Beyond the Cusp

June 20, 2016

Our Feckless World

 

The escalation of the Islamic world’s war is against those who are insufficiently pure in their Islam practices and are not as obedient as desired or worse, not a worshipper of Allah and Muhammad and the true chain of the roots of Allah’s path from Abraham through Hagar, Sarah’s maidservant which she gave Abraham so he could produce an heir, a son. This son was Ishmael, who eventually fathered the progeny from Abraham and Hagar, presumably producing Muhammad, thus spawning Islam many centuries later. This new religion of Islam was supposed to be a furtherance of the Judeo-Christian lines and bring peace and one final message for humankind by which to live in peace and harmony, or at least that was how it presumably started. After being rebuffed, scorned and thrown out of Mecca, Muhammad went to Medina where the prophesy continued and changed its flavor and methods as Muhammad gained power rising to rule in Medina as a great warlord with a crushing force at his disposal. This force assisted his vengeance on Mecca for its treatment of Muhammad and the rest is history. The Quran took on a different tone which some have cast as “conquer the world for Allah.” A somewhat deeper explanation can be read starting with Which Quran, Mecca or Medina? and followed up after that brief summary from a wealth of information added by numerous readers in the comments with links to other sites which range from commentaries on the Quran to different orderings of the Quran from traditional to chronological and more. Many of the worldly difficulties with the followers of the Medina Quranic verses which presumably, when differing from the Mecca verses, the later ones take precedence, has led to the Islamic State and groups like Hamas, Boko Haram and other terror enclaves in Afghanistan, the Philippines and beyond. What is often forgotten when discussing Islam is there are also a number of groups who live perfectly good Quranic lives giving what these other groups claim are abrogated sections of the Quran by the more aggressive, but these places remain open societies proving that there are peaceful ways and means which can be followed from the Quran and that it is all in how you implement the Quran and what you seek to gain from your experiences in Islam.

 

The Orlando nightclub slaughter, which is being portrayed in some circles as purely a hate-crime against the LGBT community, is being cast ignoring the Islamic roots of the shooter or actually intimating that he was a member of the Christian right and a fanatic and gun nut even more for gun rights than the NRA and Donald Trump type of supporter. This approach eventually ties in the violence which has broken out at any number of Trump’s campaign rallies. The small fact that this violence was almost always instigated by leftist protesters, many of whom had leftist backings, has been left out from the picture so as to tarnish Trump as the one causing the violence. That is simply political expediency and the horrors of the nightclub shooting is not about the United States race for the White House and rather about the race to club America into obedience of the Quran and adopting Islam as America’s sole religion. The same can be said for June 13; the Philippines government confirmed that Robert Hall, a Canadian citizen, was beheaded by the ISIS-affiliated Abu Sayyaf terrorist group who held him hostage since September 2015. Canada’s prime minister’s Justin Trudeau’s reaction was posted on his Facebook page. “Canada holds the terrorist group who took him hostage fully responsible for this cold-blooded and senseless murder,” he said. Trudeau avoided mentioning the radical Islamic ideology espoused by Abu- Sayyaf, its affiliation with the Islamic State (a.k.a. IS, ISIS, ISIL, Daesh, Caliphate) and previously with al Qaeda. The same problem has continued half a world away with the brutality of Boko Haram which also strikes at those not of Islam across a wide area in central northern Africa centered on Nigeria. These groups have increased their ability to recruit others locally as well as from a distance after their swearing allegiance to the Islamic State and their leader, the self-proclaimed Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

 

Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi The World as the Islamic States Believes It to Be with These Islamic Provinces Loyal to Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and The World

Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
The World as the Islamic States Believes
It to Be with These Islamic Provinces Loyal
to Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and The World

 

