Kenneth Cohen

Loyalty To Our People

The tragic sins of the spies as well as the Golden Calf, were a reflection of a lack of loyalty. In both instances, the transgressors should have known better.

There were plenty of miraculous signs that showed that there was Divine protection. The exodus from Egypt and the revelation at Mount Sinai were clear indications that the promises of Moshe Rabbeinu would come true. Making a graven image and questioning our right to settle the Land of Israel, were clear indications that there was a serious lack of loyalty. Everything Moshe promised until that time, came true, and there was absolutely no justification for doubting him.

The issue of loyalty to the Jewish people, has become a topic worthy of great consideration. We have witnessed the most horrendous atrocities, and yet, when we legitimately respond to these acts, we are suddenly accused of absurd accusations of genocide and racism.

This latest excuse for anti-semitism, should make every Jew rethink where his loyalties lie. It should be clear that we are a “nation that dwells alone.” We must stick together because when all is said and done, we only have Hashem and each other to rely upon.
I find it strange that a recurring question in an election year is why is it that so many Jews do not vote on the basis of which candidate is good for the Jews and Israel.

This question is really a question of loyalty. Are we loyal to our people, or do we see ourselves as citizens of the country we are living in, before our commitment to the Jewish people.

As a result of October seventh, there is a new reality for many Jews. It is time to accept that a big part of this reality is that we are “guests” in every country where Jews live. The welcome mat does eventually get trampled upon. Perhaps we are witnessing a world wide trampling, and the conclusion ought to be, to remain loyal to the ones that we can truly trust. And there couldn’t be a better time than now, to come home to the one country that will welcome every Jew. In short, it is time for every Jew to come home to Israel.

About the Author
Rabbi Cohen has been a Torah instructor at Machon Meir, Jerusalem, for over twenty years while also teaching a Talmud class in the Shtieblach of Old Katamon. Before coming to Israel, he was the founding rabbi of Young Israel of Century City, Los Angeles. He recently published a series of Hebrew language-learning apps, which are available at