Jeffrey Levine
CFO | Seeking a just world I Author

The Scapegoat

It would appear that the Western world has lost its story or is ashamed of its story, and their story is one of persecution of others, looting of others or servitude under the feudal system, slavery, colonialism, extreme wars in the 20th century, millions of innocent deaths and today Western culture does not have their own story. They are embarrassed by their story, and the Jews/Israel remind them that their story is not a pleasant one, just of their existence.

In contrast, despite 2,000 years of exile, persecutions the Jews have kept their story alive, vibrant and relevant. The Jewish story has influenced civilisation, with millions of Christians and Muslims embracing one God and the tenets of democracy and just society based on the Bible.

What is the secret of this story?

In the Parsha of Emor (Leviticus 23), we have the idea of a fixed calendar, and till today, we Jews live by this calendar and retell the stories every year. Indeed, we have the weekly calendar, which includes Shabbat, and the annual calendar of festivals, which gives us connection, purpose, and identity. This is the beauty of the Sate of Israel today that revolves around these ancient traditions.

Let’s look at some these verses from this week’s reading of Emor.

וַיְדַבֵּ֥ר יְהֹוָ֖ה אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֥ה לֵּאמֹֽר׃

יהוה spoke to Moses, saying:

דַּבֵּ֞ר אֶל־בְּנֵ֤י יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ וְאָמַרְתָּ֣ אֲלֵהֶ֔ם מוֹעֲדֵ֣י יְהֹוָ֔ה אֲשֶׁר־תִּקְרְא֥וּ אֹתָ֖ם מִקְרָאֵ֣י קֹ֑דֶשׁ אֵ֥לֶּה הֵ֖ם מוֹעֲדָֽי׃

Speak to the Israelite people and say to them: These are My fixed times, the fixed times of יהוה, which you shall proclaim as sacred occasions.

שֵׁ֣שֶׁת יָמִים֮ תֵּעָשֶׂ֣ה מְלָאכָה֒ וּבַיּ֣וֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִ֗י שַׁבַּ֤ת שַׁבָּתוֹן֙ מִקְרָא־קֹ֔דֶשׁ כׇּל־מְלָאכָ֖ה לֹ֣א תַעֲשׂ֑וּ שַׁבָּ֥ת הִוא֙ לַֽיהֹוָ֔ה בְּכֹ֖ל מוֹשְׁבֹֽתֵיכֶֽם׃ {פ}

On six days work may be done, but on the seventh day there shall be a sabbath of complete rest, a sacred occasion. You shall do no work; it shall be a Sabbath of יהוה throughout your settlements.

אֵ֚לֶּה מוֹעֲדֵ֣י יְהֹוָ֔ה מִקְרָאֵ֖י קֹ֑דֶשׁ אֲשֶׁר־תִּקְרְא֥וּ אֹתָ֖ם בְּמוֹעֲדָֽם׃

These are the set times of יהוה, the sacred occasions, which you shall celebrate each at its appointed time:

בַּחֹ֣דֶשׁ הָרִאשׁ֗וֹן בְּאַרְבָּעָ֥ה עָשָׂ֛ר לַחֹ֖דֶשׁ בֵּ֣ין הָעַרְבָּ֑יִם פֶּ֖סַח לַיהֹוָֽה׃

In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, at twilight, there shall be a Passover offering to יהוה,

Indeed the Passover story and is messages of hope and freedom is one that continues to inspire the world.

As usual, Rabbi Sacks provides the context;

“Contemporary Western secular society serves as a stark example of the consequences of neglecting our storytelling traditions. As people no longer engage in the retelling of our nation’s stories, national identities, particularly in Europe, are fading into the past. This is one of the reasons for the resurgence of the Far Right in countries like Austria, Holland, and France. It is a reminder of the importance of our role in preserving and sharing our stories.

People no longer share a moral code, which is why students in universities seek to ban speakers whose views they disagree. Without a shared code, there can be no reasoned argument, only the use of force.”

And indeed, it seems that Israel, The Jews are the scapegoat.

Why, after 76 Years of a State, 3,400 years of history, the promise of the Bible and God, connection, archaeology and longing for our Land, is the Right of Israel’s existence a legitimate question?

It would appear that the Western world has lost its story or is ashamed of its story and their story is one of persecution of others, looting of others or servitude under the feudal system, slavery, colonialism, extreme wars in the 20th century, millions of innocent deaths and today Western Europe or Western culture does not have their own story, they are embarrassed of their story and the Jews /Israel remind them that their story is not a pleasant one just by their existence.

