNITY GROWTH AMONG JEWS
The Rabbi's conclusion is: "...the group which suffered the greatest losses is now the most prolific. Suffering and hardship quite clearly help to push the birth rate up, while affluence and ease seem to depress it." Remember what happened when Israel was a slave in Egypt.
"The lessons may be obvious, even if hard to absorb. Understandably," he warns, "there is still much resistance to acknowledge them frankly."
The resistance, we might note, lies in the fact that most Jews are repulsed by the thought that World Jewry might once again become a rigidly closed Orthodox community. The majority of World Jewry rejects unconditionally the Chief Rabbi's solution. Even though the tiny Orthodox Community (there are surely not over a million Orthodox Jews in the world) may be enjoying a very high birthrate, the rest of World Jewry want nothing to do with a dead petrified form of Judaism.
RELIGION NO LONGER IMPORTANT TO JEWS
Ze'ev Katz, an Israeli atheist who is deputy chairman of the Israel Association for Secular Humanistic Judaism counters, “The modern period started with all Jews being Orthodox and religious and has reached a situation when only a small minority are strictly observant. Actually, in the last two centuries almost every great creation and movement in the Jewish people was secular…"
Katz declares: "Considerable evidence shows that today Israel and Jewish people-hood rather than religion are the most widespread and powerful factors in Jewish life in the world."
Ze'ev Katz also points out that the establishment of the State of Israel was brought about almost entirely by non-Orthodox Jews. The Zionists were a tiny minority among Orthodox Jews. The immense majority were either critical or outright active enemies of Zionism (the return of the Jews to the land of Israel).
Katz rightly stresses that, "The only Jewish groups in the world today which openly oppose in every way the State of Israel, as well as pray and work for its destruction, are Orthodox fundamentalists." There is no doubt that Ze'ev Katz voices the opinion of a large majority of Israelis and Jews everywhere.
CAN ISRAEL CEASE TO BE A PEOPLE?
What conclusion need the Messianic Jews draw from the Scriptures in reference to the above dialogue? Firstly, God has sworn that according to the New Covenant, Israel will never cease to be a nation:
"Behold, days are coming," declares the Lord, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah,
But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days," declares the Lord, "I will put My law within them, and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
If this fixed order (sun, moon, and stars) departs from before Me," declares the Lord, "Then the offspring of Israel also shall cease."
Thus says the Lord, "If the heavens above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out below, Then I will also cast off all the offspring of Israel for all that they have done," declares the Lord." Jer. 31:31, 33, 36, 37
Yet, Israel's imminent danger of extinction is a very definite sign of the times. As always Israel is a sign to the nations. God has preserved this nation against all odds for nearly 4,000 years. As her redemption is drawing near, this is just one more outward sign of the life and death struggle between the forces of God and the forces of Satan to extinguish this nation before she can be redeemed to serve God and fulfill her destiny to which God has called her.
WHAT IS A NATION WITHOUT PEOPLE?
A nation cannot be a nation without people. According to God's Word therefore, the above forecast cannot come to pass. If the Jews of the West are vanishing to such an extent as to endanger God's plan of redemption for the Jewish people, then God will cause events to take place to reverse that process.
He can use any number of methods such as judgments or catastrophes to cause the remaining Jews to flee the lands of their assimilation. Witness the assimilated Jews of Germany, many of whom in the early decades of this century rarely thought of themselves as Jews.
God can also use revival. However a move to bring Jews into the Christian Churches will only increase this assimilation and loss of identity as a nation and as a people.
God desires to graft his Jewish people back into the roots of "their own olive tree". Rom 11:24 Note the inspired writer did not say that they were to be grafted onto one or another of the Christian branches. No, but as equal members in the Body of the Messiah, Jewish branches will be grafted back into the original olive tree, as have Gentile branches.
THERE MUST BE A MESSIANIC JEWISH REVIVAL
The one persuasive positive note, therefore, for the saving of the Jewish nation is the establishing by God's Spirit of the Messianic Jewish revival in the West and in Israel.