The world view of Baghdadi appeals to these frustrated youths who are frustrated with their lives and see the world as imperfect and in need of cleansing. These so-called ‘Lone Wolves’ like the Orlando terrorist and the San Bernardino killer couple and the others throughout the Western World as well as within the Islamic World all believe they are following a true vision. The same vision goes for many of the terror groups which have spawned as a result or have joined with the Islamic State. All of these otherwise disparate groups desire to reach a standing in what they believe is the future of the world as the Western World is unworthy of continuing as the main power in the world. If it was not the Islamic State it would be whatever group is strongest and claims leadership over all Islam and the tip of the spear which will pierce the world for Allah. Meanwhile the Western World remains asleep and leaderless in this fight. President Obama has been approached through the United Nations to call for a concerted effort from the Security Council thus coordinating the fight against the Islamic State. Defeating the Islamic State will require a unified world effort as smashing it into a million pieces will simply produce a million emissaries to spread the hatreds of the Islamic State making it even more dangerous. What needs to be done is to destroy the Islamic State in one well-coordinated assault on its main bodies in Syria and Iraq not allowing for their forces to escape out into the world spreading this incarnation of evil even further.

 

The problem with getting such a unified effort blessed by the United Nations has long been President Obama’s insistence on the only way the United States could fully join the fight. President Obama has demanded that the United States work through the Security Council as well as the General Assembly before committing ground troops. This precondition has been repeatedly stated and the lack of a United Nations Security Council resolution requiring force be used and taken against the Islamic State is the one request which would allow for a coalition to be formed to fight the Islamic State directly. The strangest piece to this puzzle has been President Obama himself as the United States has blocked any cooperation in drawing such a resolution. This obstruction apparently centers around the fact that the resolution was drafted by Russia and does not give President Obama the lead position in the coalition. Actually it appears that President Obama is blocking any action being coordinated from the Security Council as the combined forces of the world would then be turned loose to obliterate the Islamic State in place not allowing it to disperse. A crushing defeat would take off the gleam currently perceived to be emanating from the Islamic State and Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi personally making him a figure that the other groups can utilize.

 

No one other than President Obama can claim to know what is going on in his head that he blocks the exact measures he claims he requires in order to fight the Islamic State and eradicate it in quick order. Perhaps it is because he would not be perceived as the sole leader who freed the world from this monster and the acts of depravity committed in his name. Perhaps he sees the Islamic State as a system through which the majority of the Islamic world can be rallied and actually start the next Islamic war on the rest of the world. Perhaps President Obama wants to leave all options on the table so if he is not instated as the next head of the United Nations he can aspire then to lead the Islamic State and become Caliph of the World. It is just odd that President Obama become the obstruction preventing the Security Council from passing the necessary resolutions to bring a singular united World to bear and that he claimed were necessary for the United States to step forth into the breach, so to speak.

 

Meanwhile the main forces actually striking at the Islamic State are halfhearted bombing by the United States and slightly more vigorous bombings by the Russians. Neither side appears to have their heart in fighting the Islamic State. Probably the one thing preventing President Obama from allowing the Security Council to step forward and take charge in demanding actions be taken against the Islamic State is he knows it would take far more effort and a huge American commitment in manpower and treasure to wage such a war. President Obama probably does not wish to entangle the rest of his administrative efforts into defeating the Islamic State as it would be messy and soldiers would unfortunately be killed and fighting the Islamic State which can hide in plain sight as they do not exactly wear uniforms and would be far more able to hide within a compliant civilian surroundings without raising suspicions. Entangling the United States into such a war would result it as being his legacy and President Obama is not going to go down as the President which got us into a deadly and seemingly futile Middle East War. President Obama would rather place the emphasis on forcing or destroying Israel and replacing it with a failed Arab Palestinian State. It would not surprise us if President Obama doesn’t place some degree of faith in the claim that the Islamic State is an Israeli Mossad action done so as to empower Israel into controlling the actions of a large sector of the Islamic world. Nobody other than the President knows for sure what he believes and what is driving his current reticence towards empowering the United Nations to act.

 

Meanwhile, the rest of the world is not exactly beating a bombing run or even a surveillance pass against the Islamic State. With the recent assault on Paris, the lone wolf attacks traceable to the Islamic State, one would expect to see a concerted effort by the Europeans to have used the European Union to formulate their response, but nothing. A warning should be sounding throughout Europe as an ominous date approaches, the celebrations of the ancient Battle of Badhr which is remembered and commemorated in Islam on the 17th of Ramadan. This year it falls on Thursday, June 23rd, beginning Wednesday evening at sundown of this week. The one thing that Islam does even better than commit horrific acts is remembering anniversaries of its greatest victories or its worst humiliations which it tries to erase with glorious victories. The 1973 Arab-Israeli War (the Yom Kippur War) began on the 17th day of Ramadan. The Egyptians code-named their surprise attack on Israel as “Operation Badhr” occurring on the holiest day in Judaism, Yom Kippur. That war had an optimistic beginning and would have been an even greater challenge and likely disaster had the battle lines been the same as they were before the Six Day War and many an Arab commander from that war blamed the fact that the world had not already forced Israel back into its box. That is part of the drive to force Israel back to the 1949 Armistice lines, the pre-67 Lines, as then they feel Israel can be defeated more readily.

