Designer Diane von Furstenberg’s DVF Foundation presented former Arizona congresswoman Gabby Giffords with its Inspiration Award at the United Nations Thursday, the Associated Press reported. The $50,000 prize will be given to the Americans for Responsible Solutions Foundation, a group Giffords founded with husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, to promote efforts to pass additional “gun control” edicts.
Von Furstenberg is a curious, but not unexpected admirer of a state monopoly of violence. Having married into an aristocratic German family and enjoying the title of “Princess” until her divorce, she is the Belgian-born daughter of European Jews, her mother being an Auschwitz concentration camp Holocaust survivor. As such, one would think that she would have special sensitivity to the terrible consequences of disarming citizens. Instead, from her position of sheltered insider privilege, she has chosen to be what my late friend and founder of Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, Aaron Zelman, called “bagel-brained,” and what I have termed being a “kapo for Kristallnacht.”
And a bonus from Bob Owens: The Brady Campaign may be close to going under. If so, it will have been suicide by frivolous lawsuit. The most recent judge didn’t like what they tried and walloped them with legal fees.
April 19th is the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising.
For those that do not understand what Yom HaShoah and the Warsaw Ghetto uprising has to do with guns, look at all the hands in the photos. When there are hands in the air reaching skyward, you will see guns in the hands of those surrounding them. Guns are the defense against tyranny. For “Never Again” to be more than a slogan you need to be able to ensure that it isn’t by having the means to stop the attack.
At the memorial service I attended today the final speaker talked about something a holocaust survivor had implored him to do. To act, to scream, to talk to people, but no matter what, not to do nothing. To do nothing, to be frozen in inaction was to allow them (nazis) to succeed.
For the flame of liberty to continue to burn, there must be those willing to speak out against evil. There must be those willing to give their time, talent and treasure and pledge their sacred honor. Yes, that phrase comes from the American Revolution. The Battle at Lexington and Concord also occurred on April 19th. But if we do not show up and suit up in the battle for freedom, the flame of liberty becomes the Shoah, the holocaust, as well as the flames that devoured the Warsaw Ghetto, the other Ghettos throughout Europe and the death camps.
What do Yom HaShoah and the Warsaw Ghetto have to do with guns. Everything! The fearful cost of a disarmed people.
What happened exceeded our boldest dreams. The Germans fled twice from the ghetto. One of our companies held its position for forty minutes, while the other one lasted – upwards of six hours… I cannot describe to you the conditions in which the Jews are living. Only a handful will survive. All the rest will succumb, sooner or later. Their fate has been sealed. In almost all of the bunkers in which our friends are hiding one cannot even light a candle at night, for lack of air. Goodbye my friend. Perhaps we will see each other again. The main thing is this: My life’s dream has become a reality. I have seen the Jewish defense of the ghetto in all its strength and glory.
23  April 1943 Mordechai Anielewicz
There is no need to ask “Why does this happen”. Nor is there a need to ask “How can something like this happen.” It’s a pattern, we know how.
One of our readers gave a link to a documentary, it is excellent and this is the longer version of it.
From Yad Vashem’s website, interviews with Fighters who survived the Warsaw Ghetto. What is the end result of Universal Background Checks and other “common sense” gun control? Listen, the survivors will tell you.
Tomorrow is Yom HaShoah. It is the Holocaust Remembrance day. In my area the memorial service will be Sunday. I intend to go. I can do nothing but go. It is my personal feeling, just mine, this is only my opinion, that for me to forget what happened, to allow the memory to become comfortably cushioned in the soft cotton of foggy faded distant memory is folly and disrespectful.
Folly because those who ignore the past are doomed to repeat it. I’ve learned some pretty painful long term physical lessons working with my horses. Weather changes bring about certain reminders, very clearly. Care to place a wager on me forgetting how I got them and what needs to be done to prevent a repeat performance? I don’t forget.
Disrespectful because the nazis* goal was to erase Judaism from the earth, to blot out all the names of the victims, to resign them to the faded pages of distant memory. As long as I have breath and am able, I will not be part of that. I will be there, I will pay my respects and I will try to keep their memory and their fate plain. The horrible cost of trusting and disarmed people.
