Saturday, November 22, 2014

Har Nof Massacre

     Tuesday, November 18, 2014. Yet another day in Jewish history that will live in infamy. For anyone who still has not heard about what happened in Jerusalem, or who is unfamiliar with the details, here is one link describing the horror:
     The images are shocking and become more so as one reads the article and begins to understand the actions that preceded the massacre captured in these photographs. But, believe it or not, these were not the pictures that stabbed me in the heart. There was one that was far more powerful to me. It was circulated on Twitter, and it was gut-wrenching. A rabbi was standing behind a dais containing a large Tanakh. He was slumped over the podium with his head on the Tanakh, and I could hear the one-word prayer he was screaming from the depths of his soul:
     "Why" yet another slaughter? "Why" must we be killed? "Why" do You allow this to continue? "Why" can we not just be left in peace? "Why" do people hate us? And, the unspoken speculations as to the answers to those heartfelt pleas for understanding: Is it because we observe the Sabbath? Is it because we do not attend church on Sunday? Is it because we wear tzittzit? Is it because we do not believe Jesus Christ was Massiach? Is it because we celebrate Chanukah and not Christmas? Is it because we speak Hebrew? What have we done that is so wrong as to justify such atrocities?
     The calls I heard from Jews that day were interesting to say the least, and very understandable. Let us remove the "Palestinians" from East Jerusalem. Send them to Gaza, or just deport them altogether. Send them back to Jordan. After all, that is where they belong. Get rid of the problem once and for all. As I was having these discussions with people, I kept hearing another word. "Evacuate." Let us "evacuate" the "Palestinians" from East Jerusalem. "Evacuate" them to Gaza. "Evacuate" them back to Jordan. I have heard that term before. It was used in 1943 at the Wannsee Conference, where the "Final Solution" was crafted, by Adolph Eichmann.
     The use of comparisons between the Jews and the Nazis is inherently anti-Semitic, as is described very well in this article I was sent recently:
     This essay is absolutely spot-on, but I must warn my dear Israeli friends and all the people who are calling for the above "solution" to the "'Palestinian' problem": If we do not wish to be compared to the Nazis, we must take great care not to sound like the Nazis.
     So, what is the answer to this problem? Hell if I know. As I stated on Twitter this week, I do not think God Himself has the solution. (Before someone cries "Blasphemy!" I am being facetious.) The "Palestinians" are only the latest manifestation of a systemic illness that has existed throughout history: Jew-hatred. I do not have the answer. I only know that ethnic cleansing is not it.
     What fuel feeds the illness of Jew-hatred? Blood libel. I have touched on it many times. Blood libels are simply lies that are spread to justify the killing of Jews. "Jews killed Christ." "Jews brought the Black Plague." "Jews kill Christian boys to use their blood in the making of matzot." "Jews are destroying our economy and/or our way of life." Surprisingly, the very people who claim these libels are "in the past" are still using them today, despite slight variations in the wording. "Jews own the banks." "Jews own the media." "Jews own Congress." "Jews own the British Parliament" (Great Britain is having a great laugh at that one). "Jews (those evil 'Zionists') are conspiring to take over the world." "Jews are committing genocide (in 'Palestine')." "Jews are committing atrocities." "Jews are committing human rights violations." "Jews stole 'Palestine'." "Jews have apartheid in Israel" (shamefully, this particular refrain is echoed by the likes of Miko Peled and Jimmy Carter, among other prominent so-called 'humanitarians').
     These libels, as well as the newest one ("Jews plan to destroy the al-Aqsa Mosque"), are what led to the bloodshed in Har Nof this week, and they must be stopped. Again, I do not know how to do so other than to fight anyone who speaks such slanders. I just know that Israel's only hope for survival is to fight, not only physically but psychologically and philosophically. The disease of anti-Semitism is the most virulent strain any medical doctor has ever treated. While we try to come up with the cure, we must take any and all precautions we can imagine to protect ourselves and, most importantly, to protect the Jewish people and the State of Israel.
     Baruch Dayan Ha'Emet. "Blessed is the Judge of Truth."
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FOOTNOTE: Special thanks to one of my Twitter followers, who sent me a direct message that morning expressing her concern. She said when she heard about the massacre her first thought was of me and my reaction. That was a very sweet and thoughtful missive, and I appreciate it immensely. Let me reiterate what I told her: It was not about me. But, the fact that someone thought of me at that terrible moment was encouraging in that I am having an impact. I hope that I continue to do so.

Thanksgiving: A Lesson in Gratitude

I found myself becoming irritated yesterday as I watched people I know on social media talking about the various plans they had for today. ...