The Kuzari, written by Rabbi Yehuda Halevi in the twelfth century, describes how the Jewish people came into being. Every generation from Adam to Jacob had offspring that was less than desirable. Even Abraham fathered Yishmael who was described as a “wild man” by the Torah. Likewise, Isaac fathered the evil Esau who was far from righteous, to put it mildly.
Rabbi Halevi goes on to explain that Jacob was the first man to father children that were all holy men. G-d felt that from this family of twelve sons, He would create a family-nation known as the Children of Israel. We learn how the twelve sons of Israel became a nation of seventy when they went down to Egypt, and 600,000 with the exodus.
The intention was that we were a family-nation and not really a religion. We were supposed to live together as one family in the Land of Israel. We were never to lose that sense of family and unity even when we went into exile and were scattered all over the world.
What was unique to Judaism was that the pain of one Jew was the pain of every Jew. It did not matter what the geographical distance was between Jews, but we were meant to care for one another. This is felt strongest in Israel for when a soldier falls in battle, he is everyone’s son and brother. All share in the grief together because we are a family-nation.
The Jewish people have had to endure every form of humiliation and persecution during our long, painful exile. The greatest humiliation was the Holocaust which causes some embarrassment to the world. Many believe the State of Israel would not have come into being had there not been a Holocaust.
For this reason, it is no longer fashionable for the anti-Semite to openly say that he hates Jews. He needs to cover this up by saying that Jews are okay but the Zionists and their army are the cancer of the world. I remember as far back as the early seventies when on a college campus in Chicago, Palestinian students held a demonstration shouting, “Jewish people, yes. Zionism, no.” The world today has no problem libeling the Jewish State and it’s army relentlessly, camouflaging the Jew hatred behind it.
It must be stated loud and clear that any second guessing of the Israeli army is almost always an expression of anti-Semitism. The army is not perfect but it is the most moral and caring army in the world. Similarly, distorting the facts regarding the treatment of Palestinians, and dwelling on the “occupation” is another way to cover up sentiments of hatred towards the Jewish people.
Israel won a war in 1967 and regained lands that not only should be theirs because of the military victory, but also because of Israel’s biblical right to the land .When we hear that settlements are an obstacle to peace, we must recognize the absurdity of such statements. We never hear or have any expectation that the Palestinians be asked to live peacefully, side by side with us. Why should the construction of a Jewish settlement on an empty hilltop provoke such a strong reaction if not expressing disdain for the Jewish people?
This is the new anti-Semitism. If one says that he is against Israel and its policies and army, it is acceptable in today’s world. It is not acceptable to say that you hate Jews. We must wake up and be aware that this is the essence of the constant attacks against our family-nation.
Families are taught to stick together and to know that in difficult times, they need to be there for one another. Families expect loyalty. If a family member is attacked from the outside, he knows that his family will be there to support him and defend him. If a family member takes the position of the attacker and not his family member, it is a demonstration of gross disloyalty. It might be demonstrating that the attacker is loved and the family member is not.
If the sentiment of a Jew is that he takes the side of the new anti-Semite and he opposes the occupation and ridicules the army’s policies, and is more concerned with the plight of the Palestinians, than his own people, he is a self-hating Jew. He is ashamed of his family and wants to be accepted by a different family. The only problem is that the family that he hopes will adopt him, hates him,too. But his hatred of his own family is so great, that he he is unable to see this reality.
The only reason we survived as a people was with G-d’s help, and that we held firm to our beliefs, and we were always there for one another. G-d loves when there is Jewish unity and we live by His laws of brotherhood and togetherness. We always had to overcome the enemy from within but with all that we’ve been through, isn’t it time that we finally wake up and learn that there is no one to rely on but the G-d of Israel and our family!