Jah is like a busy bee, buzzing around making sweetness. At the same time, he (blessed be his name) is a Beekeeper. This essay is a picture in the life of our Beekeeper.
I continue through Martin Gilbert's book Israel and I am charmed by obscure fun facts. In the late 1880's, Reuben Lehrer settled in an Arab village called Wadi Hanin, in Palestine. It is my understanding that Lehrer called it Banner Towards Zion (Nes Ziona). He engaged in beekeeping.
Beekeeping is the rearing of honeybees, bees that collect honey. Honey is 1 of those fluids hard to forget once you have tasted it: it is produced by bees from the nectar of flowers, and stored in hives as food. Shmot (Exodus) 3 referred to Canaan (later known as Palestine) as a land flowing with honey.
Sephardic Hebrew was the honeycomb of Eliezer Ben-Yehudah's beekeeping. He believed the Sephardic way was closer to the Tanakh tongue than Ashkenazi, even though he had been brought up on the Ashkenazi pronunciation; he considered Ashkenazi to be less sweet-sounding. To him, Hebrew was sweet like honey. A honey language for a honey land.
Camps and corrals
It strikes me to be amazing that, as there were seemingly 2 main camps - Pharisees and Sadducees - in Israel's olden days, so there came to be Sephardic and Ashkenazic camps in the Jewish Diaspora in these last days. We know that the last nearly 2000 years are the last days because of what Hebrews 1.2 says, that in these last days God has spoken to us by his Son. It seems obvious that the context for 'these last days' in that Hebrew letter is the century in which Messiah Jesus rose again.
There seems to be a profound, hidden connection between the 2 older parties and the 2 newer groups, 1 begetting the other and also existing concurrently and equally, though names would seem obscure.
There may have been 2 main lingual camps (Sephardic and Ashkenazi) among Europe's Jews, but when the Dreyfus trial appeared in the 1890's, the Jews saw 3 ways out of the trap they were closed in due to hatred from outside: 1) conform to Gentile customs where they stood, 2) use socialism to fight off evil, or 3) seek a normal life in a land particular to their identity. Theodor Herzl picked corral number 3. I speak of the corral in the American sense.
It seems that corrals began to take a more distinctive shape in the Land of Israel just before the 20th century began. Jews fighting off certain Jews, Arabs helping Jews, Jews against Arabs, etc.
Herzl and Nordau
Theodor Herzl and Max Nordau were 2 men who began forming 1 of the corrals outside the Land of Israel (Palestine).
Herzl is, to me, 1 of those lovable, adorable and rare characters that seldom comes around. But when a man like him does come, he is the elixir created in time to stave off a pandemic. His suggestions became the cure-all which forcibly warded off Jewish hopelessness. He was what I would call an unlikely hero - via Jah's sense of humor. It was as if the Jews (Hebrews) were looking into a dark closet for their best pair of shoes, to prepare to walk off the face of the earth, and Herzl tapped them on the shoulder from behind and said, 'Looking for these?', as he held up sandals gleaming with the readiness that comes from the Good News of peace (Ephesians 6).
Herzl was convinced he could turn the eyes of Gentiles and Jews toward the dream of Israel in the Land of Israel, as a nation called Israel. He felt out Turkey's Sultan, Germany's Kaiser, and left time for the big-hitters among Western Europe's Jews. This was not in vain because every little seed matters and the journey changed him, enabling him to make wise decisions based on experience instead of public opinion.
Some listeners of Herzl thought Herzl was beside himself. Yes, geniuses have insanity as part of their essential profile. Max Nordau was like the friend closer than a brother, assuring Herzl that they would share their insanities together. This is like what the Spaniard would say to an Englishman: Mi casa es su casa - 'my house is your house'. Jah brought alongside a compassionate companion for Herzl.
Nordau published The Conventional Lies of our Civilization, unfortunately not now to be found at my Dallas library. In it, he condemned the society of the 1880's and the poisonous attitude toward the Jews. Nordau was a Sephardic man who found his calling at the very edges of Jewish civilization. Herzl and Nordau were fellow Hungarians.
Gilbert mentions Ruthenians. It is said the Ruthenians were the Russians under Austrian power. They were Russians who got cut off from Russia's culture due to land boundaries. Perhaps it was the Ruthenians of Herzl's native Hungary which predisposed his mind toward national self-determination for the Chosen People. I tend to think that the Dreyfus case was not the lone spark which developed Herzl's mind instantly into a lover of Zion.
Just before the close of the 1800's, Herzl slapped down a domino called The Jewish State: in it he called Palestine his home, an attractive force beckoning his brothers according to the flesh. But his book was not a game; he actually intended for Jewish brothers to match end to end, and he laid down his dream in lines and patterns nigh unto prophecy.
In him was born what I call 'The Yehudah Republic'! The Beekeeper animated the honeybee which the world thought was a mere bug of no consequence.