Beyond the Cusp

April 23, 2015

Memorial Day in Israel and the Debate of Israel’s Age

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Whether you need to look up the age of Israel or believe you know it in your memory as Israel declared her independence on May 14-15, 1948 making her obviously sixty-seven years old. But then there is another age which some Israelis can attest to as their families have resided mostly around Jerusalem since the Exodus from Egypt and they might claim that Eretz Yisroel is much closer to three-thousand-five-hundred plus years in age going back even before King David. Many people would choose to challenge any such claim, but then there are just as many who choose to challenge the existence of the reestablished nation of Israel. As a matter of fact, there are people and complete organizations, many of them financially supported by the European Union and almost every European nation, which spend all their efforts on attempts to undercut the Jewish claim to the lands in which Israel currently and historically exists and who simply wish only to deny the Jewish People any right to self-rule. Their entireties of efforts are expended towards returning the Jews to all living in exile at the mercies of the nations which may or may not choose to tolerate them. Some of these organizations’ dream is to not only deny the Jews their right to self-determinations but wish to eradicate the right of Jews to practice their religion simply by destroying Israel and refusing any land for Jews to practice their Judaism such that they will finally be rid of what they see as those pesky people. This is much of what is driving both the anti-Semitism and the anti-Zionism, which is nothing more than anti-Semitism on a national level where the large NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) function as they provide a secondary method for nations to destroy the Jewish state of Israel with a fair amount of deniability. When one traces the financing of these organizations one finds that some are directly financed by governments, some even by the European Union, and then there are an entire group of NGOs which are solely in the business of providing an additional layer of deniability as they finance predominantly other NGOs which attack Israel directly but also a few, a very few, NGOs which provide human relief organizations so as to be capable of pointing to those groups as proof they are only providing human relief and other NGOs. The reality is that there are nations who budget for efforts to destroy Israel though it is a part of their “dark funding” and is often part of their military budget.

 

Still, Israel has faced a few previous efforts to destroy her and put an end to the worship of Judaism and yet we are still facing efforts to put an end to the nation and People who refuse to bow before such pressures. Modern Israel and ancient Israel have a number of items in common. The old Israel used Shekels as their currency and modern Israel uses the NIS, New Israel Shekel. Both work a six day week with the Sabbath as its day of rest. Israel continues to use Jerusalem as its capital as it has since King David conquered Jerusalem and moved the Capital to Jerusalem. It is the homeland recognized by every Jew regardless of where they reside. Israel is predicted to be the inheritance of the Jewish People upon the coming of the Messiah. Normally one might find the Jews returning to their ancestral homelands would be well received as an initial sign of the world readying for the hoped for Messianic period predicted by the Jewish Bible, the Christian Bible and the Islamic Quran though each story has its own reasoning and orders of events and the eventual results. Perhaps this is enough to make some people very nervous and have aversions to such a situation. But there are other reasons of a religious origin which might be behind the hatreds of Israel and cause the opposition to the return of the Jews to their ancient lands.

 

But the most interesting reactions are from the secularists who have probably the greatest of difficulties with the rebirth of Israel. The secularists have a problem for which their belief structure holds no solution. Their societies are dying if left to their own devices, which in this case means that they are reproducing below even replacement rates. This means that as time continues forward their civilizations would slowly reduce in populations presumably, if allowed to run to its eventual result, there would be a generation with only one person and that generation would be the last and their civilization would have completely imploded. This phenomenon of negative growth is the result of modern structures of society which scientific developments and many of the modern beliefs which have found a replacement for faith in G0d with a belief that all things have a scientific explanation which will be revealed with sufficient time and research. Their belief is there is only those things which can be proven by science which are of any real importance and that everything else is simply false or emotional irrationality. The largest origins of such thoughts are those attached to religious beliefs and since G0d and religious belief are incapable of being scientifically proven and thus simply primitive beliefs which have no place within modern scientific society. Looking at Europe one can see these results of this change in the Christian society which was predominantly what existed before and after the Holocaust and the flight of the remainder of the Jews after World War II. Some fled after returning to their homes after surviving the worst horrors of the Nazi persecutions only to be met by hostile atmosphere forcing them to realize that their home now belonged to a new family and that they no longer had any place in their home-town or anyplace else in Europe so they either left for Israel or emigrated to be with relatives in the United States if they were so fortunate. Some even moved to the United States simply from seeing that they had no real reason or future in Europe, even some who resided in England and served in the British military battle against the Japanese in Burma or against the Nazis in Europe and could have met a woman in Bombay, India or in the continent of Europe and then married and left London to finally end up living in Washington D. C. and later in the Maryland suburbs where they raised two children and eventually brought much of the remainder of their family from Britain. The young man after the war was fortunate in the fact that one of his older sisters married an American who was amongst those who were, as a description used during the war, Over paid, Over sexed and Over here. This marriage by his sister allowed for he and his wife to move to the United States where I was the son and first born child they raised.

