Measuring Jewish Time

When I was growing up, I dreamt of becoming a famous scientist and winning a Nobel Prize (at least, that’s what my mother decided should be my dream).  Failing high school biology should have caused me (and my mother) to rethink my future, but I am nothing if not persistent.  I considered a whole bunch of possibilities that I thought would be a sure pathway to a Nobel, like figuring out how to make soccer a tolerable spectator sport or identifying a European country that values and protects their Jewish citizens.  Mission impossible for both of those hare-brained ideas.  Then, in a dream-like state, it came to me: I was going to identify the shortest measureable unit of Jewish time.  There are microseconds and nanoseconds, but I was going to identify the Semitic Second, a unit of time so miniscule that only the most perceptive Jew could detect it.

After much pondering and exhaustive research, I came up with a list of 20 possibilities and I’m inviting readers, through their comments or Tweets, to vote on their choice for the entry to be submitted to the Nobel Committee.  Given that these are the same Mensa-level geniuses who awarded Nobel Peace Prizes to Barak Obama and Yasser Arafat, I’m feeling pretty good about my chances.  Here then is the list of candidates for your consideration:

  1. After Israel defeats the Palestinians in a war initiated by the Palestinians, the time it takes for the United Nations to condemn Israel’s self-defence tactics.
  2. When a country experiences severe economic distress, how soon afterwards do they blame Jewish bankers.
  3. When a Muslim commits an act of terrorism, how quickly do western leaders say that the act had nothing to do with Islam (ignoring the 109 verses in the Koran referencing the need to vanquish non-believers and downplaying the hundreds of disparaging references to Jews).
  4. The time it takes the German or Swedish governments to react to the latest act of Islamic terrorism on their soil by quashing any news report that paints Islam in an unfavourable light.
  5. When some major upheaval occurs in the Middle East involving Israel, the time the German government needs to decide whether to support Israel or to side with the Arab bloc so as not to imperil the flow of cheap oil.
  6. After another work of art stolen from Jews during World War II has surfaced, how quickly the German government decides the piece’s provenance cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, meaning it stays in German hands.
  7. The time it takes the British to lock up anyone who has the temerity to criticize Islam (see: Tommy Robinson).
  8. After a natural disaster takes place anywhere in the world, how soon afterwards do the Israelis send first-responders and mobile hospitals to provide assistance.
  9. Despite their complete lack of any meaningful historical connection to Jerusalem and despite the absence of any reference to the city in the Koran, how quickly after any peace talks begin do the Palestinians proclaim their unquestionable right to full control of Jerusalem.
  10. When the U.S. pursued a rapprochement with the Jew-hating and terrorism-sponsoring state of Iran, how soon after the discussions began did ‘progressive’ Americans blame the Jewish Lobby for undermining their beloved President’s glorious vision.
  11. After Donald Trump takes yet another concrete step to support Israel, how soon after that do the pundits declare that President Trump is really a closet anti-Semite surrounded by neo-Nazis.
  12. The time lag between some conflagration in the Middle East and CNN and MSNBC reporting on Israeli aggression, atrocities, extremism, inflexibility, colonialism, apartheid, etc., etc.
  13. After another Palestinian murderous rampage against Israeli civilians, how quickly do the New York Times and Washington Post publish articles about the terrible privations and indignities the Israelis impose on the perpetually-victimized Palestinians.
  14. After news surfaces of the Palestinians paying millions of dollars to the families of terrorists, how soon afterwards do European nations send their latest substantial contributions to the Palestinian treasury.
  15. How long after those European contributions find their way to the Palestinians do the leaders of Hamas and Fatah somehow come up with the funds to buy their flats in London or Paris.
  16. After an adolescent student in a liberal college (is there any other kind of institution of higher learning?) sits through their first class in 18th Century Lithuanian Feminist Interpretative Dance, how quickly does that student profess a profound understanding of the history and suffering of the Palestinian people and becomes an ardent supporter of the BDS movement.
  17. The time between a Holocaust-denying post on Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg’s declaration that Facebook believes in free speech.
  18. The time it takes Facebook to block a conservative-leaning post because surely everyone accepts that there must be limits to free speech.
  19. After a Jewish person buys rental property in a dicey area, how long does it take for some local politician to blame Jewish landlords for the gentrification of their neighborhood.
  20. The time it takes, after a parking meter has expired, for the meter maid to write a ticket and tuck it under the windshield wiper of your BMW or Mercedes (as if she didn’t know that car owner is probably Jewish).

I’m open to suggestions if you think you know of an even better example of the Semitic Second.  I look forward to your input and I promise to mention each of you by name in my Nobel acceptance speech.

About the Author
Businessman, son of Holocaust survivors, father of two, grandfather of one, married for 45 years. Born in Israel but lived in Canada for most of my life. Proud and vocal Zionist.