Beyond the Cusp

March 3, 2017

Jewish Divide Over Trump Very Telling

 

Here’s a news flash that the media thus far has refused to mention, there are many Jews who support President Donald Trump. The media has been quite vocal of those Jews who are vehemently protesting the Trump Presidency. Probably the most telling example has been the Senate hearings to approve his Ambassador to Israel, David M. Friedman. We will gladly grant the media that President Trump’s choice for Ambassador to Israel of David M. Friedman is a novel appointment when compared to previous appointments made by all the previous Presidents throughout Israeli history. There have been Ambassadors, Middle East Special Councils, Palestinian Israeli Peace Ambassadors and all sorts of other appointments made concerning Israel and her Arab neighbors plus the fact that American Ambassadors to the United Nations often have to interdict in matters concerning Israel, especially in United Nations sanctions against Israel often brought by Arab and European nations at the behest of the PLO or Palestinian Authority (PA) which have more often than not been vetoed by the United States Ambassador.

 

All of these past officials have more often than not been career Foreign Service Officers (FSOs) with the remainder have been political appointees. There have been more than a few of the most recent Israeli Ambassadors and Special Appointees who have been Jewish and thus touted as being most obviously as pro-Israeli. Unfortunately, this has not been the case. Some in particular, Thomas R. Pickering, Martin Indyk and Denis Ross have been some of the most antagonistic to the Israeli cause. Both Martin Indyk and Denis Ross were said to be very much favorable to Israel because of their being Jewish which is like claiming that someone had to be favorable to illegal immigration across the southern border because they were Hispanic, an insult and very likely false. Indyk and Ross attempted to force Israel to make concessions in exchange for empty promises which had been given by the PA before and never acted upon or immediately broken often with an in-your-face attitude. David M. Friedman is a different Jew, he is also a Zionist. This is a first for an Ambassador to Israel and many Israelis are expecting great things if only our leaders can be bold, even brash for a change. Some here in Israel have placed David M. Friedman as being to the right and more Zionist than Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu or most of the other Ministers of the Knesset. Additionally, Israelis have begun to believe that President Trump will be good for Israel providing Israel acts good for Israel.

 

Additionally, Orthodox Jews mostly voted for President Trump over Hillary Clinton while Democrat Jews voted almost universally for Hillary Clinton and are extremely upset by her loss and screaming mad over President Trump. During the hearings for Ambassador David M. Friedman there were Jews disrupting the hearings blowing Shofars. Traditionally the sounding of the Shofar other than as part of religious observance has been used as a warning sign often used as an alarm that enemies were advancing or other calamity. Sounding the Shofar at the hearings for the new Israeli Ambassador they were meaning that a calamity was occurring threatening Jewish lives. Their actions were over the top as no lives were being endangered and no emergency was coming for Jews and if anything this appointment was going to be good for Israel, a new page in appointments of advisors to Israel.

 

This brings us to what for us is one of the saddest things we will ever discuss, Israel and the American Jewish left. Often at demonstrations denouncing Israel some of the most virulent demonstrators will come from leftist, liberal Jews. These Jews are more attached to their leftist principles than they are to Torah and Israel. These are Jews who will never consider making Aliyah and were the members of our Synagogue who when we made Aliyah asked us why in the world we would want to go live in Israel of all places. They were stunned that somebody they knew would do something which was such an anathema to them. These were the same members of the Synagogue who had to get past the horror that we might actually be Republicans as we had admitted. Many initially thought we were joking and trying to be funny and some when they realized we actually were Republicans never spoke with us again. Israel has actually become a divisive issue in the American Jewish community.

 

For Jewish Democrats it is a serious problem. There are still a goodly number of friends to Israel remaining in the Democrat Party but their numbers are diminishing and some have actually needed to go underground in their support. Pro-Israel Jews in Reform Synagogues have to act like the Marranos during the Inquisition where they practice their Judaism silently and with little visible evidence at home and were good Catholics in public even to going to church daily and every action including rosaries and confession to avoid the Inquisition and the tortures and death sentences which would be their punishment if their being a Jew was ever rooted out. These new Marranos support Israel but must do so while in conversations in Synagogue or at Temple functions, as most Reform Synagogues refer to themselves as Temples; something less Jewish in its identity, these Jews either remain silent on issues Israel or denounce those sensitive issues such as Bibi Netanyahu, the greatest force of evil in the Middle East.

