Entries in the 'Anti-Semitism' Category

“Israel Won’t Buy Ben & Jerry’s New Flavor: Bitter Taste” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “Israel Won’t Buy Ben & Jerry’s New Flavor: Bitter Taste

What is the connection between ice cream and politics? None. Except Ben & Jerry’s, the Vermont based international ice cream producer, has entered the fray. In a new lick of hatred towards Israel, the company announced that it would no longer sell ice cream in Judea and Samaria and East Jerusalem, places they call “Occupied Palestinian Territory.”

We do not need Ben and Jerry’s products, but we Jews do need each other to create a united front to stand strong and stop our enemies. That will be the only way to avoid being erased from the map, which is the ultimate goal of those who want to boycott us.

The company’s decision to ban the sales is not surprising though. Ben & Jerry’s, whose Jewish founders are not shy to show sympathy with progressives’ causes linked to the BDS (boycott, divest, sanction), easily surrendered to the pressure of Israeli foes. Can we consider Jewish self-haters as part of our people, the people of Israel? Why should we? They would be the first to march against Israel across America.

However, it shows exactly our main problem as a Jewish nation: the separation between us; it weakens our foundation and has gloomy ramifications for our future. It is our internal division that gnaws at us and invites attacks and boycotts against us. We must unite and oppose those who seek to harm parts or the entire Land of Israel. We need to respond, to put an end to their actions before they end us.

Israel is one body and any injury to one of its organs requires the mobilization of the entire body.

It is good that the Israeli franchisee of Ben & Jerry’s opposed the decision of the global company, but his success will only materialise if he takes advantage of the momentum and establishes his own Israeli made fine ice cream, and not ask the public to continue buying the same brand. Similarly, American chains have decided to stop selling Ben and Jerry’s products.

It is possible that we will be also singled out by other companies in the world, but we will stand on our own, and more importantly, we will feel the need to connect and become one. We cannot allow an ice cream manufacturer to dictate our policies or decide about our sovereignty. This should be a political decision at the highest level in government rather than a business ruling.

Today the aggression against us is over dessert, tomorrow other foods, clothes, wine, and the arts may become weaponized. Our enemies find any excuse to spread antisemitic hatred under the false umbrella of justice.

The positive side of these actions is that they pressure and push us to unite and defend ourselves, which is exactly what we are intended to do, since the method of unity was handed down to us since ancient Babylon. In the first stage we will unite against those who rise up against us, and in the next stage, we will connect for the sake of others, to fulfill our role as Jewish people, to be a light unto the nations. The cherry on top will be to spread harmony to the entire world and by so doing, we will set an example which the whole world can follow.

“Meet The Press – David Rosenthal – Session 1” (Linkedin)

Michael Laitman, On Linkedin: Meet the Press – David Rosenthal – Session 1

Highlights from an interview with op-ed columnist and radio talk show host Prof. David Rosenthal

Below is the first collection of highlights from an interview recorded on July 12, 2021, where columnist and radio talk show host Prof. David Rosenthal asked kabbalist, scientist, and global thinker Dr. Michael Laitman about Kabbalah, current affairs, and his predictions for the future.

* Elaborated bios at the bottom of the page.

DR: It is a great pleasure to be able to interview you, Dr. Laitman, thank you very much for your consent. I would like to begin with a question regarding the Torah [Old Testament]. How can we summarize the content of the Torah, as Rabbi Akiva said, “Love your neighbor as yourself, this is a great rule in the Torah,” or as Hillel said, “That which you hate, do not do unto your neighbor, and the rest is commentary, go study”?

ML: This is precisely the essence of the Torah. The purpose of the Torah is to bring every single person into a bond with all the people so that all of us, regardless of sex, religion, or nationality, will unite in our hearts in such a way that there will be no difference between people. This is the purpose of our being in this world. Through the wisdom of Kabbalah, we try to approach this goal. The wisdom of Kabbalah also teaches that we are nearing a time when this should happen, so let us hope we will achieve it.

DR: In that case, I would like to ask why this generation has to deal with the pandemic, why did it deserve it?

ML: In the wisdom of Kabbalah, this generation is called “the generation of the end of correction.” Basically, we need to complete all the corrections that humanity went through so far, and in this generation, each and every person should implement it and shift from receiving to giving, from hate to love.

In order to accelerate this development, all kinds of troubles come to us in order to wake us up, and push us toward correction, so we will ask why these troubles are coming. One of these troubles is the current pandemic.