No, I do not mean all of them, but too many. hitler* was elected after all. Not all those that died were Jews either. Estimates are six million Jews died, and five million others made up of groups of gypsies, Poles, Political dissenters, mentally and physically disabled, homosexuals and communists. I’m guessing some of those that died and their family members voted for hitler. Someone pointed out to me last year basically, the Holocaust wiped out the population of Israel. Israel’s Jewish population in 2014 was 6,218,000. The total population was 8,296,000.
Last year I was in Israel during Yom HaShoah. I went with my girlfriend that I stayed with to Ben Gurion University for the memorial service. Since she worked at BGU (אבג) getting in was not a problem. The courtyard where the ceremony was held was packed and people were standing in the windows of surrounding buildings to see the ceremony. We got there early and so sat in the chairs in the courtyard. One thing we noticed, of all the Arab and muslim students that attend there, none that we could see attended the services. It was a profoundly moving services. I didn’t understand a lot of it, it was all in Hebrew of course, and I would only catch words from time to time. But somethings go beyond words. They are universal. One was a dance that was performed.
The dancers were dressed in either white or black, and it was very very clear what the dance was about as the dancers dressed in black appeared to flog, beat and kill the dancers dressed in white. At one point during the dance one of the dancers dressed in white quietly slipped off the stage and disappeared behind a column. When she came back out in a bit it appeared she was being comforted by a staff member. She was unable to finish the dance. The dance finished with the dancers gathered around a pile of their shoes they had all taken off and placed in a corner as they came onto the elevated dance stage. Yeah, like that.
It was very emotional. I can speculate on what those around me felt. I know what I felt, and I suspect it might be different than the majority of those around me.
Following that was the portion where Holocaust survivors or family members came up and read something. I apologize, but my Hebrew just wasn’t/isn’t good enough to recount the stories. But at the end each of the six people went over and lit a candle. Each candle represented a million people. As they read their speeches you could hear something in the background. At first I thought it was suppose to be the sound of muted rifle fire. But then with each person it seemed to be a bit louder and more clear. Not rifle fire. Trains. The sound of trains on the tracks. Damn.
I was already angry from my visit to Yad Vashem just a few days before when I had been livid about the miniscule display of “Resistance during the Holocaust”. It was a miniscule display for more than one reason, but what was going through my mind was that the elected nazi government used all branches of government to target a group of people. And then they used already on the books common sense gun laws like universal background checks to more easily eliminate them.
An article recently appeared that brought to light that among those who tried to help rescue the Jews, were other Jews. They feel that the concept of Jews saving themselves has been muted or lost. The article stated
Part of the mission of the Jewish Rescuers Citation is to re-instill the idea that Jews are not only capable, but prone to be hardened heroes.
The article raises some very interesting ideas. Even if you don’t read the linked article, you might want to check Yad Vashem for a short list and photos of nine people who served in the Resistance, many of them at the greatest cost to save lives. Their names and their lives deserve to be remembered. Their price was large, perhaps you can spare a couple minutes to meet them?
For people to live in freedom, freedom from slavery, from poverty, from annihilation, the first thing we need to do is to quit committing suicide.
By that I mean there is ONE JEWISH state, in all of the world, there is ONE. Look at your elected officials attitudes towards that one state and you will have an idea of their attitudes towards your group.
Look at remarks made towards your group, are they accurate and fair? I’m thinking of the last two years worth of comments at the annual prayer breakfast here.
Are branches of the government targeting certain groups of political dissenters?
Do you put money into the pockets of people that urge you to become disarmed and vulnerable to any of the above? Harry Weinstein, Babs Streisand, Tim McGraw or any of the many other anti-gun entertainers that will then use their bully pulpit to disarm you?
Saddle pads and skirts folks. Check your patterns
There is a stone in the Garden of the Righteous Among the Nations, it is to ALL, not Jewish, or non-Jewish, but ALL.
Please G-d, may we need no more of them. The cost is far too dear.
* Some things and some people do not deserve capital letters. Not a typo.
