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Saturday, January 10, 2015

Freedom of Suppress? (With apologies to Hawkeye Pierce)


I'm seeing in my mind a young child. He goes to school every day and in his school there is a bully. Despite seeing this bully beat up boy after boy in his class, he says nothing, he tells no one, even when asked. He thinks by doing this the bully won't hurt him.

But bullies don't work that way. Inevitably, one day, the bully finds him and beats him up. But all those boys who've been beaten up have moved away and can't tell anyone about the bully. So the boy stands up and says he's going to fight to bully. But it's just talk. 

Europe, as a whole, needs to get its act together. In the same week I read that England and France were both going to start fighting Antisemitism, France has multiple terror attacks. I sort of feel as though Europe's reaction to all this seems just like that boy fighting the bully.

England and France are beginning to realize what some of us realized from the beginning: those who attack Jews also attack freedom, including freedom of the press and freedom of speech. These are the very freedoms that terrorists attacked in France this week when they murdered cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo (see cartoons about the attack) 

The only way to defeat these bullies on adrenaline, these destroyers of mythic proportion, is to fight them. If all the free world's forces were brought to bear, if all the military forces in the Western World were to unite and fight this evil together, if we, non-military freedom lovers all, could unite and turn to G-d, do good, pray, show the "evildoers" what good is, show the world, show the people, that what we do matters, living a good life, a life where we love each other and help each other and give the rest of the world hope matters, then we could destroy evil. 

To all the Jews out there who think that Antisemites only hate "religious" Jews (something I call "The 'Miss Daisy'" syndrome after the character in "Driving Miss Daisy" who couldn't understand why her reform temple was bombed when there was an Orthodox synagogue nearby), wake up. Keep just one Shabbat, eat just one meal at a kosher restaurant, buy only kosher food for one week, show the world that bullying won't make us give up our precious way of life. And maybe, just maybe, putting all that goodness out there will reach up to G-d and show G-d we're ready to work with Him/Her. We can do it if we only work together.

[Thank you to "Michelle Nevada" for the idea in the last paragraph. Thank you to the writers of M*A*S*H for the title of this blog entry]