Beyond the Cusp

March 28, 2018

The Threat Israel Cannot Defeat Alone

 

If Israel has a mortal weakness, it is that she cares too much for the protection of innocents even if those innocents are trying to destroy her. That is the most serious threat she currently refuses to face and which will do everything to destroy Israel if only to prove they are correct. The current cases are the numerous NGO’s and the Left wing American Jews who support these insidious organizations working to destroy Israel. The leftists within Israel are also contributing to this situation and the potential of ending the Jewish homelands. Part of the attack comes at the religious in Israel who are also the main answer to allowing Israel to defeat the demographic threats. One of the demands made by many on the left is that Israel must forsake Traditional Orthodox Judaism and instead become a purely secular democracy which favors no religion and allows that all peoples of all religions, and particularly no religion, to live within in harmony. The proof Israel can provide for accepting these demands are to first accept the Two State Solution giving over to the Palestinians all the lands beyond the Green Line and secondly permit those Palestinians in refugee camps permission to return to their homes even if those homes are theoretically within the Green Line and would lead to the Jews being outnumbered by Arab Muslims. When Israelis claim that would be the end of Israel, they are told that this is an unfair accusation as how can Israelis claim that this Arab population cannot also operate within a multicultural democracy if they have not given them any opportunity to do so? They do not accept Gaza as having been a fair example and demand Israel again make the sacrifices and accept their promises that the Arabs will work with the Jews in harmony. When asked what happens if this proves to not be the case, their response is that the Jews can come to the United States or they simply reprimand such as naysayers who have no faith in the powers of Democracy. This is especially true of those on the farthest leftist Jews, even more so those residing in the United States.

 

There are many things which separate the American leftist Jews and their brethren in Israel and much of that have led to numerous misunderstandings. The leftist Jews believe that because Israeli mainstream Judaism is a collection of different Traditional Orthodox forms of Judaism including many Haredi and Hasidic branches, Chabad, numerous Traditional Orthodox congregations and, this may shake any number of American Jews so we advise you be seated, numerous Conservative, Reform and other nonconventional congregations of Jews as well as a fair number of purely secular people of Jewish extraction. The main Rabbinate is selected from the majority and several forms of Orthodox Judaism. There is a reason behind having the Orthodoxy as the prevalent form of Judaism in Israel, and that is because it follows the traditional laws and all the Commandments of Torah, the exact ideas and ideals that even the socialist Zionist founders foresaw as the true future for the State of Israel mixed with Socialism. Israel, politically, still has too much socialism practiced by the government but that is slowly evolving to a more functioning entrepreneurial nation based on the start-up concept allowing for investments to spur the movement of capital and thus leading to a stronger economy and providing higher wages in the future. But the religious base will remain Traditional Orthodox while permitting every other form but retaining the controlling religious administration with the Traditional Orthodox. This is why all marriages and conversions are required to meet the strict Rabbinate restrictions. These religious restrictions are actually sensible in many ways which become more readily obvious once you come and actually live in Israel.

 

First off, a confession, at least one of us is a long time Zionist but spent much of their life completely divorced of any practicing of Judaism. Even when returning to Judaism after a tragedy in the family, still attempted first to join a Reform Synagogue but there were personality differences with the Rabbi so we tried the other Synagogue which was Conservative and that Rabbi was wonderful. What was curious was that the Conservative was very similar services wise to the Reform services remembered from childhood. If questions had been thrown at us back in the United States, we would have been just as confounded by the insistence on only the Orthodoxy having the main levers of power within Israel and been somewhat upset about many of these demands. So, the question is what do we now feel?

