Entries in the 'Anti-Semitism' Category

“The Satire Of Antisemitism” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “The Satire of Antisemitism

On Twitter and Facebook alone, a staggering 1.7 million antisemitic posts were made this year, said U.S. Special Envoy for Monitoring and Combating Antisemitism, Elan Carr. That is no laughing matter. But what if we fight hate with satire like comedians try to do? Could that be an effective way to tackle conspiracy theories against Jews? I think, “Yes.” Regardless of whether it is done in a straightforward fashion or from the flip side, what matters most is to awaken the question of why the endless Jew-hatred exists, as an important step to solving the problem for good.

Only the people of Israel can make a difference in the world because they are the people who received the method of connection, the wisdom of Kabbalah, which describes the means for drawing the unique force in nature capable of neutralizing any disruption and negativity in reality. That force that balances hatred is the power of love created through Jewish unity. When Jews are united and become an example to follow, they will arise as the “light unto the nations,” lighting up the path to a positive future for humanity. That will be the day when fairness, equality, and mutual understanding will have the last laugh.

The coronavirus comes from “a place called Wuhan, which is in Israel” joked Jewish comedian Sasha Baron Cohen on a popular US television show, and was reported in some media outlets. People certainly don’t take him seriously and it is clear that his intention isn’t to stir up provocation, but to use sarcasm as an effective way to disparage antisemitism. Why could this be a great strategy? Because we need a creative approach to address the increasing animosity against Jews around the world. It might help us to highlight this phenomenon bluntly and vociferously on social media where antisemitism crops up and spreads like a virus.

The world’s attention is currently focused on the other epidemic, Covid-19, which has upstaged Jew hatred slightly but not erased it from the playbill, as statistics show. As soon as the plague weakens, the voices of our enemies will intensify again, blaming Jews for the pandemic and other libels, as antisemites so openly do at every first opportunity and through any means at their disposal.

However, we waste our time trying to combat the haters head-on or by struggling to remove unwanted content. These actions will not help, nor do we have the immense power and resources it would take to eradicate the problem. As soon as the measures to eliminate antisemitic posts are implemented in one place, they rapidly reproduce like weeds in a field. Therefore, the only strategy that will bear fruit is to learn how to take the negativity thrown our way and contrast it with all the goodness expected from the Jewish people.

In fact, let’s take a step back and think about this clearly for a moment. When antisemites blame Jews for all the calamities in the world, they are actually pointing to Jews as the only force capable of causing change in the world, as the only people who have the power to solve any crisis humanity faces but who are failing to fulfill this goal.

That is a true statement—they are absolutely right. Only the people of Israel can make a difference in the world because they are the people who received the method of connection, the wisdom of Kabbalah, which describes the means for drawing the unique force in nature capable of neutralizing any disruption and negativity in reality. That force that balances hatred is the power of love created through Jewish unity. When Jews are united and become an example to follow, they will arise as the “light unto the nations,” lighting up the path to a positive future for humanity. That will be the day when fairness, equality, and mutual understanding will have the last laugh.

“The Social Media Giants Campaign Against Anti-Semitism Is Mere Pretense” (Times Of Israel)

The Times of Israel published my new article “The Social Media Giants Campaign against Anti-Semitism Is Mere Pretense

A Times of Israel story recently reported festively, “YouTube removes Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam channel.” According to the story, YouTube announced that it has “strict policies prohibiting hate speech on YouTube, and [will] terminate any channel that repeatedly or egregiously violates those policies.” Two lines later, however, you read that “Some individual accounts of Nation of Islam members are still up, with tens of thousands of followers.” It would be interesting to know YouTube’s definition of “strict policies.”

Another festive headline, this time on CNN Business, announced that “Facebook will ban Holocaust denial posts under hate speech policy.” According to the report, Facebook decided on the ban because of “the well-documented rise in anti-Semitism and the alarming level of ignorance about the Holocaust.” I wonder what set off this policy U-turn because as recently as two months ago, The Guardian reported that the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) had found that “Facebook’s algorithm ‘actively promotes’ Holocaust denial content.”

