A Vision of Jewish Strength

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “A Vision of Jewish Strength.”

 

With the rebirth of the State of Israel came the rebirth of the Jew. No longer the Jew cowering in the face of pogroms, Inquisition, Crusades, persecution, expulsions, and the Holocaust. The new Jew, as epitomized by the brave men and women of IDF, would be remade in the image of Moses who led the Jews out of Egyptian slavery, and King David who vanquished our enemies in our land, as well as the Jews of Purim and Hanukah, who fought ever so valiantly and to victory against the great empires of Persia and Greece or for us, whoever rises against us as the modern day equivalent.


But as important to the new Jew as our physical survival is that of our spiritual wellbeing. The persecution of Jews over thousands of years was not just a physical attack, as horrible as it was, but also a spiritual, religious, and cultural one, where Jews were prohibited from learning Torah, worshiping, and practicing as Jews. Thus, the second point of criticality in having the State of Israel is that it provides for Jewish sovereignty and ensures “the Jew as actor, determiner of his or her own destiny.” The Jewish people to truly thrive must be able to express themselves through their own language and history, religiously and culturally, and practically through their own leadership and decision-making to forge their own future.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Controlling The World, Really?

So, unfortunately, there is a lot of discrimination and hate out there. 


Often, I see, hear, or read lots of anti-Semitism. 


People don’t like what I write in my blog, that I eat Kosher, Keep Shabbat, or that I wear a head covering or whatever. 


I get things like “Dirty Jew!”


Sometimes, “Get out! Go back to Israel!”


Or when I try to express myself, “Uh, the Jews control the world,”


The funny thing is if Jews control the world, why do I feel like I don’t control anything!


I feel so small and insignificant in a way in the realm of G-d’s great universe. 


Where I am but a speck of dust.


I see tall skyscrapers.


Huge mountain ranges. 


The deep oceans.


The rolling plains. 


The infinite stars in the sky. 


I see a world with hundreds of countries. 


And billions of people. 


And I see me, and I am just a person. 


And I see the Jewish people–a tiny minority.


One that has been subject of pogroms, inquisitions, exiles, destruction, and genocide–over and over again. 


I grew up pretty poor and watching my parents work so hard trying their best to support the family. 


I think Jews don’t control the world. 


I certainly don’t think I control even my day. 


The reality is only G-d is in control. 


And for that, I am most humble and grateful to the L-rd above. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

UN Is Plagued With JEWPHOBIA

United Nations Jewphobia.jpeg

IT’S AN EPIDEMIC AT THE UNITED NATIONS.


It’s a most evil disease of the mind, body, and soul. 


And it’s called–Jewphobia!


And it’s taken many forms throughout history…


– Hateful Anti-Israel Resolutions


– Terrorism


– Wars


– Boycotts, Divestitures, and Sanctions


– Genocidal Holocaust


– Death Camps


– Crematoria


– Gas Chambers


– Forced Labor


– Human Medical Experiments


– Kristillnacht


– Iron Curtains


– Persecutions


– Pogroms


– Discrimination


– Blood Libels


– Torture Chambers


– Inquisition


– Expulsions


– Occupations


– Destruction of the Temple (2x)


– Plundering


– Masacres


– Sieges


– Infanticide


– Slavery


WHEN IS THE HATE AND JEWPHOBIA GOING TO STOP?


(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal with source background photo here)

Did You Know You’re A Sinner

sin-jpeg

So walking down the street here yesterday, I ran into a sign and was handed a postcard, declaring:

“Sin Awareness Day”


Then I was confronted by a gentleman (or not so gentle) who proceeded to explain to me that I–and everyone else–are sinners!


Innocently, I ask, “Well, what have I done?”


The missionary answers with a stern face, “I’m sure you have lied!”


I said, “I don’t think so,” but then to play alone, I smirked and said, “Well what if I did?”


He answers and says, “You’ll need to repent!”


Thinking that Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) is right around the corner in a couple of weeks, I thought to myself, hey that’s right in line with where I’m going anyway…


The guy continues–of course–to try to enlist me to his “savior” that he believes can save us from all our sins. 


I challenged and said, “Well, how about Moses?”


He roars back, “Moses?!!!” and starts railing on about “convert, convert, convert.” 


Uh no, thank you, I am fine with the faith of my father, and grandfathers, and great grandfathers, etc. 


And I appreciate if we can avoid the forcible conversion parts of yesteryear from various empires, caliphates, crusades, and inquisitions, with no shortage of associated torture, executions, and expulsions. 


Then breaking this historical context and glancing at the back of the postcard that he handed out, I did like this one thing that it said:

“Sin is not primarily a measure of how bad you are, but a measure of how good you are not.”


Heck, why be negative about ourselves (we are not inherently bad); instead see that we not living up to our potential and try, always, to do better. 


In that I am definitely a believer!  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Am Yisrael Chai!

“For in every generation there rose up those to destroy our people.


In antiquity, we faced destruction from the ancient empires of Babylon and Rome.


In the Middle Ages, we faced inquisition and expulsion.


And in modern times, we faced the pogroms and Holocaust.


Yet the Jewish people persevered.


And now another regime has arisen swearing to destroy Israel.


That regime would be wise to consider this.


I stand here today representing Israel a country 67 years young, but the nation state of a people nearly 4,000 years old.


Yet, the empires of Babylon and Rome are not represented in this hall of nations.


Neither is the thousand year Reich.


Those seemingly invincible empires are long gone.


But Israel lives.


The people of Israel live.


Am Israel Chai!”


– Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

  United Nations, 2015

Stop Picking On ISIS!

Burnt Alive In A Cage
ISIS is one of the most brutal and uncivilized enemies that we are now facing. 



Their tactics against their victims have included:



Beheading, burningtorturing, raping, crucifying, burying people alive, and abducting and selling children as sex slaves



Similar to Iran who threatens nuclear Armageddon on the West, and we seek to pacify them, make agreements, and unravel sanctions against them, with ISIS, our response again in the face of evil, has been tepid and now we are making excuses for their completely sick and immoral behavior.



At a National Prayer Breakfast yesterday, the President stated:



Unless we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ.”



Yes, that is why those times in history are referred to as “The Dark Ages,” while in 2015, we are supposed to be a shining light of democracy, freedom and human rights.



The President also went on to cite Slavery and the Jim Crow [laws] as other examples. 



Hmm…interesting though, if you are going to cite examples already, why completely omit to mention the evils of the Holocaust that killed 6 million Jewish people in the most inhumane genocide of our times–just 70 years ago! 



Then again, what was the purpose of giving the examples that he did of other great historical misdeeds (and also leaving out other prominent ones) in the face of another great evil in our times. 



From the specific words, perhaps:



– It is to excuse it? (Get off your high horses)



– To give them some sort of pass?  (Other people have committed terrible deeds)



But should we be making excuses or giving a pass to ISIS and for that matter Iran (which has one of the world’s worst records of human right abuses and has threatened to annihilate Israel and attack America) for their ongoing brutality, immorality, threats and terror?



Maybe what is correct here is that we should “get off our high horses,” and INSTEAD finally consider putting some darn boots on the ground and some serious firepower with it to end this march of terror quickly, rather than excuse it, ever. 😉



(Source Photo: here with attribution to Tv9)