Spoonflower -- Buy Original Designed Fabric

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Jewish Sandwich


Last night, I was one of the privileged few (I heard 15 hundred???) who was part of Brigitte Gabriel's conference call "town meeting". I missed the beginning (I was talking to my best friend), but I was on the phone listening (with the mute on the phone) for over a half hour.

Brigitte Gabriel's organization, American Congress for Truth, is trying to defeat Islamofascism in the United States and the World. For that I applaud her and the organization.

But as a Jew (in particular, an Orthodox Zionistic Jew) I have an issue. The issue is not specifically with Brigitte. We have for centuries had to deal with hatred and people wanting to destroy us and most of the time they fell into one of two categories: the Hamans of the world (represented by Purim), who wanted to destroy our bodies, and the Antiochuses of the world (represented by Hanuka), who wanted to destroy our souls.

Hitler was a Haman. Torquemada, for all the Jews whose murder he had a hand in, was an Antiochus.

But in this century we have to deal with both Haman and Antiochus. The Muslims want to kill us like Haman and the Christians, with all their "love bombing" and deceptive Messianic tactics, like Antiochus, want our souls.

This puts us in a very strange position. Politics makes strange bedfellows and for us right now we have to "to go bed", so to speak, with the Christian right, the very people who are after our souls with their financial support of Jews for Jesus, because they are the people in the US who are actually supportive of Israel. These are the people who visit Israel, who get up on their Radio and Television shows and promote Israel. These are the people who are working on fighting the Islamofascists, the ones who lauded Israel for attacking terrorists in the south of (the Syrian puppet regime of) Lebanon.

But these are also the people who are trying to convert us. These are the people who think that their quickest route to heaven is by converting Jews. These are the people who believe we will burn in hell for all eternity. And these are the people, who, in their heart of hearts, believe that when Jesus "returns" in his "second coming", those of us who don't join them in the final war of Armageddon will die.

These are the people who use the word "crusade" to describe a holy mission against the Muslims. But what they either don't know or choose to forget is that for us Jews, the Crusades were hardly a picnic. Just as we are today, we were sandwiched between the two big religious "super powers".

What neither side seems to understand (probably because both sides are so entrenched in societies where their religion holds sway to the extent that they don't need to analyze other ideas) is that there is a very good reason that Jews have historically not converted. Obviously, it's not because we lived in societies where OUR religion held sway. So maybe, just maybe, there's something more to Judaism than either "side" wants to admit. Maybe, just maybe, our way of life is so meaningful that we just don't want to live any other way. But as a Rabbi I know once said, it's like being inside a circle and all the people inside the circle understand what's great about the circle. But the people outside the circle don't understand. And they probably never will until they come into the circle, if only for a short time.

Judaism, unlike Christianity and Islam, doesn't claim that its adherents have a corner on truth, justice or goodness. We don't say that if you aren't Jewish you will "burn in hell for all eternity". That's because we don't have to scare people into following our Tora. The Tora has a special place for Gentiles. There are laws that non-Jews are responsible for. These are basically moral laws, like not murdering (yes, murdering -- it doesn't say in the 10 "commandments" that you shall not kill, it says you shall not MURDER), not stealing, not having inappropriate sexual relations (like adultery and incest), setting up courts, not worshiping idols, not pulling a limb off a live animal, etc.

We don't need to scare people into following our Tora because we know that following the Tora is to everyone's benefit. From my perspective, you only need to scare people into following your religion if you instinctively know it's not the truth.

So what can we do? How can we protect ourselves from the two pieces of bread in the Jewish Sandwich? I don't know. But one thing I do know -- we can't protect ourselves by giving away our land or by arming our enemies or by ignoring the missionaries. We can't protect ourselves by ignoring the Tora. And we can't protect ourselves by turning our backs on G-d.

Strong Jewish Women Merchandise
More of my writing:
Strong Biblical Women
Strong Biblical Women 2
Strong Biblical Women Part 3

Monday, October 29, 2007

Harry Potter and the current world situation


There are too many people out there who don't understand the concept of good vs. evil. Thankfully, J. K. Rowling gave us a road map. Her road map is not on that calls for the destruction of Israel and the free world to the Islamofascists of the world. Her road map is a guide not only to what constitutes good and what constitutes evil, her road map is a guide for the destruction of evil and the ultimate triumph of good.

If the leaders of the free world had read Harry Potter the way millions of children, teenagers and even adults had, they might see that while Harry Potter is a magnificently crafted children's story, a modern fairy tale, it is also an allegory of the millennia-old battles between good and evil.

Lord Voldemort, the main villain in the Harry Potter books, tries to blur the lines. He tries to convince Harry that there is truly no good or evil, only power. But Harry's fight throughout the series is not simply with Lord Voldemort, it is also within himself.

When Harry begins Hogwart's School of Witchcraft and Wizardry he and the other "first year" students are separated into houses by the "sorting hat". While the hat is on Harry's head, the hat says that he can't decide whether to place Harry in Gryffindor house, the house of the most valiant wizards, or Slytherin house, the house where Lord Voldemort and most of his followers came from. Harry says over and over "not Slytherin" so the hat places him in Gryffindor. Later on, when Harry asks Dumbledore, the school's headmaster and Harry's mentor, why he was put in Gryffindor and not Slytherin, Dumbledore tells him it was because he used his force of will -- that HE, Harry, had asked for it. In other words, it's not the situation you are born into that shows who and what you are, it's the decisions you make in your life. In other words, day in and day out we have decisions to make and it is these decisions that show our "house", so to speak. It is our decisions that show who we are.

