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December 12, 2014 12:44 am

Why Are Good People Slaughtered by Terrorists?

avatar by Jeremy Rosen

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A menorah for Hanukkah. Photo: PugnoM via Creative Commons.

As we celebrate the miracles of Hanukkah, we are bound to ask why sometimes some people are saved and at other times not. A month ago four men, all pious, learned, charitable and altruistic, were hacked to death in a Jerusalem synagogue as they prayed to God in tallit and tefillin. They were not ideologues or fighters. Just Jews who wanted to be good human beings and practice their religion in what they believed was their Holy Land. And we must not forget the death of the valiant Druze policeman who intervened.

If religion tells us that repentance, prayer, and charity averts evil decrees or that those performing a good deed are protected, why were they not protected particularly at that moment?

Why did Heaven decree hundreds of years of painful servitude before the Israelites were freed from Egypt? Why have two temples destroyed and the innocent as well as the guilty raped, sold into slavery, or killed? Why go through thousands of years of exile, oppression, torture, and death at the hands of Christianity and Islam or the Holocaust of innocents before being able to return home? Or why, simply, in the words of the Talmud, does a good person suffer?

Abraham asked the question first and we have been repeating it ever since. The answers fall into different categories. Peoples – nations, rise and fall, succeed and fail, as groups, not individuals. Individuals get caught up in wider conflicts and crises, to quote Proverbs, “like birds in snares.” If good people die as their nation slides into periodic decline, is it because they failed to alert or to change or to persuade their contemporaries to be better people? Unlike other cultures thousands of years ago, we recorded our errors and failures. Two temples were destroyed because good people failed, because we brought it all upon ourselves, says the Talmud. So, yes, we are often the authors of our own obituaries; but is that the whole story?

The legend goes that when Rebbi Akivah was being tortured to death, the angels challenged God and He replied: “Silence! It’s my decision.” That’s one answer. We cannot know the mind of God. A different opinion in the Talmud is that “the world functions according to its own rules,” although that avoids the issue of who made the rules in the first place. And there were great rabbis who honestly admitted that they had no explanation at all.

We are told that there is no justice in this world altogether, it is all in the Next. But even this position is modified by the opinion that no one has ever seen the Next World or knows very much about it. So why then do so many of us think that rabbis, mystics, Shamans, and mind readers can really know or guarantee us anything? Is it just our need for certainty that gulls us into believing what we want to?

I want to suggest an alternative narrative. The function of religion is not, as is often stated, to answer all our questions. It cannot and does not. That is, after all, why the Talmud said its better not to enquire too much about things we cannot know. Rather its function is to help us cope. By giving us a framework for living that incorporates the unknown and the unknowable, it forces us to think, instead, of our own daily behavior. Having a framework enables us to deal with tragedy and loss because it’s when one has no distractions that one can dwell on what has gone wrong and why – and depression can so easily set in. That’s the meaning of the sentence in Proverbs about the person who takes to his bed claiming there’s a lion outside. Too much abstracting and not enough doing has been the downfall or religions as well as individuals.

In addition, focusing on a Divine non-physical being enables us to think beyond our immediate physical world. In a way it’s also a kind of distraction. It enables us to handle pain in the way we try to think of other, nicer, more comforting things. Exercises such as deep breathing and relaxing, which help us cope with physical pain, also help us cope with mental pain, with the unthinkable.

The Biblical Hebrew word for faith is “Emunah.” But Emunah has a root of being firm, strong, reliable. In other words having the strength to persevere and survive. Belief in God does not necessarily mean everything will be taken care of or put right. Rather it means that we have something to hold on to, a good friend or a transcendental experience that can take us out of our physical world and give us an alternative to an intolerable present.

Indeed that’s exactly what so many expect from our rabbis and gurus and magicians, too. I just find it strange to rely on fallible humans for certainty when it is clear that they themselves cannot have all the answers.