Clearly, this “concern about antisemitism” tune isn’t credible. Three weeks before the election, the only reason that would make social media platforms proclaim to take steps to curb antisemitism is their desire to play it safe. In my estimate, they feel that President Trump has a real chance of being reelected and are adjusting their policies to that scenario. In short, their campaign against antisemitism is nothing but lip-service.

For Jews, however, social media policies make no difference. They don’t abate antisemitism whatsoever. Antisemitism stems from the core of human nature, from a deep-seated feeling of non-Jews that Jews are unlike any other nation. Their accusations that Jews control the media, the banks, the government, and manipulate them to their advantage and against other faiths speaks volumes about the power that non-Jews attribute to Jews. Their accusation that Jews cause all the wars and all the troubles in the world is in fact an admission that they believe that the Jews have the power to end the wars and troubles in the world.

And while the Jews don’t know it, they do have the key to ending all the troubles. Jews don’t need social media bans to curb Jew-hatred. All they need is to stop hating one another and the world will stop hating them.

Jews are always at the center of attention. The world envies Israel for its military power and technological advancement, and it envies Diaspora Jews for being wealthier than other communities. Money, arms, and high-tech don’t earn the Jews any points in the eyes of the world. On the contrary, they only increase Jew-hatred since this is not what the world expects.

The world looks at the Jews so carefully because it needs a way to connect, to end conflicts, to rise above hatred, to save itself from self-destruction. And only the Jews, who coined the motto “Love your neighbor as yourself,” can show the way—by personal example.

There are three Jews among this year’s Nobel Prize laureates. No one will be grateful to Jews for this. But if Jews made peace among themselves, between Democrats and Republican Jews, between Ashkenazi and Sephardi Jews, between Orthodox and secular Jews, now that would be something that the world would appreciate.

Jewish leaders throughout the ages have avowed that Jewish unity is our only way to escape persecution. So far, their words have found no listeners, and hate increases both among Jews and toward Jews. If we, the Jewish people, want to avoid another Holocaust, we should start paying attention to our sages throughout the ages, and to the world’s call for peace, first among ourselves, and then throughout the world.

*For a more elaborate explanation on the root and solution to antisemitism, refer to my book, The Jewish Choice: Unity or Anti-Semitism
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“Who Would Be Better For Israel, Trump Or Biden?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: Who would be better for Israel, Trump or Biden?

Before asking about who would be a more supportive US president for Israel, we in Israel would be wise to question what we have done to merit the backing of a world superpower.

What are we projecting to the world? Beyond our impressive technological output, what are we contributing? And is advanced technology what the world really needs from us?

Today, the global environment we live in is changing, and likewise, the expectations upon Israel are gradually shifting as well. Heading into the future, if we will want to receive support from a major superpower, or from anyone for that matter, we will need to start paying more careful attention to what we project and contribute to the world, and whether it is what the world ultimately needs from us.

We are a unique nation because unlike other nations, we have no common biological root. Our ancestors, who were from originally from different clans and tribes, united as a nation under an idea: to unite (“love your neighbor as yourself”) above division (“love will cover all crimes”), which granted us the ability to project a positive force to the world, or in other words, to be “a light unto the nations.”

After living for a short period of time upholding our unification “as one man with one heart,” we soon afterward lost awareness of this common value that tied us all together as a nation. Likewise, as we failed to hold onto a mutual umbrella of love above our differences, then our differences eventually got the better of us, and we became exiled: we both lost our unification, and a land of our own.

Goaded by anti-Semitism throughout our exile, many of us rounded up in the land that would become known as the State of Israel, and after the mass tragedy of the Holocaust, a majority of nations agreed to its establishment.

Today, as we head toward the end of 2020, we stand after a decade of rising anti-Semitism, peaking in 2019 with its highest-recorded year of anti-Semitic crimes and threats in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and the Netherlands. We also face growing anti-Semitic sentiment worldwide dressed in a “criticism of Israel” rhetoric, which has gained considerable support diplomatically, academically and culturally, largely due to the efforts of the BDS movement.