“We’re gonna have to get as organized as the mafia,”“We better stand up and kick these guys in the ass,” “We just can’t take it anymore [from] these crazy bastards.”“It’s like, here we go again, we’re right back where we were [before the Holocaust]. And the lessons of the past are we better stand up and kick these guys in the ass.”
GREAT idea Harv! Really, kudos! Excellent plan. That attitude is certainly needed as the following video demonstrates. It was filmed a couple of weeks ago on March 22nd. A group of 20 people attempted to storm a Synagogue in London. The worshipers were using chairs, a mop and makeshift wooden clubs fashioned out of furniture pieces to repel their attackers. Perhaps it was a honest mistake, I’m sure “Synagogue” is often mistaken for “Fight Club”. Not sure of the frequency the cry “Kill the Jews” being heard in a fight club, but I don’t frequent fight clubs. Nor am I sure of the statistics on prayer books ripped up in a fight club. Perhaps I need to get out more?
The Jerusalem Post quoted a member of the synagogue who said he heard the men shouting “we will kill you” as they assaulted worshipers and ripped prayer books.
But circumstances have improved. This year those under attack are using chair parts and mops and brooms. Last year in a Jerusalem seminary when students were attacked by a group of peaceful Palestinians throwing rocks at the students during the supper the weapons at hand were chairs, boiling water and the prime defensive weapons appears to have been a pot of cholent, the traditional meat stew. So I guess we should be thankful for small favors, right?
Why the snarky attitude? Because Mr. Tough Weinstein who calls for Jews to fight back condemns them to having cholent as their primary weapon. You see, Mr. Weinstein doesn’t believe Jews or anyone else should be armed and be given a fair chance to defend themselves or their family from the peaceful elements of their area who hurl rocks at them.
“I never want to have a gun,” Weinstein told Stern. “I don’t think we need guns in this country, and I hate it, and I think the NRA is a disaster area.”
Stern asked Weinstein what he would use to defend his family if he were living during the Holocaust, considering both he and Weinstein are Jewish.
Weinstein said there was a justification for using a gun “when you’re marching a half of a million people into Auschwitz.”
Reality apparently escapes Mr. Weinstein. The disconnect between his obamaunicorn stew ideology and the reality of what happens to people who are left at the mercy of those who have none.
Perhaps the illustrious Mr. Weinstein can provide copious amounts of his obamaunicorn stew to the next Synagogue to be attacked prior to the attack, to hurl at their assailants?
Then again perhaps Mr. Weinstein has a reason for keeping people that may be physically smaller and weaker defenseless?
I’m posting this for our TZP colleague, Ilana. Over at WND.com, she writes about freedom of association in her own unique way:
The individual living in America as it was meant to be is free to run his business as he wishes, associate with those he likes, dissociate from those he dislikes or disapproves; hire, fire, rent to or evict from, invest and disinvest, speak and misspeak at will.
This hypothetical free man is at liberty to bruise as many feelings as he likes, so long as his mitts stop at the next man’s face. So long as he harms nobody’s person or property, our mythic man may live as he wishes to live.
Americans have been propagandized for so long; they no longer grasp the basic building blocks of liberty. A crude reductio ad absurdum should help:
A retail store selling Nazi memorabilia opens its doors in my neighborhood. I enter in search of the yellow Star of David Jews were forced to wear during the Third Reich. The proprietor, decked out in Nazi insignia and regalia, says, “I’m sorry, we don’t serve Jews.” “Don’t be like that,” I say. “Where else can I find a pair of clip-on swastika earrings?” The Nazi sympathizer is polite but persistent: “Ma’am, I mean no disrespect, but back in the Old Country, Jews murdered my great grandfather’s cousin and used his blood in the leavening of the Passover matzah.” “Yeah,” I reply. “I’m familiar with that blood libel. I assure you my own mother’s matzo balls were free of the blood of brats, gentile or Jewish. No matter. I can see where you’re coming from. I’m sorry for your loss. Good luck.”
Quite a few TZP posts since the first of the year have looked at bigotry against Jews. It’s dangerous. It’s growing. And unfortunately it’s no surprise.
