Sunday, August 19, 2018
Through Christianity, Israel came to embody the desire of the nations. It should be a beacon for nations that are struggling to maintain their identity and cohesion against a demographic ebb tide and against the pressures of globalization. Is there hope for the nations of Europe? The odds look bad, but they also looked bad when the Ottomans occupied Hungary in the 17th century, and again when the Germans and then the Soviets occupied Hungary in the middle of the 20th. Never in history did the extinction of a people appear as probable as in the case of the Jews in 1944. Yet only four years later the Jewish state arose from the ashes. Israel is demographic miracle, the only industrial nation with a fertility rate well above replacement, the exception that proves the rule: Humankind cannot bear mortality without the hope of immortality. The hope of immortality is founded on a sense of the sacred. The history of the world is the history of mankind’s search for immortality. When the nations of the world see their demise not as a distant prospect over the horizon, but as a foreseeable outcome, they perish of despair.