If today the United Nations needed to reach a two-thirds majority vote on whether to establish the State of Israel, would it pass? It certainly doesn’t seem so.

We need to understand the root of the negative attitude toward the people of Israel from the nations of the world. When we do, then we can focus on what we need to do in order to invert the negative attitude into a positive one.

The source of the nations’ negative attitude toward us is due to our failure to live up to what made us the people of Israel to begin with: our unity (“love your neighbor as yourself”) above division (“love will cover all crimes”), which granted us the ability to project a positive force to the world (to be “a light unto the nations”).

As the previous decade was characterized by rising anti-Semitism that peaked in 2019 in many countries, including the United States, another characteristic of the last decade was that it was one of ongoing crisis: from aftereffects of the financial crisis that opened the decade with mass unemployment, home foreclosures, austerity measures in many countries, global protests and the forthcoming wars in the Middle East, the constant gray clouds of terrorist acts, mass shootings and a 9.17 percent increase in natural disasters hitting the planet, as well as higher levels of depression, anxiety, stress, loneliness, social division and opioid abuse in the United States than in previous times. In short, as history has shown, such as during the time of the Black Death pandemic that led to mass killings of Jews throughout Europe, or Germany’s First World War defeat and subsequent depression, which eventually led to the rise of Hitler, the Nazis and the Holocaust—when crisis hits, anti-Semitism rises.

Therefore, with our current divisive track record coupled with the crises humanity continues to experience around the world, and especially in America, we can expect more and more detractors eyeing us critically. Likewise, the next United States administration’s attitude to Israel as either positive or negative will depend on whether we upgrade our attitudes to each other to become a more unified people.

Photo by Shai Pal on Unsplash.

“A Task Force To Combat Online Antisemitism? Get Real” (Times Of Israel)

The Times of Israel published my new article “A Task Force to Combat Online Antisemitism? Get Real

Creating “a global inter-parliamentary task force to combat digital antisemitism” a few weeks before a presidential election isn’t credible, and that’s putting it mildly. And besides, what can any task force do against hatred that comes from the kernel of human nature? It would be more successful fighting against gravity than against antisemitism.

On September 29, Jewish Insider published a story titled “Members of Congress launch international task force to combat online antisemitism.” According to the story, the task force is to focus on “raising awareness about online antisemitism and establishing a consistent message in legislatures across the world to hold social media platforms accountable.” It is a hopeless task, and right before the elections, it is nothing more than lip-service.

You can’t eliminate antisemitism just as you cannot eliminate pain until you heal the sore that causes it. In the case of antisemitism, the sore is the fact that Jews aren’t uniting among themselves and leading the world after them to unity and solidarity.

That sore was not born in America, nor in Nazi Germany, or even in Christian Europe. It dates back to the beginning of the Jewish people, when the fugitives from Egypt pledged to unite “as one man with one heart,” established their nationhood, and were immediately tasked with being “a light unto nations,” meaning with sharing their unity by way of example.

For nearly two millennia afterwards, our ancestors struggled with their internal conflicts and frictions. They were exiled and returned, fought each other and reunited, until they finally lost the battle against internal hatred and were banished from their land.

But the mission they had been given back at Mt. Sinai was never abrogated. Two thousand years ago, The Book of Zohar wrote about how the Jews should bring about world peace by setting an example: “‘Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to also sit together.’ These are the friends as they sit together, and are not separated from one another. At first, they seem like people at war, wishing to kill one another … then they return to being in brotherly love. …And … as you were in fondness and love before, henceforth you will also not part from one another … and by your merit, there will be peace in the world.”

Whenever and wherever there is division, the Jews are blamed for it because people feel (even if they can’t verbalize it) that had the Jews done their job, they wouldn’t be fighting one another. Even our own Talmud admits that “No calamity comes to the world but because of Israel” (Yevamot 63a), so what can we expect from other nations?

