As a child, I remember the talk around the Holocaust, that the Nazi’s didn’t distinquish between the religious Rebbe’s and the secular, assimilated Jews that didn’t look like Jews at least externally.
I remember hearing that but being unable to relate to it. Who could hate at that level? Who couldn’t distinguish between a Jew who had dedicated their life to Gd and spirituality and one who “out-goy’d” the goyim? You had German, Polish and Hungarian (to name a few) who were wealthy and successful business owners who were supporters and even members of the Halls of Government, but when it came to the Nazi’s hate, all that mattered was is there Jewish blood running through your veins.
I also remember thinking that, while that is so crazy, it is also a thing of the past and something that we will never know on a first hand basis again.
On October 7th, Simchas Torah in Israel, all that changed. The wanton murder, rape, pillaging of the ISIS HAMAS EVIL BEINGS on that terrible day reminded us that there are in fact, as Golda Meir so eloquently said, those who love their own more than they hate us.
The tragedy is compounded by the fact that they didn’t distinguish. (PLEASE READ MY NEXT WORDS CAREFULLY SO YOU DON’T MISINTERPRET THEM.) If they had sought soldiers, or men of battle age, people who they could tell themselves were their ideological foe, at least it would have been a “conventional hell” – if there is even such a thing.
The fact that they attacked, raped murdered not only women and children, but those who were at peace concert, people who dedicated their lives to bettering the lives of the Palestinians, makes it that much worse. Not only due to the heartstrings that it pulls at, burned and beheaded babies, but the fact that that main and only motivator was the blood lust for Jewish blood.
They woke two sleeping beasts.
One is the rabid antisemitism that sadly still exists (not so deeply) under the surface of society here in America, on College campuses and across Europe and the middle east. The beast of such hate has been awoken in the riots and protests we are now seeing. The flip side of which is that now we are all, assimilated or not, aware of exactly who our friends are and who not.
The more important sleeping beast that they awoke was the seemingly latent soul of so many.
Religious Jews and secular Jews are interacting and taking care of eachother in a way not seen in years.
Secular Jews are reaching out for yiddishkeit and belonging in a way not seen in years or perhaps ever. Soldiers who are not religious are asking for Tzizis. Groups of soldiers are singing religious songs like “Mi Shemaamin Lo Mifached” English – He who believes is not afraid.
Last week, a fellow who really doesn’t like putting on Tefillin (His words were “I’d rather write a check than put on Tefillin”) shocked me by reaching out to me on his own, asking me to put on Tefillin with him. The stories do not end.
The love that has poured forth from our people, both locally and abroad, for one another, for our faith and traditions is simply gorgeous and the beast of love that will vanquish the beast of hate.
Many of us are scared. I admit, I am too. However, what we focus on, expands is the old psychology adage. I choose to focus on the love, the unity and the good that is coming from these fast moving events, rather than focusing on the hate, the antisemitism and violence that has ensued.
I can see this as the harbinger of the Moshiach or the apocalypse. I choose the former, not the latter.
So, let’s love each other as much as they hate us and we will soon see the great revelations of victory and Moshiach, may it be speedily in our days.
עַם יִשְׂרָאֵל חַי