The Times of Israel published my new article “2019: The Year Anti-Semitism Became as Routine as Breakfast”
Regular reports of anti-Semitic crimes and threats have converged into a foreboding trend characteristic of our times. Whether it heads toward a destructive climax akin to the Holocaust, or a positive shift toward a much better situation for both Jews and the nations of the world, is a question solely of how the Jewish people respond to the rising hatred against them.
Historically, anti-Semitism is a phenomenon that has undergone periods of latency, and then quickly erupts into waves of violence and fear. Over the last few years, we have witnessed a modern surge of anti-Semitism, and today it has become as routine as breakfast. Anti-Semitic crimes and threats have become happenstance events that often don’t even merit news headlines anymore.
As with any problem, what is the point of a constant array of reports about the problem if it is not accompanied with a solution? Since I have found both the root cause of anti-Semitism and its solution in the wisdom of Kabbalah that I’ve been studying for the past 40 years, I feel it as part of my duty to bring its unique explanation to the world so that both Jews and non-Jews can relate to the phenomenon with understanding and awareness, learning exactly what buttons to press in order to reach a solution to anti-Semitism. Also, the solution to anti-Semitism is important not only for Jews, but for all people, as it directly goes hand-in-hand with a much better, happier and comfortable life for everyone.
But before discussing the solution, here is some recent data that my students gathered about the phenomenon in order to show its global-scale proportions:
- In England, an all-time record was once again broken, and in the first half of 2019, 900 anti-Semitic incidents were reported.
- In Canada, the numbers are similar: Only in 2018, 2,000 anti-Semitic events were recorded, and earlier this year in July the Canadian court banned the marking of Judea and Samaria wine as “Made in Israel.”
- Two CNN broadcasters resigned after one of them issued Hitler support messages and the other compared Jews to pigs.
- In Miami a man in his sixties was shot outside the synagogue.
- Human Rights Watch head of human rights organization refuses to recognize Israel’s right to exist. The head of the organization is a Jew himself.
- The Jewish and anti-Zionist movement “If Not Now” is trying to influence the younger generation of American Jewry through anti-Israel educational workshops for instructors.
- A Jewish museum in Germany published an exhibition showing the relationship between Jews and money in a negative light. The Jewish community failed to close the anti-Semitic exhibition, and in light of the exhibition’s success, it will be extended.
- The UN condemned Israel for violating women’s rights. Among the voters for the condemnation were China, Russia and Iran.
- The question then becomes, what is the ultimate cause and message embedded within such growing anti-Semitic sentiment?
I speak and write a lot about the role of the Jewish people, which is to unite (“love your neighbor as yourself” [Leviticus 19:18]) and pass unity to the world (to be a “light unto the nations” [Isaiah 42:6]). It is not coincidental that the daily unfolding of anti-Semitic events runs parallel with social division and hatred penetrating developed human societies one day to the next. The more the world suffers from increasing division, the more there is instinctive blame on the Jews for failing to perform their role. That is the root cause of anti-Semitism. I communicate this message regularly upon the foundation of regular bursts of anti-Semitism in order to point the way to the solution: a method of uniting the Jewish people in order for such unity to spread to humanity at large, bridging its growing divisions.
Likewise, since anti-Semitism is an outcome of the nations of the world subconsciously feeling that the Jewish people are failing to perform their role, many non-Jews throughout history have voiced their demand upon the Jews in a way that directly points out the need for the Jewish people to become a beacon for unity to spread to the world.
One example is Vasily Shulgin. Shulgin, a native of Ukraine, was a senior member of the Duma, an elected semi-representative Assembly in Tsarist Russia, before the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution. Shulgin proudly declared himself to be anti-Semitic, and in his 1929 book, What We Don’t Like in Them, he analyzed dozens of articles of his hostile perception of the Jews. Shulgin complained that Jews in the 20th century became smart, effective and energetic in exploiting other people’s ideas. But he protests that “this is not an occupation for ‘teachers and prophets,’ not the role of ‘guides of the blind,’ not the role of ‘carriers of the lame.’”
Moreover, if there seems to be a contradiction between hatred of Jews and the desire to see them as a people destined to lead the blind, a metaphor Shulgin uses to refer to humanity, Shulgin reiterates this demand in his book in various ways. If the Jews lead humanity to its destination, then “let them [the Jews] … rise to the height to which they apparently climbed [in antiquity] … and immediately, all nations will rush to their feet … ‘Give us Jewish rule, wise, benevolent, leading us to the Good.’ And every day we will offer for them, for the Jews, the prayers: ‘Bless our guides and our teachers, who lead us to the recognition of Your goodness.’”
It is a wonder that great anti-Semitic ideologues are sensitive to the potential of the Jews, and develop a dual attitude toward Jews: on one hand, hatred for the Jews’ current form in the world, and on the other, recognition of the Jews’ greatness. However, it is greatness in potential. We Jews need to discover for ourselves what it is that makes us great, to realize our potential to unite and pass unity to the world by implementing a method of connection that we once received, and which we are now expected to reawaken and innovate in order to suit our modern times. In tandem with the anti-Semitism growing increasingly fierce every day, we must empower our unity for the sake of the world’s unity. If we do so, then we’ll see an end to anti-Semitism, and not only will it end, but it will invert: all those haters of Jews will become lovers of Jews, and all those thoughts and efforts against the Jews will become thoughts and efforts in support of a people that brings unity, peace, love and happiness to the world through their efforts to unite.
 Shulgin, Vasily Vitalyevich, What we don’t like about them … [trans. Michael Brushtein & Chaim Ratz] (St. Petersburg Russia, Horse, 1992), 209.
 Shulgin, What we don’t like about them …, 219.