Beyond the Cusp

October 17, 2018

So American Jews Believe You Are Safe

 

Most Jewish neighborhoods are somewhat insular and protected from the general world. We know this from the Synagogues we have belonged and the people I met. Almost all would always react the same way when they heard where we lived. The same question was the first thing they would ask, always, they responded with, “There are Jews out there in, ‘where ever it was we were living’?” Our answer was always the same, no; we’re about it or not within ten, fifteen or even sometimes as much as forty or fifty miles. Everyone wanted to know why we lived so far from the community and we explained that there really are a few of us Jews who are actually relatively poor. Some shunned us but the real friends were still found and appreciated, but we had an advantage over the others, we got to feel the pulse of the other America, the one where they do not know Jews but still think they know all about Jews. What advantage did that give me, well, I did get to educate some and I know that the dislike and distrust of Jews in America has been steadily growing and not where the Jews always look and claim it exists. This is where we will explore in this article and we have to make a disclaimer that for the past five years we have had to rely on our friends, both Jewish and gentile, and through them, we have seen the unfortunate trends continuing and the acknowledging of the growing reality. The one conclusion we can share at the fore is we are safer here in Israel and know this as a fact, honestly.

 

Some of the themes I heard from the gentiles which I heard were the usual things which Jews have been accused of throughout the ages. I almost had fun as when I would hear any of the adages against Jews, simple suppositions such as, “All those Jews,” always those Jews as if Jews were some distant and unrelated form of life, all those Jews are wealthy, have most of the money, control the government, run the banks, control the media and then the ones whereby one can tell a Jew by their appearance, they all have big noses, dark eyes, curled black hair, short, shifty eyed, lousy at sports and so on. I stand, when I was younger and stood straight, at six feet two inches and around two-hundred-twenty-five pounds and was rather athletic. I always met these insane generalizations by asking them a simple question, “How do you explain me, then?” They would look at me confused and ask what do you mean explain you? Then would come the shocker to people when I would announce that I was Jewish which was always met with a combination of shock and disbelief. I often had to tell them my Hebrew name and as I could say it with no difficulty, that would then lead to honest questions. In many cases, I was the first Jew many of these people had ever knowingly met as if they had met Jews earlier; they were the silent Jews who never risk speaking out and aloud that they were Jews. I have never been quiet about my being a Jew even in the infantry where some of my platoon members were proud neo-Nazis and between myself and them there was a quiet respect as I carried my load and they realized I was their equal and as such not one to be challenged. Needless to point out, but I have met many an anti-Semite in our dealings and when friends, actually friend-acquaintances, there was a fair number who distanced themselves once they realized I were Jewish.

 

The ugly truth is that there has always been an undercurrent of anti-Jewish sentiment which was simply the baseline which never changes in the world and America was not an exception. It was not so much hatred as it was a form of distrust and a complete lack of knowledge about who and what is a Jew. They, as we stated, often had the same mistrust and misunderstandings which has been used as the undertow of anti-Semitism which drove the mistrust. But the majority of these people harbored no designs or desire to harm the Jews, they simply were uninformed and only had the fears which Jews themselves have stated they found distressing because that was all they had ever heard or been told by parents, peers and just the social circles in which they roamed. What was always amusing is whenever you mentioned Israel, these were people who backed Israel completely and yet believed that the reason that the United States backed Israel so completely was because the Jews controlled the government. This was probably the easiest misconception to disabuse these people from continuing. I would point out that at two percent of the population and the Jews rather solidly supporting the Democrats, that as the support for Israel was bipartisan, or more recently more a Republican position, how did that work? Then I would explain that the majority of people, just like them, supported Israel and that it was the Christian supporters of Israel that drove the United States to fully back Israel. It, more often than not, did not take very much time for them to understand that they were the ones driving the Congress and most Presidents to support Israel to the extent that they did. That settled, we could move on to the media, banks and so on and with the Hearst family run media empire and the Mellon banks along with Carnegie and the Rockefellers, it was easy to show that the Jews did not control all these things which they had thought. What I did claim the Jews controlled was the trades and retail sales because we were often forbidden from owning land so we had an extra two-hundred or more years of experience in running businesses and performing the trades. The areas where we resided were often left better informed and less suspicious of the Jews but still we did see growing anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism and anti-Zionism.