 

But other than it is fighting the Infidel and making War for Allah, there is a complete disconnect between Israel and their troubles with its existence and the Islamic struggle to conquer the world, which currently means ultimately the United States. Where you will see Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hezballah all make attacks on the rest of the world; they mostly channel their efforts against Israel. Granted that Hezballah is currently being embroiled in protecting Bashir al-Assad, as he has no real troops to call his own, almost every Nasrallah speech is about the coming demise of Israel and his quarter of a million rockets all aimed at Israel from top to bottom in Eilat. He regularly insists on mentioning their ability to hit Eilat despite it not being a likely target but simply to make the claim he can now hit anywhere in Israel. On the other hand there have been no real efforts by al-Qaeda or Islamic State though both claim to have operatives embedded in Gaza or with the Palestinian Authority in Judea and Samaria (West Bank). The only activity ever taken up by Islamic forces outside those directly fighting Israel is the occasional attempt to break the Gaza sea blockade with some heavily advertised flotilla which despite getting huge buildups online results in nothing in reality.

 

The Islamic world has far more pressing problems than Israel at the moment and does not appear capable of repairing the breaches in its states. Lebanon and Iraq are functional basket cases with Syria so completely devastated that it is no longer a nation and more of a roiling pot of troubles masquerading as a civil war which is simply filling up an otherwise empty space with no semblance of functioning governance. Libya is no different and is largely Syria but toned down because even less care is extended in that direction and Islamic State in Libya has yet to take on the evil dimensions as its spawning parent in Syria and Iraq. Talking about Iraq, the main functioning governance there is Iran. For all intents and purposes the world may as well recognize a nation of Kurdistan and draw its borders extending across northern Iraq and including northeastern Syria. By declaring the Kurds as having their own nation it would be a good first step towards repairing the damages perpetrated on the Arab world at the end of World War I. Sykes Picot Agreement divided up the Middle East to represent European oil interests and nothing more.

 

Yes a couple of promises were kept but far more were ignored or intentionally broken, and a Kurdish State must top that list as it can be easily rectified and would allow for more places for a base against the Islamic State. A declared Kurdistan would also be such a slap in the face to al-Baghdadi that much of the Islamic State efforts would be shifted to solely taking out this Kurdish State and making the Kurds into a nation would give them an even greater ideal around which to dedicate their Thusfar heroic efforts. Granted Turkey would initially disagree and be completely against such as Erdogan sees himself as the next ruler of Syria incorporating it into a greater Turkey and the initial step to reestablishing the Ottoman Empire. Should the borders of Kurdistan be drawn liberally along its southern regions to include Mosul and additional lands in Syria it would not be a bad idea as this would provide room for the Kurds residing in Turkey, who would rather live under Kurdish rule, to emigrate. That would also signal to the Arab and Muslim world that the Western World realized the injustice it imposed on them at the conclusion of world War I with the cutting of tribes into two or more pieces and shoved warring factions together in a single nation with the direct desire to cause the kind of chaos now occurring though at a lower level but preventing any string forces to develop in the oil rich regions and surrounding nations. The time to repair that would be now after the terror wars are brought to a close and then the West needs to work with the interests of the region and not against them. First though is the destruction of the Islamic State as that is an abomination to any possibility of a peaceable Middle East, even a peace amongst the Arabs with one another.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

May 25, 2016

Israeli and IDF Morality Irrelevant

 