If we want to eliminate antisemitism, we should do our task, unite above all our (countless) divisions, and be a role model to humanity. Then the force that drives antisemitism will turn the hatred around as the nations will see that they are finally getting from the Jews what they always felt the Jews should have given them: an example of unity and solidarity.
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“Let’s Talk About Tik Tok Antisemitism Against Our Youth” (Times Of Israel)

The Times of Israel published my new article “Let’s Talk about Tik Tok Antisemitism against Our Youth

Online antisemitism is nothing new but now it seems to be widely targeting our vulnerable youth more than ever before. Hidden under false identities, haters freely reveal prejudice, bigotry, and antisemitic views across virtually all the unruled space of social media.

Teenagers who identify as Jewish complain of constant hostility on platforms such as Tik Tok, which are increasingly popular among youth. What would be the best way for them to react and deal with this? First of all, understanding what lies behind such hatred will empower them to turn the hostility into acceptance and embrace.

Since the beginning of 2020, more than a staggering 380,000 videos and over 64,000 hateful comments have been removed in the US alone for violating hate speech policies, according to Tik Tok officials. But the reality shows that although some efforts are being aimed at controlling online hostility, this poison rapidly renews itself and spreads worldwide like a virus.

Young American Jews say that in the past when they uploaded content to the platform without disclosing their background they received rave comments, but as soon as they revealed the fact that they are Jewish, the compliments turned into insults and antisemitic outbursts. The comments they continue to receive include praises for Hitler, Nazi salutes, anti-Israel jabs, and Holocaust denial. Tik Tok also recently faced controversy over history trivialization due to a “Holocaust challenge” that appeared on the app in which users flippantly portrayed themselves as concentration camp victims.

Such controversies and antisemitic manifestations are eye-openers to people’s true nature and sentiments toward Jews. Therefore, it is important they are revealed. It is as futile to bury our heads in the sand about this as it is trying to escape Judaism, leaving our youth rootless and without a sense of belonging anywhere. The disclosure of hatred can be a positive thing if it awakens in young Jews the vital question of why the Jew-hatred exists. Only an understanding of the foundation of this phenomena and an awareness of what the world expects from Jews can provide young Jews with the basis for solving the problem of antisemitism.

How to React?

Jew-hatred is irrational, so a war of words or altercations are worthless. Antisemitism by character requires no justification, although one will always be found. Many believe the hatred stems from envy: Jews are smart, successful, and innovative; they control the media, the entertainment industry, banks, and commerce. But these are no more than superficial rationalizations that both we and our haters use in order to justify the animosity. The root of the animosity is much deeper than that.

Humanity instinctively feels that the Jewish people hold the key to a better world. Why the Jews? And why the increasing pressure now? The Hebrew word for “Jew” [Yehudi] comes from the word for “united” [yihud]. Unity is the very essence of our people which was established according to the tenet, “love your friend as yourself” in order to become “a light unto the nations.” As the world endures escalating divisions and conflicts, there is a subconscious expectation that Jews should unite and be like a conduit to funnel this positive unifying force from nature to the whole world.

The problem is that we have completely lost awareness of the importance of our Jewish unity, and instead, frictions and separation prevail. And the more that people of the world feel problems and crises stemming from the divisiveness in human society, the more they will subconsciously feel that Jews are to blame.

Antisemitism thus surfaces as a natural phenomenon among the nations of the world in order to pressure Jewish people to unite. In other words, by becoming a good example to the world of positive connection, harmony, and support, the general attitude toward a unified Jewish people will become favorable and encouraging, and confidence within society at large will rise. Now that we realize that we hold the key to a good future for our own youth and the entire world, it is time for us to walk the talk.
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“Oceans Apart – Israeli And Jewish Separation Is Bad News For The World” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “Oceans Apart – Israeli and Jewish Separation Is Bad News for the World

Some six months ago, the first Covid-19 patient passed away in Israel. Now, after breaking another record in the number of new confirmed cases and widening our “lead” as the country with the most infections per-capita, we are finally beginning to realize that there is a real problem here, that people are really dying, and that we are losing control over the pandemic.

We did not become a nation for our own purposes, but in order to be “a light unto nations,” to show the world how love can cover all the crimes, all the hatred, and through our own example lead the way to unity, so they could do the same.

