08 October 2015

Time for a Paradigm Shift

25 Tishrei 5776

I hope my dear readers have had a good and worthwhile Chag season, and that you have had a good signing into the Book of Life.

Before all the bloody murder* ratcheted up again here in Israel — it never stopped and has not stopped even as I write — I was going to compose this post. I was, and remain, impressed by the powerful insight concerning sinath hinam (free-floating hatred between Jews) I found on the Jewish End of Days blog's post Avoiding the Tsunami of Edom vs. Paras:
The Yerushalmi [Jerusalem Talmud -CDG] says the Second Temple was destroyed because Jews love money and hate each other for no reason.
  • Love money – intoxication with wealth and the wealthy.
  • Hate each other for no reason – seeing a sin in somebody else that doesn’t exist.
Hashem is not asking us for ahavat hinam. He’s not asking us for v’ehavata l’recha c’mocha – that’s way too high a level. He’s not even asking us not to hate somebody if we have good reason to hate them. HaShem’s just asking us not to hate each other for no reason! A very low bar indeed!!

This is the tshuva the Jews need to do to get out of Exile.
Don’t love money. Don’t hate another Jew for no reason.
If what I experience is anywhere near normative, we Jews are obsessed with this subject when it comes to the reason our exile continues. Many shiurim include it; or else I find myself discussing this topic with others on a regular basis, yet every year we seem to get no further than when we started, thus necessitating another round of shiurim and discussion. Do you think that with the above explanation we could finally get closer to resolution of this longest-standing issue in the Jewish world?

I do, and now I would like to focus on a few important issues. We need more unity, not less, than ever exactly now that we are more under attack than ever. However, there are some Jews whose mission in life seems to be to destroy us, and we need to have the assurance that we are in the right when we decide we just cannot include them; even more so when we find ourselves on opposite sides.

For instance: When soldiers were ordered to stand by while Arabs freely attacked Jews in the Shomron (Samaria) yesterday. We are told not to stand idly by our brother's blood. I cannot understand why our government would have able-bodied soldiers do nothing unless ordered. Lives were at stake! And who made these decisions? Jews in the government. How am I supposed to feel about them and what they are doing? How would you feel if this were your situation?

Here's an example of "racism" against settlers. If the cinder block attack Josh Hasten, Jerusalem Post reporter, describes here had happened near Tel Aviv, you bet a much speedier response would have been ordered. Thanks to Yaffa Ranells. 

I know. Buses haven't been blown up, like in the second intifada, thank G-d. But murder has been committed openly, with impunity, like Rav Eitam and Naama Henkin were, in front of their children, and yesterday a woman narrowly escaped being lynched! I could take up this whole post with all the victims; others have already. And there is no one location, it's happening all over the country. At this point we must assume that Arabs are seeking to kill. (This is occurring in the context of Russian and Iranian troops inside Syria, being poised on our northern border. I wonder whether others will join the fray soon.)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu visits Adele Bennett in the hospital, after she was told "Die!" by Arabs as she ran for safety after being stabbed in her neck. English subtitles.
In any case, I have a lot to discuss with my rabbi. This could be the paradigm shift we need as to how we think about ourselves, and each other. Right now we can't think about the rest of the world. They will have to wait.

There is only One we can rely on no matter what. We do not have the option, nor do we want it, to commit suicide, either national or personal. And in case you are thinking, "Why don't you just leave there and go back where you came from?" I say to you: This is our land and I'm not going anywhere. Rashi told us how to answer that, commenting on Bereshith 1:1: G-d created the world and gave it out to whomever He wished; He took it from the seven nations who lived here previously and gave it to us. Me and mine included (in my own words). We are not thieves. Only a scoundrel would suggest such a thing.

Banishing Jews from their homes in Samaria, no matter whether you think they should be there or not, while war is waging is a luxury we cannot afford; so is barring Israeli Jewish government officials from the Temple Mount, and so many other things large and small. Must we continue acting as though the barriers between us are real? The lion's share of the issues is exile-generated; and, whether we caused whatever issue in question to come forth or not, the nations have egged us on and encouraged all sorts of divisions and quagmires among us. Therefore, we must throw it all out the proverbial window. However we live now, we must not continue to hold it against another Jew who does things differently than we do and base our arguments on it. Any remaining disagreements between Jews must be
  1. as private as possible (making allowances for times and situations when privacy is impossible because public figures are involved) 
  2. be based on actions that endanger us all, and nothing less
  3. for the purpose of solving problems, many of which have proved intractable thus far. 
  4. Above all, we must look out for one another as much as possible, and take no abuse, whether speech or action, from anybody. Even other Jews. Especially those known for such abuse.
I hope this helps, even a little. I'm sure there is more, but this will have to do for now.

Now, I must turn to the Israeli government again because they are the most public of figures, and in Israel many of its members are well-known for their abuse of fellow Jews.

