Israel Forever

For the week ending 3 December 2005 / 2 Kislev 5766

Keeping Israel Jewish

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

The religious Jews are growing!

This was the recent headline which struck fear in the hearts of many secularists in Israel.

The background for this alarm was a report by Israels top demographer, Professor Sergio DellaPergola of Hebrew University, to the Knesset Interior and Environmental Affairs Committee. He told the MKs that the religious population in Israel would double by 2020 and its adult members would represent some 17 percent of the general adult population.

The above-mentioned percentage is about what the Arab population is today in Israel. With secular Israelis marrying late and having few children, this projected growth of the religious sector should be welcomed as a guarantee of a Jewish majority in the Jewish state. Nevertheless, phobia of the religious makes the secularists nervous.

In this weeks Torah portion we read about what the Patriarch Yitzchak said when he gained a well which marked peace with the hostile Philistines. Now that G-d had given us relief from the strife which marked the digging of previous wells, he said, "we would be able to multiply in the land."

Large families are indeed "families blessed with many children" and they represent the best assurance of a Jewish majority in Israel forever.

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