Antisemitism: How to respond

The Bible – our Holy Torah in the book of Jeremiah 11:16 compares the Jewish People to an olive. “The LORD named you “Verdant olive tree, Fair, with choice fruit.”

All liquids mix while that is not the case with olive oil. The Midrash says, “all liquids when mixed there is no way of retaining what is above or below, while with olive oil even if you were to mix it with all liquids in the world, it will always ascend and levitate to the top.”

Jewish People are compared to an olive (oil). “Here is a people who dwell unto themselves (Deut. 23:9)”. They have their practices and stick stubbornly to them. By designation, the Jewish people are a distinct people.

Jews as small as our negligible numbers go (in the United States, PERHAPS 6 Million souls out of 335 million people!) are disproportionately and inexplicably successful and in high-up positions. It’s always been that way throughout the history of our people for thousands of years.

Jews are prominent in every sector. Medicine, Law, Science, Music, Business, finances, tech industry, philanthropists….. There is only one explanation – We are God’s people, and God is watching over us.

Throughout the ages, countless nations and people have made every effort to eradicate these special chosen people from the face of the earth, unsuccessfully. The Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, English, French, Spanish, Polish, Germans……

Every nation that directed atrocities against the Jewish people always ended up worse off than before and regretted their acts. They even went as far as to try and lure them back to their countries. The nations realized the irreplaceable positive contribution Jews are to the society in which they live and do commerce.

Anti-Semitism is nothing new.

Perhaps it’s jealousy; maybe it is scapegoating; perhaps it’s ignorance. Who cares.

Anti-Semites and their supporters, if they have any head on their shoulders, should learn from history and consider they are belligerent and pursuing a cause that is guaranteed to be unsuccessful. If they are doing something illegal, they will end up in Jail. Their own lives are filled with hate and disgraceful moral conduct, and they are guaranteed to have a miserable end like all haters in the past.

How should one view a person doing something illegal, pursuing an unsuccessful goal, and behaving in shameful, reprehensible conduct?

Jewish people are destined to always be like olive oil, different and separate – “a light unto the nations” Isaiah 42:6. Living in the light, and sharing the light of our Holy Torah and Mitzvot, as the prophets urge us to follow time and time again, for our good.

Like olive oil, Jewish people will always saturate the environment with the good and blessings God Almighty has endowed within us.

Jews cannot mix with other cultures even if they try to. We just can’t physically and spiritually. Because that is when God sends anti-Semitism to remind us we cannot shake our uniqueness.

Anti Semitism is God talking to us. He, will win, and we will always be, His, as He pleases, no matter how hard we try to shake off our Jewishness.

When anti-Semitism rears its ugly head, we have nothing to worry about the anti-Semites. They will NEVER accomplish what they desire. We as Jews should take the message that God is sending us to live more proudly as He designated us to live. We must be more connected to our tradition and our faith to our practices, and automatically, the anti-Semitism sent by God as His message evaporates.

And to the Anti-Semites, they too can join our “chosen” spot.

Maimonides writes; anyone in the world who decides to pursue a Godly path by observing the seven Noahide laws will have all the benefits one sees and maybe jealous of in the Jewish People.

“Not only the tribe of Levi, but any one of the inhabitants of the world whose spirit generously motivates him and he understands with his wisdom to set himself aside and stand before God to serve Him and minister to Him and to know God, proceeding justly as God made him, removing from his neck the yoke of the many reckonings which people seek, he is sanctified as holy of holies.

God will be His portion and heritage forever and will provide what is sufficient for him in this world like He provides for the priests and the Levites. And thus David declared [Psalms 16:5]: “God is the lot of my portion; You are my cup, You support my lot.”
Maimonides Shemita – Chapter 13 Halacha 13

About the Author
Rabbi Shlomo Ezagui is an author and lecturer. "A Spiritual Soul Book" & "Maimonides Advice for the 21st Century" Rabbi Ezagui opened in 1987 the first Chabad Center in Palm Beach County, Florida, and the first Orthodox Synagogue on the Island of Palm Beach, Florida.
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