Where the obvious signs that make the news come from within Europe, the signs in the streets are visible throughout the world. Probably the most obvious of signs is right there in many Jews’ mailboxes inside a blank and nondescript envelope. Perhaps that since January 15, 2015 the French Army’s “Opération Sentinelle” has protected seven-hundred-twenty-two (722) Jewish schools and synagogues in France might give one pause. The army has reported three-hundred-seventy-two (371) incidents perpetrated against the soldiers standing guard in front of the protected sites. What would have happened to the Jews without the soldiers standing in front of their temples and schools? In addition, in Sweden a radio asked the Israeli Ambassador if Jews are not the cause of anti-Semitism. The magazine used to come in the mail unconcealed with Jewish features displayed vibrantly and proudly on its covers as if to say we are proud Jews who are vital members in our communities. Now it sneaks through the system and into our homes surreptitiously hiding that bright, loud, and proud cover declaring here lives a Jew stuffed within a blank envelope declaring, nothing to see here, move along. Next thing you know Jews will be moving their mezuzahs from the outsides of the front door to inside the front door. We will tell ourselves it is just to be closer to this sign that declared our Jewishness but we will know it is done to avoid it being vandalized or to conceal any identifier that says here lives a Jew. It will be in the little things and a few big things such as wearing a smaller Yarmulke or getting one of those new Yarmulkes which are designed to look like hair made to match your hair color and be almost completely invisible. You tell yourself that it does the same thing as your old Yarmulke because you know it is there dismissing the fact that it used to declare here goes a Jew proud of his heritage who walks unafraid within our communities, but we are no longer unafraid, are we. Then there are the signs that only the initial Jews see and are shocked. The vandalized cemetery, the graffiti on the Synagogue’s walls and main entrance, the anti-Semitic graffiti on the park benches and the bus stop walls which are hurriedly covered over so as not to alarm others, especially those Jewish others as there are more than enough worries these days though to talk of it is forbidden. When we do address these distressing truth we use hushed tones because we fear spreading our trepidations throughout our communities, but it really is still all-pervasive. It is so serious and severe a threat that even the Rabbi speaks about these threats playing them down while stressing how we belong and the government is addressing our safety so there is nothing to fear.
The government will see to our safety, spoken like a true progressive liberal leftist. That alone is a sign of the root problem, our total reliance on the government to fix all problems. We need just inform them and they will dispatch the necessary increased security around our synagogues, schools, yeshivas, libraries and kosher stores and our Jewish magazine is coming wrapped in a shroud and we start to sneak when outside the friendly confines of our well-knitted society and virtually or actually gated houses, a sort of voluntary ghetto with gilded gold caged secured entrances and high fence exteriors guarded by mobile patrols; we are most definitely safe, sane and secure. Do we not realize what is there plainly for us to see? We have already placed ourselves in a ghetto even if the cells cost half a million Euros, Dollars, Pounds or other coinage, the government will not even need to round us up. How long before those guard patrols will no longer be guarding us from the outside world but instead it will become them guarding the outside world from us. I know, it could be worse, but is not this the worse we warned about last year and haven’t the signs started coming at us faster and faster? How will we know that it has gone too far and it is too late, how much hatred is too much and changed into a threat from all the society? We need remember that it does not take a majority, just a society threatened and refusing to protect us as the costs have become too great. Is the sign when we are told we need pay an extra tax to cover our protection as the government can no longer afford to guard us unless we pay an extra tax to defray the costs. That is called the Jiyza in Islam and immediately separates us from the mainstream society and a sign that we accept our Dhimmitude and will curtail our behavior and from now on show our deference for our bettors of the society. Will this be the sign that the government has gone over to the other side? Is this a sign of too little to make us leave or that we should have fled months if not years ago.
This is our home; our family has lived here for three generations; my work or business is here; I am too old to start my life over; there are a million excuses and only one single argument on the other side, an argument which should beckon us and inspire in us in the same way as the Shofar calls on the high holidays, that is Eretz Yisroel, that is Yerushalayim, it is the call that says that it is time to return home no matter what holds us in place. In Israel we are the government, we are the military, our sign is emblazoned on the national flag and our symbols are everywhere. Is Israel perfect, no, but we are working to make it so. There will be those in Europe tempted to head to the United States which will gain them a few decades before the United States has reached the same level as in Europe, just far more subtle and disguised. The United States has just recently reached the point where crimes against Jews are almost always not considered hate crimes or crimes committed against us because we are Jews, we are simply victims and our Jewishness has nothing to do with it. Europe has passed that point and reached the point where there are those who are claiming that we Jews are the cause of the violence against us. Has there been any progress on the assassination of a Rabbi walking to Synagogue one Saturday Shabbat morning visiting Florida from New Jersey who was gunned down in broad daylight. Have they reclassified that assassination from a robbery gone wrong to the hateful murder it actually was? Of course they haven’t and the investigation, if you were to inquire, has come up against some difficulties but it is still an open investigation and that it will remain until all have stopped inquiring, then it becomes a dead file and gets filed with all the rest of the unsolvable cases. Perhaps that is one of the signs that the time has come?
If we still have any doubts, may it be pointed out that the anti-Israel and anti-Zionist rioting and rampaging on our college campuses have becoming anti-Semitic and target the Jewish students regardless their political alignment. Is that an imminent sign that the time has come to return home where you will be accepted for your Jewishness. It is time to return home and you will find something else in Israel awaiting your arrival, the societal ever-so-slow movement towards embracing our faith. I cannot begin to relay how warming returning home has been for me and for my wife as well. Are there any problems or difficulties, of course there are but they are largely due to language difficulties which we expected, but the willingness of the people, our fellow Jews to understand and make us feel welcomed and as if we have support while we make the transition. At our age, which for many people is anything over twenty, learning a completely new language, which we knew the words when singing in synagogue, is a monumental task which often, in our case constantly, seemingly impossible but with the mostly joyous assistance and patience of our new-found friends and neighbors we will get there eventually. To all our people in the Diaspora, time is a-wasting, so what will it take to bring you home? We in Israel fear you may wait until travel is restricted and it is too late to leave. You are making all the same excuses which were prevalent and chanted by the Jewish communities of the Weimar Republic, and that end result was really great for those comfortable, assimilated Jews. They did not request for you to prove what you were; they simply checked your grandparents were and assigned your religion from that. Then they came for the Jews in the middle of the night and later even the light of the sun could not prevent their taking the Jews, the society accepted this. There were French towns which readied their Jews in advance of the horrific depravity to reach their town resplendent in their dress uniforms, the French beat their advance and prepared their Jews without being forced to, they volunteered us. When the curtain opens and the real fearful society is given a choice on which community they must place on stage to be slaughtered, you know who will be offered in sacrifice, it will be as it has always been, us offered as a sacrifice to their new overlords. Then it is way too late. Do not remain because of your comfort for that is a very fragile item which can be extinguished with the slightest breeze of a waving hand over a paper making it so, and that moment approaches and will sweep across the globe. I realize how that will become a threat to Israel. I also know that standing together with the L0rd our G0d that we will prevail over any enemy, no matter how strong they may be, especially if we have faith and love for each other. So, what are you waiting for, an engraved gold-leaf invitation?
Beyond the Cusp