This morning I read an article in which Rabbi Shalom Cohen, a member of Council of Torah Sages, called non-Haredi Orthodox ‘Amalek’. Amalek refers to someone who must be wiped off the face of the earth. Amalek is connected through history to Haman, hitler, and most recently Ahmadinejad,
“The Sages said [in interpreting the Biblical verse] that ‘the throne will not be whole as long as Amalek exists,’” explained Rabbi Cohen. “That throne [hints at] a knit kipa,” since the letters of “throne” — kes — can be read as an acronym of “knit kipa,” or “kipa sruga” in Hebrew (emphasis mine).
“As long as there are knit kippot,” Cohen continued, “the throne is not whole. That’s Amalek. When will the throne be whole? When there is no knit kipa.”
I grew up in a Jewish home where I was taught Tzedakah V’Chesed, most often at the Shabbos table.
Thirteen years ago, I was overwhelmed emotionally, physically, mentally and I was suicidal. I trusted the medical, psycho-social sciences but they weren’t enough. Having recently completed my residency in clinical pastoral education at one of the largest hospitals in Canada, I knew there was one more place to turn. I contacted the rabbi at the synagogue I attended. A modern orthodox synagogue with a Rabbi who wore a “knit kipa.”
He knew me well enough to know how to help me climb out of the abyss. He knew it was important to me to live my life trying to honour God. So he told me that of all the mitzvot, the greatest mitzvah of all is the study of Torah every day. And so I did. And that along with the fact that God demands we choose life and one cannot honour God from grave, kept me from taking my life while my medical team found the right treatment for me.
I continue to study every day. I live my life always trying to honour God, knowing that I will fail, but that I have the opportunity and the obligation to try again.
There are 7 billion people in the world. There are 14 million Jews.
I have spent a great deal of my life fighting anti-Semitism against all Jews. Today, based on what I am reading, I fear the greatest danger to the Jewish people is Jew-hating-Jews, from the left and the right. From the left, Jew-hating-Jews defend the fantasy history and pernicious propaganda of the Muslim World who declare that Israel commits ethnic cleansing and genocide. And from the right, the Jew-hating-Jews who cherry pick their facts like the “knit kipa” to fit their agenda, a very narrow definition of Jew.
I was taught that one must honour the entire corpus of an author’s work when referencing the work and the author. God gave us an extraordinary corpus of work with three main themes:
Yes, you are your brother’s keeper,
You will care for the stranger for you were a stranger in a strange land.
You will not do unto others what is hateful to you..
I am Jew enough to have been murdered in a Holocaust by Bullets in the Ukraine. I am Jew enough to have been incinerated by the Nazis. But, it seems I’m not good enough now to recognized as a Jew by other Jews who set themselves up as judge and jury, who preach if they didn’t “isolate” themselves then there would be no Judaism.
I remember the story about a prophet who was admonished by God for hiding in a cave.
When I return to God, to my parents and a baby brother, I will stand before God and say “I was a good Jew; I never hid in cave.”