J.J Gross

The scroll of Esther redux: a letter to my liberal-progressive brothers and sisters

Please set aside your reflexive need to turn a deaf ear to any opinion other than your own. Allow me at least to explain how this non-liberal Jew sees things vis a vis the political upheaval since Election Day.

For the record, the peccadillos of Donald Trump are no more egregious, and arguably far less so, than those of liberal Democratic predecessors including JFK, RFK, Ted Kennedy (who may actually have resorted to murder) and Bill Clinton.

Yet none of these others merited any outrage on the part of liberal cohorts of either gender. The moral dudgeon on the liberal left was piqued only when the alleged misbehavior was on the Republican side of the divide.

I find double standards distasteful. I detest hypocrisy.

I am amused by the liberal-left’s recoiling over the dermatology of the Republican political class. I take it as a given that anyone in politics, left or right, is tainted to the core, as this is the nature of the game. As such, Trump and company, not coming from the political industry, are probably less vile than most politicians — certainly vastly less gross and horrific than Hillary and her band of totally self-serving intergalactic crooks and carpetbaggers. Yet, having said this, I would likely not want to shake their hands either.

Rather, I look at the picture from a meta standpoint. I am hardly concerned with the personal morals and ethics of Trump and company, and more concerned with the roles they have been selected to dance by a far more cosmic choreographer.

It seems to me we are in midst of The Scroll of Esther redux. None of the heroes in the original saga was particularly clean.  Mordecai was a conniving manipulator and an assimilated (evidence his name) wheedling hanger-on at the periphery of the royal court. He pimped his niece Esther into the royal harem without a second thought for her virtue, or the fact that he was selling her into virtual sexual slavery under a non-Jewish monarch.  Ahasheurosh was, well, interchangeable with our Donald. Most likely they even had the same interior decorator. The king like our new president was a self-indulgent buffoon with a penchant for material excess and a habit of marrying centerfolds.

And yet each of these characters had a destined role that affected not only the trajectory of history, but enabled the course of Jewish history to continue.

Great heroes in dire times are never saints. They are always sinners who because of, rather than despite, their peccadillos are able to rise to the occasion when destiny demands it. Oskar Schindler was a classic example; a drunk, a womanizer, a rogue.  Because that is what it takes to be a Schindler. Professors of philosophy, honest rabbis (if they even exist), refined ladies, painters and poets don’t cut the mustard for such assignments.

What liberal Jews avoid confronting is that what is at stake here is the survival of the Jewish People. We are standing on a precipice.  A third term of Obama (via Hillary) would have been the end.  Western Europe has signed its own death warrant yet remains hell bent on destroying Israel before its own coup de grace. The continued – if not accelerated – collusion of the United States in this incipient Walpurgisnacht would have spelled the end, not only of Israel, but of the free world. What greater evidence than Obama’s dying lunge at Israel’s throat last week in the Security Council.

Personally I am no more concerned for the welfare of the world than the world is concerned for the welfare of my People. I am concerned for the world only to the extent that it either enables or thwarts the viability of the Jewish nation. It is tragic that few people, and even fewer Jews, are able to recognize the imminent and immanent existential threat that the likes of an Obama or Hillary represent.

And it would require more than an adjustment, or even serious tweaking, to turn things around.  The media, the academy, the Democratic party are too far gone.  A radical shakeup is needed in order to foment the turmoil necessary to re-jigger the picture.

There is no natural way to understand the Trump phenomenon.  No one believed he could become a candidate, let alone win. He lacked the sophistication. He lacked the political base. He lacked the funding. He lacked the media support. He lacked ANY support in the academy. And he certainly lacked the strategic depth to mastermind such a coup all by himself.  If you cannot recognize “etzba Elohim” (the finger of God) here that is unfortunate. But there is no other way to explain what happened on Election Day.

And, as we see already, the tectonic plates are shifting rapidly. Witness the fact that the French kangaroo court yesterday turned into a meaningless farce. Witness how Theresa May has been literally spitting into the dying mouth of Obama this past week. Witness how the Palestinians are thundering their empty threats while the rest of the Sunni Arab world is basically silent. Witness how Israel just yesterday destroyed a Syrian airbase with zero reaction from either Russia or Iran.  And the man is not even yet in office.

Trump’s court is chock full of Jews that come off the Brooklyn street, not out of the Princeton country club. Scrappers, brawlers, proud (and very smart) Jewish thugs. And with almost no exceptions, the Christian cohort in his proposed cabinet is comprised of not a single mainline Protestant, but rather of Bible thumpers who support Jews and Israel and don’t give a toss for the natterings and fulminations of the smug, arrogant, entitled, Jew reviling and plain wrong Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Methodists, Lutherans and other Christian counterparts of kumbaya Judaism.

Yes, there is change in the offing.  It won’t be clean. And it won’t be smooth.  But it sure beats the alternative. And, at the end of the day not only will we be far better off, but the rest of the western world might even be rescued from its own folly.

About the Author
J.J Gross is a veteran creative director and copywriter, who made aliyah in 2007 from New York. He is a graduate of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and a lifelong student of Bible and Talmud. He is also the son of Holocaust survivors from Hungary and Slovakia.
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