Tuesday, July 25, 2006

LIKE IT IS - A HISTORY LESSON

Hi there, fellow bloggers and readers, this is yitz of Heichal HaNegina, with my first "political post" on Batya's blog. Let me say at the outset that the Medads and our family go back almost 30 years, to our first [and only] pilot trip [and my first trip ever] to Artzeinu HaKedosha (our Holy Land) -- we were their neighbors in Bayit Vegan (Yerushalayim) in 1979.

For my first post I'd like to share an e-mail that I recently received. I've actually received it a while back as well, but I think in light of today's "matzav" - our war situation here in Eretz Yisrael - it is more relevant than ever. Hope you enjoy!


Dear World,

I understand that you are upset by us, here in Israel. Indeed, it appears that you are quite upset, even angry. (Outraged?)

Indeed, every few years you seem to become upset by us. Today, it is the "brutal repression of the Palestinians"; yesterday -- and today -- it was/is Lebanon; before that it was the bombing of the nuclear reactor in Baghdad and the Yom Kippur War and the Sinai campaign. It appears that Jews who triumph and who, therefore, live, upset you most extraordinarily.

Of course, dear world, long before there was an Israel, we - the Jewish people - upset you.

We upset a German people who elected Hitler and upset an Austrian people who cheered his entry into Vienna and we upset a whole slew of Slavic nations - Poles, Slovaks, Lithuanians, Ukrainians, Russians, Hungarians and Romanians. And we go back a long, long way in the history of world upset.

We upset the Cossacks of Chmielnicki who massacred tens of thousands of us in 1648-49; we upset the Crusaders who, on their way to liberate the Holy Land, were so upset at Jews that they slaughtered untold numbers of us.

For centuries, we upset a Roman Catholic Church that did its best to define our relationship through inquisitions, and we upset the arch-enemy of the church, Martin Luther, who, in his call to burn the synagogues and the Jews within them, showed an admirable Christian ecumenical spirit.

And it is because we became so upset over upsetting you, dear world, that we decided to leave you - in a manner of speaking - and establish a Jewish state.

The reasoning was that living in close contact with you, as resident-strangers in the various countries that comprise you, we upset you, irritate you and disturb you.

What better notion, then, than to leave you (and thus love you) - and have you love us and so, we decided to come home - home to the same land we were driven out 1,900 years earlier by a Roman world that, apparently, we also upset.

Alas, dear world, it appears that you are hard to please.

Having left you and your pogroms and inquisitions and crusades and holocausts, having taken our leave of the general world to live alone in our own little state, we continue to upset you.

You are upset that we repress the poor Palestinians.

You are deeply angered over the fact that we do not give up the lands of 1967, which are clearly the obstacle to peace in the Middle East

Moscow is upset and Washington is upset.

The "radical" Arabs are upset and the gentle Egyptian moderates are upset.

Well, dear world, consider the reaction of a normal Jew from Israel.

In 1920 and 1921 and 1929, there were no territories of 1967 to impede peace between Jews and Arabs. Indeed, there was no Jewish State to upset anybody.

Nevertheless, the same oppressed and repressed Palestinians slaughtered tens of Jews in Jerusalem, Jaffa, Safed and Hebron. Indeed, 67 Jews were slaughtered one day in Hebron in 1929.

Dear world, why did the Arabs - the Palestinians - massacre 67 Jews in one day in 1929? Could it have been their anger over Israeli aggression in 1967?

And why were 510 Jewish men, women and children slaughtered in Arab riots between 1936-39? Was it because Arabs were upset over 1967?

And when you, dear world, proposed a UN Partition Plan in 1947 that would have created a "Palestinian State" alongside a tiny Israel and the Arabs cried "no" and went to war and killed 6,000 Jews - was that "upset" caused by the aggression of 1967? And, by the way, dear world, why did we not hear your cry of "upset" then?

