After reading this excellent What Anti-Semites Do For Us, I asked myself, well, what good do they actually do for us? And I got a few nice items. Not to credit antisemites. The rabbis explain that in the end, the Romans of Old will come to the Creator for credit they earned building highways and theatres because everything they did hastened Redemption and was good for the Jews. And He will just laugh. Because He makes everything work out for the best but that was not the intention of the enemies of the Jewish People.
First thing antisemites do for Jews – as the article says – they remind us that we are Jews, for the Jews who haven’t reminded themselves.
And I don’t only mean those non-Jews who hate Jews and made a lifestyle out of that. No, ordinary Gentiles who really don’t care – have no empathy – for Jews. If they don’t spread antisemitism, at least, they enable those who do. Sadly, in the West, most Gentiles seem to fall into this category.
Of course, it’s sad when the core of Judaism would be being victimized as a Jew. Most Jews in the US seem to identify more with the Holocaust than with Shabbat. It’s sad but better than nothing. But we could hope that more and more Jews will begin to learn and practice more of Judaism and eventually will fall in love with it deeply.
Second place with honors goes to preventing us from intermarriage and adopting another Monotheistic (or worse: Polytheistic) religion.
Even fear for antisemitism makes us marrying in – though that’s not a proper reason for a Jewish marriage. Jews should rather be firm on marrying Jews for the love of G^d, because they love being Jewish and out of love for their future kids. How could you not want to continue the Jewish People? Not because Gentiles are not OK (are you kidding?) but because Jews are.
The third price nowadays goes to promoting Jews moving to Israel. The greatest accomplishment of the evil English daily Haaretz, promoting Jew-hatred the world over on a daily (hourly) basis. Jews should make aliyah out of love for the Jewish Nation and Jewish State but doing so while fleeing antisemitism also counts.
Forth thing antisemites do for Jews is setting us apart when we don’t know the difference so clearly anymore. Jews have a Higher Calling. We even collect money for the most unfortunate among our enemies. Jews often can’t help themselves for standing out positively. (This is not to deny excellent Gentiles who are notable in a positive way.) Someone like Einstein just had to be Jewish.
When Rabbi Kook, first Chief Rabbi of Palestine, saw the slaughter in WW I, his respect for all Jews grew – to put it euphemistically. (Non-Jews also were appalled and founded the League of Nations, began to set limits to war.)
A fifth large gift from antisemites is a bit of a story. Everyone knows that Jews are smarter than Gentiles. Now, that’s prejudice and in the individual case, it certainly isn’t true. But for Jews on average, being seen as smarter, antisemites can be credited too. In the first place, Jews simply work harder than the average Gentile in order to escape the oppression and to secure other Jews from any persecution that might come. Success often doesn’t come from being good but from making a big effort. (Jealousy often blocks antisemites from seeing that our success is deserved from all the hard work we do.)
A sixth antisemitic contribution to Jewish success is that all hatred limits human brilliance. As long as Gentiles have not stopped and eradicated antisemitism, so long Gentile minds will be clouded by the bigotry. The brilliance we see in Jews is not Jewish brilliance – it is human brightness that we got more of a handle on in comparison.
Any Gentile who joins the Jewish People will also have a “Yiddishe Kopf.” It’s not in the DNA. But you can inherit it from your parents.
A seventh benefit that we receive from antisemites is that they remind us and our best allies that antisemitism went underground but is still a danger. In the past decades, it seemed relative safe in Western Europe and the English-speaking world. Mind you, antisemitism did not die out. Like a forest fire that seems to have gone out but that can flare up again.
Again, don’t thank antisemites. Thank the One Who set it all up. Don’t be so silly or stupid to be pleased with antisemitism but also don’t deny that we often see in front of our eyes that it’s all working out for the best.