But there’s one good thing about hatred of Jews: decent, educated human beings in the Western world know how wrong and deadly it is.
There are other kinds of bigotry, on the other hand, that are becoming acceptable. Worse, they’re becoming especially acceptable to the very people who ought to know better: young, well-educated Americans.
Her long-term goal is to take away everybody’s guns (I invite you, Ms Grimes, to come to my house and try it). But for now, just white males.
She envisions all the white guys weeping as they line up to turn in their weapons. (Apparently a desire to make men cry is somewhat of a meme among feminists. And apparently Ms Grimes has no freakin’ clue as to who’d end up crying — and bleeding — in the future she envisions.)
Unfortunately, she’s not just part of some uninfluential fringe. Everywhere on the left, bigotry against some group or another is being not only excused but justified. The respected “progressive” journal, The Daily Kos is one of many that has twisted reality to “prove” that only whites can be racist. A prominent Georgetown University professor teaches the same bilge
In this thinking (if I may call it thinking at all), if a black or Hispanic or Asian person hates whites, it’s somehow okay. Or at least not as bad. (Never mind that every form of racial hatred can be deadly.) The idea is that only powerful people can be racist, and somehow all whites (even blue-collar bottom-of-the-heapers) are powerful, while all chosen minorities (even professors, lawyers, lobbyists, and journalists) are powerless. Basically, the whole notion boils down to “if any designated minority has hateful thoughts, white people, especially white males, caused it.”
Of course, this very broad brush of bigotry against white people or white males also encompasses most Jewish people and most Jewish males. But the real problem isn’t which group it’s “okay” to hate and who is included in the target group.
The problem is the mainstreaming of bigotry — and more scarily, the mainstreaming of bigotry in influential media and in the academic world.
People are so willfully short-sighted! When they want to smear a particular group — whether it be blacks or males or Jews or women or redheads or whatever — they choose not to see that the very act of hating people just because they belong to some group by birth or culture is wrong. It’s wrong no matter what group you choose to revile.
Justifying your own bigotry on the grounds that someone else was bigoted first just perpetuates the vicious cycle. And educated people should know this.
Once you’ve said “group hatred is okay” you’ve declared on principle that bigotry is acceptable. That discrimination is okay.* That depriving entire classes of people of their rights is just fine. You have, in short, opened the gates of hell — and you’d better not be surprised at what comes pouring through.
* This was really a terrible word choice on my part and has led some readers to believe that I’m against freedom of association. For the record, it’s obvious to me that in a free society individuals and individual businesses have every right to discriminate in any way they wish and others have a right to respond. I’m upset that this one ill-written, ill-thought sentence appears to have demolished the real points I was attempting to make in this post.
There are those that see what is happening around them and see the pattern, and see it for what it is, they recognize that pattern. Then there are those that see the pattern and because it is ugly they tell themselves they can’t possibly be seeing exactly what they are seeing and pull the covers back over their head and top it off with a pillow. Then there are those that see the pattern, look at it for two seconds and ask what time “American Idol” comes on that night. Ok, if it were National Finals Rodeo I could maybe understand a little, maybe, but sure not much. That is sad, very sad. Then there are those that see the pattern, know exactly what it is, and in fact maybe helping to contribute to it but deny that it is a pattern and vilify those that point it out. They spend their resources assuring the nervous that all is well, it’s just fine,nothing to see here, move along.
A few random things, a NY city Council man David Greenfield went on a trip to Israel, while there he went to Ramallah. While there, after a visit with the American Consul-General in Jerusalem at his Ramallah office he and the group prepared to go back to their transportation. He was asked to remove his Kippah. He refused.
“I walked into Ramallah with my yarmulke on, of course,” he said. “I was pulled aside by security personnel and was told that I should not wear my yarmulke when I was leaving the building.” The surprised Greenfield asked why he was being told this, and the answer was that “there was a security situation on the ground” and that it was not safe.”I specifically asked them if it was unsafe for me or for the group – they said it was definitely not an issue for the group but they could not guarantee my personal safety. I explained for them that for me it’s a very significant issue and that quite frankly, had I been told this in advance, I never would have agreed to come to Ramallah.”I was told that the US government was providing security and as an official, I expected them to keep up their end of the deal,” he said, adding that the request to have him remove the kippah had come from the Palestinian hosts.
