Norman S. Lipson

Tachlis! Saving John Q. Public

One of the most terrifying scenes (at least for me) in the WWII film, “Saving Private Ryan,” is the hand-to-hand struggle between a Jewish-American GI and a Nazi officer. During the struggle with the knife, the Nazi keeps whispering, over and over again in German to the weakening GI: “Quiet, quiet, it’s all right, it will soon be over” as he slowly and inexorably slips the blade into the body of the Jewish soldier, killing him.

Hand-to-hand combat is brutal and bloody. What made this cinematic scene more than that, was the fact that the second GI, the one knifed to death, had come to the defense of another American soldier who was being threatened by the same Nazi, but was too cowardly to protect himself and sat in a corner of the room during the struggle, hugging himself, doing nothing to protect the GI who had gone to help him!

After killing the Jewish GI, the Nazi got up, wiped the blade of his knife, looked at the cowardly GI in the corner, laughed at him and strode out of the room.

I thought that scene was traumatic enough (even though “just” a film), until now, with the American presidential campaign swirling around us.

The voices of Hillary Clinton and her associates fill the airways and media sites with the soothing words: “Quiet, quiet, it’s all right, it will soon be over,” as a knife blade is being slipped between the ribs of a struggling American public.

“Sha, sha, there is no pay for play scandal.”
“The FBI found me innocent — regardless of what its director said on national TV.”
“Just relax, the 30,000+ emails are from the Russians — not me or any of my people!”
“Don’t worry, the deficit is not a problem at all.”
“Things are fine — the Iranians are our friends and the deal protects all of us — they said so.”
“The economy is booming — look at all of the part-time jobs that have been created.”
Benghazi — the as yet unexplained murder of four Americans — “What difference does it make at this point anyway?”

The German soldier uttered calming and soothing words, while wielding his deadly blade. The Democratic Party, led by Hillary Clinton, also utters words that give many Americans a misplaced sense of security, comfort and ease.

It’s not too late to fight back, for, as Americans, voting is not only an American right and privilege, but also the only way to defeat sirens uttering falsehoods and lies, whether wearing an army uniform or a pantsuit…no matter how soothing they may sound and how good they make us feel.

Social issues are important, but if a society is unable to defend itself from enemies, foreign and domestic, unable to maintain a strong economic base with opportunity and hope for its citizens, unable to raise strong individuals who take pride and gain satisfaction from the labor of their own hands, imagination and talents, and citizens who are no longer able to speak freely and openly, and unable to provide a vision for tomorrow, then social issues become moot — for that society will be no more.

I’m reminded of an old Yiddish song: “Sha! Shtill! Macht nit kein gevalt!” Quiet! Be still! Don’t make noise!”

It’s time to make noise and plenty of it. Our future and that of our children and grandchildren depends upon each and everyone of us shouting Gevalt! as we pull the lever on November 8

About the Author
Rabbi Norman S. Lipson is Founding Rabbi of Temple Dor Dorim in Weston, Florida. Israel advocacy and education have been in the forefront of Rabbi Lipson's more than 50 years in the rabbinate. Having led numerous Pilgrimages to Israel, he teaches about Israel and Judaism through inter-faith and adult education programs in South Florida. A graduate of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, he holds a Master's Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. He is the author of two books: “How Many Memories Make a Minyan?” and “Rabbi, My Dog Ate My Shofar!” both available on Kindle Bookstore.
Related Topics
Related Posts