 

Star of David Ornate

 

Since moving to our little corner in Israel we have found how much easier it is to be completely Jewish in Israel. Keeping Kosher is as easy as shopping at the food store and only a couple in town needs to be avoided. Many of the restaurants are certified Kosher. Services are easier to attend as there is almost a guarantee that you will discover one within four or five blocks, if not several. With this all taken care of, being Orthodox, Traditional Orthodox, becomes fairly simple requiring even less effort than being any kind of semi-observant Jews in the United States. Given another few generations and while Traditional and other forms of Orthodox Judaism will be prevalent in Israel, other than Orthodox Judaism, mostly Hasidic and Haredi, one will be hard pressed to find other congregations in the vast majority of the United States and all but gone from Europe. This will be due to the rampant intermarriage which will quicken the exodus of Jews from their religious upbringing, assuming they ever received a Jewish upbringing. One quick way of determining the accuracy of our dire prediction would be to simply ask the few Jews you may know who are not Orthodox whether they attended and partook of a Passover Seder and whether it was held in English or Hebrew. Do not be surprised if the answer shows a lack of Jewish participation. Then ask them what does Seder mean and pray they do not say dinner or story or other wrong answer. When they surrender, the actual translation of the Hebrew word Seder is Order, as in structured or delineated. The main defining part of the service is the reliving of the leading events to the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt and the initial part of the years in the wilderness.

 

Becoming a practicing Jew and following as much of the laws as possible, as we are still learning some of the rules as we go along, and some are likely obscure and will become obvious with time. One thing about Judaism is that everyone and everything is a work in progress, and some are going to take more time than others.

 

Finally, it is with sadness that we realize that once again so many of our brothers and sisters will become lost to us just as during the Exodus when it was claimed that a mere one-fourth, if that many, of the Jews from Egypt made the trip while the majority decided that they preferred remaining in relative safety and a life, though harsh, still did not require what the new life promised, challenges and the hard work of building a new land. Slavery was a hard life but the Egyptians provided for their food, shelter and other necessary needs. That is what life in the United States will promise, a land of plenty that is easy and there are very few threats in life while Israel is more of a challenge. Getting a job is more of a difficulty in Israel and as an American one need learn Hebrew, not the easiest language to learn. For the youth, there is IDF service which most American Jews would find as a threatening requirement. One of us did serve in the United States military in combat arms but very few of the Jewish kids we grew up with ever gave such the smallest consideration. Serve in the military, that was outside consideration and why so many Jews went to college. Yes, when drafted, they served and what is actually surprising is that Jews have almost always outperformed other peoples in their service in the military in the major wars in history. But the latest generation, such is not considered something a good Jewish boy or girl would want to do. So, having to move to Israel and face military service frightens many. Thankfully, and these youths are treasured and respected in Israel, there are Jewish kids from America who come to Israel with the intent of serving in the IDF and most desire to be placed into Combat Arms. These Zionist youths are a treasure.

 

Back to how to allow Israel to defeat their foes is easy. Step one; stop demanding that Israel surrender, conflicts are not won by the surrendering side. Israel must be permitted to be victorious and defeat every challenge and danger facing her and her people. Stop pretending that Israel need be more like the United States as Israel does not have Canada and Mexico as neighbors. Illegal immigrants in Israel are more likely to be terrorists aiming to murder Israelis than people seeking to make a better life and almost none are actual refugees. Step two; when Israel is forced to defend herself, kindly support her just as she supports the United States efforts in such conflicts. Finally, try to remember and understand that in Israel Judaism is not so much a religion as a way of life and Israel is the Jewish homelands where the religion, the people and society try to operate as one. Israel is also the only place where the Jewish people will be protected and cared for without question should any disaster or threat raise its ugly head threatening our fellow Jews. Israel is the Jewish safety fuse which will trip and give the Jewish People a home forever into the future. That should be sufficient reason for any Jew to do anything required to protect their safety valve. Lastly, whether they realize it or not, Israel is the homeland of the Jews and has been the Promised Land from over three-thousand years back and that only gets us back to King David, Abraham and Sarah were close to another thousand years further back. That is something which will never change.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

Advertisements

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

 