We’re paying great attention to technological development, politics, and other things, but we’re ignoring human development, and we are still unwilling to recognize each other. This is our main problem, and this is why this pandemic has come. It surrounds us on all sides; it is an integral woe, common to all of us, so if we don’t want to understand that we all belong to one humanity, such blows will make us feel this more and more each time until we are forced to establish more humane relationships, at least.

DR: In what way should humanity focus on human development?

ML: By learning that we are in a system that requires of us to become closer to each other and establish good relationships despite the negative, egoistic forces in each of us. We must learn to be considerate. It is not about being nice to one another, but about bringing ourselves to congruence with the surrounding nature, which is completely integral. Therefore, our relations must also be integral. Basically, the Torah, and all of Judaism, speak only about this: achieving the state of “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

DR: So what do you think will happen because of the pandemic?

ML: I said a year and a half ago, when the pandemic only started, that it won’t end and we will suffer blow after blow, with breaks in between, that the purpose of these blows is to wear us down so we stop frantically chasing technological developments as we have been doing for the past several decades. We need to understand, as a result of the blows, that the problem is in the connection between us, and begin to pay more attention and efforts to it.

DR: What are the main challenges facing humanity today?

ML: The blows we are suffering, and the ones we will suffer, should make us see that if we don’t understand it by ourselves, nature teaches us that we must abstain from the race for technological, industrial, and financial dominance, and instead, we should pay attention to our human development, to the education we need to give—not only to children, but to entire nations, to all of humanity.

Our current international relations are so horrible that I see it as a threat. I think that as a result of the blows, we will begin to understand that we have no choice but to start nurturing the human part of us. Nature will no longer let us go in directions that contradict unity. It will force us to unite, if not voluntarily then through a path of suffering. Because of it, the blows we’re suffering now are actually a cure. They may not be sweet, but they heal.

DR: Do you think we could end up with another world war?

ML: Perhaps. It is written in several places in the wisdom of Kabbalah that a third, and even a fourth world war are possible, and even a nuclear war. Either way, it is all in order to shake up humanity and show us that there is no alternative to internal development, to correct the evil in humankind.

DR: There is a rise in antisemitism in many places in the world. How will it end and how can we avoid it?

ML: We cannot fight against antisemitism because we ourselves are stirring it up. The people of Israel was established in ancient Babylon by Abraham the Patriarch [Our Father]. We were a collection of many nations that lived in Babylon, and Abraham assembled whomever wanted to join him and turned them into a group. He called that group Ysrael [Israel], from the Hebrew words Yashar-El [Straight to God], meaning straight to the Creator. The members of that group were drawn to reveal the Creator. Abraham took them to the Land of Canaan, today’s Israel, and this is called the “people of Israel.” In other words, [Israel] is not a nation; it is not counted among the seventy nations, it is a collection from all the nations who joined together in order to attain the upper force. Today’s Jews are the progeny of that group.

The rest of the nations, which remained in Babylon, later dispersed throughout the world. Nature’s forces operate in them and make them understand that their good future depends on the connection among everyone, which in turn depends on that group called the “people of Israel,” since if they unite and achieve correction, all the nations will benefit. But if they don’t unite and don’t achieve the correction of the world, all the nations suffer. This is the reason for antisemitism.

To this day, we see that all the nations of the world accuse us of being the cause of all that is bad in the world. This is so also according to the wisdom of Kabbalah, so we cannot tell them that they are wrong when they are right about that. Therefore, there is nothing we can do but unite among us and by this calm all the negative forces in the world, and the world will return to peace.

Everything depends on us. This is why the nations of the world accuse us of being the power of evil in the world. They are right about it; they feel it from within; it is a natural feeling within them, so we have no choice but unite among us and achieve our spiritual degree. Then we will be able to project to them the spiritual force that will allow them to unite, as well, and obtain all the good in creation.

Meanwhile, we are standing between them and the Creator like a cork that does not allow the abundance to flow from the upper force to our world. This is why everything depends on our connection.

DR: So what is the importance of Israel in the near future?

ML: Israel is critically important! Basically, Israel is that same group (the people, not the country) that should unite and exemplify to all of humanity how we should all unite. Israel is like an extract of all of humanity; therefore, if we unite, all of humanity will begin to unite after us. This is what makes Israel so important.

With each passing day, we will discover more and more the importance of [Israel’s] role. If we do not create the connection among us in order to set an example for the nations of the world, we will not be doing our duty. As a result, we will feel more and more hatred and pressure from the nations of the world.

