“My home is not here, it’s in Israel”

A responder to my latest JPost blog, Chapter Twenty-four: An American Holocaust? Assessing the threat challenged ADL’s 2011 Executive Summary that noted that 30% of Americans have, since 1964, believed American-Jewish loyalties towards Israel exceed loyalty to America. This despite demographic change over time.

adultsroom: “Ok. Now, how would you like us Americans to interpret the following:

My home is not here, it’s in Israel,” Leona said. “I’m just here temporarily, until Moshiach (the Messiah) comes.”” (18-year-old Leona, a student from Long Branch, New Jersey)

“So she was born here, her family came 60 years ago but she still doesn’t think this is her home? Sure, some Jews thinking this way doesn’t mean all jews feel the same, hence the absurdity of asking Americans questions about “Jews.”

DT: Leona certainly does not represent my childhood, adult. My father, born NYC, and my mother (Vienna, arrived age three), both “American” through and through, spoke Yiddish at home and I, from earliest age, was offered and rejected learning the language because it was “un-American.” And so they had their “private language” whenever needed in front of me.

Leona is part of a relatively new phenomenon. The Holocaust missed America (by a hairs-breadth as I see it) and in its wake we have become the “new German-Jews” convinced in our exceptionality and that of der Goldene Medina. Comfortable, complacent and in-your-face Jews (Leona one type, Meir Kahane another)!

Again, for me, proof that we, despite proximate experience (the Holocaust) judge according to our immediate environment and not by history. This constitutes my definition of Jewish Denial. We fought Rome, outnumbered, underequipped and unprepared in the hope that God would inspire our leaders, make them a Jewish messiah, and lead His people in victory. God failed to fulfill our expectations, Moshiach never arrived and we are today a tiny remnant, a shadow of our population during Empire days, surrounded by the same danger that has confronted us for two thousand years.

And still we hope. And still we wait. And still, not even the Shoah a living demonstration of how swiftly our previously close and friendly neighbors, those with whom we intermarried and even converted to escape the threat transform into our murders in the blink of an eye.

Lest I be taken for an “anti-Christian,” many, perhaps most Christians would never consider murdering Jews as Jews. Many are fervent supporters of Israel, for example. My intention is not to attack Christians, but to force Jews to see that which should be obvious and that which, if willfully ignored makes us complicit in the fatal outcome.

Atheist halutzim created for us a state to serve as refuge against what Zionism (no, Zionism is not just the support of Israel) clearly sees and understands as an eternal and unpredictable resurgence of lethal and, since Hitler, state-promoted annihilationist antisemitism.

According to Judaism one of the mitzvot is for all Jews, that’s ALL JEWS including, and particularly those as Leona, Orthodox Jews, to live in Eretz Israel. It’s an obligation, the LAW.

Yet excuses abound, and loopholes exist and so we wait for Moshiach. And what remains of us is our tiny surviving remnant.

I write, adult, for my children, that should they choose to live in the state of the Jews (one does), or in the galut (one does, still) that they will at least be aware of our history, have each made for themself an informed choice. As for the Leonas, Orthodox Jews who presumably are aware of the mitzvot; as for the vast majority American Jews not orthodox but choose, based on the evidence surrounding them today, ignorant-by-choice of History; selfish in electing personal comfort over the lives of our future generations: Jewish Denial is, without doubt, difficult to make a dent in.

But we are still obligated to make the effort. And perhaps that effort is what constitutes “Moshiach” in the post-Holocaust world.

About the Author
David made aliya in 1960 and has been active in Jewish issues since. He was a regional director for JNF in New York, created JUDAC, Jews United to Defend the Auschwitz Cemetery during that controversy; at the request of Jonathan Pollard created and led Justice for the Pollards in 1989.
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