“And it is this that has stood by our ancestors and by us. That not one alone has risen up against us to destroy us, but rather in each and every generation they rise up against us to destroy us. And the Holy One, blessed be He, rescues us from their hands.”
In 1430 B.C.E. Pharaoh ruled over the Jewish slaves in Egypt. In 356 BCE, Haman attempted to commit genocide against the Jews. In 1096 and 1146 C.E. thousands of Jews were massacred in Crusades. In the 1400’s blood libels and expulsions of Jews spread throughout Europe. 1939-1945 six million Jews annihilated across Europe. 1948-1967 Arab nations launched attacks on Jews and the State of Israel-millions of Arab Jews flee their countries or are forcefully expelled. 1972 Munich Massacre 11 Israeli Olympic athletes killed. 1987 and 2001- Intifadas in Israel kill hundreds of Jewish civilians. 2005-present terrorists have fired more than 11,000 rockets into Israel in the hopes of killing Jewish civilians. Today over 5 million Israelis are currently living under threat of rocket attacks.
It says in the Torah that in every generation a nation rises up to destroy the Jewish people. By taking a deeper look into the history of the Jewish people, it yields evident that our history has been far from calm. When people ask me what I think about the rise of anti-semitism that we are seeing today or what my opinions are about the Arab-Israeli conflict, I often answer with the same response- “in every generation a nation rises up with the hopes of eliminating the Jewish people”.
What we are seeing today is a beautifully hidden illusion of a land conflict. I look at the Arab-Israeli conflict and fail to see how this is by any chance- a land problem. For me, it seems as though this is a problem of Jews having freedoms and a sole safe haven to reside in after thousands of years of persecution. If you think about it, after being discriminated against for centuries and expelled from various countries, there are truly not many places for Jewish people to go to in which they feel genuinely safe. Even in their own country today, the Jewish people are often at extreme risk and under attack by neighbors who seek their destruction.
In every generation of the past we have been sought after. Today, is no different -nor will the future be. Though this idea does not seem in any way optimistic, it is the truth. It is crucial to learn from the events of the past in order to gain a clearer understanding of the future.
As a nation who has survived numerous misfortunes, tragedies, and attempted annihilations- we are still here and are still strong. Now, more than ever, we must unite and understand how important it is to remain strong even when times are tough so that the generations of the future will not only continue- but flourish.
Each and every Jewish person who has died throughout our existence simply because he or she was Jewish deserves to be remembered and never forgotten. By involving yourself in Jewish causes and Jewish life you not only benefit yourself, but you make sure that their memory is not lost and that their people are still here and still proud.
In every generation they seek to destroy us- yet in every generation the Jewish people must learn to unite, take action, and ensure the survival of a strong, proud, and mighty Jewish nation.