When Is Enough, Enough?
The Line Between Fighting Hate And Fulfilling Prophecy
There is a fine line with this blog, which I make many efforts not to cross. While the main intention was always as a spiritual outlet… and for Ben and I to share our respective journeys in and towards a more meaningful and complete Judaism… there are real life tugs of war… political pushes and pulls… and incidents in the world that not only challenge me as a Jew, but as a human being.
Spiritually, I am in a great place. I am studying with a wide range of Rabbis and scholars and learning more about Judaism and Israel than I ever knew. It is exciting and fulfilling and makes me more connected to my own life… my own history… and my own soul.
But I am alarmed and troubled by the rising anti-Semitism in the world, and it seems that it is at a greater level and pace than I can ever recall. College campuses are breeding anti-Semites in the form of BDS and SJP and incidents on college campuses are at record highs.
It’s daunting on its own… but it takes on a whole new bent and confusion when I see it happening just as my own Jewish journey is moving full steam ahead. It is frustrating and confusing… Strange days indeed…
One need only watch the Olympics to see anti-Semitism in full swing, and on full display, with the most blatant by a supposed ally of Israel. If this is happening at the Olympics, one must not be surprised at what is happening around the world. It is disgusting behavior and an absolute shame… But we as Jews are sadly not surprised. Let us hope the world sees it, too. But let us hope that the world goes beyond just booing… This needs and requires action… strong action.
The Wall Street Journal has an interesting article on the snub and is worth the read.
So what is one to do?
I believe it is imperative to speak out… to call out injustice and anti-Semitism whenever one sees it. Silence does equal death as history shows us in repeat mode.
It is essential for us to speak the truth and the whole truth when it comes to Israel… To admit when things are our fault and call out the mistakes we have made… but that REQUIRES a deep and accurate understanding of the region and history, and therefore it is also imperative that we know it inside and out. That history defines us, quite literally… It is who we are.
Anti-Semitism is irrational, yet universal. It cuts across many religions and countries. Jews have been expelled from: England, France, Hungary, Austria, Germany, Lithuania, Spain and Portugal… and EVERY SINGLE ARAB COUNTRY…
Hashem obviously wants us to take action… to work hard… to do the right thing… to fight for our survival and that of our culture, traditions and beliefs… but He also spells things out pretty clearly in the Torah… and I find it a bit hard to swallow at times… How remarkable and frustrating and amazing is it, that we would willingly sign up for this?
So how do we reconcile that all of this hate and anger and destruction is prophecy? That has been clearly spoken of and delineated… and told to us before we even signed on the dotted line.
“And you, I will scatter among the nations, at the point of My drawn sword, leaving your country desolate and your cities in ruins.” (Leviticus 26:33).
“God will then scatter you among the nations, and only a small number will remain among the nations where God shall lead you.” (Deuteronomy 4:27).
“Among those nations you shall find no respite, no rest for your foot. There God will make you cowardly, destroying your outlook and making life hopeless. You will live in constant suspense. Day and night, you will be terrified, never sure of your existence. In the morning you will say, ‘If only it were night,’ and in the evening you will say, ‘If only it were morning!’ Such will be the dread that your heart will feel and the sights that your eyes will see” (Deut. 28:65-67).
Ummm… Okay… Ouch.
We chose this?
Yes… Yes we did… which is why despite all of this, we truly are the Chosen People… Hashem chose us and we, Him.
It is as it must be… and yet, so often, it is hurtful and confusing and troubling…
This is where our faith comes in… our Emunah… to know that Hashem knows best and to admit that there are many things beyond our comprehension and understanding… to let go… to believe. Not easy… but look at what us Jews have done? We must believe!
“He is as prominent on the planet as any other people, and his commercial importance is extravagantly out of proportion to the smallness of his bulk. His contributions to the world’s list of great names in literature, science, art, music, finance, medicine, and abstruse learning, are also way out of proportion to the weakness of his numbers.” (Mark Twain)