Things will not get better, only worse. It won’t help to try to rationalize things to the nations; it won’t help because they are right, and they feel it naturally. We will not convince them. They may smile at us, but they cannot stop hating us because deep down, they feel that we really are doing harm to all of humanity.

More highlights will be published soon.

* Elaborated Bios:

David A. Rosenthal
Political scientist, analyst, researcher, journalist and columnist in various national and international media outlets.
Host of “The Footprints of Sepharad in the New World,” a radio show on Radio Sepharad about Sephardic heritage in America.

Michael Laitman
Michael Laitman is a global thinker living in Israel. Laitman has a PhD in Philosophy and Kabbalah and an MS in Medical Bio-Cybernetics. He is a prolific writer who has published over 40 books, which have been translated into dozens of languages. He is a sought-after speaker and has written for or been interviewed by The New York Times, The Jerusalem Post, Huffington Post, Corriere della Sera, Chicago Tribune, Miami Herald, Newsmax, The Globe, RAI TV, and Bloomberg TV, FOX Radio, among others. Dr. Laitman teaches live daily lessons to an audience of some two million people worldwide, simultaneously interpreted into English, Spanish, Hebrew, Italian, Russian, French, Turkish, German, Hungarian, Farsi, Ukrainian, Chinese, Japanese, and more than 20 other languages. For more info, visit www.michaellaitman.com.

Kabbalah’s View On Anti-Semitism

448.9Question: You talk a lot about anti-Semitism and you even wrote the book  From Chaos to Harmony: The Solution to the Global Crisis According to the Wisdom of Kabbalah. In addition, books have been published by some of your students, in particular, Anti-Semitism as a Law of Nature: A book for Jews but not only  by Michael Brushtein and Time to Gather Stones by Mikhail Palatnik. What is this layer of books?

Answer: These are books that talk about the application of Kabbalah in our world, about how we should influence our destiny and the destiny of humanity.

Antisemitism is not a problem for the Jewish people. This is a problem of the world. Humanity does not understand the historical mission of the Jews and Kabbalah explains it. So, here we just take Kabbalah and try to find out what it says about our world.

Antisemitism is not some kind of emotional attitude of the peoples of the world toward Jews. Kabbalah tells us where these people came from, why they are hated, why they are to blame for not being loved, why they do not fulfill their historical mission, etc. It completely overturns the attitude toward antisemitism and explains that this is a law of nature.
From KabTV’s”Questions about Kabbalistic Books” 10/22/19

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Anti-Semitism as a Natural Phenomenon
Natural Anti-Semitism

“Will A City Of Torah Save Mexico’s Jews?” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “Will a City of Torah Save Mexico’s Jews?

Ciudad de la Tora (City of Torah) is the name of a new small town being built outside the town Ixtapan de la Salle, some 70 miles south of Mexico City. The founders aim to address two problems: housing prices and antisemitism. The affordable housing compound will include all the required facilities for maintaining a Jewish Orthodox way of life, and the community will consist solely of observant Jews. Another reason for establishing the new town is the situation in the capital, where Orthodox Jews say their children are afraid to leave their homes for fear of becoming targets of antisemitic attacks.

In many ways, this idea reminds me of a Shtetl. Shtetls were small Jewish towns that existed all over Central and Eastern Europe until the Holocaust wiped them out. If we are to learn from history, Jewish towns are not a permanent solution to antisemitism.

In fact, even the Jewish state did not solve the problem of antisemitism. Since its establishment, Israel has attracted increasing backlash from the world. Theodor Herzl, the Zionist visionary, had the right idea when he envisioned a Jewish national and political entity that would be a safe haven for Jews. However, establishing a separate city, or even a country for Jews, is not enough to eliminate antisemitism. For this to happen, Jews must commit to carrying out their duty to the world, and they do have a duty.

As I’ve shown in countless essays and two books (see links below), the Jewish nation was not established for its own sake, but for the sake of humanity. This is why as soon as we established our nationhood, at the foot of Mt. Sinai, we were tasked with being “a light unto nations.” We were declared a nation only after we pledged to unite “as one man with one heart,” and the unity we achieved is the light we intended to shine to the nations. Following our initial commitment, it took us another forty years to solidify our unity, but once we achieved a critical level of it, we were given our own land, the promised “Land of Israel.”