We read and hear of the anti-Israel, anti-Zionist and anti-IDF protesters all repeating that everything Israel is immoral, of lesser rights, unjustifiable, everything negative that those who hate us believe they can make stick and our responding to them only strengthens their arguments. They use our defensiveness as proof that they have hit a nerve, found some hidden nugget of truth and thus that makes all their hateful messaging correct and true. It had nothing to do with Israel or the IDF. Every Western nation has sent their representatives of the government or military to Israel since the last war in Gaza against Hamas to learn two things, how to effectively gather the necessary intel on the terror groups operating in their nations and how to fight a just and moral war. The first has to do with technical items which we in Israel have depended upon to keep us alive. The second, how to fight a war even close to the level of morality and at best at avoiding civilian casualties against a foe using innocents as their bunkers against attack as Hamas and their ilk have taken to doing. So, there is sufficient proof that Israel is a just and merciful society and the real world outside of academia knows it leaving only the anti-Semites and those they can sweep off their feet with lies are against the truth. The sad thing is that they too know what Israel represents and that scares them more than anything else.

 

That brings us to the crux of the matter, why then if they know that Israel is just, moral and so above the level in act and purpose do they desire to tear us down and destroy us. The reason is twofold and half of it is because we are just, moral and so above the level in act and purpose. The truth is proven by our actions that Israel in its new revival is proof that there is a Creator and that that Creator is Hashem. Our return as a nation built in a single day is proof of Hashem and that Hashem is real; His covenant with the people of Israel who are the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob have returned to their Promised Land; and the covenant has again been verified. They are the equivalent of those who opposed the land of Israel back then and they too have survived unto this day. They live and breathe deceit and all those traits that Israel does not and our existence frightens them beyond belief. This is why they are sworn to tear us down.

 

If these are the modern idolaters and worshipers of the false gods such as the tribes that rose against Israel in the Bible, the Old Testament, then how is it they were not vanquished over time. The truth is their original societies did fall but the people continued on. Many were converted to modern faiths and the majority held no religious belief beyond the worship of man as the ultimate entity, the supreme beings above all else. To these heathens the human being is god and they are the leading example of this truth. They still have their pantheon of gods and it is they and they must tear down the proof of any Higher Creator which disproves all that they believe and hold as truth. If there is a Creator then their rules and beliefs all crumble before Hashem and Hashem’s covenant is the proof of Hashem’s existence. As long as there are inheritors of the land of Israel who serve Hashem and keep the covenant then there is a Creator, a Higher Being and man is but one of Hashem’s creations, perhaps His greatest creation, but still simply one of those created and placed here by Hashem. This they must destroy.

 

Church of the Holy Sepulchre and Dome of the Rock Jerusalem circa 1860 in disarray and in ruin after centuries of disrepair and lack of concerns or interest

Church of the Holy Sepulchre and Dome of the Rock
Jerusalem circa 1860 in disarray and in ruin
after centuries of disrepair and lack of concerns or interest

 

Thus the best way to destroy the fact that there exists a Creator is to cast those who serve and enjoy a covenant with Hashem down and make the holders of His covenant to be craven low beasts who are less than men and thus we are to be cast as jealous and weaker beings because of our false beliefs of which the most preposterous and most vile is this belief that mankind is not the highest of all life forms and that it is our weakness that we follow Hashem and his covenant to toil and care in the lands granted us by Hashem’s promise. They must divide up this land and steal as much as possible for as long as those who hold this covenant with Hashem do not possess all of the Promised Lands, then the promise has been broken. This is what is behind every attempt to establish two states for two peoples within the lands between the Jordan and the Sea as these are the lands Hashem did promise to Abraham and to Isaac repeatedly in the Bible, in Torah. Having taken Gaza is not sufficient as they know that the ancient Hebrew tribes did not necessarily have Gaza as part of the Promised Lands but they know without a doubt that Judea and Samaria were part of the Promised Lands and they know that Jerusalem, especially the Temple Mount, were crucial parts, the heart, one might say, of the Promised Lands. So they claim that these lands were never the holdings of the Hebrew People of the Bible as described in Torah as those are simply stories with no truth. They know as long as they cast doubt on the validity of the Bible and Torah in particular, then they have negated the covenant, denied the fulfillment of Hashem’s promise to return his children to the lands that Hashem had promised them as their inheritance. The covenant was that the Hebrew tribes would tend the land and the land would reward them as long as they served Hashem by keeping the laws and observing the words of Torah and thus receiving the rains and water for the land such that it would sustain them.

