Passover 2012: “The Jewish People are Omni-Present”
During the Passover Seder in our home, like in Jewish homes worldwide, our youngest child asked “why is this night different from all other nights?”, and of course we answered, and then sang and ate. But there is one thing that remains constant on every night for the Jewish community – this night and on all other nights hatred for the Jewish people and the Jewish state is widespread.
In synagogues worldwide, discussions about Israel and Iran, antisemitism, the State of Israel and its enemies are prevalent topics – and many of the answers can be found in the words of a Zionist Jewish prophet who remains a source of inspiration for Jews around the world; Ze’ev Jabotinsky.
Here are some quotes from Ze’ev Jabotinsky that are very relevant today:
Everything connected with war is “evil” and “good” does not exist at all. When you fire at the enemy do not lie to yourself and do not imagine that you are shooting at the “guilty”… if at that time we would have begun to calculate what was preferable – the result would have been simple: if you want to be “good” allow yourself to be killed and forego all that you made it your aim to defend: home, country, freedom, hope. The Romans used to say: “always choose the lesser of two evils. When you are faced with a situation where the exertion of force prevails, only one question may be presented: “which is worse?” – (Story of The Jewish Legion)
No one in the Jewish community wants a conflict with Iran (or the Palestinian Arabs) – but for Israel it’s a question of survival, and that’s why Israel thankfully has nuclear arms. Survival is king.
Human society is based on reciprocity. If you remove reciprocity, justice becomes a lie. A person walking somewhere on a street has the right to live only because and only to the extent that he acknowledges my right to live. But, if he wishes to kill me, to my mind he forfeits his right to exist – and this also applies to nations. Otherwise, the world would become a racing area for vicious predators, where not only the weakest would be devoured, but the best. – (Ethics of the Iron Wall.)
Netanyahu could say exactly this every single time stands to defend Israel’s position.
Justice means that everyone receives that which he deserves, especially those that have nothing will receive at least something: for example, a nation which has become stateless should be given a country of its own. We Jews too are candidates for this form of justice as equally as others. For as long as we do not obtain that which we deserve, the world is in fact perpetrating an injustice. Anything that hinders the attainment of our just demands is in principle an injustice… If ours is a righteous demand than anything that threatens its implementation loses the right to cloak itself with lofty phraseology…. Its true name is nothing other than – criminal. – (In a Public Speech, July 8, 1927)
It’s absurd that perhaps the only country on earth whose very existence is questioned is the nation state of the most persecuted people on the face of the Earth – it’s nothing short of criminal.
As Jabotinsky said in 1940, “Life is not always logical”.
At Passover tables worldwide, Jews break one of the matzahs and put half aside as the afikomen -this represents the full portion which was never given to us – only half. Perhaps the half-missing matzah represents the sufferings of the Jewish people – and the hope that the pain that Israel’s enemies cause the Jewish people will eventually be redeemed. Perhaps the Kabbalistic saying will be fulfilled; “there will be a time to fix the broken vessels” – to fix the damage done. Many Jewish hearts have been broken – and lovers of justice too should share in this pain; that year after year Israel and the Jewish people are condemned, and Israelis are forced to defend themselves.
Whatever will be, and wherever Jews worldwide celebrate Passover, the Jewish people are omni-present and they continue the unbroken chain passed down from generation to generation. Today in April 2012, the words of Ze’ev Jabotinsky said in 1937 are as relevant as ever:
Jewish religious tradition is not an archaic object of our history, but an active pulsating power which exists today and will continue for all eternity.
Am Israel Chai – The Jewish People Live!
Ronn Torossian is CEO of 5WPR, a leading US PR Agency, and a former National President of the Betar Movement, founded by Ze’ev Jabotinsky.