Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Thinking About Abe Lincoln's Gettsyburg Address

Sometimes there actually are useful things in The New York Times. The email headlines edition ends with an event that happened on the same day, but a different year. Today it was Lincoln's Gettsyburg Address.

When I was a student we memorized the opening lines, but then I was just a kid, and I didn't fully understand it.

Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth upon this continent a new nation: conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war. . .testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated. . . can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war.
We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate. . .we cannot consecrate. . . we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.
It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us. . .that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion. . . that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain. . . that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom. . . and that government of the people. . .by the people. . .for the people. . . shall not perish from the earth.

Here in Israel, there's a civil war, too. It's not a physically bloody as the American one, but it's vicious, even more vicious. Jewish Law and Philosphy disagrees with the little rhyme I was raised with in America:

Sticks and stones can break my bones
But words can never harm me.

According to Judaism words have powers stronger than the physical. Our minds control our bodies.

The Left, Israel's "elite," accademics, media, etc have been trying from the very beginning of Zionism to make a "new Jew," disengaged from religious restrictions, a Jew engaged in farming the Land, not meek tailor or peddler from Europe. They've evolved into urban, white-collared worker, but the disdain for traditional Judaism is still a central part of their philosphy.

Ironically, today it's the Torah Jew who embraces the Land as a crucial and irreplaceable living part of our heritage. We're being forced to fight for our rights, ordinary civil rights, as if there wasn't a Jewish State. Disengagement Protestors to be Tried After All .

A building in Hebron, bought by a Jew, is being threatened by the Israeli Government. According to the government and the courts, Jews are forbidden to live there. What if this was happening in Philidelphia, Boston, New York or Sacramento? Would anyone protest? It happened in Nazi Germany, and nobody cared, but I thought the world, the Jewish People realized the injustice and that it would never happen again.

Many Jews were killed during Israel's War of Independence and our wars of survival here and the still ongoing terror attacks. Have they "died in vain?"

L'Ilui Nishmata shel Rachella Druk, HaYa"D
In Loving Memory
And the Elevation of Rachella Druk's Soul
17 Years After Her Brutal Murder By Arab Terrorists

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