So, what do they do? They accuse Israel and use the Jews as a scapegoat and accuse us of exact things that they have done to us and in this short paragraph which I am sharing from Medium.

You have these words- refusing citizenship or collaborate as equals, the right of return to their homes which the Jews never had, but in Europe and in other Arab countries where they were killed or forced to leave, the words ghetto and you have open-air prisons, eternal wars, ethnic cleansing and genocide. These are words describe what the Jews had to endure and suffer over many centuries. and they are now used a words of fact (not only accusation) against Israel.

I am sharing this example from Medium. Enough to make my blood boil.

“In practice, to say “Israel has the right to exist” is really code, intentional or unintentional, for “Israel has the right to maintain its character as a Jewish supremacist ethno-state.” This is currently happening through refusing Palestinians citizenship or collaboration as equals, or the right of return to their ancestral lands. Considering the fact that Palestinians have spent the last few decades either in ghettoized villages in the West Bank or in the open air prison camp of Gaza, and embrace absolute resistance to their own disempowerment and exclusion, to say “Israel has the right to exist” is a declaration of commitment to either eternal war, ethnic cleansing, or genocide.”

One can distinguish between general hate or anti-Judaism versus anti-Semitism, and a key difference between these are irrationality and obsession that drives anti-Semitism, and it’s unfortunate that the above is a prime example that is typical of that irrationality and obsession.

These are all terms that were done to the Jews over centuries, and it is very sad that they have chosen this story of scapegoating instead of looking in their own closet and trying to rectify their own sins, and bring peace instead of hate.

To give you an example, just take the case of Belgium, which came out and said they wanted to do some sanctions on Israel. Just look at their dirty past of slavery, colonialism of the Congo, exploitation, blood diamonds and other things. What are they are doing to rectify their sins and their actions. I do not see major economic programs that they are supporting in Congo.

So maybe each European country instead of focusing on Israel should focus on rectifying their sins that they did to the Jews throughout the centuries, and  their sins of slavery and  Colonialism and focus in supporting the undeveloped countries in  Africa in Asia and make sure that those countries have a chance to survive and thrive after the exploitation so many years ago.

So, my wish is that people look at their own past, look at their own dirty laundry instead of trying to blame others, Israel and the Jews for all the failings of this world.


Pesach Sheini – the world needs a second chance

Pesach Sheini falls this coming week.  It Is a day of second chances, a day to give ourselves and others a second chance. It also the day that Amalek came and attacked us.  We are commanded to remember Amalek. Why? Amalek is the arch-enemy of God, the anti-God.

They were first people to attack the Jews for no reason. Amalek caused us to doubt God. Doubt our mission in life. Doubt our faith. Doubt the truth. Doubt our ability to make the world a better place.

I wrote these words last year. These are even more relevant this year.

In our days we also have these Amalek’s, those people who cause doubt in ourselves and fellow Jews. Those People who cause doubts in our Faith in God, Faith in man, in our role models by spreading Loshon Harah (gossip) and lies about the rights of the Jews to have the own little country with Jerusalem as its capital. We live in a perverted world where us Jews are accused and called Nazi’s, where Germany who perpetrated the Holocaust does not recognize our right to call Jerusalem the capital of Israel (sic), where UNESCO and the Palestinians try to rewrite History by denying our connection to the land (despite all the evidence to contrary), where we have the BDS trying to use delegitimize the right of Israel to exist, and the  Gazans exploiting public opinion to blame Israel for their pitiful situation (If only they shall beat their swords into ploughshares – then peace and prosperity would reign). It is beyond the scope of this blog to refute this.

My Message to my fellow Jews and to the world, recognise these falsehoods and look at the beautiful country that Israel is and how much we desire peace with our neighbours (and enemies). We need to work to together as Jews (and not against each other) to make Peace a reality.

So, Amalek came to attack us on Pesach Sheni. And what’s the most anti-Amalek? Anti-Amalek is, it’s never too late because even if we fail, we have another chance.

We always have another chance. We can always fix it. It is time for a 2nd chance to fix this world.

Featured Video – Noa Tishby on why the world loves Hamas and hates Israel

About the Author
Jeffrey is a CFO | Seeking a just world I Author -living in Jerusalem. He is a young grandfather who has five kids and seven grandchildren. Jeffrey is promoting a vision for a better and fairer world through and is the author of Upgrading ESG - How Business can thrive in the age of Sustainability
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