When I started writing in this space five years ago, I would worry sometimes I was being too hyperbolic.
Now I worry about not being enough.
Moshe the Beadle.
Every living Jew should know Moshe the Beadle.
The very first (real-life) character from Elie Wiesel’s “Night,” he’s the most important lesson from the most important book on the most important lesson in modern Jewish history. No amount of research or academic study can better communicate the emotion of the Jewish experience in the mid-twentieth century – what it felt like to be there – than the terrifying truth about humanity revealed so concisely in those 109 pages.
Like Jonah the Prophet, Moshe saw what he saw – Nazis laughing it up as they threw babies in the air just to shoot them down like ducks – but lived another day, escaping with plenty of time to warn all the Jews in Sighet.
Nobody took him seriously. They all thought he was crazy.
Nobody wanted to hear it.
They were too busy arguing politics.
Capitalism, Communism, Fascism, Socialism. These ideas were debated in Jewish chat rooms and salons for decades leading up to the second World War. Many cosmopolitan (globalist) Jews outgrew orthodox practice of religion, preferring to embody Judaism’s culture, traditions and ethical teachings, eschewing the repetitive rituals their grandparents performed.
Some even eschewed the whole god thing altogether, proudly identifying as “woke” progressive atheists.
Jews grew comfortable at home in their various countries across the globe, accepted enough by their neighbors to loosen the bonds connecting them as Jews. After generations of assimilation and contributions to their nations, Jews even felt comfortable with political expression – loudly, of course, as Jews are wont to do – taking sides in every country, first and foremost, “as a Jew.”
Jewish Capitalists, Jewish Communists, Jewish Fascists, Jewish Socialists.
All were sent to Auschwitz.
Even the Jewish Atheists.
A failure of imagination.
The news out of America is so comically tragic, one has to wonder why we even bothered to document the Shoah if this many people still don’t believe it happened, while many of those who do are ignoring its lessons.
The lesson of the Holocaust is not for Jews to buy a gas mask. (Unless you’re a Jew in Israel, where we still have to keep them around.)
For the rest of the diaspora, the true security lesson Jews learned is the same security lesson Americans learned on 9/11: People get slaughtered from a failure of imagination.
All over Europe, day by day, year by year, Jews said to each other, “well, it can’t get worse than this.” They said it in 1933, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38 – and there still wasn’t a war yet – leading many to believe “this too, shall pass.”
Some Jews were so optimistic, when they got to the train station greeted by heavenly violins, they renewed their belief in the goodness of humanity, thinking: “See, this isn’t so bad. They’re playing Wagner at full volume!”
We are only two generations removed from the defining catastrophe of modern Jewry – generations filled with education about what happened and why – yet still, somehow, in 2019, American Jewry is woefully unprepared for what comes next.
This was all so predictable.
Being more concerned with politics than staying out of the morgue has led to an existential failure to grasp the world war building up between two political ideologies – the “Globalists” and the “Zionists” – which everyone born from circumcised sperm should know are both secretly spelled J-E-W.
This war is being waged by our friends and our enemies, unwittingly and deliberately, against all of World Jewry. The conflation of Jewish and Israeli identity was entirely foreseen, and warned about, over and over and over again. The Jews in Europe and Israel have been sounding the alarm to American Jewry about this problem for years.
No matter where anyone lives in this world, we are all just a bunch of Jews in the eyes of too many people for any one Jew to be complacent about their safety. American Jewry should utilize its strength while being aware of its vulnerability – and stop eating its own over the subject of Israel.
Otherwise, in the end, all you’ll be left with is nothing but Israel.