 

Horned Netanyahu

 

For far too many American Liberal Leftist Jews, Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu has been the reason why President Obama was unable to make peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis and had Netanyahu simply followed the instruction, the orders from on high at the Oval Office, then Israel would have peace. There are no arguments which they would ever accept and they honestly believe that the Arabs would be happy if only Israel would surrender everything to the Green Line and half of Jerusalem and all the terrorism and demands would end. Never mind that Mahmoud Abbas refuses to even say, let alone guarantee, that the terror and violence would end with such an agreement, he has instead stated that any agreement would be but the initial step to the removal of the Zionist entity and that all resistance, that would be terrorism, would continue until the Zionist entity has been eradicated and the Jews defeated completely. Never mind that in Gaza there is Hamas which has promised to murder every Jew on Earth which includes these American Leftist Jews who happily claim that Hamas can be reasoned with. One would think with the history of the Jewish People, especially their recent history, specifically since the last century, that when some group of extremists claim they have designs for the complete annihilation of the Jewish People they would take things like that very seriously.

 

That Israel, and even additionally President Trump to the point of violence and lost friendships, have become the two most divisive issues in the Jewish community is the saddest commentary one could imagine. Israel, the hope and the prayers of Jews for thousands of years now a matter for derision and splitting the community is beyond sadness. Israel and Jerusalem, the final desire of every Seder is, “Next year in Jerusalem” and Psalms 137, Song of Babylon, which demands that as a member of the Jewish People, Jerusalem must be our first love and, allow me to quote, “If I forget you, O Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill (strength). (And) May my tongue cling to my palate, if I do not remember you, if I do not bring up Jerusalem at the beginning of my (chief and most important) joy.” Yet somehow Israel, and even the surrender of the Old City of Jerusalem and the surrendering of the Temple Mount and the Mount of Olives Cemetery, has become a sticking point, an issue for debate and for too many simply something too trivial to be bothered with when supporting those for whom Israel is a bother is the real issue. How can Jews unfriend other Jews or shun them in the Synagogue because they support Israel. They demand, ‘how can one support Israel’ which is simply just for those other Jews, those religious Jews, those Jews who are just too Jewish and the ones the anti-Semites hate. They believe that because they support the right causes and they rub elbows with the right people that should the anti-Semites ever get their dream again and Jews are hunted down that they will be granted exceptions because they are those good Jews. They do not realize that to an anti-Semite the only good Jew is a dead Jew. But these Jews would gladly sacrifice those Zionist crazies if it would advance their standing at the club, or even sadly their Synagogue. We hold some truths to be very troubling and beyond our ability to accept. How can there be an ingathering when so many Jews refuse to even accept the concept of a Jewish State, a Jewish People or of Hashem and instead view their Synagogue as just another social club. This makes one remember that a minority of slaves left Egypt with Moses and a similarly percentage returned after they were liberated from Babylonia by Cyrus the Great and the majority either remained in Babylon or migrated to the major cities of Persia.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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July 22, 2013

A Jewish Israel Cannot be Destroyed

The ideas that people have about the Jewish faith and Israel have as much disinformation as any of the wildest conspiracy theories. The most erroneous myth about the Jews and Israel is that the two entities can be separate. How anybody can reasonably and logically believe that the Jewish people will ever give up on building their homes in Eretz Yisroel and erecting the Third Temple in their capital city of Jerusalem have obviously missed the lesson that came to a fruition on May 15, 1948 with the reestablishment of the Jewish State of Israel after almost two millennium. The theory that is spread through many of the communities who have chosen to have a confrontational relationship with Israel and the Jews is that if they can remove the Jewish presence in Israel they will have eradicated the Jewish people. This is far from an original idea as it has been tried previously by an empire that was probably the most efficient at crushing any adversary and erasing their memory from all of history. In the first centuries of the Julian calendar the Empire of Rome decided that the tribes that made up Judea (the remaining home of the Jews after the dispersion and loss of the ten tribes from the northern Kingdom of Israel who were conquered by Assyria around 722 BCE after which it is believed they assimilated so completely as to have lost all ties with Judaism) has caused Rome measures of difficulty beyond tolerance and dispersed the population to such an extent that Rome believed that they would cease to exist as a peoples. It took nearly two-thousand years but those dispersed tribes are now leaving the Diaspora and returning to their home of Yisroel. Conquer Israel today and all that will accomplish is to cause a reverent return to the commandments and covenant by the remaining Jews who will once again claim with all their hearts and end prayer in their homes on the nights of the Passover Seder including the prayer hoping for their next Seder will be held, “Next year in Jerusalem.”