 

Far-Left Anti-Semitism

Far-Left Anti-Semitism

 

The shock to Jews is where the new and overt anti-Semitism and anti-everything-Jewish, which of course included Israel and the concept of Zionism, came from. The growing anti-Semitism does not desire to forbid the Jews from professions or residing in any place they choose or any of the traditional former anti-Semitism which people in the United States had previously witnessed. The new anti-Semitism wants the Jews dead, period. They want Israel destroyed and the Jews executed or simply murdered wholesale. This growing hatred is not on the right of the political spectrum but at the far-left. These are the cohorts of Bernie Sanders. What is nice about Bernie Sanders is here you have somebody who admits his parents were Jews and he was born into Judaism but he has absolutely no use for being Jewish and was no friend of Israel. Then there is Linda Sarsour whose position on Israel is easily researched, but don’t take our word for this. Then there are the past liaisons and associations and possible continuing anti-Semitism and ties to Hamas related groups. We could likely bother to look for links to more people on the far-left but that would prove little. We can simply allow the far-left to continue to talk and pull the Democrat Party down the primrose path followed by so many other political movements throughout Jewish history. There have been attempts to be either converted to idolatry, Islam or Christianity by the Babylonians, Greeks, Romans, Caliphate, Inquisition and a list of others. We have had efforts to completely exterminate us by some of the former and most recently by the Nazis. I remember one notable professor from one of the colleges which I had attended who taught sociology who taught that when the United States would finally turn and become evil that it would be the most evil of societies in the history of the world far surpassing the Nazis and Rome under Caligula or the Spanish Inquisition. He was young enough that he is probably warning students to avoid the path he saw back in the 1970’s as he had even stated that it would not be the right which in the past has always been convicted of being the spawning of anti-Semitism in society, especially back in that time. Even Bob Dylan wrote a song about Israel called “Neighborhood Bully” which is below.

 

 

Another measure of the growing anti-Semitism is the numbers of attacks on Jews and hate crimes against Jews and Jewish institutions and buildings. Schools are another place where the harbinger of the coming future for Jews who will be threatened as shown by the rising anti-Semitism in many state schools systems such as this report from Massachusetts. With a rise of anti-Semitism in schools amongst the children is troublesome and presents a dangerous look into the future for Jews. The fact that the main rise in anti-Semitic acts was in Boston schools which is a city with a large Jewish population makes this an even more sober and somber prediction of a future fraught with hate and increasing acts against Jews in the future. People might ask what spurned us to write this article is something very disturbing. We thought that perhaps there might be a place where Jews would be safe and if there was such a place, one such would be Brooklyn, New York, in particular, Boro Park, at 46th Street and 13th Avenue in the largely Jewish Shomrim neighborhood. Yet a Sixty-two-year-old Orthodox Jewish man was assaulted while walking to Synagogue at approximately 7:30 a.m. The assailant drove up at speed and came to a quick stop, bolted from his car and assaulted his victim. He reportedly punched the man repeatedly in the face and head and then attempted to attack another Jewish man who came to assist the victim and took off chasing this second person who fortunately escaped harm. We have the video below from Yeshiva World News where you can watch the entire attack from a number of security cameras which caught the attack from different angles.

 

 

The attack is being considered to have been a hate crime. An arrest has been made of Farrukh Afzal, aged thirty-seven, who was also charged with assault as a hate crime as well as criminal mischief and harassment, according to police reports. The victim was treated at Maimonides Hospital where he was reported to be in stable condition with cuts, pain and bruises to his head. If a Jew is attacked in the center of a Jewish neighborhood while walking to Synagogue for morning prayers in broad daylight, then how can a Jew feel safe anywhere? That is the question which, should things progress and continue getting worse, every Jew need confront and decide what they might do with such threats. Fortunately, this time if things become dangerous to the point that the threat becomes something threatening Jews everywhere across the United States, the Jews have a home where they will be taken in and accepted without question. That was not available to Jews throughout most of history. This is the reason above and beyond all other considerations that Israel must continue to exist. This is also why, with the United States possibly pulling their support from Israel in the future, something which need be planned especially for Israel to become militarily self-sufficient with an emphasis on aircraft and munitions. The future will not be a simple continuation of the present and Israel, if she is to be a proper and solid homeland and a safe place for all the Jews in the world, must be self-sufficient in almost all means and ways from militarily, food production and everything else necessary to support her population including should it almost double when Jews from Europe and North America require a safe haven. Attacks like this one in New York should be regarded as a forewarning of a potential future which they will be required to decide how they would act. That is a piece of reality which is not an imaginary threat despite the attempts to ignore the signs.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

June 25, 2017

The Scene Turned Ugly at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn

 

The rally was organized by extremist groups in the camp of Orthodox Jewry in both the United States and Israel who are against their congregants having to serve in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) because they believe that their willingness to study Torah, most of them, should exempt all of them from service just in case they decide they desire to study Torah today. These groups are part but not all of the Haredi movement. What is interesting is that in the United States the Haredi have normal lives, as they would see things. In Israel, many of the Haredi do not work and instead spend their days studying Torah, or so the argument is made. This is why they claim they should not be forced to serve in the IDF. They claim that according to Torah, their study brings about peace and that is their contribution to the safety of Israel. This is not a universal belief and there are Haredi who serve in the IDF with great distinction in many cases. These soldiers are in risk should they visit friends or family in Haredi neighborhoods and one recently suffered broken ribs as he was attacked in his own Haredi neighborhood. This was a disgrace and the most despicable of actions by those Haredi who perpetrated this beating.