It can be said therefore that the Messianic Jewish move has been given the God ordained task to mount a survival mission for the Jewish people hood and the nation of Israel.
Sounds preposterous, prideful, fanciful? Who else is going to stand in the gap if not God's Jews redeemed by Messiah? The atheistic Jews? The Orthodox calling for a return to ritual as a way to salvation?
Listen, Israel is disappearing before our very eyes-while she sleeps. Mothers of Israel are offering 40,000 of their offspring to the god of abortion each year. Israel will pay in full as will every other nation who practices murder. Crime and drugs and just plain sin are crushing our people. Atheism is the religion of our disintegrating nation.
Is Israel being destroyed by yerida (Jews leaving Israel)? God can change that too. How I don't know. But one thing is sure: You can't leave a country unless there is another country to go to.
GOD CAN ACCOMMODATE
Is it really true what Chief Rabbi Jakobovits believes? That hardship will cause the Jewish nation to increase while affluence and ease decrease her? God is well able to accommodate.
What ever God's move will be, He will not let the nation of Israel vanish from the earth; He is not a man that He should lie. Israel will continue to live. He will yet save her.
"And the Lord will scatter you among the peoples, and you shall be left few in number...But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him... When you are in distress...in the latter days, you will return to the Lord...He will not fail you nor destroy you nor forget the covenant with your fathers which He swore to them." Deut 4:27-31
He clearly speaks of a Redemption of Western Jewry:
"Thus says the Lord of hosts, "Behold, I am going to save My people from the land of the east and from the land of the west; and I will bring them back, and they will live in the midst of Jerusalem, and they will be My people and I will be their God in truth and righteousness." Zechariah 8:7-8
God also clearly reveals that the Gentile followers of the God of Israel will have an indispensable part in Israel's spiritual and physical salvation.
"Behold, I will lift up my hand to the nations, And they will bring your sons in their bosom, and your daughters will be carried on their shoulders." Isa 49:22
HOW MANY WILL MAKE IT HOME?
However, the Scriptures warn that only a remnant will remain in the end. All of the Scriptures seem to point to a minority reaching the shores of Israel in the day of her redemption.
"And I will take you one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion," Jer 3:14
Yet, God so desires for His people to return home in order to fulfill our nation's destiny, that one way or another, He will get us moving: The Great Move is already a settled fact in God's Mind! It is coming! Both the spiritual and the physical return
As you can see the following verses include the U.S.A. and Canada.
"Therefore behold, days are coming," declares the Lord, "when it will no longer be said, 'As the Lord lives, who brought up the sons of Israel out of the land of Egypt,
But, As the Lord lives, who brought up the sons of Israel from the land of the north and from all the countries where He had banished them.' For I will restore them to their own land which I gave to their fathers.
"Behold, I am going to send for many fishermen," declares the Lord, "and they will fish for them; and afterwards I shall send for many hunters, and they will hunt them from every mountain and every hill, and from the clefts of the rocks." Jer.16:14-16
LET US DEDICATE OURSELVES TO THIS CAUSE
A Jewish revival through repentance, blood atonement and redemption is the only answer to the threat of our nation's imminent extinction. Only the very Spirit of the Living God, through His Son, Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah, will save us, where we will be a redeemed and holy people clearly identified as the Jewish nation of Israel. Our people are now nearly at the end of human effort.
This ministry is dedicated to serving God and His people, Israel. We are working to see first of all the salvation of the souls of our people through the atoning blood of Yeshua, and also the return of our people to the designated place of His choosing-the Land of Israel
We invite you to work together with us in whatever way God stirs up your heart: financially, in prayer and supplication or what ever He shows you.
We bless you in the name of our Messiah Yeshua as you serve Him among the lost sheep of Israel.
In our Master's service,
Ari & Shira Sorko- Ram J
(1) Jerusalem Post, Feb. 10, 1989 (2) Ibid., May 12, 1989 (3) Ibid., Feb. 7, 1989