The poor Palestinians who today kill Jews with explosives and firebombs and stones are part of the same people who ­ when they had all the territories they now demand be given to them for their state - attempted to drive the Jewish state into the sea. The same twisted faces, the same hate, the same cry of "itbach-al-yahud" (Massacre the Jew!) that we hear and see today, were seen and heard then. The same people, the same dream - destroy Israel. What they failed to do yesterday, they dream of today, but we should not "repress" them.

Dear world, you stood by during the holocaust and you stood by in 1948 as seven states launched a war that the Arab League proudly compared to the Mongol massacres.

You stood by in 1967 as Nasser, wildly cheered by wild mobs in every Arab capital in the world, vowed to drive the Jews into the sea. And you would stand by tomorrow if Israel were facing extinction.

And since we know that the Arabs-Palestinians dream daily of that extinction, we will do everything possible to remain alive in our own land.

If that bothers you, dear world, well ­ think of how many times in the past you bothered us.

In any event, dear world, if you are bothered by us, here is one Jew in Israel who couldn't care less.

12 comments:

goyisherebbe said...

Yitz,
Welcome, co-blogger. This is always an appropriate piece for Israel's survival. I believe it was written by the late Eliezer Whartman in 1967 on the occasion of the Six-Day War and has been republished myriad times since. My wife and I, by the way, also met the Medads back in the Bayit V'Gan days. We lived on Rechov Hapisga temporarily then.

YMedad said...

Hello to all the veterans who have met us ages ago. Makes me feel so young. Yisrael

yitz said...

Hi there "Winky",
Maybe you'll blog along with us too??? :))

Philipp Lenssen said...

Welcome to the blogosphere.

Anonymous said...

Hey there welcome to the world of blogging! It really is fantastic. Make sure you keep this blog going.

Step said...

Greetings and Shalom. I am from America, but my heart is with you there. Throughout history your people's lot is a tough one. I hope for some rest and peace for your country. Thanks for the blog.

Anonymous said...

My heart is with Israel. I am sorry about all the stupid people in the world who are against everything Israel does. They simply hate the jews.

yitz said...

To Phi, Sam, and Step: thanks for your comments, but as to your referral from "Google-Blogoscoped", although this is my first post on Batya's blog, and my first "political" one, if you will, I have been blogging for close to a year at Heichal HaNegina. Please check me out there, too, and feel free to leave a comment if you wish.
Anonymous: you're right on target.
GR: I saw on another blog that this piece was authored by Rabbi Meir Kahane. Anyway of verifying either that or what you wrote above?

Anonymous said...

Just that you know the next time:
Lithuanians, Hungarians and Romanians are not Slavic nations.

jh said...

And up yours too!

Anonymous said...

I see that the "Dear World" essay was reprinted in the Darka Shel Torah parsha sheet, issue of Shavuot 5762, with this intro:

"This classic written by Rabbi Meir Kahane, z"tl appeared in the op-ed section of the NY Times in 1988. Recently, it has been circulated over the internet, but in someone else's name. We are certain that whoever changed the name of the real author did so that the reader of the article will be more open to the ideas, unbiased by the 'Kahane' stigma. On the other hand, 'Whoever repeats a thing in the name of one who said it brings redemption to the world' (Pirkei Avot,6)"

Even without seeing that, I would have thought the essay was by Rav Kahane. The style, the phraseology, definitely sounds like him.

-- MAOZ

Anonymous said...

This piece, written with one or two very slight changes (from the version posted here) by the Late Rav Kahane (zecher tzadik l'vracha, Hashem should avenge his blood), is a wonderful work that has floated around for the last few decades. The original version might have ended with: This is one Jew [...] who does not give a damn. How we miss the last prophet our people produced! I believe (as many others do) that the reference in Amos 8:11 to searching for The Words of Hashem is actually telling us how much we miss The Rav and his leadership and how we will search for his wisdom in the era immediately preceeding Biat HaMoshiach.