No Entry for Israelis sign within Israel, meant for Jews only.
Credit: ukmediawatch.org.
 For starters, we, the citizenry of Israel, must not be made to be afraid to walk anywhere, live anywhere, and work anywhere within our borders that we wish: no "no-go zones" for Jewish Israelis. After all, any nation, including ours, must have a well-run government with proper priorities: If Arabs and Muslims have no "no-go zones," why should we?

 It also made no sense to me as a 12-year old sometime after the 6-Day War that a Jew still could not walk in territory that we had rescued from the hands of our enemies, even though they started the fight and we won it fair and square.

Another: If the government divides Jew from Jew, as is the leftist philosophy, and hates some Jews more than our enemies, then how can the nation survive? I used to think that racism, for instance, didn't exist in Israel, and that they didn't even know what it is. In fact, Israelis think of racism in broader terms than Americans —from whence came the concept — do, and include more in the definition in that nasty word we share. The generalization of selected portions of the citizenry (as explained by Daniel Greenfield, aka Sultan Knish, who explains Israeli leftist racism better than I ever could, below) is rampant and comes from the top down; in other words, from the government itself. What I found reminds me of nothing less than what minorities in the USA often suffer at their own hands. Except, in the Israeli case one can hardly distinguish it from real white-on-black bigotry:

The left spitefully alienated every immigrant group from Holocaust survivors to Middle Eastern Jews to Russian Jews. It also had slurs for each of them. The Holocaust survivors were called 'Sabon' (soap) and the Middle Eastern refugees were called 'Chakhchakhim'. That particular slur at an election rally cost Peres and Labor the 1981 election. Another slur at an election rally now hurt the left and boosted Netanyahu. But if you ask the left why it lost, it will blame Israeli racism.

The Israeli left slurred Middle Eastern Jews as "primitives" and used them as cheap labor to maintain the Kibbutz collectivist lifestyle until they stood up for themselves and the experiment in 'equality' ended. It slurred Russian immigrants as "prostitutes", Settlers in '67 Israel as "bloodsuckers" and Ultra-Orthodox as "parasites".

And that's just the words. The actions have been worse in some cases, and explain why settlement building, even for natural growth, gets held up constantly in Judea and Samaria, Mizrahim are often left in poor development towns and more. I could take this and develop it, if desired. It is a large subject deserving its own post.

And can you believe they actually targeted HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS??? How can a Jewish society put up with such heavy, life-destroying hammering on fellow Jews by their own leadership and still survive? From my experience, we ignore them and go on with our own lives. They're lucky we're blessed with abundance of patience. HaShem has also paid us back by making us, in general, more fertile than they. We also have hope that when Mashiach comes, they will get their just desserts.

They have apparently forgotten that many people among the groups they mock are every bit as Ashkenazic as they themselves are. No wonder we call them "self-hating" as well as "erev rav." And if you want more insight, read this by Seth J. Frantzman (warning: your brain might get twisted up reading it).

Yet another that affected me personally: For most of my life I was afraid I would be intimidated by the "Israeli mentality" when I made aliyah, being apprehensive enough by my galut environment as it was. After many years of working on myself to stop being overawed and overwhelmed by the goyim, and afraid to even visit Israel, much less live here, I came — and I realized that through the years we have allowed ourselves, from the government on down, to be beaten down by our so-called friends, the US and the European Union, to the point that we have become absolute suckers, freierim muhlatim, absorbing the message that even our country is not ours, and being deathly afraid to offend the nations. There is no "New Jew" who is somehow better than the religious Jews in Europe and Arabia, or Jews in the United States, whether religious or not. If he ever existed, he folded the first time the nations said "NO! You're not allowed to win!"

Plenty of brave Jews serve in the Israeli armed forces. But let's face the fact that any attempt to create a purely fearless Jew straight from exile with no faith in G-d and our mission in the world has completely failed, especially when given orders to hold fire when it is absolutely needed and submit to increasingly untenable standards of "moral purity of arms." We must also resolve to forbid ourselves to listen to such nonsense as "if we give the Arabs among us more rights, more land, pay their bills, more...and more..., they will leave us alone." No, they won't. They'll keep going until the last Jew is dead as long as we let them. By the time this phase of the war reaches the rich suburbs surrounding Tel Aviv, it will be too late. Let the bravest Jews be brave: They know that G-d is with them, and they are with Him. Just ask Gid'on ben Yoash (beginning Shofetim 6).

And let the government choose its direction, whether for G-d or against Him; for the Jewish people or against us. As you can see, there are very good reasons to hate what people do, even if they're one of your group. If one persists in his/her actions and resists repeated rebuke and s/he keeps informing some dictatorial authority or putting us in jail for our every thought, then according to the Talmud above, we can hate him/her, or even a whole group of them (but I am trying not to dwell on it all the time unless we hear too much bad news and I can do something about it. It's very energy-draining.). And don't ask me to apologize, because only when I am sure my people and I will not perish from the overdose of hesed poured out on everyone else but us, will I even be able to think straight again.

G-d, help me. Abba, help us all!

Let Eliyahu start making his rounds; let the true Sanhedrin rise up and govern; and let Mashiach come and be crowned. Time for a paradigm shift. Ready or not, here it comes...

