Jakob Levin
Jakob Levin
Undergraduate Student at the University of Florida studying

A Portent For The Messianic Age

“Anti-trump vigil outside the White House, Lafayette Park, 11/12/16”

Taken by Author
“Anti-trump vigil outside the White House, Lafayette Park, 11/12/16” Taken by Author

When I was in high school, I attempted to write a story for my school’s newspaper at the height of an election riddled with conspiracies, that failed to meet the threshold for what pertained to its mission. From my reporting, it can furthermore be reasonably concluded that it would additionally have run into financial conflicts with an increasing number of Trumpist members from their board, and as I was told supposedly forced them to hire more security. The board chair, however, is also the head of the private security firm employed by the school. I know all this because I went there. It is totally reasonable for a Jewish school, especially in this climate, to have beefed up security. Where is the beef here? As we know in Pirkei Avot:

כָּל מַחֲלֹקֶת שֶׁהִיא לְשֵׁם שָׁמַיִם, סוֹפָהּ לְהִתְקַיֵּם. וְשֶׁאֵינָהּ לְשֵׁם שָׁמַיִם, אֵין סוֹפָהּ לְהִתְקַיֵּם. אֵיזוֹ הִיא מַחֲלֹקֶת שֶׁהִיא לְשֵׁם שָׁמַיִם, זוֹ מַחֲלֹקֶת הִלֵּל וְשַׁמַּאי. וְשֶׁאֵינָהּ לְשֵׁם שָׁמַיִם, זוֹ מַחֲלֹקֶת קֹרַח וְכָל עֲדָתוֹ: Every argument which is for the sake of Heaven the end is [for the parties to that argument] to endure, [as in the argument between Beth Hillel and Beth Shammai, where none of the parties to the argument (the disciples) were lost (as opposed to Korach and his congregation, who were lost). Or: “the end” — the desired end of the argument. In an argument for the sake of Heaven, the desired end is to attain the truth. And this was attained in the argument between Beth Hillel and Beth Shammai — that the halachah is in accordance with Beth Hillel.] And an argument which is not for the sake of Heaven the [desired] end, [power and love of conquest,] does not endure. [And so we find in the argument of Korach and his congregation. Their end was the attainment of glory and power — and the opposite was what transpired.] What is an argument for the sake of Heaven? The argument between Hillel and Shammai. And (what is an argument) that is not for the sake of Heaven? The argument of Korach and his whole congregation.

I would now like to pose again a question I asked once before but, “what crime could possibly be more heinous, more fascist than the President of the United States ordering his mob of supporters to lay siege to the US Capitol during the certification of an election in which he [simply] lost?”

As Elie Wiesel’s son notes here, “It is now our generation’s turn to speak our truth: Neither the millions of us here in the United States nor our Jewish brothers and sisters in Israel are going anywhere. We will not bow to terror.”

Antisemitism is rampant among all facets of life in America, the so-called patriots are literally talking about secession from the country. Their cultic leader has said there will be another attack on the federal government, this time, somehow culminating in a crowning ceremony where Biden also finds a legal way to hand power to him. This is not how any of this works, because these people have been lied to and blinded by symbols of consumerism to brandish hatred. It is tragic and America has the most horrible parallel within its own history to look towards. It is embarrassing that we need articles upon articles written by famed journalists to remind us that “a clown with a flamethrower still has a flamethrower.”

We also have a rising segment within a powerful national coalition that, as Daniel Goldwin keenly observes, is on board with a popular social push for my country, but not for Israel. Thankfully, as if it was not painfully obvious to us Jews in this country who faithfully and duly believe in this liberal-democratic experiment, he adds “never has the aforementioned U.N. definition of ethnic cleansing received such a warm embrace in front of our very eyes.”

We cannot, must not condone violence, but must ask ourselves, how long does this take before we get to the end we know we will get to. We do also know, that out of the depths of darkness comes a movement that believes in humanist ideals.

Following an election of the Russian stooge with resentment and identity issues, after what appears to be egregious violations of the First Amendment, and what Josh Gerstein at Politico described as “a withering opinion that accused Barr of being “disingenuous” when describing Mueller’s findings and found that the Justice Department was not candid with the court about the purpose and role of the 2019 memo prepared by Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel.”

