Yisrael Rosenberg
Yisrael Rosenberg

Embracing Anti-Semitism

You can’t miss it. Anyone making his or her way around social media in these heady times is constantly confronted with a single, loaded, ugly term:




Anti-Semitism is making headlines in France. In the UK, it is the leading issue driving the upcoming elections. And Anti-Semitism is the open secret powering  several members of the United States Congress, and is heard in some of America’s mosques – and churches.

It goes without saying that those marching behind the banner of “Fight Anti-Semitism” have their hearts in the right place. Like medieval knights, they gird their loins with pure reason and logic and plunge headlong into the noble battle against the sinister forces of anti-Semitism. But I often wonder:

Does anybody ever look back over their shoulders, at the results of their efforts, to see if they have actually reduced Anti-Semitism? Does fighting anti-Semitism actually work?

I am skeptical. Here’s why:

1. Anti-Semitism is not a product of human logic;

2. In our era, anti-Semitism has a distinct purpose: to bring the Nation of Israel back home to the Land of Israel.

Let me be more specific: according to my understanding, anti-Semitism, until recently, served primarily as a kind of penalty for our nation. Traditional Jewish thinking teaches that It was a collective punishment for the entire Jewish People that we incurred for our unwillingness to follow the most basic precepts of the teachings we had committed to uphold.

Numerous times along our long and convoluted history – at Mt. Sinai; on the plains of Moab; at the Assembly at Mt. Gerizim and Mt. Eval; in the days of the righteous Judean King Josiah; in the Persian capital city of Shushan with Mordechai and Esther; and in the rebuilt walls of Jerusalem with Ezra the Scribe – we committed and recommitted ourselves as a national entity towards learning and DOING these laws.

The cost of our failure to live up to our promises was spelled it clearly in the agreement itself. We had sworn that “we would do, and we would we hear”, placing the doing ahead of the hearing, to underscore the seriousness of our intentions to live by the Law. We made this promise for ourselves and the generations to follow – for all time.

Yet we failed. And as a result – we paid the full price: in blood, and in exile. And in ANTI-SEMITISM.

But all that has changed. While on the surface, the new Anti-Semitism of our age looks an awful lot like the old Anti-Semitism; nevertheless, its purpose has shifted.

The old Anti-Semitism served to pay back an ancient debt. With the horrors of the Holocaust, the last check was written, and the final payment – made. As a result, the modern State of Israel came into being, and the very purpose of anti-Semitism was altered forever.

The NEW Anti-Semitism has a single purpose: to bring ALL of us back home to where we actually belong, the Land of Israel, our homeland that was given to us as an eternal gift for generations, until the end of time itself.

The only way to fight Anti-Semitism in our era is to give it its true answer: to come to live in the Holy Land.

If you are following MY logic, you will reach the conclusion by yourself: the Diaspora – I will use a stronger, more accurate word: the EXILE – is rapidly coming to an end. Any attempts to sustain it will be met by total failure and disaster, because at its essence, the Exile is an abnormal, unnatural state of the Jewish Nation.

Let there be no mistake. As the Exile draws to an end, the Jewish People are just now awakening to an historic and ancient calling. We have been destined for something big, even from BEFORE that fateful day when we stood in awe, assembled at the foot of Mt. Sinai in the howling desert, and accepted the yoke of the Torah. At that point, We were forged into one nation, with a distinct identity and destiny: to serve as a special people, to be the Light of the Nations.

History has seen our rise and fall, and our emergence into a total exile some 2,000 years ago. But, defying all human logic,  we are back. And no matter how hard those who are jealous of our accomplishments and afraid of our power try – they cannot stop us. We are just beginning the transformation needed for us to actually take on our true role in the world.

What I am saying is: don’t fear or even oppose Anti-Semitism; EMBRACE it. As with judo, take its raw energy as it manifests itself everywhere throughout the world and channel it for the benefit of the Jewish Nation. Go ahead: use it to your advantage. You’ll leave the Anti-Semites so confused they won’t know what to do with themselves.

The way to start is by voting with your feet. Gather your possessions, pick up your life, and come with your family and friends to settle in the Land of Israel.

There is no better response imaginable to Anti-Semitism.

About the Author
Yisrael Rosenberg is a former New Englander who made aliyah 30 years ago. He lives with his wife and four children in Jerusalem.
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