I warned about it months ago; I said that if we don’t do what we must, we will be among the countries that will be struck the hardest. And not only in confirmed Covid cases, but also in unemployment and social disintegration.

We shouldn’t be surprised that this is happening. We didn’t do what we must, so the pandemic is spreading in Israel and around the world faster than the forest fires in California. And if people blame us for it, they are only echoing what our sages said thousands of years ago: “No calamity comes to the world but because of Israel” (Yevamot 63a). Covid-19 is certainly a calamity, but it will get much worse unless we Israelis begin to act as Israelis.

And here is what being Israelis means: Our nation was forged when we agreed to unite “as one man with one heart.” We didn’t like each other; we didn’t agree; and we didn’t want to be together. We came from different clans and tribes from all over the Fertile Crescent and we joined Abraham’s group because we liked what he taught, that we should love each other above our differences. However, it’s not as if we really cared for one another, not at first anyway. But there, at the foot of Mt. Sinai, after escaping from Egypt we finally agreed to unite as one above our disparities and disputes.

At that moment, we became a nation. And even though we fell into belligerence and struggles soon after, we always knew what we are meant to do. In the words of King Solomon, “Hate stirs strife, and love will cover all crimes” (Proverbs 10:12).

Yet, we did not become a nation for our own purposes, but in order to be “a light unto nations,” to show the world how love can cover all the crimes, all the hatred, and through our own example lead the way to unity, so they could do the same.

Today, although we have regained sovereignty, Israel is anything but united. It is torn apart into sects and factions, classes, political views, private sector vs. public sector, and religious vs. secular. Each faction of the nation wants its piece of the pie to be as big as possible regardless of its own size or needs, and regardless of the needs of other factions in the nation.

Moreover, the Israeli society as a whole is oceans apart from American Jewish, not just physically, but mainly emotionally. There is a deep chasm between the way that American Jewry perceives Judaism and Israel, and the way Israelis perceive them. This makes the two most predominant Jewish communities in the world perpetually at odds with one another.

The book Sefat Emet writes, “The truth is that everything depends on the children of Israel. As they correct themselves, all creations follow them.” Currently, we are not correcting ourselves; we are only breaking apart more deeply by the day.

Covid-19 saved us. It stopped us en route to annihilation. It enabled us to reflect on our society and start fixing it, making it more cohesive and caring, and by that, at long last set a positive example to the world.

We didn’t take the opportunity; we blew it. So as the world looked in awe as we were prevailing over the virus in the beginning, now it looks in bewilderment as we are falling behind all other countries due to our surrender to the whims of our factions and sects. Once again, division is the source of our troubles yet we are too busy indulging in righteous indignation to recognize it.

It is written that Israel is a stiff-necked people, and indeed we are very obstinate. Being obstinate can be advantageous, but it also has its limits. At some point, a critical mass of people will point a blaming finger at Israel and say that we are the cause of all their troubles, and nothing we can say will convince them otherwise. If we get there, Israel will be in big trouble. Before it happens, we must do what we were meant to do from day one: Unite and in this way set an example, so the whole world will look at us and do the same.

Surprisingly, The Book of Zohar (Aharei Mot) wrote about our situation and the solution to it nearly two thousand years ago: “‘Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to also sit together.’ These are the friends as they sit together and are not separated from each other. At first, they seem like people at war, wishing to kill one another … then they return to being in brotherly love. …And you, the friends who are here, as you were in fondness and love before, henceforth you will also not part from one another … and by your merit, there will be peace in the world.”

“When The Levee Breaks” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “When the Levee Breaks

It was not at all surprising to discover that Jacob Blake Sr., father of Black American Jacob Blake Jr., who was shot on August 23 by a White police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin, has a long history of racist, antisemitic posts on social media. Antisemitism is growing everywhere; the tension is in the air, and even where it is still quiet, it feels as though the ground is shaking under our feet. When the levee breaks and the flood begins, no one will be sorry to see the Jews drown.

The level of antisemitism is skyrocketing not only in America, but the world over. But the US, where the Jewish community is the most prominent and powerful in the world, will be the epicenter of the cataclysm.