For nearly two thousand years afterwards, our annals reflected our level of unity. Every time we divided, we were exiled from the Land of Israel, and every time we reestablished our unity, we were given back the land and thrived. But at some point, during the first century CE, we fell into such mutual hatred that we were exiled for two millennia.

Reestablishing the Jewish statehood took more than two millennia, centuries of murder and abuse that our people suffered during the exile, and finally the extermination of a third of our nation, nearly the entire European Jewry. Yet, our renewed sovereignty did not renew our unity. This is something we must achieve on our own. This is, in fact, the reason that the nations gave it to us following the Holocaust, besides the obvious reason of sympathy after the atrocities we suffered at the hands of the Nazis and their accomplices.

Notwithstanding, since the nations gave us the land, they also expect us to do our duty, to be a role model of unity and exemplify the Jewish motto, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If we do not carry out our mission, we will lose our sovereignty once again. It may happen through another exile, through an influx of Muslims who will change the demographics of the country, or through some yet unknown way. Either way, if we don’t do what we must, and become an example of unity above all our differences and hatred, humanity will hate us and torment us as it has been doing for the past two millennia.

We, Jews, the descendants of outcasts from all over the ancient Fertile Crescent who gathered around Abraham Our Father to hear about love of others, must do now what our forefathers did then: unite above our hatred and thus become “a light unto nations.” As then, so now, if we do this, we will thrive. If we don’t, we will break apart.

For more on this topic, refer to the books Like a Bundle of Reeds: Why unity and mutual guarantee are today’s call of the hour, and The Jewish Choice: Unity or Anti-Semitism, Historical facts on anti-Semitism as a reflection of Jewish social discord

“No Safe Haven For Diaspora Jews But Israel” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “No Safe Haven for Diaspora Jews But Israel

About the prospect of raising his Jewish family in Belgium: “I believed I could. Now I doubt I can,” wrote Joel Rubinfeld, president of the Belgian League Against Antisemitism, in an op-ed published in a local newspaper. This sentiment is increasingly common in Europe and the United States alike. Despite the rise in antisemitism in Belgium, the government there decided to remove military security from Jewish institutions. Now without state protection, the Jewish community is asking for help from Israel. This or any other security scheme would be useless until they realize where Jews can really find a safe haven and their role.

Should the State of Israel intervene in the security situations of the Jewish communities in the Diaspora? Absolutely not. Today it is Belgium, tomorrow it will be another country in Europe or elsewhere. The State of Israel must urge Jews living abroad to fend for themselves and should not become involved in trying to safeguard the Jews in other countries against antisemitism.

The Jews in Belgium are not so poor as to lack the means to maintain security around themselves, so why do they demand the State of Israel to do so? Why should Israeli money fund security services to guard them so that they can live comfortably in Belgium? I am definitely opposed to the Jews in Israel taking responsibility for the Jews of Belgium and the Jews of the Diaspora in general. We have no interest in keeping them there.

Even if the Jews decide to move from Belgium to another country where they feel safer, they will have to learn firsthand that the place for Jews is the Land of Israel. Beyond Jews realizing that they have a state and a homeland here in Israel, they must decide on their own to return to fulfill the exalted role of the Jewish nation—to create a model society of love that covers any hatred that might reveals itself within it, a society of mutual guarantee in accordance with the laws of the Supreme Power.

The phenomenon of antisemitism is revealed in the world as a natural response designed to remind the people of Israel why it exists in the world. Our only option and shield for defending ourselves against hatred is the implementation of our role as “light unto the nations.”

Therefore, the solidarity we feel with the Jews of Belgium should not be expressed by rushing to invest our money in safeguarding their institutions—a move that would be futile—but by explaining, both to ourselves and to them, the cause of the animosity against Jews, and what we must do to fix the problem for the world and ourselves.

If we do not start moving towards carrying out our role, we will find ourselves with no place to hide. As it is written, “The Day of Judgment will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews, when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees and the stones and trees will say, ‘O Muslim, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.” (First extract, “The Victory of Muslims Over Jews,” Hadiths)

Our Jewish sources say that eventually all the Jews, including the Ten Tribes we lost along the way, will return to the Land of Israel to unite. Although there seems to be no place to absorb them all, there is plenty of room.

The Book of Daniel calls the Land of Israel the “land of the deer.” As the Talmud explains, “Just as the hide of the deer has the capacity to encompass its body, but shrinks when separated from its flesh, so too can the Land of Israel expand to encompass its rightful inhabitants but shrinks when we are exiled from it.” As in this allegory, in the same way that the deer is able to expand its skin, accordingly we can expand our hearts to be as one, a safety net for the Jewish people and for peace in the world.