 

The thing which has made the slow slide into extinction be European Caucasian society also is true about the Caucasian society in the United States, just at a slightly slower rate of decline. The reason behind this is partly due to the death of religion and the acceptance of certain devices by which children have become an option which some women and many men prefer to not invest the effort, riches, time and other sacrifices which are required for raising children. The ability to use birth control or to have an abortion has made pregnancy optional and sufficient sectors of our societies have chosen to opt out of the parenting investment. The one potential saving grace is there is a group amongst the Western societies which have positive growth numbers above the just over two children per woman rate, and those are the religious, a small subsection of society which is a smaller minority in Europe than in the rest of Western civilization, especially the United States. The proof of this is found in two places, the census statistics and the empty pews and seats in the churches, cathedrals, synagogues and other houses of worship. The exception is the place of worship of the immigrant populations, the mosques. There is one nation which many claim is a Western nation due to its modern appearance and a large presence of Europeans, though approximately half the population comes from Spanish roots as well as from across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) as a result of pogroms and other afflictions pressuring them to leave as a result of the Islamic world’s reaction to the formation of Israel over the first decade after Israel’s founding. Many the Arab and Muslim nation forced the vast majority of their Jews to leave with most heading to Israel with a smaller percentage heading either to Europe or the United States and Canada. Israel makes for an interesting comparison of the secular society and the religious society. While the secular society also suffers from the secular plague of having fewer children as a whole, their affliction is less severe than that of Europe which may be due to their being within a religious society where having children is treated as the blessing it is and thus there is some societal pressures to also have children. Even so, some of the increase in Caucasian population is also due to those Jews who have made Aliyah and moved to Israel. The other pressure which decreases numbers is the fact that Israel lives under threat of wars and terrorist attacks which more often targets young adults and those even younger within the population.

 

Still, on another front one might wonder why having Jews living in Israel would cause such dysfunctional behavior both in much of the Muslim world and so much of the Christian world? Neither the Christian Bible nor the early writings in the Quran called for the elimination of the Jews and the early writings in the Quran while Muhammad resided still in Mecca even told of the Jewish right to reside in their ancestral home inbetween the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. The verses which target both Christian and Jews were written into the later verses of the Quran which were written while Muhammad lived in Medina and commanded a great army. The modern spite against Israel comes from two disparate drives which are best treated separately. Starting with the Muslim source of anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism we have to look at the Quran for the answers. The problem comes from the simple concept that Muhammad was explained by the Quran to have been given the final and only true path supplanting both the Jewish and the Christian teachings which were made obsolete as they were imperfect and had drifted from the true word from Allah. Thus Muhammad had been given the Quran so that the world of Allah would supplant both Judaism and Christianity and provide the true faith for humankind going forward from that point on into the future for all time. Further, the Quran explained that Islam would be spread by its adherents to the far corners of the world and everybody would bow to Allah. Thus, the Quran told that Islam would take root throughout the world and the followers of Islam would defeat all enemies and any lands that were ever conquered by Islam would forever belong to Islam. The Medina Quran also had some explicitly violent verses against the Jewish people after the Jews of Mecca and especially Medina refused to convert or to believe that Muhammad was a prophet. After the defeat of the Jewish tribe in the battle of Khaybar it was taken as the sign that such would be every battle between the Muslim forces and the Jews wherever they would meet. Thus, the Jews returning to their ancestral lands and then defeating the armies of Islam are an anathema to Islam and thus must be defeated if Islam is to be proven a valid belief and that the Muslims are still the favored of Allah. Additionally, the Quran also claims that the Muslim Messiah will not come before the Muslims take on the Jewish People wherever they reside in the world.