 

The fact that the IDF is such a moral fighting force is further proof that those serving Israel are also serving the will of Hashem as they guard the Promised Lands for Hashem’s people and keep them safe. Look at the first wars fought to reestablish Israel and there are miracles galore. Virtually any military historian will try and give a thousand and one reasons that the nascent Israeli Defense Forces which were nothing but some ragtag collection of groups which had been terrorizing and harassing the British to get them to leave as the land was no longer worth their time and efforts, a formula which worked but also saw some British officers from World War II recently decommissioned taking a new assignment upon themselves to aid the Arab armies of Jordan, Egypt, Iraq and others and they did so even in some instances sharing command advisory positions cooperating with Nazi officers also from World War II. The Arab armies had air forces, armored divisions and thousands of men for every Israeli fighting and had many Arab villages behind the Israeli lines ready to strike at the rear disrupting the Israeli, the Jewish efforts and allow for an easy victory. This was not to be as Hashem had promised that we would return and tend the lands once again for Hashem and he would care for us and provide as long as we kept our side of the bargain.

 

The efforts under way using discrediting accusations of immorality of actions and impure acts by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) in any effort, they have been forced to fight against a relentless set of foes. The Six Day War was just as much a miracle as was the wars of 1948 and 1949. The Yom Kippur War was an even greater miracle than was the Six Day War and there have been those miracles witnessed by so many IDF troops and some have become stalwarts known by many throughout the world. They must all be proven to be anything but the miracles they are so when they are recounted they are claimed and sworn by Israel’s detractors to be fables and Israelis nothing but boastful liars. Those making these accusations know who is doing the lying but as lies are the stock of their trade, what else could one think. They also use the traces of anti-Semitism to gain any additional following that will join just because they oppose Jews, that is another front to this entire assault upon Israel. These people who appear, and there is a concerted effort to achieve this result, to be a loosely strung groups of grassroots gathering is a highly organized and well-financed assault upon Israel and the love of Hashem. This is highly funded by the Palestinian Authority, the United Nations, the European Union, Oxfam, numerous other NGOs, numerous governments from every corner of the globe and incorporating some of the most deeply pocketed nations on the planet and even some so far in debt they cannot see the top of the hole, and all from small to large, right to poor, apparently religious to completely secular, free to dictatorial, professing morality to the most hedonistic all group together as they all rely on the Hebrew Creator, Hashem, be proven false by breaking his covenant which requires the destruction of Israel.

 

Getting to the bottom and finding the dark core requires a long and often seemingly fruitless endeavor as one peels back the layers of this onion and at its core one will find a small number of individual seed cores, the Vatican, the Palestinian Authority backed by Sunni Muslims, Iran and Shiite Muslims, and a core group of secular humanist anti-religious NGOs. This would appear to be a group completely unrelated and potentially adversarial but they all have as their greatest enemy the covenant the Children of Israel have with Hashem as to each should that covenant and special relationship prove valid and true then their entire defining principles and core beliefs go up in a puff of smoke. For that reason and that reason alone these groups would stand with Satan, a nonentity in Judaism as there is no deity, even of sin and the underworld (hell), other than Hashem and all supreme power lies with Hashem, the Creator who came before and will be after and exists in all He Created and there is a truth to hang one’s hat (or yarmulke) on. Hashem promised the land to the seed of Abraham and Isaac for eternity and our exiles were punishments for not following the playbook, the Torah, and using it as our guide for a happy and fruitful life.

 