The widow of one of the slain in Har Nof said it happened because of rivalry and hatred within the Orthodox community. Not unlike the story that Rabbi Akivah’s pupils all died because they did not show each other respect. This does not mean that that really was the reason. I take it to mean that when a tragedy happens, any tragedy, we must use it as an opportunity for self-examination and repentance and to think that “there but for the grace of God go I.” And if I have been spared I must use the gift of life well and fully.

Hanukkah (however you spell it), precisely for this reason, gives two narratives: the proactive one of taking responsibility, defeating enemies, and getting a second chance, and the passive miracle of the oil, of things we don’t understand. We must embrace the inexplicable. Much as I respect and admire scholars who are also good human beings and would trust them before most others, I know that throughout our history our good and our great have disagreed, argued, and often made – what were with hindsight – clearly the wrong decisions. Infallibility is a Catholic concept and one that emerged in response to the challenges of modernity. That is not the example that we should be following. Acceptance and appreciation of life is the gift of Heaven. So is trying to do our best.

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  • Islamic Destruction of Hindu Temples
    For those who don’t believe or do not know of the amount of destruction that took place in India at the hands of the Muslim invaders and Islamic rulers who established themselves in parts of India, we can review the Islamic chronicles of the deeds of these rulers of the day, as written by the Muslim contemporary writers or historians. So what follows is a review of some of the books and their authors who recorded the histories of the Islamic rulers, and quotes from some of the descriptions within them about the cities they attacked and the temples they destroyed. It really shows how demoniac and cruel these rulers were.
    The evidence of destruction of thousands of Hindu temples can be primarily found from two different sources:
    1. Literary Evidence from the work of renowned Islamic historians
    2. Epigraphic Evidence from the inscriptions on numerous Mosques all over India.
    This article deals with only the literary evidence.
    Hundreds of Muslim historians have glorified the deeds of their Muslim heroes all over India. This by no means is an exhaustive list! To learn more about this, please read both volumes of, Hindu Temples: What Happened To Them? by Sita RamGoel.
    There is elaborate literary evidence from the Islamic sources which glorify the crimes committed by the Muslims in India. Crimes such as the desecration of the Hindu idols, looting of the temples, killing devotees and raping have been well documented by the Muslim historians themselves. They have done so because according to them these Muslim rulers by doing such deeds were following the tenets of Islam and Sunnah of the prophet Mohammed. The literary evidence stated below is in chronological order with reference to the time at which a particular work was written.
    1. Name Of The Book: Hindustan Islami Ahad Mein (India under Islamic Rule)
    Name Of The Historian: Maulana Abdul Hai.
    About The Author: He is a highly respected scholar and taken as an authority on Islamic history. Because of his scholarship and his services to Islam, Maulana Abdul Hai was appointed as the Rector of the Darul Nadwa Ullum Nadwatal-Ulama. He continued in that post till his death in February 1923.
    The following section is taken from the chapter Hindustan ki Masjidein (The mosques of India) of the above mentioned book. Here we can see a brief description of few important mosques in India and how each one of them was built upon plundered Hindu temples.
    a. Qawwat al-Islam Mosque at Delhi: “According to my findings the first mosque of Delhi is Qubbat al-Islam or Quwwat al-Islam which, Qutubud-Din Aibak constructed in H. 587 after demolishing the Hindu temple built by Prithvi Raj and leaving certain parts of the temple outside the mosque proper; and when he returned from Ghazni in H. 592 he started building, under orders from Shihabud-Din Ghori, a huge mosque of inimitable red stones, and certain parts of the temple were included in the mosque…”
    b. The Mosque at Jaunpur: “This was built by Sultan Ibrahim Sharqi with chiseled stones. Originally it was a Hindu temple after demolishing which he constructed the mosque. It is known as the Atala Masjid.”
    c. The Mosque at Qanauj: “It is well known that this mosque was built on the foundations of some Hindu temple that stood here. The mosque was built by Ibrahim Sharqi in H. 809 as is recorded in Gharbat Nigar.”
    d. Jami Masjid at Etwah: “This mosque stands on the bank of the Jamuna at Etawah. There was a Hindu temple at this place, on the site of which this mosque was constructed. .”
    e. Babri Masjid at Ayodhya: “This mosque was constructed by Babar at Ayodhya which Hindus call the birth place of Ramchandraji… Sita had a temple here in which she lived and cooked for her husband. On that very site Babar constructed this mosque in H.963 ”
    f. Mosque at Benaras: “Mosque of Benares was built by Alamgir Aurangzeb on the site of Bisheshwar Temple. That temple was very tall and held as holy among Hindus. On this very site and with those very stones he constructed a lofty mosque, and its ancient stones were rearranged after being embedded in the walls of the mosque. It is one of the renowned mosques of Hindustan.”
    g. Mosque at Mathura: “Alamgir Aurangzeb built a mosque at Mathura. This mosque was built on site of the Govind Dev Temple which was very strong and beautiful as well as exquisite.”