 

Christianity has a similar problem with the Jews returning to their ancestral home of Israel. Christianity also was defined to serve as the religion which supplanted Judaism, though they did not claim to be the final and only version to replace Judaism which allowed for Islam to supplant Christianity, or at least claim such. After the Roman Empire dispersed the Jews to the farthest ends of their empire in an attempt to eradicate what the Romans saw as a troublesome people, after a number of revolts, some with surprising levels of success but still which simply invited ever larger dispatch of legions to squash any revolt. Once the Roman Empire adopted Christianity as its formal religion and solidified the acceptable writings that were to be included in the New Testament Christianity became the ruling force in Europe. The fighting between the monarchs and the forces of the Christian Church, which eventually would become the Roman Catholic Church, may have led to some large differences between some Monarchs and even some preachers who in turn would challenge Rome. These challenges eventually led to the Protestant Reformation where Rome’s singular authority was challenged and replaced by several new forms of Christianity which each had its own cannons and claims to the righteousness of their cause. The Anglican Church, aka the Church of Britain, was one group formed by the British monarch King Henry the Eighth who found he had the need to be permitted a divorce, after all one cannot behead every wife, especially when one is the relative of the King of Spain. The one item all the factions were able to agree upon was that the Jews were the cursed of G0d who had forgone his covenant with them and had established a new covenant with the Christians. This simply meant that the Jews lived at the behest and allowance of their bettors, the Christians as they, the Christians, were now the favored by G0d, not the accursed Jews. This simply meant that no matter what else might transpire, the Jews were cursed and thus were too impure to ever reestablish their kingdom in Israel. This meant that the Christians immediately took to persuade the leadership of the world that they had made a grievous error when at the San Remo Conference the Western powers plus Japan agreed to setting aside lands under a mandate managed by the British for the establishment of the Jewish State once sufficient Jews were inhabiting the lands of the British Mandate. Within two years of the San Remo Conference the British proposed to grant all of the lands east of the Jordan River of the Mandate area to the Arab Palestinians and placed them under the rule of the Hashemite royalty to whom the British had given promises during World War I. That reassigned seventy-eight percent of the lands leaving merely twenty-two percent of the lands west of the Jordan River for the Jewish State. The Zionists accepted as they saw themselves as powerless to prevent such a deal. The massive problem came when leading up to and throughout World War II, a time when the Jews of Europe desperately needed a place for their escape, were prevented from entering the Mandate lands set aside for a Jewish State due to the British limitation of immigration for Jews alone setting the limit at a small amount each year. The documentation required resulted in so few Jews making it into the Mandate lands, as it was near to impossible unless one took it upon themselves to enter the lands through other means, as the British had slammed the door shut. The entire hope and all the rules and efforts by the British meant one and only one result, there would never be sufficient Jews permitted to enter the Mandate lands requiring the allowance for there to be formed a Jewish state. Even when after the revelations of the camps and the extent of their toll on Europe’s Jewish Heart, the British still voted against the formation of Israel when the vote was placed before the General Assembly but still the limited resolution passed suggesting yet another Arab state be formed along with a Jewish state. The Arabs in the Arab League refused the offer which left all the lands east of the Jordan River to be made into the Jewish state, that was until the Muslim armies of several nations and militias were to assault Israel with genocidal intents. Israel survived and that leads us back to why the Christians have such a difficult time accepting the idea of a Jewish State established where the ancestral homelands existed. With the Jews returning to their ancestral lands, then the covenant which lain out and predicted their return had to also remained established and the Jews were now realizing the reinstatement of that covenant and were to now relearn and perform that which when as a people just coming out of Egypt and all the miracles of the plagues and the splitting of the Red Sea and their answer when told they were to receive the rules and responsibilities it would take to be a good Jew worthy of the covenant they had replied almost in unison, “We will obey and we will hear.” Imagine how ready they were to accept G0d’s teachings that they were willing to promise their obedience before they had heard even the first law. The fact the Jews have returned covers the initial promise that such was to occur, but not that leap but merely one step of retrieving the dry bones and to begin to connect the muscles and eventually the religious will be empower these skeletons be made real. The literal transformation within Israel will be required to endure numerous more stages before those dry bones of the Biblical analogy are to be completely renewed and have not only physical form but to have spiritual forms and have returned to being all that being Jewish implies, which is largely to be a light unto the nations of the world and give them hope by the example set in Israel which includes the great discoveries and inventions, something which is already occurring. The numbers of items in many people’s lives which are the result of discoveries made in Israel are remarkable and extensive for such a tiny nation which is about the size of New Jersey. Your cell phone’s technology, instant messaging software, security software, and too numerous medical discoveries to give them the ample recognition they deserve are all products of Israeli R&D. Still, there is one thing the world can be sure of about Israel for as long as she exists she will share her discoveries and always try to play a positive role as a nation. This is evidenced by her ready response teams which are dispatched to anywhere on the globe where tragedy strikes and they are permitted entry. Israel was among the few nations to send teams to assist in New Orleans after the disastrous effects of hurricane Katrina and also in the aftermath of “superstorm” Sandy as most believe the United States does not require the assistance of others while Israel believes that one can never have too much assistance after a disaster. The other promise Israel provides is they set up clinics and medical facilities and completely outfit them with all the modern medical systems one might envision they needing and provide people to run these for the duration of the disaster and beyond. Israel also trains native people, physicians, nurses and technical specialists on how to use and perform procedures the clinic is capable of providing. It is often two years before the Israelis finally leave the clinic with everything left with the people trained gifting the nation an additional facility to provide services. This is something Israel performs quietly without fanfare beyond maybe a local newspaper or television newscast covering a ribbon cutting announcing the full turnover of the clinic to the local people. The most recent examples of these types of gifting of structures and training were in Haiti after their devastating earthquake, the Philippines after their typhoon and Japan after the disastrous combination of almost all of nature’s fury suffering a massive earthquake just offshore and the resultant tsunami where Israel left them a health and urgent care clinic even though the Japanese did not require training to use the facility, having a place, a clinic, to provide for the people was near priceless. So, as it appears much of the world, the United Nations, NGOs with near unlimited funding continue to pressure and attempt to besmirch Israel, please also remember and point out those things Israel provides despite those working to destroy her. There is one item which is curiously missing from all the boycott Israeli products which are the advances in medicine, agriculture, electronics, software and the myriad of other benefits, their major aim is produce such as oranges and wines, something that removes some competition in the market allowing their importers and farmers another advantage. They know exactly how far to push and still receive the benefits while still making an unprincipled stand against Israel, the sole nation of the Jews. Funny that these hatreds are aimed at preventing the Jews from having self-determination and national empowerment, just Israel and her Jews must never be permitted their own destiny. And for a last piece of information, the Israeli Arab populations are granted full rights as citizens and vote in Israeli elections and the combined Arab List was the third highest vote in the last election. The Arab Palestinian have not been allowed to vote by their autonomous body as Mahmoud Abbas fears losing his positions of power thus he has cancelled all elections since approximately 2005, so if people desire to really allow the Arab Palestinians to have a vote, talk to Abbas and pressure him, not Israel which has granted them full autonomy and self-rule and their own leadership is frightened of the people and thus denies them their rights, not Israel.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

