(Excerpt from a speech I gave this week)
There are people to whom I often refer in my writings as “Lions of Judah”. These are people who are enveloped by a special aura. They stand up when it counts, speak out when necessary, and show the world that there is nothing to fear – but fear itself.
The Lion of Judah is a Jewish national and cultural symbol regarded as part of the tribe of Judah and found in the blessing by Jacob to his son Judah in the Book of Genesis. For me, it has become far more symbolic. It is how I have chosen to identify courage in the face of absolute evil.
For 2,000 years we were oppressed, subjugated, hated, and murdered. We have had to walk the streets with our head bowed to the ground, never ever having eye-contact with the majority population. We never raised a fuss when we were made to pay an extra tax, live in ghettos, and forced to wear the yellow Stars of David. We were then sent to the gas chambers, because we didn’t sufficiently fight.
This is bad news not only for Jewish communities, but for anyone who believes in freedom, democracy, and human rights. Democracies are preservers of rights and freedoms. If you want to practise your religion freely, you probably prefer to live in a democracy.
The Zalenskys of this world are showing the rest of the world a path toward courage. If he can stare down evil, so can we. We, my friends, will no longer bow our heads. We will not tolerate Nazi salutes in our schools and against Jewish teachers. We will not accept slander and defamation by organizations such as Amnesty International who falsely call Israel an ‘apartheid state’. And we will fight like lions against the rising tide of Antisemitism.
Never Again will we be forced to wear a Yellow Star. We shall not accept the denial and distortion of the Holocaust. Most significantly, we will stand like lions and defend the State of Israel, freedom, and democracy, armed with courage and conviction.
A Lion of Judah is not merely a pin. It is a call to action.
It is our job to protect our future and defend our past. Social change comes from social action. No matter who we are, we must all cry for freedom. Become a Lion of Judah.