  • Discrimination and racism in Israel is no more or no less than anywhere else.

    Let’s look at the facts.
    The whole world is sympathetic to Arab-Palestinian nationalism but not to Jewish nationalism.
    That shows irrational and twisted world opinion and antisemitism.
    There is also much jealousy of Jews and their accomplishments in the face of adversity.
    No other country has withstood murderous enemies and yet still be so successful.
    Europe’s economies are failing, it’s “multicultural” experiment of integrating Muslims, is failing,
    Arabs blackmail the world with oil (although OPEC’s power is waning),
    Arabs have not contributed anything to humanity for the last 600 years.
    Muslims are contributing to 95% of the conflicts worldwide.
    Iran has the world’s highest rate of sexually transmitted diseases leading to
    the world’s highest infertility rate.
    If Iran cannot replace its population, then Persian civilization is on its way out.
    The Islamic world is in chaos. Lack of good leadership, infighting and terrorism.
    Islamic leaders are the worst abusers of their own people.
    The Muslims are the true racists. Any one who is not Muslim is an infidel.
    Look at what’s happening to minorities in Muslim countries. The Jews have been expelled, and now the Christians.
    The world is too afraid to combat this mentality and terrorism, so it is just easier to blame Israel and the Jews for the world’s problems. Same story as in past history.
    Yet, many countries in the world – Brazil, Japan, India, New Zealand, Norway, China and Russia and more –
    all have growing trade relations with Israel.
    As long as Israel makes what the world wants and the world
    is willing to pay for it, to hell what these biased countries think.

  • charlie johnson

    Why is there so many killers,Violence and evil in our world today?I looked in a big book long ago. The answer I found is not accepted by our highly educated scientist .You know, The guys who created thermonuclear weapons? They deny this evidence and refer to it as Jewish campfire stories,As I am not obligated to defend scientific deductions of life here on this planet I have found the answer in the big book totally satisfactory.In the early times there were two humans who fell for deception by a very cunning little creature and followed his advice. Today we still deal with the results of a bargain with the Devil.Probably the same one who advises and rewards the scientist with the means to live in the luxuries offered by the accumulation of wealth.

  • Arabs expelled the Jews from all their countries.
    The Jewish exodus from Arab lands refers to the 20th century expulsion or mass departure of Jews, primarily of Sephardi and Mizrahi background, from Arab and Islamic countries. The migration started in the late 19th century, but accelerated after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. According to official Arab statistics, over 989,000 Jews were forced out of their homes in Arab countries from 1948 until the early 1970’s. Some 600,000 resettled in Israel, [1] leaving behind personal property valued today at more than $990 billion.[2][3] Jewish-owned real-estate left behind in Arab lands has been estimated at 120,000 square kilometers (four times the size of the State of Israel). Valued today at about 15 trillion dollars [4]
    Not abused? I feel like swearing here. you can bet your rear end they were abused.
    Patricia Metzger’s campaign to achieve justice sheds light on a little-discussed aspect of the Israeli-Arab conflict: In the wake of the War of Independence and the establishment of Israel, two major population movements took place in the Middle East. The one that is frequently mentioned is the Palestinian exodus, but at the same time almost one million Jews were forced to leave Arab countries where they had lived for hundreds of years. According to official Arab statistics, due to persecution, some 950,000 Jews left those countries from 1948 to the beginning of the 1970s, and about 600,000 of them were absorbed in Israel. For the sake of comparison, the United Nations data estimate the original population of Arab-Palestinian refugees at 580,000.
    Because we had no home for nearly two thousand years, Israel made itself independent of its Arab-British oppressors in 1948. In that year, another great Jewish Exodus occurred, leading to a large increase in the population of Israel and the decimation of some of the oldest Jewish communities on earth.