April 16, 2015

Anti-Semitism Rising Yet It Can’t Happen Here

 

Any sane person, one might think, would not doubt that anti-Semitism is rising in the four corners of the globe. While that is true, each admission of that carries an additional modifier. That modifier is the exact same modifier used by Jews everywhere from the beginning of Judaism as a major religion, “It can’t happen here.” Now, that modifier always has some accompanying rationalizations such as the following: We Jews are an intricate part of the society; we are accepted in society; we are seen as judges, lawyers, businesspeople, and are even elected to positions in government; we Jews are accepted and assimilated; and my favorite, this isn’t Nazi Germany, this is America. There is one item from the previous which has always puzzled me, how it is such an intelligent people, as Jews presumably are, can misunderstand that their being assimilated does not infer automatically that the population has assimilated them into the whole. There are other qualifiers and whatever one you can dream up is probably used by some Jews somewhere. What is really ridiculous is when there are leaders of Jewish society, the central pillar around which the community seeks wisdom and guidance, the Rabbis who when asked, “Should not the Jews leave here and seek someplace less threatening to live?” They answer, “No, of course not. Why would you suggest that? This has been our home and the homes of our families for generations. We have a lot invested in this community.” And my favorite and usually their final rationalization, “The authorities have promised to help us and keep the peace and guard against any further anti-Semitism.” Do not get me wrong, they honestly feel that these rationalizations are completely valid and hold water. They refuse to see that the actual realities have struck holes in their every argument.

 

Things in Europe are at the worse and mostly beyond the cusp range of realities; so I will stick with the queries and responses we received when we began telling the other members of the congregation with whom we had a familiar friendship. First allow me to point out that those with whom we still converse online and the Rabbi all supported our making Aliyah and gave it their blessings if not their desire that it be they who were going to live in Eretz Yisroel. But the others gave responses such as, “Why would you want to go there? You are leaving the United States? But things are so much more civil here. Aren’t you worried about the terrorism? And our favorite, you will be returning here within a year once you see what it is like in Israel. I’ve been there and I know. Those naysayers were wrong. We’ve been here well over a year and are loving it. I, myself, have never felt more comfortable and accepted as I have here and can only imagine how much more so once we have mastered Hebrew, at least master enough to, through spits and starts, get through an entire thought.