It’s hard to tell when the critical point will come, but if the trajectory does not change, it will come for sure and American Jewry will experience what every Jewish diaspora has experienced since the exile began two thousand years ago: extinction and expulsion.

In a world so full of hate and so devoid of humanism, we cannot ignore our obligation to the nations: to be “a light unto nations,” to set an example of unity and mutual responsibility. We do not need to please the nations or appease them. They don’t judge us by how we relate to them; they judge us by how we relate to one another! When we hate each other, they blame us for spreading war among them. Simply, without an example of unity, they cannot unite and begin to fight. And deep inside, they feel that it’s because of us.

We have given the world science and technology, art and culture, knowledge and wisdom, yet the world hates us more and more and does not show us any gratitude. It is time we realize that these are not what it expects from us; it expects from us to set an example of Arvut Hadadit (mutual responsibility).

We became a nation only once we united “as one man with one heart” at the foot of Mt. Sinai (the mountain of hatred). Immediately thereafter, we were ordered to be “a light unto nations,” to bring the world the unity that we have gained. The absence of that light of unity is the cause of the chaotic world we live in, and our obligation is to bring that unity by setting an example.

We can deny it but denial won’t discharge us from our duty or convince the world that we are not to blame. So we can choose to unite above our hatred, do what the world expects of us, and win its favor for the first time in history, or take the flogging of humanity as we did in Europe eighty years ago.

“The #Jewishprivilege Trend’s Major Takeaway” (Jews Down Under)

My new article on San Diego Jewish World “The #Jewishprivilege Trend’s Major Takeaway

The maelstrom of a global pandemic has recently kept worldwide antisemitism relatively quiet, but it does not mean that Jew haters are resting. On Twitter, the antisemitic hashtag #JewishPrivilege, which was originally used to accuse Jews of racism and control over other minorities, rapidly became a top trending hashtag.

In an attempt to push back against the hashtag’s antisemitic sentiment, Jewish celebrities posted personal stories of discrimination, bigotry and persecution suffered directly by them or their families throughout generations. But, as expected, it failed to ease the animosity.

In another instance of “special treatment” of Jews, Twitter accounts of users displaying a Star of David became locked by the social media platform, which deemed the Jewish symbol as “hateful imagery.”

Surprisingly, this is all happening at a time when social media giants face boycotts from international corporations, which are pulling multimillion dollar advertising budgets from what they call a permissive hate-speech culture by those platforms. Apparently, antisemitism is a more powerful exception to the rules against online hate speech than both advertising dollars and boycott threats, since it is still widely tolerated and the responsible regulators look the other way.

Hatred of Jews, however, does not depend on our actions.

It is a sensation embedded in nature that can emerge in people instantaneously. The wisdom of Kabbalah explains that antisemitism first surfaced together with the emergence of the Jewish people around 4,000 years ago in ancient Babylon.

While Babylon was experiencing a crisis of social division with conflicts and hatred tearing up society, Abraham, a Babylonian priest who discovered the path to unity above the growing divisions, began openly teaching his method to anyone who wanted to learn.

Those who felt that social discord was the burning issue of the time flocked to study with him. He guided them to the discovery of the single uniting force necessary to rise above divisiveness. The group he led became known as “the people of Israel,” meaning “straight to God,” (Yashar-El in Hebrew), i.e., straight to the single force of love and bestowal that exists in reality. Later, the group also became known as “Jews,” which derived from the Hebrew word “yehud,” meaning unity.

Since the Jewish people were the first to attain unity above division, they received the mandate to act as “a light unto the nations.” This meant that their role was first to connect, and then, to spread the light that emanated from their connection like rippling waves to the rest of humanity.

Why is this role so important today?

It is because in today’s world the overblown human ego, social division, conflicts and hatred are all rising exponentially, causing myriad problems and crises, and thus there is a renewed urgency and necessity for the Jewish people to carry out their role. The more people suffer, the more they subconsciously blame the Jews for holding the keys to fix the problems, but failing to do so.