Councilman Greenfield certainly gets it. This is a response he presented at a meeting. He gets it very well.
Then there is this speech by the French Prime Minister.
He gets it.
Then we have those that have walked the streets of Europe wearing a Kippah, to show reactions.
And in Paris for ten hours, but this one just loops, it’s not really that long.
We have the 51 Democrats that are Anti-Semitic and Anti-Israel. They whined that they didn’t like how John Bohner invited Prime Minister Netanyahu to give the speech. Well, I don’t like Bohner. But I suspect he was correct, if he went through the White House aka the House of Hussein, there would be no speech. I’m pretty confident that if Iran develops a nuclear weapon it will affect the US as well as Israel. But barry is too busy trying to be buddies with the people that want to kill US than to allow mere facts to interfere with his enjoyment of his rainbow stew. This link has the speech embedded in the web site. Nancy Pelosi showed she could edge 20 steps closer to Prozac and a padded room when she called the speech “Insulting and condescending.” It would seem Democrats are far more invested in towing the barry boat than living in reality. They do not get it, and they also attempt to mislead the uninformed that vote for them. There is a very real threat.
I have a very sweet lady in a class I take and we had a conversation about guns. She told me she and her husband absolutely respect the Second Amendment, but they belong to the Brady campaign and they just think that all guns need to be registered to stop crime. Class was over and we were all leaving, but I suggested she do a quick internet search for the “Nuremberg Laws”. I pointed out that Hitler could easily keep Jews from owning weapons to protect themselves because they already had a list of who owned what. So when Hitler decided Jews could have nothing to do with firearms, or own them, they knew where the were, duck soup, round up. She doesn’t get it, at all. But she said she still loved me, and I still think she is a lovely lady. An easy target, but a lovely lady. That “Nuremberg Laws article is pretty interesting by the way. Some compare and contrast in it.
So knowledge and interpretation certainly play a role in what you see, and how you see it. But another aspect is your attitude about it. I recently had a very brief discussion with a Rabbi. It involved my wish that Moshe Feiglin would have been returning to the Knesset. He seemed to think that wasn’t such a great thing. I said I just think Jews should be allowed to pray on the Temple Mount, and I do, and I mean right now yesterday. His comment was “When the Messiah comes back”. Really. Because this attitude of accepting little scraps of freedom, the little bits of the Jewish identity people are allowed to retain, the areas where it is safe to walk or as Y.B. pointed out, worship should all be determined by others? The Southern Cowgirl in me rears up and says “OH HELL NO”!
Because when you see attacks on a persons religion, on their ethnicity on their belief system when it harms no one else, you can just about bet the farm that not long after follow the physical attacks. WHY does it need to get to that point?
There are people who see what is happening, they see what is coming. And while the current regime uses government agencies to go after those that speak out, they still must.
1 The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, speak to your people and sayto them, If I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a manfrom among them, and make him their watchman, 3 and if he sees the sword comingupon the land and blows the trumpet and warns the people, 4 then if anyone whohears the sound of the trumpet does not take warning, and the sword comes andtakes him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. 5 He heard the sound ofthe trumpet and did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But if hehad taken warning, he would have saved his life. 6 But if the watchman sees thesword coming and does not blow the trumpet, so that the people are not warned,and the sword comes and takes any one of them, that person is taken away in hisiniquity, but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.~~Ezekiel 33: 1-6
These people are called Watchmen.
There is a name for those that attempt to mislead people into thinking everything is fine too, or should agree to things that have been disastrous in the past and would be again. And this song keeps going through my mind when I think about them. Yesh lanu tayis.
Keep your eyes open, and choose carefully who you listen to.
When it comes to the subject of Jews in today’s Europe, I am pretty jaded. Yes, I forward articles and commentary to family and friends. The news so percolates with these stories I know I am a Johnny-One-Note. Still, the Atlantic article Claire blogged about made me very sad, because, despite all the possibilities, they seem so… doomed. And, sooner rather than later.
