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Sunday, February 8, 2015

Jewish People/Nation/Religion Like No Other. Maybe That's Why We're Hated?

Yesterday, Shabbat, the Jewish Sabbath, in synagogues all over the world, the weekly Torah Portion, Yitro was read. Yitro, Jethro, was a non-Jew or convert, and there's an irony in that davka in that Torah Portion, named after him we also read the Ten Commandments, the foundation of the Jewish Religion.
The children of Israel camp opposite Mount Sinai, where they are told that G‑d has chosen them to be His “kingdom of priests” and “holy nation.” The people respond by proclaiming, “All that G‑d has spoken, we shall do.”
On the sixth day of the third month (Sivan), seven weeks after the Exodus, the entire nation of Israel assembles at the foot of Mount Sinai. G‑d descends on the mountain amidst thunder, lightning, billows of smoke and the blast of theshofar, and summons Moses to ascend.
G‑d proclaims the Ten Commandments, commanding the people of Israel to believe in G‑d, not to worship idols or take G‑d’s name in vain, to keep theShabbat, honor their parents, not to murder, not to commit adultery, not tosteal, and not to bear false witness or covet another’s property. The people cry out to Moses that the revelation is too intense for them to bear, begging him to receive the Torah from G‑d and convey it to them. (Chabad)
In the title I gave this post, I called us not only a religion, because we're also a people and and nation and I even left out another two crucial aspects.

  • We Jews have a very unique language, Hebrew, which unlike other languages has what can be considered "magic letters." As I mentioned in my book review of "Lashon HaKodesh: History, Holiness, & Hebrew," any combination of them has meaning.
  • We Jews are a Land, too. Many of our Mitzvot, G-d given commandments are based on being in the Land He gave us, the HolyLand, the Land of Israel. 
No other society or religion or nation or language is like the Jewish one. Is it this uniqueness that is the proof that we are G-d's Chosen People, and the other nations, religions etc are jealous? That could be it, because the two most powerful and ambitious religions Christianity and Islam both attempt to supplant us. Both have stolen the narrative of our Bible, our Land and try to show that G-d has rejected the Jews and chosen them. In today's lingo it's called "identity theft."

And why is, davka, this important Torah Portion named after a man who wasn't born a Jew? That must be because instead of being jealous and hateful of the Jewish People, Yitro accepted and recognized that we Jews are G-d's Chosen People. 

Today's world is mirroring many of the events in our ancient past. And just the fact that we Jews are the same People as lived thousands of years ago, while all of our ancient enemies are no longer in existance, troubles those who are trying to supplant and destroy us.

The Torah Portion of Yitro stresses that the "righteous gentiles" who accept and support us will always be honored. 

Shavua Tov uMevorach
May the New Week be Good and Blessed


Tzivia in AliyahLand said...

Congratulations! This post has been selected as one of the finest of the Jewish world this week in Haveil Havalim, the Yikes-it's-Yitro edition, over at Adventures in AliyahLand.

Anonymous said...

Batya: Very well said! The trouble has been that most Jews have foresaken our heritage and have taken it so for granted, that those who want to supplant us, feel it is now much easier for them to do so, as the typical Jew knows almost nothing of who he/she is and what it's all about. Never remember so many problems within the Jewish nation as now - the doubts, the questions of who we are and what our role is in the world. Our role is to be and act as Jews and not worry about our role for the non-Jew. We have one role to be Jews and know that Eretz Yisrael belongs only to the Jews. We must make Jewish education for the Jews a priority and not putting efforts into the enlightenment of other nations, as is being promoted at this time. There will be much answered only after Moshiach. We must put emphasis on Jewish education for Jews and mainly for its youth.

Netivotgirl said...

An absolutely brilliant and beautiful blog post! Bravo!! Every word is a gem of truth!

Batya Medad said...

Tzivia, thanks!
a, good points, but the problem isn't new.
Netivotgirl, thanks so much. Glad you agree with me.