    Jews have lived in the countries now occupied by Arabs since the destruction of the first Temple in 586 B.C.E. Yet, the descendants of these original inhabitants of so many Middle Eastern lands were driven out of their ancestral homes by the religious bigotry and racial animosity of the Arab invaders.

    In 1945 there were more than 995,000 Jews living in Arabic speaking countries. Today, there are less than 8,000. Some Arab states like Libya are completely judenrein, i.e., cleansed of Jews, as the Arabs’ best friend, Hitler, liked to say.

    About 630,000 of these Jews were absorbed by Israel. Another 350,000 went to Europe, America or Australia. Evidently, then, the refugee problem in the Middle East consists of the failure of the Arab states to compensate these 986,000 for the property and assets they were forced to leave behind.

    Examples are Iraq, which once had a Jewish population of 95,000 and now only has less than one hundred Jews left. A good number of Jews left Egypt in 1948. Egypt is the country where Yasser Arafat was born (Arafat is an Egyptian. His real name is Husseinei). There were 79,000 Jews in Egypt in 1948. Yet, in connection with the Egyptian aggression of 1957, more than 26,200 Jews were forced to leave Egypt. Today, the Jewish community in Egypt amounts to only 200. These Jews left assets of $25 billion, for which they should now be compensated.

    There are no Jews in Algeria today. That country is also Judenrein. In 1948 there were 150,000 Jews in Algeria. In Morocco, which was the home of 296,000 Jews before 1948, there are today only 5,800 Jews. Similar decimation occurred in Syria, Tunisia, Yemen and other Arab states. The governments of the these countries forcibly expelled all Jews, who then increased the Israeli population. From the Arab point of view that was indeed as stupid a policy as the Arab incitement of the Russian population against the Jews in that country. That anti-Jewish campaign by the Arab agitators led to the arrival in Israel of over a million Russian Jews. Many of the Jews were engineers and scientists of the first order. This helped Israel a great deal. Now the Arabs are making life miserable for the Jews of France and Belgium. There are over 700,000 Jews in France. If the Arabs keep up their attacks on these European Jews then Israel will again absorb a large contingent of Jews forced to flee France (and Belgium).

    The Jewish exodus from the Arab lands was dramatic. Many Jews fled on foot while others were rescued by “Operation Magic Carpet.” This consisted of bringing 55,000 Yemeni Jews to Israel by plane.

    It is evident, therefore, that the “refugee problem” in Israel consists of the failure of the Arabs to pay compensation to the one million Jews who were driven out of their homelands by the Arab hate mongers.

    And There were riots prior to Israel existing. Simply wounding or killing Jews because there was a chance that Israel would exist.