April 12, 2014

The Death of Zionism in America

This coming week we will hold our Passover Seder and say the words as we have traditionally for near two thousand years, “Next year in Jerusalem.” How many of us even think for a moment that we really desire to hold our Seder next year in Israel, let alone make the pilgrimage to Jerusalem for Pesach? Have those words become simply a sign of our dedication to some quaint notion of a hope which only arises when we as Jews are facing duress and something we simply say when our lives are secure and comfortable? If that had become our truth, then we would serve G0d and the honesty He most certainly treasures to stop muttering these words which many of our mothers and fathers in generations before us spoke as an honest yearning and likely with a small tear in their eyes knowing that such was probably beyond their ability and that there was no Eretz Yisroel to return to anyhow.

 

But what are the excuses today? Are we really far too comfortable in our Diaspora lives or is it something far worse; is it because we no longer have the hunger and desire for returning to our ancestral home, the place the L0rd our G0d gave to us after visiting the Ten Plagues upon Egypt and giving us the Ten Commandments and Torah to guide our lives in the Land of Milk and Honey? Has the spark and inspiration that guided our forefathers’ lives through desperate times of persecution when even holding the Seder was forbidden and they held theirs in hushed tones for fear the neighbors might hear our retelling of the greatest story ever told finally lost its last glow. Now, when we throw open our doors and invite all who wish to join in our celebration of freedom no longer fearing for our very lives have we gotten so free from fear that we have lost all memories of how, as we will also say on this Seder night, that “Every generation there is one that will rise up against us.” Are we so content in our comfort that we refuse to heed that warning believing that it no longer holds any relevance in our enlightened time? Are we so haughty that we believe as did our fellow Jews did in Europe as they felt safe in their assimilated lives and many of whom were even warned of the coming evil by Ze’ev Jabotinsky in 1938 telling of waves of persecution and super-pogroms were imminently coming to Poland and eastern Europe and that for the sake of their safety and their lives the Jews should leave for Palestine as soon as possible. Are you telling yourself the same falsehoods which our forefathers have repeatedly said and believed even mere months before the coming tragedy which would threaten their very existence, “It cannot happen here as we are honored members of the society holding jobs as teachers, lawyers, physicians and are accepted amongst our non-Jewish friends.” If you are fortunate enough to have the diaries from your ancestors, please reread them and see what they uttered just before their world was turned upside-down.

 

This reminder of times past will not be heeded by any in America or elsewhere throughout the world as many Jews are not only assimilated but happily ensconced within the fabric of their exiled existence and attained a level of calm and apparent acceptance that they have lost any concern or desire to return to their home, Israel. They will point to the dangers they perceive threaten Israel and they are not completely without reason to point such out. At least in Israel the soldiers met on the streets, often carrying their weapons with them, are soldiers who are trained to defend Israel and her citizens within including, or actually especially, her Jewish citizenry. Passing one of these soldiers in Israel gives one a sense of belonging and a degree of safety that is difficult to describe. It is a feeling of belonging, of being home. In Israel there are no politicians calling for the banning of items of religious wear, including yarmulkes, nor are there people demanding the end of Shechita calling it a form of cruelty. Yes, such madness has not come to America and the United States is not Europe. The events and problems of anti-Semitism which is growing more prevalent across Europe is not such a problem here in our neighborhoods. These same words were likely spoken not that long ago in the Ukraine, Rabbis in the Ukraine have downplayed the evidence of a growing anti-Semitism there. Then there is the increasing awareness of anti-Semitism in France where the Jewish population increasingly is leaving France with many coming home to Israel. Should one actually take an in-depth measure of trends even in the United States they would see a troubling increase in acts victimizing Jews growing in frequency and severity such as the Knockout the Jew game which has spread to numerous major cities. Make next year the year you came home and hold your next Seder in Israel if not actually in Jerusalem. Listen and believe the words uttered for centuries at the conclusion of the Seder service, “Next year in Jerusalem.”

חג פסח שמח

בשנה הבאה בירושלים

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.