This scenario is the origin of Jew hatred—the sensation that the Jews have a special calling to unite in order to pass unity to the world, but don’t. If we Jews make no effort to connect, we block the positive unifying force from reaching humanity, and hatred pressures us to perform what is expected of us.

Humanity’s positive future depends solely on us.

If we have a privilege, it is in our role to deliver human society the abundance and fulfillment that comes from uniting “as one man with one heart.” As is written by the most renowned Kabbalist of our generation, Rav Yehuda Ashlag (Baal HaSulam), “It is the wisdom of faith, justice and peace which most nations learn from us, and this wisdom is ascribed to us alone.”

When we as Jews unite, even slightly, we will act as a conduit for the force of unity to spread throughout human consciousness. As soon as we realize our unique role in the world, we will spare ourselves and all humanity much suffering, since only the power of unification can enable human society to rise above its narrow egoistic nature, and to discover the vast space of happiness that stems from unity.
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“Does Kabbalah Suggest A New Approach To Antisemitism?” (Algemeinier)

My new article on Algemeinier “Does Kabbalah Suggest a New Approach to Antisemitism?

The maelstrom of a global pandemic has not kept antisemites and Jew-haters quiet. On Twitter, the antisemitic hashtag #JewishPrivilege, which was originally used to accuse Jews of racism and control over other minorities, rapidly became a top trending hashtag.

In an attempt to push back against the hashtag’s antisemitic sentiment, Jewish celebrities posted personal stories of discrimination, bigotry, and persecution suffered directly by them or their families throughout generations. But, as expected, it failed to ease the animosity.

In another instance of “special treatment” of Jews, Twitter accounts of users displaying a Star of David were locked by the social media platform, which deemed the Jewish symbol as “hateful imagery.” Twitter later said this was done by accident.

Surprisingly, this is all happening at a time when some social media giants face boycotts from international corporations, which are pulling multi-million dollar advertising budgets from what they call a permissive hate-speech culture on those platforms. Apparently, antisemitism is a more powerful exception to the rules against online hate speech than both advertising dollars and boycott threats, since it is still widely tolerated, and the responsible regulators look the other way.

Hatred of Jews, however, does not depend on our actions. It is a sensation embedded in nature. The wisdom of Kabbalah explains that antisemitism first surfaced together with the emergence of the Jewish people around 4,000 years ago in ancient Babylon.

While Babylon was experiencing a crisis of social division, with conflicts and hatred tearing up society, Abraham, a Babylonian priest who discovered the path to unity above the growing divisions, began openly teaching his method to anyone who wanted to learn.

Those who felt that social discord was the burning issue of the time flocked to study with him. He guided them to the discovery of the single uniting force necessary to rise above divisiveness. The group he led became known as “the people of Israel,” meaning “straight to God,” (Yashar-El in Hebrew), i.e., straight to the single force of love and bestowal that exists in reality. Later, the group also became known as “Jews,” which derived from the Hebrew word “yehud,” meaning unity.

Since the Jewish people were the first to attain unity above division, they received the mandate to act as “a light unto the nations.” This meant that their role was first to connect, and then to spread the light that emanated from their connection like rippling waves to the rest of humanity.

Why is this role so important today?

It is because in today’s world, the overblown human ego, social division, conflicts, and hatred are all rising exponentially, causing a myriad of problems and crises, and thus there is a renewed urgency and necessity for the Jewish people to carry out their role. The more people suffer, the more they subconsciously blame the Jews for holding the keys to fix the problems, but failing to do so.

If we Jews make no effort to connect, we block the positive unifying force from reaching humanity, and hatred pressures us to perform what is expected of us. Humanity’s positive future depends on us.

If we have a privilege, it is in our role to deliver human society the abundance and fulfillment that comes from uniting “as one man with one heart.” As is written by the most renowned Kabbalist of our generation, Rav Yehuda Ashlag (Baal HaSulam), “It is the wisdom of faith, justice and peace which most nations learn from us, and this wisdom is ascribed to us alone.”

