God’s Name Is Not Unity But Truth – Ze’ev Jabotinsky: Prophet & Visionary
My life was forever changed when as a very young man I joined the Betar Zionist Youth Movement in NYC – an organization founded in 1923 by Ze’ev Jabotinsky, little did I know then it would change my life forever.
Betar was a movement which taught us hadar – honor. As written in “Lone Wolf”: Betar then was, first of all, a code of personal behavior. Jabotinsky gave it a name: Hadar. In its original sense, it conveys a sense of splendor, of glory; in the context of Jabotinsky’s code, it is almost untranslatable. The closest rendering of its meaning would probably be “overall impeccability.” … Jabotinsky’s own statement of the virtues inherent in Hadar included all the trivia that make up our daily lives – external sightliness, cleanliness, tidiness, punctuality, courtesy, chivalrous and considerate behavior towards women, the old and the very young. … Hadar, which he considered should be a universal code, was especially important to the masses of Jews.”As I later grew to be National President of Betar I learned many other key values, which today, as a father, as a PR Agency owner, as a Jew, as a human being I remember daily.
Ze’evJabotinsky was one of the greatest Jewish and Zionist leaders ever, and his philosophies continue to shape Jewish destiny today. It is impossible to read his work and not see him as a visionary – Jabotinsky’s first biographer, Joseph B. Schechtman, described him as a “rebel, statesman, fighter, and prophet.” To Shmuel Katz, his definitive biographer, “Jabo” was simply a “lone wolf.” The man’s views were simply ahead of his time – He believed one could never backdown to Anti-Semitism or the enemies of the Jewish state.
He had a unique emphasis on Jewish pride, and as Arthur Koesler, an admirer of Jabotinsky said he was “one of the great tragic figures of the century…adored hero of the Jewish masses in Russia and Poland.” Jabotinsky viewed Betar as the leverage for the Jewish people to destroy the Jewish Ghetto mentality – and it’s still an active, necessary movement worldwide. The J Street and Peter Beinart ilk should read of Jabotinsky’s “lifelong campaign for the transformation of the bent back of the ghetto to the upright stance of a proud and dignified national community.” There are many today worldwide who understand these values (like those who this week received the Irving Moskowitz Prize for Zionism in Israel.)
He uniquely understood theArab/Israeli conflict.”Jabotinsky was convinced that the Arabs could not be bought off with political concessions, and in his essay entitled, ‘The Iron Wall’ that was penned in 1923, he wrote: ‘Except for those who were born blind, they realized long ago that it is utterly impossible to obtain the voluntary consent of the Palestine Arabs for converting “Palestine” from an Arab country into a country with a Jewish majority. As long as the Arabs feel that there is the least hope of getting rid of us, they will refuse to give up this hope in return for either kind words or for bread and butter, because they are not a rabble, but a living people. And when a living people yields in matters of such a vital character it is only when there is no longer any hope of getting rid of us, because they can make no breach in the iron wall.’”
Perhaps one of the strongest things Ze’ev Jabotinsky ever said: “God’s name is not Unity but Truth.” It is vitally necessary for Jews to always stand up and speak the truth and fight for the truth.
Long Live Jabotinsky ! Am Israel Chai !
Ronn Torossian is the CEO of NY based 5WPR. Ronn Torossian was named to Advertising Age’s “40 Under 40″ list, PR Week’s “40 Under 40″ List, and was a semi-finalist for Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the year.
About the Author: Ronn Torossian is the CEO of NY based 5W Public Relations, 1 of the 25 largest PR Agencies in the US. He is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), a Jewish philanthropist and active in a number of worldwide Jewish organizations. More about Ronn