Many people in the world take the easy way out. They think they can placate evil by doing what evil asks of them. But what they don't realize or don't want to realize is that evil can never be placated. Hitler proved this at Munich, Arafat proved this when Barak offered him 95% of what he asked for and his answer was to start the intifada, the Islamofascists of Hamas and Fatah have proven this by turning the thriving Gaza community of Gush Katif into a launching pad for missiles, Al Qaida proved it when they destroyed historic statues in Afghanistan. Evil shows it's evil by its actions. And good needs to defeat evil. And this does not happen with negotiations. This does not happen with wimpy "all for show" military engagements. This only happens when the standard bearers for good are willing to fight an all out war with evil, a war like the final battle of the final installment of the Harry Potter saga. Only that sort of war will clear the way for good to triumph.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Repeating Bad Mistakes


I believe it was Einstein who said that "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

I realize that it doesn't exactly take a Rhodes Scholar to be president of the United States (though we have had one). And it doesn't take a Rocket Scientist to be Prime Minister of Israel. But even these esteemed leaders ought to be able to figure out after the Gaza debacle that "peace talks" with Hamas and Fata and discussions about carving up Israel proper and Jerusalem will not bring peace with the "Palestinian Authority".

It is quite clear that the only way we could possibly have peace with "elected" terrorist dictatorship of Gaza is to defeat them in an all-out, not holds bar war. Until we show them that their actions have consequences, they will never stop doing them.

For some absolutely bizarre reason which I cannot fathom, the world seems to think that giving the "Palestinians" what they say they want will get them to leave everyone alone. But since Al Qaida has stated their goal is to make the world into one big unhappy Sharia state the world is either so blinded by hatred of Jews or just so incredibly stupid as to think that these terror mongers can be appeased by a few acres of land. These people will not be happy until they own the world. Which, G-d willing, will be never.

But if, G-d forbid, they ever got what they wanted, it would be the end of the world because having the world and ruling the world are altogether different things. Hamas already has Gaza. And what are they doing with it? Nothing really. They are not using it to build homes for Palestinian refugees. They are not establishing a peaceful state, building schools, hospitals, and a general infrastructure for their people.

When Jews resettled Israel, they spent their time and effort building a country. That country has its problems, but it generally runs well and gives its people the services they need to survive. The same cannot be said for Gaza. Gaza is a case study, a laboratory experiment in terrorist statehood. And that experiment is a dismal failure. Is the Gaza experiment what we want for the whole of Israel? Is it what we want for the whole world? If we don't want the entire world or even the entire Israel to turn into the failed experiment named "Gaza" we must work hard to elect intelligent, aware leaders. The French, despite their dismal history in this regard, have taken a giant step in the right direction by electing a leader who may just help them solve their internal and external terrorism issues. We in the US and Israel need to do the same.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Mets, Football and Israel


I'm a big sports fan. And, like the protagonist of the TV show "My Boys", I use a lot of sports analogies.

I'm sure by now most people have heard of the major crash and burn that happened to the Mets this baseball season. I've been a Mets fan for a very long time.

At the beginning of the year, the Mets were "the team to beat". From early in the season, they held the first place position in the Eastern Division of the National League. I was proud to be a Mets fan. But as the Mets went from 7 games ahead in the middle of September to 2nd place and out of the playoffs by the end of the season (losing 12 of their last 17 games), I went from pride to frustration and confusion.

I realized that I feel the same way about Israel and the United States. When I was growing up, Israel was the underdog, the David going against the Goliath of the Arab/Muslim countries. They defeated their enemies in wars even before I was born and when I was young -- in 1948, 1956, 1967, 1973. They gained territory in these defensive wars that made their borders more defensible, reducing their military needs in the process.

The United States has been one of the world's "super powers". With the fall of the Soviet Union and the end of the cold war, the United States emerged as the super power and the standard bearer for freedom, western values, justice and equality.

But somewhere along the line, the United States and Israel started "playing" the world "game" like a strong football team playing a weak football team and only allowing their Defense to play. (In American football, teams have both Offensive squads and Defensive squads. The Offense tries to score and the Defense tries to prevent the other team from scoring. So even if the strongest football team would play the weakest football team the strongest team would easily lose if their offense didn't try to score.) The United States and Israel have become too concerned with world opinion. They've been playing "defense" when they should be playing "offense" too, for a balanced attack.

Israel should be actively fighting against the Palestinian "forces" who were given Gaza on a silver platter and are using this land not for housing for "refugees", not for government offices, not for anything to help their people but to lob bombs that are killing and maiming Jewish children and adults living in nearby communities.

And the United States is acting like a "peace keeping" force in Iraq. The US military should be permitted to "play offense" or fight this war like a war, not like a peace keeping effort. The enemy never surrendered and as such, the US in Iraq is still at war.

I remember the pride I felt as a child being a Jewish American. I remember feeling pride in Israel especially during the six-day war and the Yom Kippur war, when Israel successfully defended itself. I remember feeling pride when I hear that Israel bombed an Iraqi nuclear plant. I remember feeling pride in the US for spreading freedom throughout the world.

But today, both countries have lost their "bite", they are only allowing their defensive squad "on the field". I'm feeling the same way about my countries (The US and Israel) as I am about my Mets -- I'm still loyal. But I really wish they all would start defending themselves.

Check out my Squidoo lenses on Jewish themed topics:
Strong Biblical Women
Strong Biblical Women 2
Rosh Hashana
G-d and Forgiveness

Check out my Jewish themed merchandise:
Strong Jewish Women

width=125 height=30 border=0 alt="WWW.JEWISHSITES.ORG - THE JAFI Portal">