    Go on . Tell me that 5 Times the land of Israel taken from Jews and 990 Billion dollars in personal assets and Jewish-owned real-estate left behind in Arab lands has been estimated at 120,000 square kilometers (four times the size of the State of Israel). Valued today at about 15 trillion dollars isn’t “Abusing ” them . Its just your regular old nationalizing right? No racial hatred at all I am sure. Not to mention they were productive citizens who had no interest in moving to Palestine or they would have already done so (and wouldn’t have been so bloody rich)
    “If you can’t get rid of the skeleton in your closet, you’d best teach it to dance.” – George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)


    In addition to the comment by YJ Draiman, I add only this: The Arabs living in the Holy Land also agree that there is no “Palestinian Nation” – here are some quotes:
    Already in 1977, a central spokesman of that “second people” (a PLO leader, Zahir Muhsein, head of the as-Sa’iqa Organization) revealed the truth in an interview to the Dutch newspaper Trouw. Here are his words:
    “The Palestinian people do not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the State of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct ‘Palestinian people’ to oppose Zionism for tactical reasons. Jordan, a sovereign state with defined borders, cannot raise claims to Haifa and Jaffa. As a Palestinian, I can undoubtedly demand Haifa, Jaffa, Beer-Sheva and Jerusalem. However, the moment we reclaim our right to all of Palestine, we will not wait even a minute to unite Palestine and Jordan.”

    In 1974, the late Syrian President, Hafez al-Assad,declared, “It would be fitting for us to mention to the responsible Israeli authorities that we view Palestine not just as an inseparable part of the Arab nation, but also as a part of southern Syria.” In 1987 he reiterated this at a conference in Amman by saying, “A country named ‘Palestine’ has never existed.” Jordan’s King Hussein responded, “The appearance of the national Palestinian persona serves as a response to Israel’s claim that Palestine is Jewish.”

    to Yasir Arafat who, in 1970 with candid simplicity, told the reporter Arianna Palazzi, “The question of borders doesn’t interest us… From the Arab standpoint, we mustn’t talk about borders. Palestine is nothing but a drop in an enormous ocean. Our nation is the Arabic nation that stretches from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea and beyond it… The PLO is fighting Israel in the name of Pan-Arabism. What you call ‘Jordan’ is nothing more than Palestine.”

    Ahmed Shukari in 1956 he proclaimed from the UN podium, as the Arab League’s ambassador there, “Such a creature as Palestine does not exist at all. This land is nothing but the southern portion of Greater Syria…”

    Mr. Husseini, head of the Supreme Arab Committee to the UN special committee that was deliberating on Eretz Yisrael in 1947. Here are his words:
    “An additional consideration of great importance for the Arab world is racial uniformity. The Arabs lived in a broad expanse stretching from the Mediterranean Sea to the Indian Ocean. They spoke one language, and shared a common history, tradition and aspirations. Their unity was the solid foundation for peace in one of the most central and sensitive regions in the world. For that reason, it does not make sense that the United Nations should facilitate the establishment of a foreign entity within that well-rooted unity.”

    Indeed, Husseini is correct. His declaration before the UN’s investigative committee exposes the simple fact that there is no “Palestinian” language and no unique “Palestinian” culture. The Palestinians are Arabs, and they cannot be set apart from the Jordanians, Syrians, Lebanese, Iraqis, etc.

    Remove from the argument the lies, and you reveal that the conflict is taking place between the Arabic, Muslim empire of 21 states and the Jewish people – claiming their right to their one and only historic homeland, consisting of less than one fifth of one percent of the lands under Arab control.

    The prominent Arab historian, Dr. Philip Hitti, expressed himself as follows at the 1947 Anglo-American commission of inquiry at the State Department: “Sir, Palestine never existed throughout history. Absolutely not!”
    Professor Juhan Hazam, testifying at that same commission, said, “Before 1917, when Balfour made his declaration, there had never been a Palestinian question, and there was no Palestine as a political or geographic unit.”
    A local Arab leader, Abd al-Mahdi, testifying before the 1937 Peel Commission, said, “There is no such land. Palestine is a term invented by the Zionists. There is no Palestine in the Bible. Our land was for hundreds of years a part of Syria.”

  • Mark Jay Mirsky

    Dear Jeremy,

    Thank you for the very wise and moving remarks on this tragedy. It is sad that most of the respondents are on their trumpets. I will be repeating your Channukah reflection to my children and guests as we light our candles.