When we as Jews unite, even slightly, we will act as a conduit for the force of unity to spread throughout human consciousness.
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“Lack Of Jewish Unity Spurs Anti-Semitism” (San Diego Jewish World)

My new article on San Diego Jewish World “Lack of Jewish unity spurs anti-Semitism

The longer the pandemic lingers, the more the world will turn a blaming eye toward us, the Jews. Anytime affliction grows around the world, it directs its anger at the Jews. A few days ago, far-right white nationalist Canadian politician Travis Patron released a video stating, “What we need to do, perhaps more than anything, is remove these people, once and for all, from our country.” He’s not alone, and these ideas do not come only from the far-right. There is ample evidence of anti-Semitism on the left, as well, and even people who aren’t known for their extreme views express or share anti-Semitic social media posts.

Just like the Jews in Germany before World War II tried to convince the Nazis that they were good Germans but to no avail, Jews today are trying to convince the world that we are good people. They say that Jews donate to charity more than any other nation or faith, that they contribute to high-tech innovations that advance the world far above their proportion in the world, that Jews have given the world many great physicians, thinkers, artists, and entrepreneurs, and that they are ardent human rights activists. But the world largely responds with contempt. It may be ironic, but it seems very natural for anti-racism protesters to yell “Dirty Jews” at counter-protesters, as The Jerusalem Post reported on June 15. In other words, many people don’t even relate to anti-Semitism as a type of racism.

Jew-hatred is irrational. It doesn’t need justification (though one is always found) and it always grows when times are hard. But there is a very good explanation for it, though most Jews and most non-Jews are unaware of it.

The first Hebrew, Abraham, left his hometown, Haran, in ancient Babylon, when his countryfolk rejected him. Midrash Rabbah, Maimonides, and many other sources describe Abraham’s findings—that his people had become alienated from each other. He tried to bring them together, to help them rise above their egocentric attitude to one another. But instead of gratitude, he suffered their disdain. Eventually, they excommunicated him and drove him out of Babylon.

But Abraham succeeded. As he wandered west toward Canaan, more and more people joined him since they felt that unity above hatred is the right way to live, while those they had left behind wallowed in their hatred and eventually disintegrated. At the same time, Abraham’s people became a nation and continued to work on their unity, despite the many conflicts that arose within them. That ancient schism between Abraham’s group with its method of unity, and the rest of the Babylonians with their mindset of individuality, is the hidden root of all forms of Jew-hatred. And since the Babylonian culture had spread across the globe, there is not a single place on Earth without latent antisemitism waiting for a crisis to trigger it.

And if the ancient rupture isn’t enough to justify anti-Semitism, upon their exodus from Egypt, the Jews not only achieved complete unity (although it soon faded), but were also tasked with being “a light unto nations”—to spread that unity to the rest of the world. For nearly two millennia, the Jews had fought to keep their unity and be faithful to their mission. But some two thousand years ago, they succumbed to their egoism, which they called “unfounded hatred,” and were dispersed. Since then, they have become unfit to carry out their mission as a chosen people since their hatred for each other prevents them from spreading unity.

Because the Jews fell from brotherly love, from the motto “Love your neighbor as yourself,” into unfounded hatred, the world does not view them as the carriers of unity. But even so, it still regards them as responsible for the world’s troubles, and especially the wars. Ask any anti-Semite who is responsible for all the wars in the world, and they will tell you it’s the Jews. Although they are unaware of it, by holding the Jews responsible for all the troubles in the world, anti-Semites are saying indirectly that the Jews aren’t bringing peace. Inadvertently, they are admitting that the task the Jews were given at the foot of Mt. Sinai is still valid, and that not carrying it out is the reason for their hatred.

What then should the Jews do about it? Exactly what the anti-Semites (subconsciously) expect them to do: unite and project that unity to the world, be “a light unto nations.” Since the Jewish people are descendants of Babylonians from tribes and clans that were often sworn enemies until they joined Abraham’s group, if the Jews unite above their hatred, it will set an example and pave the way for the rest of the nations.

Ironically, the only cure for anti-Semitism is Jewish unity, and sharing it with the world. It turns out that the greatest danger to the Jewish people is not knowing their task.
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