As a Jewish American, every time I read the news or check my Facebook or Twitter feed, I see many videos, pictures, news and opinion articles, posts, comments, and memes that enrage me and make me cry. Every day, I see Jews being slaughtered solely because they are Jewish and I feel helpless. I know that my expressions of solidarity with the millions of Jews much braver than I are basically worthless. I’m not there, so I can’t possibly feel what my friends in Israel feel, so writing and speaking about my support for Israel and my people make me feel a little less helpless.
Throughout history, the Jewish people have always been persecuted. While these terror attacks are nothing new, that does not make them any less horrifying and evil. The suicide stabbers have the same goals and agenda as the suicide drivers, the suicide shooters, and the suicide bombers. Regardless of their preferred terror method, these Islamic terrorists aren’t just trying to kill Jews. They want to see the entire population of Israel annihilated and the state of Israel removed from the map. All you have to do is look to the PLO Charter, the Hamas charter, and the many words spoken by Abbas, Haniyeh, Mashal, Nasrallah, Khamenei, and many other terror leaders to see what they desire. The terrorist pawns, who actually carry out the attacks, are not infants, who blindly follow parental direction. They are people, free to make their own choices and use their own moral compasses, and they choose evil and hatred.
I don’t care why they hate us. What I care about is that the next generation of Islamic terrorists is being brainwashed with lies and inculcated with hatred from the womb. I just want it to stop. I want to see everyone that would do harm to my brothers and sisters dead. The price of Jewish blood is very high. The blood of the Jews of Europe has barely dried and already the world has forgotten. The world, particularly the Islamic world, needs to be reminded how valuable Jewish lives are. Never again will we march like sheep to the slaughter.
The expression “olam hafuch” accurately encapsulates what is happening today. To hear the media and most of the world describe up as down and down as up, and believe it, is obviously frustratingly maddening, but is also telling. Pointing out the hypocrisy and blatant lies written and broadcast by the majority of the mainstream media may help, but doesn’t change the way they view Israel and the Jewish people. Responding to the vile and mendacious propagandists is almost always a futile exercise. They hate us (and the rest are apathetic). They will and have always hated us. They will always try to kill us. It doesn’t matter what their superficial reasons are. They will not succeed.
I’m sure everyone safely ensconced in America has good reasons to not (yet) move to our homeland. For instance, I have a wife and 4 children to protect. I work because I need to provide for my family. G-d willing, I will graduate law school in 7 months. I own a house, belong to a large, growing, vibrant Jewish community, and have all the amenities I need to live a rewarding and observant Jewish life.
My wife and I talk about moving to Israel one day. There’s always some reason for why it’s not the right time. I’m too entrenched, too comfortable, to make what seems to be such a risky move now. The problem is I’m afraid. I’m afraid of putting myself and my family in danger. Israel is my homeland, yet I stay in America where I still feel moderately safe. I feel ashamed and guilty that there are millions of my people much braver than I living in our homeland, on the front lines, and I’m safely observing my religion almost 6000 miles away from where I should be.
We don’t know what the near future holds. Current events seem to augur that this is the beginning of the end of the world as we know it. Certainly, the moment we regularly daven for seems to be arriving imminently. It sure feels to me like we are nearing the time when all of Klal Yisrael will make Aliyah because of the coming of Moshiach; heralded by the loudest shofar blast the world has ever heard. I’m not the most learned Jew but it’s hard for me to ignore the signs that our ancient prophets revealed many centuries ago.
I don’t question why bad things happen; I know this is all meant to be. Maybe I’m lucky that my faith in Hashem and knowledge of history allow me to catalog current events into their historical context. Things could always be better but compared to probably all of our ancestors’ generations in the last 2 millennia, we are much better off now. Life as a Jew is not meant to be easy. I live my life with ever-present forebodings that things are too quiet and too easy. I’m always waiting for the other shoe to drop.
The good news is Israel is not facing an enemy she can’t defeat. Israel is also not facing the enemy alone. We have a secret weapon that has remained mostly hidden from view for the last 2 millenia. If you look closely enough, you can see that our secret weapon has never left us, as bleak as times throughout our history have seemed. With Hashem’s help, the Jewish people will survive our enemies, like we have all the others that have tried to exterminate us.
Israel is our land but it’s not my land yet. Israel is your land. Israel was made for you and me.