    • Jeremy Rosen

      Thank you Mark
      Just sorry I won’t be with you this year!
      Been enjoying “Puddingstone.” Thank you so much fir your mind and other gifts!

  • Yoel Nitzarim

    Shalom rav, Rabbi Jeremy,
    I have just returned from davening Shacharit at the Kotel. There, not far from where I was seated adjacent to the Kotel, a young man was wailing beyond any and all control. I could hear “Abba” emanating from his lips every fews seconds. The moans and the groans and the sighs and the gasps were excruciating. All the while I was praying prayers beseeching Hashem for forgiveness, mercy, understanding, salvation, pity, protection; un short, I was entreating Him for His ear. My heart went out to this young man, and I approached him after I finished devaluing just to ask him if he was all right. My question was absolutely absurd; my intention, though, understood. His reply with a reserved smile, yes.
    As a concerned Jew , as a kohen, as one who loves Hashem, I thank you for your beautiful drat and wish you a blessed Hanukkah fro Yerushalayim.

    • Jeremy Rosen

      Thank you Yoel
      That was a very poignant and moving post.
      Happy Chanukah

  • Julian Clovelley

    There is a particularly interesting paragraph in your post “YJ Draiman” – and I would sincerely ask you to look closer at its implication. You say:

    “We are tired of hearing anything from anyone associated with the U.N. The U.N. is a parasitic and criminal enterprise dominated by our mortal enemies. The U.N. cannot create states, it can only recommend and so can other nations only recommend and not create a state that never existed before in history.”

    What you are telling me here is that the Partition resolutions of the 1947 era were, on your standards, invalid – in that they were the product of a “criminal and parastic enterprise”. You effectively inform me that the foundation of the State of Israel as a Homeland for the Jewish people – in line with the Balfour Declaration and the resolutions and policies of the League of Nations – were equally invalid

    In this you de-legitimise the existence of the State of Israel. You seem to seek to fill the Vacuum left with the claim, in relation to the Palestinians, that “We are indigenous here, not them,”

    In fact no less than David Ben Gurion recognised that the likely ancestry of the Palestinian people was largely descent from the people who remained in Judea after the Exiles, under the Roman and expanding Arab Empires. The Jewish Bible, in claiming that there were two branches to Abraham’s family also supports such a claim. One might add that the universal nature of the Roman Exile is not a confirmed historical event. It is partially a Christian myth whose aim was to demonstrate that the “Jews” were “punished” for rejecting Jesus. One might argue that the Christian mythological contribution constitutes early antisemitism.

    You seem to be basing your Vacuum filling claim on two items that much of the world considers fallacies. One is the uninterrupted and unique pure descent of Jewish people from the time of Abraham over five thousand years ago. In this you are ignoring both assimilation and conversion – and many would argue the purely mythological nature of the Biblical account. In reality more people who do not claim to be Jewish have the same ancestry as those that do claim to be Jews. There is no exclusive Jewish gene – my own Gentile family carries the same blood – from Jews who assimilated over 100 years ago – I have the documents to prove it. One was a rabbi – another helped found a synagogue. They have had over seventy “Gentile” descendants, a number likely to double within the latest maturing generation, now mostly late teens to mid twenties.

    I think you may also be echoing the Terra Nullius doctrine of the old European Empires – which viewed territories not lived in under the same structure of ownership, administration and title as European nations as being “unoccupied” – This was a racist doctrine that failed to recognise alternative lifestyles and social structures – especially those that were tribal, land and mythology based – precisely the likely administrative structure of the Hebrews of the Bible. The de-legitimisation of these forms of society further de-legitimises the “modern Jewish” claim to the land if such claim is one of “inheritance rights”

    In fact jurisprudence on Terra Nullius does not require that people living in their land have a state. The strictest application of Terra Nullius would overwhelmingly have recognised that the Palestinians were legitimate occupants in that they were subjects of the Ottoman Sultan. A state structure therefore indeed did exist until the abolition of the Ottoman Empire. But of course in the old colonies, Terra Nullius has mostly been overturned anyway, as imperialist bosh.