There is no small amount of pride involved in their staying. As the article mentions, most French Jews are from North Africa. They kind of skip quickly over it, but while the world “knows” all about the displaced Muslim Arabs in the wake of the 1948 war, remarkably few know of the Jews who lived in Muslim lands. They had lived the degrading sting of being the “Dhimmi” all of their lives.
When the Jews of Israel were NOT driven into the sea by victorious Muslim armies in 1948, 1956, 1967, 1973, etc. Eight Hundred Fifty Thousand Jews of the Muslim countries, some of whom had resided there for nearly two thousand years, were unceremoniously stripped of their citizenship, homes, businesses and possessions and driven out. From Morocco to Iran. Running for their lives.
No wonder they are hardened to being driven out, especially by Muslim thugs, or their Jew-Hating native European soul-mates. It is insulting in the extreme. A very raw nerve.
Many settled in France and became instant assets. A huge population of Persian Jews lives in Los Angeles, bringing traditions of hard work, deep-rooted ethics, and firm loyalty to their new homes. This is the way of the Jews in the Diaspora. And many of these Jews settled in Israel and became instant assets there too.
And, to blow that “Note” (a blowing a shofar, if you will) again… A story closer to home:
My son and his family also live here in the USA, in a modern, economically stable metropolis. They live in the “nice” part of town. This is not a town known for Jews. A local rabbi in the neighborhood runs a very small orthodox congregation out of his house.
A few years ago a neighbor alleged that having those Jews there, all in one place, for a couple of hours every Saturday, and on their weird holidays, was driving down the property values. He sued. It cost the congregation monies they did not have to spare, and shoved off plans for a more permanent home for the congregation. The neighbor lost (but, not really, right?).
Then the Homeowner’s Association alleged much the same thing and also sued. More money picked from a little shul too small and too poor to even rent a building to pray in. The building fund depleted with legal fees, the plans pushed off again. The HOA lost (but, not really, right?).
Recently, the City itself decided to joint the party and sued the little shul, too.
The other day a SWASTIKA was found painted on a car near the little shul-in-a-house.
How soon until people start getting beaten up walking to synagogue? How soon until a mason jar of jellied gasoline crashes through a front window during the Passover Seder? Opening the door and calling for the Prophet Elijah in one breath and screaming as your family burns alive in the next?
This topic is more Y.B.’s beat than mine. Perhaps he’ll have more to say. But this Atlantic article on the current predicament of Jews in Europe disturbed me as much as anything I’ve read about the fatal squeeze being put on Europe’s Jewish remnant.
Muslims (who outnumber Jews in Europe now by an order of magnitude) may provide the “muscle” these days when it comes to harming Jews. But the traditional prejudice of Christian and secular Europeans makes it easy for long-time Europeans to turn a blind eye, mutter in secret agreement, or otherwise support the barbarity.
The bottom line lesson is one we all know: Self defense can’t be delegated. Europe’s Jews will ultimately have to protect themselves. But how? Without an honored right to bear arms, they’re caught between being bankrupted by hiring security or fleeing to Israel — a nation that will welcome them right into the most dangerous region of the world.
Europe’s governments may promise to protect them and may even make token efforts in that direction. But seriously? You think “I’m from the government and I’m here to help you” is going to work magic for the safety of Europe’s Jews?
An excerpt from the article:
France’s 475,000 Jews represent less than 1 percent of the country’s population. Yet last year, according to the French Interior Ministry, 51 percent of all racist attacks targeted Jews. The statistics in other countries, including Great Britain, are similarly dismal. In 2014, Jews in Europe were murdered, raped, beaten, stalked, chased, harassed, spat on, and insulted for being Jewish. Sale Juif—“dirty Jew”—rang in the streets, as did “Death to the Jews,” and “Jews to the gas.”
The epithet dirty Jew, Zola wrote in “J’Accuse …!,” was the “scourge of our time.” “J’Accuse …!” was published in 1898.