 

That little anecdotal trip down memory lane was to point out we have seen this attitude play itself out in our own experience. Of course, as mentioned, our friends all expressed their longing to make Aliyah and come to Israel and many expected to do so in the near future, but time will tell on that. Getting to make Aliyah as a Jew is no longer you show up and announce that you are Jewish, kiss the ground, and be granted immediate citizenship. The paperwork we filled out made a pile almost rivaling the stuff we brought with us. OK, that was a bit of an exaggeration. Still, the process for us was a little complicated and took over two years to complete and during that time it had its many ups, downs and why would they need to know this questions. Eventually we completed the process and many of the items we were puzzled why they were necessary proved not to be required but was stuff they gathered for statistical reasons. OK, so you were collecting mega-data, why didn’t you just say so, we’ve heard about Edward Snowden, we would have understood, honest.

 

Our making Aliyah had to do with a young nine year old boy promising himself, the worst promise you can make because it requires you to either complete the promise or let yourself down, that when the time came and all things in America were fulfilled he would retire in Israel, something the wiffie really might have preferred knowing about before we got married, but she already knew I was a bit strange, right, quite strange, well, if you insist, beyond the cusp strange! There, I’ve admitted it, happy? Still, it may have been the most advantageous thing we ever did as it changed our lives for the better and really opened up our lives much as a rose stretches out its petal to greet the morning sun and drink up the warmth and the blessed energy G0d has seen in His wisdom to provide for that rose bud so tightly shuttered to awaken stretching out revealing its beauty and spreading its fragrance for all to inhale and exclaim that this is a beautiful day. That is how we awaken here most mornings.

 

Back to the subject which is as horrific and threatening as our returning home to Eretz Yisroel was rewarding and enriching. The news we read about places in Europe such as Malmo, London, Toulouse, and numerous other places are horrific and makes us feel for those Jews residing amongst such hatreds it amazes us that they don’t simply pick up their lives and come to Israel. Surprisingly, even including all the terrorism within the Green Line in Israel, you are still safer in Israel than you are from crime in the United States or Europe, surprising but true. Yet not only do these people continue to live in places where their lives are under threat both day and night, but their Rabbis all tell them it is the Jewish thing to do to remain in defiance to the threats. Where in all that is holy is that written? Looking back over the past year or so in the United States, pulling solely from news stories, I am able to remember we have had some horrific acts of anti-Semitism. There was the Rabbi visiting family in Florida walking to synagogue in a predominantly Jewish neighborhood who was approached by two youths, at least younger adults if not teens, a brief exchange of words, the sound of gunfire and the two youths walked away calmly leaving the Rabbi sprawled out dead on the pavement. The Florida local police listed this as a robbery gone bad, as if the youths had no realization that religious Jews, which the attire of the Rabbi was obvious, do not carry money or items of wealth on the Sabbath. There have been near countless desecration of Jewish cemeteries or the Jewish section of a cemetery yard throughout the United States and ten times worse in Europe. There have been desecration committed against Holocaust memorials often accompanied by writings on such structures of “Jews to the gas,” “Hitler was right,” “Jews get out,” “Holocaust was a myth,” “We are the new Holocaust” amongst numerous other defamations of this ilk. Then there was a stretch of time where a “game” which became known as the “knockout the Jew” game where a member of a group of youths as they passed somebody sporting Jewish identifying clothing would attempt to one-punch the targeted Jew at a minimum knocking them off their feet or knocking them unconscious, scoring howls and celebratory knuckle tapping in recognition of this person’s singular accomplishment. Eventually this happening caught sufficient attention from the authorities, especially after one elderly man died from his wounds from striking his head on a curb after being struck as part of this fun game. There have been defiling of synagogues with such an event just this past week in Gaithersburg, Maryland. which is located in Montgomery County. which is heavily Jewish with a percentage of eighteen and two-tenths. That is actually a very impressive percentage when one figures in the percentage of people in the world who are Jews, a whopping two-one hundredths of one percent, for those who might be having difficulty with realizing how small a percentage that is, allow me to reference it in other ways, 0.02% which mathematically comes out to 0.0002 Jews per unit of population, one would require counting out a section of any random grouping of people from around the world a staggering five-thousand people in order to have relative assurance that there would be a single Jew in the group. Perhaps placing a bit of writing that Mark Twain once wrote about the Jewish people will be far more impressive than anything I could ever imagine up, so the rest is from Mark Twain’s essay “All Things are Mortal but the Jew”* also referred to as “The Eternal Jew.”

 

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, 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?”

 

Beyond the Cusp

 
* “Concerning The Jews,” Harper’s Magazine, 1899
The Complete Essays of Mark Twain, Doubleday [1963] pg. 249

March 2, 2015

Signs in the Streets and on the News

 

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

 

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