But, don't ask me when. It can't come fast enough for me!

P.S. It would be more beneficial, lifesaving and freeing If we can manage to transform our hatred of all things evil (as well as people) with our prayers to haQadosh Baruch Hu... I am there with you.

*I'm not British, so I'm not cursing!

More reading:

To Connect or Disconnect? That is the Question | Will Jerusalem Mayor Barkat Protect Jews? | Mishkoltz Rebbe: The Gog uMagog War Has Been Moved to Syria | Beware, The Language is Changing Again | UN Officials On Way to 'Rescue' Israel and PA with 'Peace Process' | Too Many Terror Victims - Need Scorecard!  | Attack the enemy and establish Jewish sovereignty


Dassie said...

Incredible post, CDG. One of your best yet.

I love your differentiation that we aren't commanded in ahavat chinam, but to steer clear of sinat chinam and everything you said about that. I hadn't thought of it like that - great point.

I found it interesting that in the video with Natan, the boy who died for 15 minutes on Sukkot, he mentioned nothing about sinat chinam, even when someone in the audience directly asked him. Instead, he emphasized that gaava (pride/arrogance/haughtiness)was considered extremely severe (especially for women). (In addition, to shemirat anayim, lashon hara, not embarrassing others, and so on.) With the prevalence of so much narcissism now, it's extremely telling that in Shamayim, they placed such an emphasis on gaava. (And the truth is, that someone who fights their gaava will automatically be less of a hater.)

I feel like I've been running more and more into people who knowingly hurt others (usually passive-aggressively) and they just aren't sorry. They think they are funny or clever or justified to avenge something they imagine you did to them (the "sin" usually being that you didn't give them enough of the kavod they believe they deserve). Some of these people used to be basically decent, but turned to the dark side, so to speak. I think that as life increasingly whomps you, you either turn to Hashem or you turn to your ego. It seems to be part of the Heavenly selection process, i.e. it's the rope being shaken hard and only those with emuna will be able to hold on to it. I hope I'll be able to hang on myself.
(And this all applies even more so to so-called "Jews" in positions of power and politics. I'm seeing it on all levels, that's what I mean.)

And to give a hearty thumbs-up to just one of your many good points: Yes! - Daven, daven, daven for them.

I wish I could comment on everything you wrote because it was all so good and geshmak, but I would overwhelm myself. Anyway, you have a lot of thoughtful content and delicious energy here. Yashar koach!

Neshama said...

Yes, dear, Chava, you surely unloaded. I have not been able to get to that point, I'm still empatheticly "feeling" the pain and anguish of those being attacked and butchered in the streets of Eretz Yisrael. I have not been able to get to the 'anger' stage of healing, and I don't think I will. My current elevation has become acceptance and hakoras hatov, giving the other person the benefit of doubt. Because when you are in a situation encompassing you, it's hard to know the emes relevant to that situation. Only with savlanut and a bit of time can you rehash and be objective.

You, Chava, have spoken sincerely. You represent a lot of Jewish people. Many don't know what to make of what is happening right now. Did you notice, that many of the 'victims of violence have been religious? There is a message in that I believe, but don't know what.

Personally, I don't put too much trust in that video making the rounds. See absolutetruth613 for his analysis. Gives one pause to think. I strongly believe talking to HaShem, davening, and tehillim, whatever one feels comfortable with, is the pathway to true Emes.
Most of us see what's ailing our generation, but we are a bit helpless because things have to run their course.

I, too, feel like replying, in conversation form, to many of the points you made. I can't help of thinking of the Fogel Family and the Henkin Family. Now and then scenes play out in my mind inquisitively, wanting to ask them if they are in a much better place now and how did it feel. Are they at peace. I'm very visual and was told my strongest midda was empathy, however I was also told that I'm very strong in Emuna and Bitachon. But I can't push the sorrow away just yet. That's why I haven't posted; however I gathered some of the material you used, so we are on parallel paths. Not sure if I will. I might just wait for a bigger sign from Himmel.

I realize that the travail of entering the Geula is B'rachamim, and we must strengthen our Emuna and Bitachon, to get to the light at the end of the tunnel (birth canal).

HDG, Yerushalayim, E"Y Shlemah said...

Dassie & Neshama, thank you both for your detailed commentary and encouragement!

I was scared to post this article too soon because I was sure no one would understand it, or that somehow I had drifted off-topic in the middle. I feel much better now for your having spoken up. Thank you again very much.

Neshama. I did notice that the majority of the victims are religious. Message, Abba?

One thing I'm coming up with is that the Muslims don't respect other religions or religious people, even the People of the Book, whom they owe gratitude, not dhimmitude, for everything they have. This should be plain to us.

I'm glad I waited until today to add "more reading" to the post because I got some great, fresh material - for the many readers who stopped by, if they want to come back.

Shabbat Bereshith shalom!

HDG, Yerushalayim, E"Y Shlemah said...

And, Neshama, I can't wait for your next post. We are all waiting for the BIG sign from Shamayim, but I'm sure there'll be some milestones along the way we can all write about, each in his/her own perspective.