Adam Jacobs

Shooting the Messenger: The Spiritual Roots of Jew Hatred

Without bothering to recount the thousands of years worth of pathological oppression the Jewish People have endured and the endless stream of sociological explanations (and justifications) for it, I wanted to briefly touch on what I believe to be the true root of the past and present “Jewish Problem.”

As is well known, the Jews perennially take it on the nose – despite our very best efforts.  If we keep to ourselves we are accused of failing to pull our societal weight.  If we get too involved in world affairs we are suddenly running all of the media and the banking system and various shadow governments.  We stand accused of creating Communism…and Capitalism.  It’s been claimed that we poisoned wells (and the air) and eat children’s blood with our unleavened bread (despite the fact that blood is forbidden by our religion).  As far as I know, we are the only people that has stood accused of Deicide.

It’s currently en vogue to dislike us because we have supposedly taken another people’s land – though even a small bit of research will reveal that the land was never controlled by that people and in any event was won in a series of defensive wars from other peoples.  After a while is really starts to seem as though we will be disliked no matter what – that the goalposts will always be moved and some reason found to dismiss our (very many) contributions to world civilization in favor of an inexplicable and wildly disproportionate opprobrium.

Syria is in the process of killing its second 100,000 citizens.  Russia is at war with the Ukraine.  Iran has lied and tricked and manipulated its way to the brink of nuclear capability – one with which some of its officials have openly said they would use against the Jews (of course).  Yet there is no BDS (boycott, divest, sanctions) movement aimed at these or any other nation – except for the one Jewish nation.  There are no “peace” flotillas launched to help the victims of any of these terror zones – only Israel contends with those.  And in 2013 there were no less than 21 UN resolutions against tiny Israel while a whopping four were directed against the rest of the world.

It seems to me that only one of two possible things is going on here.  Either the Jews are truly the most despicable, demonic and blood-thirsty people the world has ever seen (something than any half-sentient observer knows is complete bunk) or the majority of the world has been and is currently under the sway of a sub-conscious abhorrence of our goodness and more importantly the ultimate root of that good.

2500 years ago the Jewish prophet Isaiah envisioned a time in which the nations of the world would come to recognize that they had it all wrong – that the Jews were the world’s “suffering servant” – the messengers of light and morality that God charged with steadfastly staying on message no matter the consequences.  “He was despised and we had no regard for him.  But in truth it was our ills that he bore, our pains that he carried… .”  To me there is no greater confirmation of this prophecy than the utterly irrational, misplaced histrionics that characterizes modern Jew hatred.  People who hate Jews ultimately hate God.  People who hate morality (and want to live unshackled by it) hate the Jews and what we have to say.  Hitler himself may have said it best when (as is believed that he remarked) that “Providence has ordained that I should be the greatest liberator of humanity.  I am freeing man from the restraints of an intelligence that has taken charge, from the dirty and degrading self-mortification of a false vision called conscience and morality, and from the demands of a freedom and independence which only a very few can bear.  The Ten Commandments have lost their validity.  Conscience is a Jewish invention, it is a blemish like circumcision.”  (Rauschning, Hitler Speaks, p. 220-222)

Far be it for me to suggest BDS folks that your movement has that distinctive Nazi like stench but forgive us for noticing that the “Final Solution” started off with a series of boycotts as well.  Forgive me also for saying that once again you have it all backwards – what you believe to be ugly is in truth beautiful and perhaps worse, what you believe to be beautiful is actually evil.  I have news that you may not like to hear – we are not going anywhere and we are not going to just shut up and die.  We’ve been at this for more than three millennium.  Do you think that you’re stronger or more clever than Egyptians or the Romans or the Third Reich?  No, alas we and our message are here to stay.  In fact, we’ve been promised – “And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you, throughout the generations, an eternal covenant to be your God, and the God of your descendants after you.”  (Genesis 17:7)

Mark Twain famously wondered about this and wrote:

“The Egyptian, the Babylonian, the Persian, rose, filled the planet with sound and splendor, then faded to dreamstuff and passed away. The Greek and the Roman followed, made a vast noise and they are gone. Other peoples have sprung up, held their torch high for a time, but it burned out and they sit in twilight now, or have vanished. The Jew saw them all, beat them all, and is now what he always was, exhibiting no decadence, no infirmities of age, no weakening of his parts, no slowing of his energies, no dulling of his alert and aggressive mind. All things are mortal, but the Jew. All other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality?”

Perhaps both the secret of the world’s disdain for us and our “immortality” lies with the originator of the message and not in the messenger.

About the Author
Rabbi Adam Jacobs is the Managing Director of the Aish Center in Manhattan. He was born and raised in New York and has lived in Boston and Jerusalem, where he received his rabbinic ordination. He completed his B.A. in music from Brandeis University and has a Masters of Jazz Performance from the New England Conservatory. He is a blogger for the Huffington Post’s religion section and has a penchant for writing and teaching about the uplifting, beautiful and unexpected aspects of the Jewish tradition. He was recently featured in the documentary film "Kabbalah Me" and has published a collection of essays called The Forgotten Light. Rabbi Jacobs now lives in “the burbs” with his wife Penina and their five children.
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