    Where does all this leave us? – I would argue that your expressed anti UN opinion is the greatest intellectual threat to the legitimacy of the State of Israel that there could be – for in relying on the Zionist Myth – one never greatly supported in its early years from the late nineteenth century, by the “Jewish” community itself – you delegitimise the State of Israel.

    I don’t – I accept the United Nations decision of 1947 and its roots in the League of Nations and in the Balfour Declaration. But I accept it within those terms and no further. Beyond that I look at the present existential position. So far as I am concerned Biblical mythology is in vast conflict with historical reality – I am unconvinced even that Jewish people as a “racial or ethnic group” exist, except within the adherence to a religion. They are people who believe in a religion that contains within it a myth of common origin. That myth I accept on current knowledge to have been assembled about two to three thousand years after the supposed life of Abraham – of whose actual historical existence and nature there remains vast uncertainty

    Israel will shortly go to a General Election – I support what other commentators have said, many from within the “Jewish” community and Israel itself. These elections will decide if peace and reconciliation are both possible and an agenda for Israel. From these elections on Israel will be judged in accordance with the composition of the new Knesset and its policies.

    My suggestion would be to finally confront the realities of identity, ethnicity, and common human origin. Grant the people around you – even if you remain in a state of hostility – the dignity of recognition of being people the same as yourselves, and probably of similar real ancestry

    We all are. Respect is what it is about, walking away from mythologies that divide, treating ancient documents as historical artefacts, and not “truncating” time to make it seem that they define and justify policies in the modern world

    They don’t, and they were never meant to…It is a tragic abuse of Scripture.

    Articles such as this one help tell the world about the internal nature of “Jewish” culture. That is of great interest to anyone like myself who came out of a Christian background. They cast a light on another viewpoint on the same documents and a partially similar heritage.

    The first “Christians” were themselves “Jews” – they too intermarried so that the genetic origins in Christianity include a large “Jewish” contribution

    My dad, whose Christianity was well known where he worked, worked in a Jewish market for may years. His friends would include him in the lists of Jewish New Years cards. He was deeply touched by this gesture, which was so much framed within the terms of his own religious beliefs that all are one and that there is only one G-d who sees us all as equals before H-m

    When I walked away from Christianity I kept that bit. Dad died at Christmas many years ago – this is the time I remember the best he taught me. Peace is an ideal he served for his entire life.

    Hostility and war cost his own father’s life – He died at the end of the 1914-1918 war, in the war theatre against the Ottoman Empire

    Your struggles are very much part of my Gentile history too and in the blood of my own children

  • Sonia Willats

    תהלים ד: בַּצָּר, הִרְחַבְתָּ לִּי
    ּתְּהִלִּים 84:עֹבְרֵי, בְּעֵמֶק הַבָּכָא– מַעְיָן יְשִׁיתוּהוּ; גַּם-בְּרָכוֹת

  • Masochistic pathological views are the best solution for not understandable questions to a non existing supposed good-willing benevolent right Just Almighty God…
    Jews; among other human beings, became the absolute specialists for such a behavior and thoughts…It works ever, as in that way, everything works: human being is always, for anything , unforgivable!
    Christians also do the very same,…self punishing by self-whipping even…(like Muslims) but They had Jews to push upon them the responsibilities…and life became so much easier for them…..!
    Amazing foolish Mankind!

  • Re: Israel – To whom it may concern in Europe and the US and elsewhere:

    We are tired of hearing that withdrawal from Judea and Samaria will bring peace. We know and you know that it would bring another Gaza. So stop saying it and promoting this fallacy. Past experience has proven that concessions, appeasement and land for peace only increased terror, violence and more conflict.

