Tali Silberstein

The Age of Ignorance

“You’re Jewish? Where are your horns?” The question I have been asked a handful of times in my life.

Truthfully, even in jest, this question is deeply upsetting as it reflects the timeless hatred of Jews.

Antisemitism over a thousand years ago was based on misunderstanding and lies, just as it is today.

Moses, the statue by the great Michaelagnelo sits in the San Pietro in Vincoli in Rome. The statue shows remarkable artistry with impeccable drapery and lifelike posture. But what catches my eye are the horns on Moses’s head.

Moses’s horns are actually a product of a mistranslation of the Hebrew bible, the First Testament. The text in the original Hebrew (Exodus, chapter 34, verse 29) describes Moses on Mount Sinai returning to the people holding the tablets with rays of light emanating from his skin. The original Hebrew text was translated into Latin and Greek by Saint Jerome into the Vulgate, the most common translation of the Bible. Saint Jerome misinterpreted the Hebrew word karen (ray of light) and incorrectly wrote that Moses came down from Mount Sinai to the people with horns.

This misinterpretation became weaponized against the Jewish people. It helped fuel the image of Jews as devils and demons. Jews were persecuted and massacred relentlessly during the Middle Ages emboldened by like imagery.

The ignorance of the past directly parallels the ignorance fueling today’s anti-Israel, antisemitic sentiment. Truth today is driven out, misinterpreted, and weaponized.

Protesters calling for an immediate ceasefire ignore or do not understand that Hamas is a terrorist organization seeking to create a world, never mind a Palestinian state, based on strict interpretation of Shariah law.

How else can one explain the absurdity of homosexuals supporting an organization that mutilates and murders gay individuals while calling for the destruction of Israel.

Israel, a state that allows its people (Jewish, Moslem, Christian, Druze, Bahai, and more) to love whomever they choose. To build families with whomever they choose, however they choose (even financially supporting alternative fertilization methods for non traditional families).

How else can one explain young women in tubetops supporting a fundamentalist Islamic organization that punishes Palestinian women who do not dress modestly while calling for the destruction of the state of Israel.  A state that allows its women (Jewish, Moslem, Christian, Druze, Bahai, and more) freedom to choose their own destiny and of course their wardrobe.

Centuries ago truth was denounced, and tragically, so it is today.

In the 17th century the church was threatened by Galileo’s theory that the earth revolved around the sun. They saw his works as an affront to their power which rested on biblical theory, including that the sun revolved around the earth. Galileo was therefore condemned to a life of house arrest, his works banned.

Just this week the International Court of Justice overlooks Hamas’ use of hospitals, schools, mosques and private homes as a base for their terrorist infrastructure. It discounts Hamas and its perverse war strategies as the true cause of the Palestinian death toll in war. Twelve United Nations workers in Gaza who are supposed to remain neutral and help Palestinian civilians instead supported the massacre, rape, and kidnappings of Israelis on the morning of October 7. But, just as in the past, these truths are delegitimized and even concealed.

The sophisticated terrorist public relations campaign uses modern media and social media to disqualify and hide truth. It  manipulates western values to undermine the very founding principles of western civilization.

But while the ignorance in past centuries was driven by a lack of information, today’s Age of Ignorance is shockingly driven by too much information.

Yet, unlike in centuries past, people now have a choice. You have a choice whether to continue to read only what strategic algorithms your feed supplies, or whether to find real sources for news and facts that are reputable and worthy of your time.  We must use critical thinking skills or risk falling prey to those that use us as unwitting footmen to destroy values of democracy and freedom.

During his life, Galileo’s works were physically hidden and unable to be read. Today, truth is hidden digitally, but it can be found. The question remains: Do we have the guts to find it?

Jews do not and never did have horns.

The earth does revolve around the sun.

Israel is the only true democracy in the Middle East.

Israel is the only country to uphold western values in the Middle East.

Israel’s non Jewish minorities are an essential thread in the fabric of our nation.

Hamas is the cause of Palestinian civilian deaths in the war.

The accusation of Israel committing genocide is a perverse, unjustified, dispicable, shameful accusation rife in antisemitism that will remain a stain on the European court for millennia or may just be the signal of its downfall.

Zionism is not racism.

There was a cease fire on October 6.

Israelis of all ages and all religions were massacred, raped, burned, tortured, mutilated, and kidnapped on October 7, 2023.

The reason why Palestinians do not have their own state is because of the radicals in their midst and the lack of Palestinian leadership.

Israel must defend its citizens.

Truth must prevail even in the Age of Ignorance.

About the Author
Though she was born in Israel, Tali grew up in the United States. Tali received a Masters in Public Affairs from the Lyndon B. Johnson school of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. She worked in the Jewish non-profit arena. Tali was happy to be a part of Jewish and Israel education at a conservative synagogue in San Diego, CA. She moved back to Israel with her family in 2016.