This week’s blog was published by the Jewish Journal. Emuna is my middle name.
As I write this, the Yazidis in Iraq are facing genocide, Israel and the Jews are being blamed for everything from anthrax to zoological catastrophes, and I am wondering if Jews have a place in the U.S. let alone anywhere else. Thank goodness for Shabbos. For 25 hours, I just get to be a Jewish woman. During that time, I get to meet people and be a person who makes a meal, entertains and gets to be “Sarah” (Sarah, Abraham’s wife was known for her hospitality). Nothing makes me happier than getting a text or phone call asking me if I can host someone for a meal. Bringing a little bit of Jewishness into a person’s soul for just a few hours is what I think I was made for. I may not have a cure for Ebola, but creating a good challah has its place in the world too!!!
This week we had 33 people in our house for supper and lunch. We had people who have been a part of the frum world since they exited the womb, people who found Judaism as adults and people who were just starting on their discovery. It was heaven. No one cared who wore skirts or pants, no one cared about hair coverings, no one cared about who drove or not. We were just a group of Jewish people, enjoying each other’s company, good food, and bring the peace that G-d says accompanies the Sabbath in our lives. The best part came when someone leaned over to me and said, “Do you know what an impact you are having on people’s lives?”
A home made challah, some kosher wine, chicken and baklava can go far.
Have a peaceful week.
“We know that Hamas uses human shields. But why would you report this when you are sitting in the middle of the Gaza Strip, surrounded by Hamas gunmen?” — Reporter covering the war, who asked not to be identified*
The “leaders” of hamas give interviews from hospitals and schools, because they know they have the protection they need, innocent civilians. Other “leaders,” safe in their homes in Qatar orchestrate the media and demonstrators throughout the world like the pathetic puppets they have become. “Human rights” demonstrations in Europe and elsewhere have become little more than an excuse for the promotion of genocide. In Seattle, a demonstration included a poster showing a Jew drinking blood and eating a Christian child. In France, they have become a pogrom. The demonstrations have absolutely nothing to do with being human let alone rights. They are nothing more than a stage for Judehass and Israel bashing. If these concerned demonstrators cared about human rights, they would be marching in the thousands against the embassies and consulates of Russia, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan and others. They would be demonstrating against the rape of women and children, child labor and the treatment of minorities in their countries. Alas they remain silent. Using this silence, Russia and its allies shoot down a passenger jet, and are on the verge of unleashing a war on the Ukraine. Using this silence, ISIS (part of the umbrella that includes hamas, the Muslim brotherhood, Islamic Jihad etc.) is on the verge of exterminating Christians in Iraq. Our politicians react to their demands by punishing Israel. The 48-hour ban by the FAA on flights to Israel was so transparent it was sickening. It was a ploy to hurt Israel economically, and it handed a big victory to hamas. Watch out Heathrow and Kennedy, you are now in their sights.
Jews are a soft target, and the leaders of Europe (and now the U.S.) are so adroit at appeasement, all they offer is impotent words, “anti-Semitism, bad, bad,” and then wring their hands. The goal of ISIS and their minions have in common, is to extend their influence either through a caliphate or through the terror they deem necessary to bring the western world to its knees. Our president should be taking every opportunity to demand that hamas cease using human shields, and encouraging Israel to continue to destroy the tunnels terrorists use to attack it. It was revealed this week, that hamas was planning an attack on Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year). The attack was designed to send terrorists through the tunnels to take over kibbutzim and towns in the area and unleash murder not seen on any level. In the aftermath, the terrorists would be dancing in the streets, giving sweets to the children and rewarding the families of their martyrs with money, cars and other luxuries. We would be doing what we have come to do so well, holding memorial services and funerals and the leaders of Europe and the U.S. do what they do so well, sending condolences, and asking for restraint.
Last night, I watched Mike Huckabee’s outstanding monologue. He emphasized Israel’s right to defend itself. He talked about the extent that Israel has gone to protect civilians (leaflets, phone calls, dummy bombs etc.). He made the correct connection, “as Israel goes, so goes the U.S.” Our leaders tell Israel to negotiate, but how dos one negotiate survival?
I want to go one step further. As a convert, I have written that I joined the Jewish people because my soul was bound up with them from the time I was a child. I have no doubt, (as I am strongly considering volunteering with the Peace Corps), that one of the reasons (unbeknownst to me as a child) is that Jews care about others as much as they care about themselves (often to the detriment of the Jewish people).