 

IDF Crest Insignia

 

This takes us back to the rally held at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn, New York, New York. This rally was anything but inexpensive. Those behind organizing this rally have deep pockets and cannot be taken lightly as with such pockets comes power. This makes the events which transpired at the rally of importance. The rally was announced as being held in sympathy with the Haredi in Israel and their soon being required to serve in the IDF except for a percentage who will be Torah scholars, but the average Haredi are going to be drafted, as are everyone else, to serve their term in the IDF. This is part of the effort to integrate the majority of the Haredi into mainstream Israeli society as this is quickly becoming a necessity as the numbers of Haredi in the population increases the remainder of the Israeli people will be unable to support the Haredi. This is being resisted and the movement has been joined by other extremist groups in the camp of Orthodox Jewry. The rally very quickly turned from supporting the Haredi cause to being grossly anti-Zionist and then finally anti-Israel. That is where the rally became troubling and unacceptable.

 

Having political views is one thing which is acceptable. Turning against the Jewish state by organized Jews and doing so in such a publically observable manner is unacceptable. Jews who believe that Israel has no right to exist because according to their belief and interpretation of Torah the Jews were to await the Messiah before reestablishing their homeland is one thing. Publically calling Israel an abomination or decrying her existence is something entirely different. By expressing such views in a public forum can only result in enforcing the enemies of Israel and possibly result in enemies of Israel acting claiming that even the Jews do not believe in or support fully the Jewish state. Calling for an end to Israel is calling for the elimination of the Israeli Jews who are going nowhere voluntarily. That is well over six-million Jews plus all the rest of the Israeli population. This is a serious breach of reality. The Jewish state is a fact and exists. Claiming that the Zionist Jews should have awaited the Messiah is a wonderful thought. There are also Jews who read the same Torah and believe that there need be a Jewish Israel and Jerusalem into which the Messiah can return. Obviously, both sides of this argument cannot be correct and to muddy the waters further there are those who believe that there will be no Messiah, but only a Messianic Age. There will be only one means of determining which of the three sides are correct, and that will require either the arrival of the Messiah or the Messianic Age. The arrival of the Messiah will, of course, answer many, many questions and settle who was correct, as if it makes any difference at that point.

 

That brings us back to now. There are far too few Jews for us to go around accusing one another of presumably unpardonable sins, at least not so publically. Jewish sects have had their differences in every age. Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Ben Azzai had a few differences over which Jews to this day can discuss and argue over the merits of the two Torah scholars. There are many who could rightfully declare that opposing the Jewish state today is tantamount to opposing the survival and welfare of the Jewish people as a whole. Debating Zionism was the biggest argument in Judaism a century ago but as of May 15, 1948 (5th of Iyyar, 5708) that debate was made mute. There is no reason to continue to beat a dead horse, as the saying goes. That debate is over, Israel lives and now it is the future of the Jewish people. Should Israel disappear the remainder of Judaism would assimilate and disappear except for a few stray groups clustered around their Rabbi and the Jews would become more of an oddity than a religion. That is the future of Judaism without Israel.

 

Yes, there are those with a differing view of Torah than the religious Zionists like myself. They believe the Messiah must come to establish Israel and we believe that Israel must have been established and Jerusalem brought into Jewish hands for the Messiah to have an Israel from within which to enter Jerusalem. We believe that Israel is not yet ready to receive the Messiah and until we hold Jerusalem as our capital undivided and wholly holy and ours and with all the holy cities of our Torah under Israeli law and with Jews as the citizens within. Then once we are worthy, the Messiah will come. That is when all the Jews are worthy and we will never be worthy as long as we are at one another’s throats. We are one people despite our differences and we need to act as one people. Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Ben Azzai had differences and debated their different interpretations all while each respecting the other. We could learn a lot from their friendly rivalry which was carried forth with high respect and never with animosity from one for the other. Debate within Judaism is almost a tradition, but always with respect and cordiality. As fellow Jews, we must act as what we are, brothers and sisters, a glorious family, the descendants of Abraham, Isaak and Jacob. Differences aside, we all say the same prayers and observe the same holidays and enjoy our Sabbath meals with family. While I understand the arguments of whether Israel was to be established before or by the Messiah and understand how many rise and fall over this argument, I see all of us as Jews first and foremost. We must all adopt this view for there are too few of us as has been the sad reality in every age. When we fight amongst ourselves, we only stir up wrath which will be our downfall. We must overcome out differences and learn to love one another as the siblings which we are. That is the long and the short of this and displays such as the one at Barclay Center in Brooklyn, New York, New York can only serve to destroy the Jewish people making us but a footnote of history. Torah say such can never be, so apparently Torah says we must mend our ways.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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