We are now being gathered as promised by the prophets and our ingathering is being facilitated by these anti-Semites who are spreading their virus of hate infecting the world. The Muslim World had this virus from their inception. So too the Roman Catholic Church and a fair number of the Protestant reformers and the idolaters too have had it from the start and others were gathered along the way all aligned to destroy Hashem’s jewel, a land that never gave its bounty up to any other but always favored the Children of Israel, not by accident. Has it never struck anyone as unexplainable that places on earth where there has never been a Jew for people to meet are still rank with Jew hatred and thus Israel hatred? Another item which is often called an anomaly as Jew hatred is considered the norm, almost every nations which has had a catastrophe which all but wiped their peoples off the map, the earthquakes in Haiti, Nepal and Japan, the typhoon in the Philippines and Viet Nam and countless other places where Israel was the first aid in and first hospital up and running and the last to leave and often leaving behind fully stocked clinics for remote places or particularly bad areas such as an orphanage in Haiti or a remote village deep in the interior in the Philippines and in each clinic they also left a few key people to train and when they left their final act was to assure that the monitors all worked, all the equipment was calibrated, the stocks filled, and then the tearful good-byes and these places who have met real Israelis love Israel, and that is how it will remain, where Israel touches the world it will heal. Where Israel is rebuked and maligned they will remain pitted in petty differences and hatreds and eventually eat their civilized world and all will be lost. It may sound insane but Israel is the world’s future or the world will become a place of perpetual darkness and that will end poorly for mankind. Learn to witness what Israel is and not the lies you have been told. Is Israel perfect, no, but Hashem is and in His service and in keeping His Torah we are slowly getting closer.

 

Doctor Tali Shaltiel of IsraAid an Israeli Humanitarian Relief NGO funded by donations and Israeli government as part of IDF relief efforts wades into the water to take a small Syrian child from drowning after her rubber raft she and other refugees had overturned

Doctor Tali Shaltiel of IsraAid an Israeli Humanitarian Relief NGO
funded by donations and Israeli government as part of IDF relief efforts
wades into the water to take a small Syrian child from drowning
after her rubber raft she and other refugees had overturned

 

One last point, what about those who are secular and fight against the religious inside Israel amongst her Jews? Their numbers shrink every year, every month, every week and every hour. The IDF is becoming an army of religious and believing Israelis who worship Hashem. This scares the top generals as has become evident in a small crisis centered around the General Staff and former Defense Minister Ya’alon. That is an example of the IDF moving in a correct direction and the top will change as those below it in the chain of command have changed. Israel still has a way to go but she is heading there as your read. We are getting there as well and the ride has had its challenges but it has also had rewards beyond description. A number of years ago while still in the United States this article would have been beyond our knowledge and now it is our daily lives. That itself is a testament to Hashem and the way Hashem permeates these lands. It may take centuries or it may already be happening. But all what Hashem promised will come to be, Period.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

May 11, 2016

Israel Remembrance and Independence Day

 

Today is Memorial Day (Yom Hazikaron), and tomorrow is Israeli Independence Day (Yom Haatzmaut). On the Gregorian calendar it will be on Sunday, May 15, but on our Hebrew calendar it is tomorrow. There will be fireworks and celebratory activities all across this small but vital nation and the vitality will definitely be on display for all to see. But that independence came at a price which must be respected and have its day which is why we have Remembrance Day, or Memorial Day, one day before, today. Today we mourn all those lost to anti-Semitic terrorism, anti-Zionist terrorism and anti-Israel terrorism which have a shared root directly related to Independence Day and a more historic foundation, for some possibly remembrance also goes back in their hearts ever further than the official definitions. Officially we are remembering all those lost to terrorist strikes, all our soldiers lost in the battles and wars we have been forced to fight to continue to even have a nation, the six million souls lost in the Holocaust and for me the souls lost to the wars fought as recorded in the Bible and to all the pogroms, cleansings and other atrocities all but impossible to imagine from both sides of the great history of the Jewish People. Most people are familiar with only the modern anti-Semitic history of Europe and Russia and are unfamiliar with the similar history for those Jews who resided amongst the Arab world as well as Spain where when the Muslims were pushed back across Gibraltar and back into Northern Africa that the Jews too were cleansed from Spanish lands despite that the Jews were often victims alongside the Christians when there was persecution in Muslim lands against the non-Muslims. And then there was the particularly troublesome part in the Holy Lands.