Solution To An Unsolvable Conflict

293Operation “Guardian of the Walls” has ended, which has become another round in the fight against the constant military threat that does not leave Israel for a single day. The operation has helped reduce the threat to some extent, but it cannot eliminate the confrontation from the opposite side, which inevitably escalates again and again and leads to a military confrontation. War has become so familiar that people are bitterly aware that their children will live on this land in incessant wars.

How to get out of this vicious circle? Apparently, this is not possible either at the expense of a military operation, through a state agreement, or by dividing this land: this is for you and this is for us, each nation on a piece of land. There is no solution visible here. And so the conflict feels like a tangle of contradictions that cannot be unraveled.

Finally, we came to this realization and realized that there is no solution. This is not a state conflict or a religious one, but in the essence.

Therefore, it can be solved only at a new stage of understanding of the purpose of creation, the purpose of human existence on earth, different peoples and states, and religions.

This conflict is at the central point of all reality, of all the world, of all humanity. And it is intended to lead us to the question: How to reach the point of balance for everyone, for the entire universe?

It is possible to achieve such balance, but this decision is not in the hands of a person. For this, the participation of two conflicting parties is not enough, a third force is needed, the upper force of nature. If we find out what nature wants from us, we will know how to solve this problem.

The balance is based on the right, good connection between all parts of creation, even the most opposite, and not only between the Jews and Arabs, but as it is said in the prophets that “the wolf will live peacefully next to the lamb.”

And first of all, it is necessary to explain to everyone, both Arabs and Jews, that peace in the world depends on how much people are willing to sacrifice themselves, unite and relate themselves to one upper force. I don’t think it will be difficult to convey this to the Arabs because in essence their upper force and our upper force is the same force.

A person should know only one thing: If we advance, we must reveal the upper force of nature and unite everything around it. Let it be called differently in each nation, but it is always the upper force of nature, just each nation represents it according to its perception. However, we must realize that we are at the mercy of one force, and we must achieve balance, connection, and attain it.

The Creator wants to see everyone on this earth, if they live in such a way that there is no difference between nations, but a good mutual connection between all. The ruler in such a country will be peace, tranquility, and unity, and people will be in power who believe that peace, tranquility, and unity should rule.

The only way out of this conflict is for everyone to understand that no one has any egoistic right to own any part of the globe. The whole human race is on equal terms under the rule of one supreme force whose nature is connection and love, and this is the only God we need to worship.

We can accept it, even though it’s against our nature. Today, a Palestinian child is taught to kill Jews, not to unite with them. How can you come from such radicalism to a place of concessions, connection, and love when they seem far from one another as heaven and earth?

And it is written about this: “Love will cover all crimes.” Where there are the greatest crimes there is a chance to reveal the unity and love if the relation of the person is corrected. Instead of hatred, it is possible to come to love. Love is revealed precisely from hatred, from the polar state.

We will see that it is impossible to continue to exist like this. We find ourselves opposed to the upper force and to the whole of nature in general. The forces of nature require us to replenish and unite between all the opposing forces.

This conflict is at the center of the entire universe, and if we can resolve it here and achieve mutual fulfillment, then peace and tranquility, unity, love, and full abundance will reign throughout the world. We must come to the realization that it is impossible to achieve peace by conventional methods.

The good future of the world depends on everyone understanding what form of connection there should be in the world, and that the mission of the people of Israel is to bring the world to connection. And the role of the world is to put pressure on the people of Israel to push them to unite and pull all the nations of the world with them.

This is a mutual work in which the nations of the world and the people of Israel must help each other. The nations of the world are pushing Israel forward, and Israel continues and opens the way for all nations to rush after them. As it is written in the prophets that the people of Israel should strive for the Creator, and then the nations of the world will carry them on their shoulders so all will ascend to the mountain of the Creator and achieve connection with the upper force.
From “KabTV’s “Look from the Inside” 5/24/21

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“Brace For New Well-Poisoning Libels” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “Brace for New Well-Poisoning Libels

In the 14th century, a bubonic plague, aka The Black Death, wreaked havoc across Europe in what became the most fatal pandemic in human history, annihilating nearly half of Europe’s population. In those days, people had no scientific knowledge or sanitary conditions to stem the spread of the pestilence, so their only refuge from complete despair was rumors, usually completely fabricated. One such rumor was that Jews had caused the disease by deliberately poisoning wells.