    We are tired of hearing that land beyond the Green Line is ‘Palestinian land’. The Green Line is simply an armistice line that has no political significance. You know this too. The San Remo Treaty of 1920 Granted the Mandate for Palestine to the Jewish people, the same Allied powers also established 21 Arab States and one Jewish State – The Arabs are not willing to give up any part of the 21 Arab States and the Jews are not willing to give up any part of the Jewish State.

    We are tired of hearing about the “Palestinian people.” They are no different from the Arabs of Syria or Egypt, from which most of their ancestors migrated in the last 150 years or so. There is no Palestinian language or religion, and until very recently they considered themselves simply ‘Arabs’. Their culture is almost entirely defined by their opposition to the Jewish state. There never was an Arab-Palestinian State or people in History. The Arab Palestinians have a State in Jordan which is 80% of the land originally allocated to the Jewish people under the San Remo Treaty of 1920.

    We are tired of hearing that “the Palestinians deserve a state.” We are indigenous here, not them, and their behavior entitles them more to a trial at The Hague than to a state. The Arab Palestinians have a State it is called Jordan which was carved out of Jewish allocated land.

    And they certainly don’t deserve our state, which is the only state they want. They already took 80% of Jewish allocated land which is Jordan. Israel also gave them the Gaza Strip.

    We are tired of hearing about ‘The Occupation’. As Minister Naftali Bennett said the other day, you can’t be an occupier in your own land. The Arabs are the occupiers, Greater Israel has been a Jewish state for 4,000 years even if it was temporarily conquered and occupied by various nations over the centuries.

    We are tired of hearing that “settlements are illegal under international law.” They are not. The San Remo Treaty of 1920 expliciptly stated that Jewish people can reside anywhere in the Mandate for Palestine, those terms are set in perpetuity.

    We are tired of hearing that “settlement construction is an obstacle to peace.” Arab rejectionism and terrorism is the reason there is no peace. When the Arab-Palestinians teach and preach hate, terror and destruction to their children, this is definitely not a road to peace and coexistence.
    By the way, we are pro-peace. We are just not pro-suicide and self destruction.

    We are tired of hearing about the 5 million (or whatever ridiculous number there are alleged to be) ‘Arab-Palestinian refugees’ or the ‘Arab-Palestinian diaspora’. There were about 600,000 Arabs that left their homes in 1948, mostly of their own volition, more or less at the same time as the 980,000 Jewish refugees from Arab countries, of which the Arabs confiscated their homes and assets. We resettled ours with limited land and resources — resettle yours, the 21 Arab states have more land and resources.

    We are tired of hearing anything from anyone associated with the U.N. The U.N. is a parasitic and criminal enterprise dominated by our mortal enemies. The U.N. cannot create states, it can only recommend and so can other nations only recommend and not create a state that never existed before in history. If they want an Arab-Palestinian state, it already exists, it is Jordan which has taken 80% of Jewish allocated land.

    We are tired of stupid post-colonialist rhetoric. We are not ‘colonists’ and Arabs do not have the right to murder us in the name of ‘resistance’ or beheading Jewish Rabbi’s in Jerusalem’s Har Nof Synagogue. Talking this way reveals you as moral imbeciles. They train their children to be suicide bombers.

    You can not recognize a state and people that never existed and that has no borders, no single government, and no economy. They are not trusted by Arab states either.

    We know we can not depend on any kind of security guarantee from anyone except the Israel Defense Forces. So stop being insulted because we do not trust you. And do not ask us to give up any nuclear weapons we might or might not have or any other method and technology that could help protect us.

    We know that the left-wing parties in Israel are bankrupt of ideas. We are not going to vote for them, no matter how much you would like us to. So do not bother trying to influence our election. We will only vote for a government that protects its people and cares about the Jewish heritage, more than it cares for world opinion.

    Don’t believe what you read in Ha’aretz newspaper, they represent a minority that has no allegiance to the Jewish heritage.
    Jerusalem, undivided, is the capital of the state of Israel. Get used to it, because you can’t change it, the Jewish temple will be rebuilt in Jerusalem.

    Ordinary Israelis who care about their heritage.