 

The conquest of the Holy Lands by Islam, then the Crusaders, then Islam, then more Crusaders and finally Islam, took its toll on the Jews still residing in our homeland but powerless to free it of either curse. Both were a curse as when the Muslims attacked, the Jews were slaughtered right along with the Christians; and when the Crusaders attacked, the Jews were slaughtered right along with the Muslims. The one constant was whoever was trying to conquer the Holy Land and Jerusalem in particular, the Jews were always on the wrong side as far as the attackers were concerned and often we were also seen as part of the enemy to whoever was defending against the attack; so the killing of Jews wholesale was always the outcome. These Jews I also remember because their only sin was to be living in our natural and ancient homeland. We had been thriving in this homeland when these forces of religious intolerance were still sacrificing their own to idols, before the Roman Empire, before Alexander the Great, before Darius and Cyrus and the Persians and before the Babylonians and Phoenicians and were only preceded by the Egyptians of that era, a different group than today’s Egyptians, the Minoans and the Hittites, Moabites and other peoples who existence has disappeared into the dust and only records stand in edifices still baffling modern engineers and archeologists. All the fallen throughout Jewish history should be remembered even if they also have their own holiday as they also were defenders of these lands.

 

 

Sculpture Dedicated to Soldiers Depicting Fallen Soldier

Sculpture Dedicated to Soldiers Depicting Fallen Soldiers

 

 

One might ask why dampen our spirits one day before our celebrating the wondrous miracle of the reestablishment of our ancient land into the modern world? The answer is so that we never forget and Never Again has additional meanings. And not to fret, the greatest transition in a national mood can be witnessed tonight as Jews across Israel go from somber remembrance to unbridled joy in a matter of seconds. We have had a history which has prepared us well for such shifts in our national mood. Remember Haman from the Megillah of Esther where we went from condemned to all be murdered across the Persian Empire in a single day and were instead decreed we would be permitted to defend ourselves without punishment from the King and we triumphed and survived by the thinnest wisp of smoke once again. We had faced similar threats before and would again and again as we are again today as most of the Islamic world has sworn to destroy us starting with our “partners for peace” the Arab Palestinians and Hamas, Hezballah, Islamic State and Iran and those are just for starters. Do not get us going down this road because it is not a road for great worry, we have faced these odds before and we are still here, and I do mean here as in right here in our ancient homelands where we belong no matter what the United Nations or the community of nations and a special shout down to the European Union and all the rest in Europe who support whoever is fighting against Israel despite our posing them no threat. We have survived threats just as severe before and we will very likely face others just as dire in the future. When your peoples have survived for over three-thousand-years you have some history and you have faced threats to end your existence and survived and thus are confidant, rightfully so, that you will continue to do so.

 

There are stories of rulers from France to Russia to the tips of Africa where they asked their wise men and advisors to define or explain such concepts as eternity, the Creator and a whole list of other things which defy definition as they imply that which is limitless and will last throughout the ages even well beyond their empire or other human measure of time and the answer given was always the Jews. Mark Twain once wrote, “The Eternal Jew” which reads:


If statistics are right, the Jews constitute but one percent of the human race. It suggests a nebulous dim puff of stardust lost in the blaze of the Milky Way. Properly, the Jew ought hardly to be heard of, but he is heard of, has always been heard of. 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 away out of proportion to the weakness of his numbers. He has made a marvelous fight in this world, in all the ages; and had done it with his hands tied behind him.

He could be vain of himself, and be excused for it. The Egyptian, the Babylonian, and the Persian rose, filled the planet with sound and splendor, then faded to dream-stuff and passed away; the Greek and the Roman followed; and made a vast noise, and they are gone; other people have sprung up and held their torch high for a time, but it burned out, and they sit in twilight now, or have vanished.

The Jew saw them all, beat them all, and is now what he always was, exhibiting no decadence, no infirmities of age, no weakening of his parts, no slowing of his energies, and no dulling of his alert and aggressive mind.
All things are mortal but the Jew; all other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality?”

 

His commentary is a good place to leave these thoughts. Today in Synagogue we will all say prayers of remembrance and tomorrow we will quote prayers which are triumphant, one of the rare moments we do so. Then again, after three-thousand-years we have good reason to celebrate the fact we are still here to attend services but first to the memory of all who made our continued existence their worthy sacrifice and to Hashem who has walked with them whether they knew so or not. And perhaps that is the thread that binds the Jew to their heritage and gives them their spark, Hashem and His Torah which has been the glue that binds every Jew to his brothers and sisters no matter their path through the ages. Our thanks to our soldiers, our defenders and a remembrance to those from amongst our midst, the great sacrifices that were made and to our future; and may it serve Hashem well, with pride and humility, another opposing set of ideals we Jews have learned to hold simultaneously, or are at least still mastering.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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