Jews were often the target of false rumors when attempting to explain crises. This time, however, the result was particularly painful: Between 1348-1351, 350 pogroms against Jews were recorded, in which no less than 210 communities were simply exterminated. Even years after the plague had subsided, pogroms related to the well-poisoning libel still took place. In 1370, for example, the libel ignited the Brussels massacre which wiped out the Belgian Jewish community.

The current pandemic, Covid-19, is likely to repeat the pattern. Although Jews, and particularly the Jewish state, Israel, have already been accused of causing it, such libels are still in the margins. Yet, the more the current plague continues, and the more helpless humanity feels, the more people’s eyes will turn to the Jews, and their fingers will point to us as the evildoers.

As then, so now, we will make every reasonable argument to prove that we are not to blame, that we did not cause the pandemic. As then, so now, no one will listen. In that regard, the world has not changed since the Middle Ages. If we think people are more reasonable or civilized today than they were then, we need only look at what happened in Germany less than a century ago to realize that humanity is today what it has always been: Inherently irrational and ever willing to pin the blame on the Jews.

But is humanity wrong? If everyone tells us that we are to blame, and we’re the only ones who think otherwise, then who is right? Because even if we didn’t cause The Black Death or Covid-19, and we didn’t, for sure, perhaps there is some other fault in us that we are unaware of and that the world cannot articulate, and it expresses it through its most convenient pretext. Perhaps this is why the world blames us not only of starting The Black Death and Covid, but of causing all the wars, the HIV virus, every economic and financial crisis that’s ever struck humanity, every violation of human rights, in every country, even where there are no Jews, and in general, of everything that’s wrong with the world.

The problem is that we are unaware of what our own sages teach. If we were more informed, we would realize that they, too, thought that everything that’s wrong with the world is because of the Jews, and that the Jews can and must correct it.

Our sages attributed all our troubles and all the world’s troubles to our lack of unity, and as a result, maintained that our unity, the unity of the Jewish people, is the cure for everything.

For example, the Talmud writes (Yevamot 63), “No calamity comes to the world but for Israel.” Incidentally, “for” means both “for our sake,” to help us, as well as “because.”

Similar to the Talmud, the book Shem MiShmuel writes, “When they [Israel] are as one man with one heart, they are as a fortified wall against the forces of evil.” Rabbi Nathan Sternhertz writes in his book Likutey Halachot [Assorted Rules], which describes how Jews should behave, “‘Gather together and hear, you sons of Jacob,’ precisely ‘Gather together,’ for he revealed to them that the primary element of correction is the advice to gather together, meaning that there will be unity, love, and peace in Israel, that they will gather together to speak to one another of the final purpose. Thus they will be rewarded with completeness of the counsel, for Israel and the Law are all one to the extent of peace and unity in Israel.” Rabbi Simcha Bonim Bonhart of Peshischa wrote similarly in A Broadcasting Voice: “This is the mutual guarantee on which Moses worked so hard before his death, to unite the children of Israel. All of Israel are each other’s guarantors [responsible for one another], meaning that when all are together, they see only good.”

The book Bina Le’Itim explains not only how division hurts us, but also how unity saves us: “The foundation of the wickedness of evil Haman, on which he had built his request of the king to sell the Jews to him … is what he had begun to argue, ‘There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed,’ etc. He cast his filth saying that that nation deserves to be destroyed, for separation rules among them, they are all full of strife and quarrel, and their hearts are far from one another. However, He put the healing before the blow [took preventing measures] … by hastening Israel to unite and adhere to one another, to all be one, as one man, and this is what saved them, as in the verse, ‘Go, gather together all the Jews.’”

And finally, The Book of Zohar explains not only that our disunity causes our troubles, but that it also causes the world’s worst calamities. In the section Tikkuney Zohar [Corrections of The Zohar], Tikkun [correction] no. 30, the book writes, “In such a generation,” when Israel do not correct themselves through unity, “all the destructors among the nations of the world raise their heads and wish primarily to destroy and to kill the children of Israel, as it is written, ‘No calamity comes to the world but for Israel’ (Yevamot 63a). This means, as it is written in the above Tikkunim [corrections], that [Israel] cause poverty, ruin, robbery, killing, and destructions in the whole world.”

There are countless other examples but regrettably, they cannot all fit into one essay. Nevertheless, the picture is clear enough. If our own sages and our own texts tell us that we are responsible for our own fate and for the fate of the world, that we determine what happens to us and to the world through our unity or division, do we not owe it to ourselves and to the world to at least try to follow our sages’ advice? Can we blame Jew-haters of baseless hatred when our own sages speak so similarly? I believe the answer is clear, and the onus is on us.

