And who by fire, who by water, Who in the sunshine, who in the night time, Who by high ordeal, who by common trial, Who in your merry merry month of may, Who by very slow decay, And who shall I say is calling?
And God created a new worldview, a revolutionary and evolutionary ethic that was diametrically opposed to the way of the world of the time. And God said to the people to whom He entrusted this ethic.
“You Shall be a Light Unto the Nations.”
And He separated the people from all the others for He knew that mixing would weaken their resolve, their ability to uphold a very difficult ethic-one of compassion for all where so little existed.
He knew that many of us could be taken in by other values and views.
He feared we would turn against each other if we were to immerse in foreign Cultures.
From Jeremiah urging our people not to be misled by the false prophets .
To Ezra, rending his clothes– as if in mourning, for our people had fallen under the influence of the powerful Samaritans and other native tribes. Our young people were growing up unaware of the great spiritual heritage of Israel.
Have we learned anything from our past?
No. We have mixed too freely with those whose values are not ours. We have taken our holy rituals and profaned them. I think one of most egregious profanities has been the sitting of Shivaafter the American election of Donald Trump as President. Shiva?
Jewish Community Centre (JCC) East Bay, Executive Director Amy Tobin had spent the night of Nov. 8 watching the emotional reactions people were posting to social media, and by 6 a.m. decided to open the doors of the JCC as a community gathering place. She sent out an email invite and took to social media with her offer.
“I thought, we have to do something,” she said.
“So I posted to Facebook, get off your screens, we’re going to offer a physical place for you to get together and connect with each other.”
Steve Freedkin of Oakland came to the JCC to be with others. He dubbed the morning gathering a nonpartisan shiva, or mourning ritual.
“We need a chance to grieve with others,” he added, “because 59 million Americans thought it was acceptable to vote for someone who based his campaign on making so many people enemies.”
Rabbis opened their synagogues to console Jews whose candidate did not win an election in a democratic country, knowing full well that in 4 years the process would take place again? That this election is not final, like death?
Did they recite the Kel Maleh Rachamim (Prayer of Mercy)? For a woman?
God, full of mercy, Who dwells above, give rest on the wings of the Divine Presence , amongst the holy, pure and glorious who shine like the sky, to the soul of (Hebrew name of deceased) daughter of (Hebrew name of her father), for whom prayer was offered in the memory of her soul. Therefore, the Merciful One will protect her soul forever, and will merge her soul with eternal life. The Everlasting is her heritage, and she shall rest peacefully at her lying place, and let us say: Amen.”
Or the Mourner’s Kaddish?
“Glorified and sanctified be God’s great name throughout the world.”
These American Jews led by “Rabbis” used Shiva as a means to console these distraught people?
Shiva, honouring the dead; from old age, to cancer and murder, too often from hate.
Does the Shoah ring a bell to these Jews and their Rabbis?
And then there are Jews murdered in Israel for being Jews.
Where were these Jews and their Rabbis when our people are tortured, murdered and now set on fire in Israel for being Jews?
Too many of our Jewish people are no longer a Light Unto the Nations. They have left our traditions to join the new religion-left-wing ideological fascism. The idea of promoting this “left-wing” ideology is far more important than promoting the ethic that we, the Jewish people, gave to the world.
That our people could mourn when a Democratic nominee for President loses an election is bad enough, but to have supported a party whose values have nothing to do with ours is frightening. The Democratic Party has a platform that is against the existence of Israel. It is a Party entertaining the idea of having as its leader a Muslim who has clearly articulated his hate for Israel, and therefore the Jews. And make no mistake about this, hate for Israel IS hate for the Jewish people.
The Democratic Party is a party with a platform that welcomes into its tent people who call for death to the West and death to Jews. Our Jewish people are inviting Jew-hating Muslims into our homes in the name of Tikkun Olam-when in fact they are replaying the story of the spider and the fly.
The God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, and the God of Sarah, and the God of Rebecca, and the God of Leah, and the God of Rachel, does not call on us to invite strangers into our homes after they have called for our death.
I fear that the Jewish people are still enslaved to the past, to a time when we were in galut,ducking and hiding, laying low, not making waves, just going along to get along.
We are not in galut anymore. We are a nation once again. In our own land. But not all of our land. We must remember that it is not for us to complete the work but neither are we free to desist from it (Ethics of our Fathers). We must free ourselves from the enslavement to the past to the point that we are afraid to declare the legal and historical borders of Israel.
Aristotle said memory is the scribe of the soul.
What memory will we inscribe on our collective soul?
Will we listen to our God and our prophets, our wise men and women who tell us to stay together to return to our teachings, so old and so beautiful and so profound as to have changed the world?
We must remain a light unto the nations but never let that light be extinguished from our failure to stay together as Am Yisrael and complete what Abraham and Sarah began.
Menachem Begin “We will be no one’s cowering Jews.”