The Jewish people have historically tended to slip from their religious observance and assimilate into their host societies as long as they are accepted and comfortable. Should their brethren become threatened they have historically come together and reestablished their roots and common heritage. Part of the reason behind this reaction has a historic root that often, whether they lived in Christian Europe or the Muslim lands of Northern Africa and the Middle East, when one area begins to persecute the Jews in their particular region the Jews begin to emigrate and as their number increase in the bordering area the new concentration of Jews makes this new location fearful of their increased numbers and react often by laying restrictions on the Jews to restrain their ability to flourish and gain too much influence and when this does not produce sufficient results, they too begin to persecute their Jews thus causing a wave of anti-Semitism which ripples across the landscape over time. This has been Jewish history through much of our many thousand year history replete with a fair number of exiles from which the Jews, or Hebrews or Israelites as they were also known for much of their early history, always returned to the same Promised Lands after each and every exile whenever it seemed auspicious. The main impediment until the modern age has been the logistics and cost of often traveling great distances across borders which were not always guaranteed safe passage and often lands whose transversal would be required forbid such transit by Jews. Even now there are communities of Jews who are unable to afford to return to Israel such as the Jews in Ethiopia who when they became threatened in their homeland petitioned Israel who has taken to ingathering these threatened Children of Israel regardless of the expense. Similar efforts have been extended for the Bnei Menashe Tribe of India, the Jews of the Soviet Union, as well as taking the influx that accompanied the nearly million Jews expelled from the Arab and Muslim world in the first decade after the founding of the modern state of Israel as well as the initial influx of the remnants of European Jews many of whom managed to survive the Holocaust only to find themselves penniless and dispossessed and turned away by the former communities who had taken whatever they had left behind when rounded up and transported to either ghettos, work camps, or death camps. Israel never placed their brethren into camps for extended times and did whatever it took to absorb and accept these Jewish refugees.

The Jewish desire and drive to inhabit the lands between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea is a part of their heritage and a tenet of Judaism. Abraham was directed to these lands when his name was Avram before the L0rd instructed him to adopt his new name of Avraham. This was the land the generation that followed their exodus from Egypt and bondage that they conquered and settled. This is the one small sliver of land in which Jews desire to reside and practice their religion and commit to performing those responsibilities and requirements of their covenant with the Almighty. The Jews of Israel have no desire to spread out into neighboring lands or to convert any non-Jewish person to Judaism unless they initiate the request, and even then we ask why they would choose to convert and have them discuss the why before allowing such conversions. The Jews do not proselytize as we are instructed to simply live as an example of a proper and good life obedient to G0d and be a light unto the nations. I would not claim that my brethren or I have necessarily been anywhere near as exemplary in practice as either we would desire or that is required of us by Torah. The only reason I might offer is we have only returned home for a little over sixty years and have not exactly been allowed to live without immediate threats and we have made some gains towards this idyllic code for righteous lives. But should the most unthinkable possible future include the loss once again of our home Israel it will not be the end of the story of the Jews who will return to longing for our homes to be in Israel. As a Jew one is not truly living a complete and blessed life as they are potentially capable of living unless they live in the Promised Land. As has been the contention of many of our revered Rabbis, a mitzvah which is committed in Israel counts as ten mitzvahs committed outside of Israel and merely living within Israel is a mitzvah all on its own. With this much importance placed on building a Jewish homeland in Israel over any other location in the world no matter how idyllic, how can anyone contend that the Jews can be removed from Israel and that the love and desire for Israel can be removed from the Jews. Neither is possible. So, instead of condemning Israel could the world just once give allowing the Jews their little sliver of land at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea? Then as long as we live within the borders as described in Torah and act in a manner that not only does no harm to others but is an example of how to live harmoniously with the universe, everybody simply leave us be. Furthermore, we promise to share all the medical, scientific, agricultural, manufacturing and other nonreligious discoveries we make with the rest of the world to their benefit. We have no desire to conquer the world or even establish an empire or impose our faith on anybody else. We simply want to live in peace, obey and observe Torah, give praise to the L0rd our G0d, and build a nation which exemplifies living honorably and in harmony so as to be exemplary in our dealings and be as a light unto the nations of the world such that they desire to live in peace and harmony as a result. We do not desire to expect, let alone demand, anything from those who live beyond our borders and wish to treat with kindness those who wish to live within our borders as long as they act without violence or disruptiveness thus disturbing the functioning of our society.

Beyond the Cusp

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