“Disasters Will Hunt Jews Until Unity Is Achieved” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “Disasters Will Hunt Jews Until Unity Is Achieved

In a race against time, emergency workers try to find survivors of a residential building that collapsed days ago in Surfside near Miami, Florida. More than 150 people are still unaccounted for and the death toll rises every day. This tragedy knocks at the door in a neighborhood with a growing Jewish community, a community now in shock and disbelief at the disaster. Finally, the question arises of why it is that Jews are again at the heart of a new blow?

The cause of the collapse is still unknown, but according to the New York Times, almost three years ago an engineer expressed concerns about structural damage to the building that required renovations but which were never implemented. Whatever the reason, there is one undeniable fact: the Jews are at the center of yet another disaster. These are no longer obscure clues and signs but accumulating facts, a chain of events that connect and raise many question marks.

A recent stampede at the religious pilgrimage to Mount Meron in Israel—believed to be the largest single annual Jewish event in the world—left 45 people dead and over 150 wounded. A fatal collapse of a synagogue bleacher in Jerusalem on Shavuot night and other series of events prior to the tragedy in Florida have one common denominator: the Jews.

Using words as arrows to make their point, our sages wrote about the reason for Jewish afflictions: “No calamity comes to the world but for Israel,” (Yevamot, 63a.) The unfounded hatred which was the root cause of the destruction of the First and Second Temples is also characteristic of the Jewish people these days.

The Book of Zohar states that when separation prevails among the people of Israel, “They bring about the existence of poverty, ruin, and robbery, looting, killing, and destructions in the world” (Tikkuney Zohar, No. 30).

The breakage in our relationships as Jews is akin to the building collapse in Florida. When Jews fall into separation and do not lean toward oneness above all differences, then the cracks in their structural basis as a people weaken and their troubles increase, manifesting in different and unexpected ways.

Brotherly love among the Jewish people evokes a positive force with the capacity to neutralize all evil. This power corrects, straightens, settles, and balances reality as a whole.

An excruciating path would be to ignore the warning signs and delay the call for Jewish unity—the force which has been the foundation of the Jewish people since time immemorial. If Jews continue along the path of mutual hatred, they will gnaw away their cohesion until their bedrock is undermined and destroyed. Conversely, it is written in the book Maor VaShemesh, “The prime defense against calamity is love and unity. When there are love, unity, and friendship between each other in Israel, no calamity can come over them.”

Until Jews wake up and reach a common concern for one another, following an educational campaign that will bring Jews closer together and later all the people in the world, many more disasters will continue to befall them. That’s an annoying and infuriating truth. However, there is also a way to reverse the situation: through a real change of attitude toward each other, through unity as the pillar, as the precondition to shake off predicaments and thrive as a people, Jews can escape troubles. As the great Rav Kook wrote, “Since we were ruined by unfounded hatred and the world was ruined with us, we will be rebuilt by unfounded love and the world will be rebuilt with us.” (Orot Kodesh [Sacred Lights]).

“How We Summon Our Enemies” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “How We Summon Our Enemies

In his book The Jew in the Medieval World, Prof. of Jewish History Jacob Rader Marcus presents a dramatic depiction of the events leading to the announcement of the Alhambra Decree in 1492, which led to the expulsion of the Jews from Spain. Marcus writes that “The agreement permitting the Jews to remain in Spain on the payment of a large sum of money was almost completed when it was frustrated by the Prior of Santa Cruz, Tomás de Torquemada,” who despite his Jewish roots, headed the Inquisition in Spain. According to Marcus, “Legend relates that Torquemada … thundered with crucifix aloft to the King and Queen: ‘Judas Iscariot sold his master for thirty pieces of silver. Your Highness would sell him anew for thirty thousand? Here he is [pointing to the cross], take him, and barter him away.’” King Ferdinand, dumbfounded by the zealous speech, promptly discarded any hesitations he might have had about the implementation of the decree.

However, what happened next was even more astounding. Marcus writes that Queen Isabella, who was present in the room when Torquemada stormed in, “gave an answer to the representatives of the Jews, similar to the saying of King Solomon [Proverbs 21:1]: ‘The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: He turns it wherever He wills.’ She said furthermore: ‘Do you believe that this comes upon you from us? The Lord has put this thing into the heart of the king.’” Subsequently, concludes Marcus, the Jews “saw that there was evil determined against them by the King, and they gave up the hope of remaining.”

