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ALEXANDER KIMEL - HOLOCAUST UNDERSTANDING & PREVENTION

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TORAH - SYMBOLIC ROYALTY

Written by Alexander Kimel - Holocaust Survivor.

To survive, the Jews have to develop a new national structure, adaptable to various environments, suitable for the future generations. With the passing of time, idealistic symbolism substituted the physical existence of the Temple. In place of the national structure, the priesthood, the aristocracy, the Jews placed the veneration for the Torah and the esteem for men of learning. " The Torah is a higher state than the priesthood or royalty." Ethics of Our Fathers 6:6.

Even today, it is possible to observe the veneration and honors awarded to the Torah. The Torah is a symbol of Royalty, when the Ark is opened during the prayers, all the congregation rises in esteem. During the services the Torah is carried about the synagogue, wearing a crown of silver and a mantle of velvet, worshipers reach out with a prayer book or prayer shawl and then kiss the spot where it touched the Torah. The Torah personifies and substitutes the Royalty, lost by the Jews 2000 years ago.

SHUVAT ZION - RETURN TO ZION

To survive the Jews had to develop an symbolic state that will substitute the symbol of a Homeland, and thus the idea of Shuvat Zion was created. Jews started to idealize the past. Return to Zion - "Shuvat Zion" was incorporated into the liturgy, and became a national obsession. "W'al yedai chatoejnu gulinu m'arcejnu (And because of our sins we were banished from our Homeland).

Each nation has some aspirations embedded into their consciousness like independence, conquest, glory, development, national honor, etc. The Jews had one goal- Shuvat Zion (Return to Zion). For or hundreds of years the Jews were living in Diaspora considered their life only temporary. They waited for the Messiah, with the dream of return run to Zion. The ideal of Shuvat Zion made them a nation of dreamers, a nation of mystics.
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