What Trumpists dubiously called the “Russia hoax,” really was an attack on democracy itself by a foreign adversary hellbent on global imperialism; a repetition of centuries of state-sanctioned violence against Jewish populations and the dissemination of one of the cruelest, “fabricated antisemitic texts.”

This is a conspiracy theory we are seeing employed by the very same, powerful elites that over time have taken to suppressing liberal ideals with the wrath of a titan, infamously republished by Henry Ford at the height of nativist sentiment in the U.S. which, PBS reminded readers in 1938, Ford received an award from the Nazi regime called the “Grand Cross of the German Eagle.”

Even in Israel, as Jacob Magid writes, there is a Jewish fascist attempting to use the institutions of government to “expel the Arab enemy” and “Kahane was right: The Arab MKs are a fifth column.” More to that point he adds the following:

“Those who are loyal to the state, ahlan wa sahlan,” he quipped, using an Arabic welcoming phrase. “But those who are not must be expelled.”

Ben Gvir, 42, said his party would not strip “loyal” Arab Israelis of their citizenship. As for Palestinians living beyond the Green Line who would come under the Jewish state’s control in Otzma Yehudit’s plan to annex the entire West Bank, he said they would not receive citizenship.

Beyond the examples of Arab Israeli MKs Ahmad Tibi and Hanin Zoabi, “who say you have to wipe out the Jewish state,” Ben Gvir did not elaborate on how loyalty could be tested. “I imagine we’ll be able to find a simple solution [for doing so].”

ALL Jews, and every human, should be absolutely opposed to the forces of fascism in a tolerant and free society.

Below is a poem I wrote shortly after the election of Donald Trump in 2016, in the process of editing that same article for that same school, previously published on Medium.

I, The Revolution

I fear. I fear for my friends who are targets. I fear for my immigrant friends who fled from dictatorship and oppression to come to an America of freedom and love; which is now an America of fear and hate. I fear for the immigrants close to me who await the day when they will be asked or forced to leave this country they have called home. I fear for my LGBT+ friends who are scared of being out of the closet because they will be tormented and lambasted. I fear for the women in my life who must now accept the fact that sexual assault has not only been accepted but institutionalized in the worst way imaginable. I fear for those with special needs who have been made a mockery of. I fear for my fellow Jews who thought they were safe from anti-Semitism in America, but are watching as a white supremacist ideology is brought to the forefront. I fear.

I yearn. I yearn for the days where democracy was cherished, not disregarded. I yearn for the days where love quashed the vitriol of extremists, instead of hate dominating love. I yearn for the days when those not affected would stand up to bigotry instead of bowing down to it. I yearn for the days when minorities could walk in the night without fear of being mauled by the messengers of hate. I yearn for the days where the angels of heaven frequented the streets of humanity more than the dogs of hell. I yearn.

I have. I have feelings of embarrassment and despair. I have nothing to say to friends who feel they have no place in America as their fears have been validated. I have nothing to say to my future children about how my generation let this happen. I have nothing to say to my “friends” who showed they do not care about me or those I care about. I have no trust in the system because the system is flawed. I have something to fight for: freedom. I have.

I fight. I fight using words for those who have no words. I fight due to my freedom, for those who may lose theirs. I fight to ensure history is not repeated. I fight for Never Again. I fight for those who no longer can fight. I fight for those who lost their lives fighting for what is right. I fight for democracy. I fight against tyranny. I fight for progression. I fight against regression. I fight for love. I fight against hate. I fight.

About the Author
Shalom! I'm Jakob Levin and I am currently a fourth-year at the University of Florida pursuing a B.A. in Political Science. I hail from Plantation, Florida, where I attended the Posnack School for 13 years but now that I am a Gator, I call Gainesville home. I am open-minded, driven, and passionate about topics that intersect with my American-Jewish identities. I study topics that deal with the parallels between modern anti-Semitism and American political extremism, and issues relating to security and conflict in the Middle East and North Africa. Outside of the classroom, I spend most of my time building and strengthening community relationships to ensure the brightest vision for the future. If you know me, you know that I am an ardent champion of my values and communities, and I am inspired to build a more interconnected and healthy society for all people. I am eager to: embark on challenging adventures, confront problems that require critical thought to solve, and engage in discussions about the most pertinent socio-political issues of our time.
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