Israel has been publicizing the plight of Arab Christians for years. Christians, like Jews once flourished in the Arab world. The tolerance of the Muslims helped produce the greatest Jewish thinkers the world has ever known. All of that is gone now, and the Christian minorities are learning what we learned long ago. No one cares about them. Forced to convert, leave or die (sound familiar?) they are quickly disappearing. The biography of Brigitte Gabriel will bring tears to your eyes. As a Lebanese Christian, her parents told her to “go to Israel” in order to save her life.
We do nothing as an American pastor, Saeed Abdeini, rots in an Iranian prison. I was shocked when Father Jonathan Morris appeared on Fox today to talk about the order of ISIS that the Christians of Mosul, Iraq convert or die. He talked as if it was something new. It is not. As much as I admire Father Jonathan, he has been silent on the treatment of Jews in Europe and until now, the persecution of Christians in the Middle East. He rightfully criticized the administration and western governments for their lack of concern and action, but he should have been leading the way a long time ago. Just so the Christians of Mosul know, as they pack up their bags and hopefully escape with their lives, the Pope is praying for them (read, the Vatican is doing nothing for them). I agree that prayer is necessary, and makes a connection to G-d we desperately need, but prayer needs to be followed by action. Father Morris needs to make the following connection, as the Jew goes, so goes the Christian. This might be too much for him to stomach right now, but it is true. I am sure he has read the words of Martin Niemöller. When asked how the Nazi’s came to power, he wrote the following:
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out– Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out– Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out– Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me–and there was no one left to speak for me.
As people, we need to remember that all it takes for evil to flourish is for good men, including men of faith to do nothing. We are all in this together.
*”How the media is helping Hamas” by Basam Tawil, The Gatestone Institue, July 27, 2014.
As the IDF fights for us, please remember to pray for them. They come from every country and speak a multitude of languages. Verses of Psalms (20,83,121,130,142) are considered powerful. Although prayer in Hebrew is like a local call, G-d hears prayers in every language. Here are a few:
He Who blessed our forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob — may He bless the fighters of the Israel Defense Forces, who stand guard over our land and the cities of our God, from the border of the Lebanon to the desert of Egypt, and from the Great Sea unto the approach of the Aravah, on the land, in the air, and on the sea.
May the Almighty cause the enemies who rise up against us to be struck down before them. May the Holy One, Blessed is He, preserve and rescue our fighters from every trouble and distress and from every plague and illness, and may He send blessing and success in their every endeavor.
May He lead our enemies under our soldiers’ sway and may He grant them salvation and crown them with victory. And may there be fulfilled for them the verse: For it is the Lord your God, Who goes with you to battle your enemies for you to save you.
Que Celui qui a béni nos ancêtres Abraham, Isaac et Jacob, bénisse les soldats de l’Armée de défense d’Israël qui défendent, au sol, dans les airs et sur mer, notre terre et ses saintes villes, des confins du Liban au désert d’Egypte et de la Méditerranée à l’Arava, sur le continent, dans les airs et dans la mer.
Que le Tout-Puissant mette en déroute nos ennemis qui se dressent contre nous. Que le Saint béni soit-Il protège nos soldats de la détresse et de l’angoisse, des blessures et des maladies et qu’il envoie la bénédiction et la réussite dans toutes les entreprises de leurs mains.
Qu’Il annihile nos ennemis sous leurs pieds et qu’Il ceigne nos soldats de la couronne de la victoire, du diadème triomphal. Et que se réalise pour eux le verset : « Car c’est l’Eternel, votre Dieu, qui marche avec vous, afin de combattre pour vous contre vos ennemis et de vous procurer la victoire.
Él, que bendijo a nuestros patriarcas Abraham, Itzjak y Iaacov, que bendiga a los combatientes de las Fuerzas de Defensa de Israel, quienes defienden nuestra tierra y las ciudades de nuestro Dios, desde la frontera con el Líbano hasta el desierto de Egipto, y desde el Gran Mar hasta llegar a la Aravá, por tierra, por aire, y por mar.
Que el Todopoderoso haga que los enemigos que se levantan en nuestra contra sean fulminados delante de nuestros soldados. Que El Santo, Bendito es, proteja y libere a nuestros luchadores de todo problema y peligro, y de toda plaga y enfermedad, y que Él mande bendiciones y éxito en cada obra de sus manos.
Que Él disponga que nuestros soldados derroten a nuestros enemigos y que les garantice la salvación y los corone con la victoria. Y que se cumpla para ellos el versículo: “Porque es el Señor, tu Dios, quien va contigo a la batalla contra tus enemigos para que te salves”
Y ahora respondamos: Amén.