In 1929, a few years before Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany, it was already clear that antisemitism was rising in the defeated country that could not recover from the consequences of World War I. Reflecting on the growing Jew-hatred in his country, Dr. Kurt Fleischer, leader of the Liberals in the Berlin Jewish Community Assembly, stated that “Anti-Semitism is the scourge that God has sent us in order to lead us together and weld us together.”

Fleischer’s statement expressed something that our sages throughout the ages have argued, that we bring our foes upon ourselves through our division. The fall of the Second Temple and the exile from the land of Israel are the most known examples of Jewish self-hatred that had brought upon us a cataclysm, but there are plenty others. In Spain, for example, preceding the onset of the Inquisition, numerous Jews sought to assimilate and disperse from their communities. They began to quarrel among themselves, and Jews who converted, and became known as conversos, often became fierce antisemites. According to Norman Roth, Professor of Jewish History at the University of Wisconsin, “Like the majority of conversos, [converso officials] were ardent Catholics and most were vehemently anti-Jewish (especially was this true with converso clergy, but also with the officials).”

A few days ago, Ebrahim Raisi was elected to be the next president of Iran. Prior to his election, Raisi was Iran’s top judge. He holds ultra-conservative views, and Israel’s Prime Minister warned that this was “the last chance for world powers to wake up… and understand who they are doing business with.”

But in light of our history, and in light of our sages’ constant warnings, we should not be surprised that someone like Raisi has come to power. As has happened throughout history, division among Jews brings upon them evildoers that seek to destroy them. When Jews reunite, the problem is solved.

Here in Israel, we know that in times of war, we unite in order to defeat the enemy. Every Israeli knows that this has been our “secret weapon” in all our wars since the establishment of the State of Israel. Every Israeli also knows that as soon as the guns stop roaring, malice sets in among us. This malice shows what we don’t know: Had we been connected, we would not have to go to war in the first place.

Indeed, every problem in the world is solved through human connection. We Jews, the nation that was formed on the basis of the strongest possible connection, that of loving our neighbors as ourselves, should be world leaders in connection. Instead, we are divided and torn, and our people are filled with hatred toward each other. As a result, wicked antisemites rise “in order to lead us together and weld us together,” as Dr. Fleischer put it. Antisemites are rising to power the world over; if we do not wake up now and read the writing on the wall, we might wake up once more when it is too late.

“A New Rabbi For The German Army – Not What The Jews Need” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “A New Rabbi for the German Army – Not What the Jews Need

Over the past week, there has been much ado over the appointment of the first rabbi in the Bundeswehr (the unified armed forces of Germany) since World War II. The appointed rabbi, Zsolt Balla, one of Germany’s most prominent rabbis, stated after his nomination: “It is our goal to make it normal again for Jewish citizens to serve in the German army.” The president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Josef Schuster, also added, “The Bundeswehr has nothing in common with the former Wehrmacht, and that is the only reason why it is possible today for us to introduce a federal military rabbi.” Currently, some 300 Jewish soldiers serve in the German military, but they are spread across the armed forces, making the need for a rabbi for the German military seem more like a political statement than a real need of the soldiers. And political statements are the last thing Jews need, in Germany or elsewhere.

Jews have already tried to blend in the German army during World War I. They fought as hard as Christian Germans to serve their fatherland, Germany, and did their best to show that they were loyal Germans. But when the Nazis came to power, it did not help them. Why do they think today will be any different? Just as no one foresaw that only fifteen years after the first war, the Jews would be blamed for all of Germany’s troubles and their participation in the war would be presented as an act of treason against the country for which they fought and died, now, too, no one will thank them when the tide turns, and it always turns.

Politics does not change reality, only actions do. In the case of the Jews, the only action they are required to take is to unite among themselves. This was the action they took that had made them into a nation, this has been the only action that has ever granted them the world’s respect and favor, and their departure from it has been the precursor of every woe they had ever experienced (read more about it in my latest publication The Jewish Choice: Unity or Anti-Semitism, linked at the bottom of the post).

In conclusion, nothing good will come out of political statements like appointing a rabbi to 300 Jews dispersed throughout the German army, and who are probably not even very observant. The only possible outcome is an intensification of the already existing Jew-hatred in the German military. Therefore, in my eyes, this move is pointless and unwise.

To read the above mentioned book, click here.