The resurgence of anti-Semitism in Europe is not — or should not be — a surprise. One of the least surprising phenomena in the history of civilization, in fact, is the persistence of anti-Semitism in Europe, which has been the wellspring of Judeophobia for 1,000 years. The Church itself functioned as the centrifuge of anti-Semitism from the time it rebelled against its mother religion until the middle of the 20th century. As Jonathan Sacks, the former chief rabbi of Great Britain, has observed, Europe has added to the global lexicon of bigotry such terms as Inquisition, blood libel, auto‑da‑fé, ghetto, pogrom, and Holocaust. Europe has blamed the Jews for an encyclopedia of sins. The Church blamed the Jews for killing Jesus; Voltaire blamed the Jews for inventing Christianity. In the febrile minds of anti-Semites, Jews were usurers and well-poisoners and spreaders of disease. Jews were the creators of both communism and capitalism; they were clannish but also cosmopolitan; cowardly and warmongering; self-righteous moralists and defilers of culture. Ideologues and demagogues of many permutations have understood the Jews to be a singularly malevolent force standing between the world and its perfection.
Shades of Adolf Hitler. New century, different uniforms. Same deadly peril.
If you are unfamiliar with Purim, why and what is being celebrated, there is a helpful video at the end. The story of Purim comes from the Book of Esther in the Tanakh, or First Testament. The name “Purim” comes from the word “Pur” which means “Lots” as Haman, the villain of the story cast lots to determine which day he would destroy the Jews. Haman became miffed at the Jews because Mordechai, Esther’s Uncle, would not bow down before him. Haman was quite impressed with himself. So this year’s Purim is very interesting to me, being a patterns person and all. So under the “The More Things Change The More They Stay The Same” banner let’s have a look.
One of the things one does on Purim is hear the reading of the story of Esther, usually in a Synagogue. Let’s contrast that with the Temple Mount, the one that is the holiest sight in Judaism. For sometime now muslims have been attempting to prevent Jews from going to visit the temple mount. They are already forbidden to pray there. The muslims have rioted near the area where the Jews are allowed to gain entrance to prevent them from entering. When they do enter, they are attacked verbally and lately, physically. Some of the muslims attempting to stop the Jewish visitors from seeing the temple mount are now children who shout “Allahu Akbar” Luckily the police were right there to stop it. Oh, wait, my bad. They were right there, they just didn’t stop it. Nor did they intervene when a member of the waqf guard assaulted a Jewish visitor. Physically, not just verbally. But, hey, good luck, because the Israeli police were right there this time and they sprang into action, and they.. oops, my bad again. They were right there, they just didn’t do anything. Ok, so this year reading the story of Esther on the Temple Mount was not a promising proposition.
Another part of Purim is a lovely meal, traditional food would include Oznei Haman or Hamantaschen filled with poppyseed filling. Although I have now seen a huge variety of filling choices I want to try. So let’s see what is of interest this year in the food category. Ahh, back to the Temple Mount. I see they are having a delightful FREE, yes FREE Al Aqsa Buffet. But wait, that can’t be, because that would be illegal. And calculated to offend, much like their playing football on the Temple Mount. Think of it as carrying on a lively soccer game in the House of Worship of your denomination. Not on the athletic field behind the building. In the sanctuary. To Jews the entire Temple Mount is holy, to muslims, not so much. Just the al aqsa mosque, which is why they have destroyed Jewish artifacts trying to erase the Jewish presence.
So what else for Purim. Ah, costumes. I rethought my first choice, and came up with a better idea. I’m sure that’s common, thinking through the costume and what you want to do with it. Thankfully we’ve come many years from when a madman wanted to wipe every trace of Jews from the earth. Except we haven’t. A mere couple weeks ago a young man named Avraham Goldschmidt was attacked on his way to a wedding by a knife wielding manic. Avraham fought him off with his tefillin bag while shouting if someone had a weapon to “neutalize him”. It was Avraham’s good fortune that Nir Barkat is the mayor of Jerusalem and not someone like Bloomers, DeBlasio (is that still his name this week?) or any of the astroturf group Mayors Against Self-Defense. Nope Nir is cut from a different cloth. His bodyguards drew their guns and Nir rushed the terrorist after he dropped the knife. All this can be viewed on closed circuit TV. Which despite the videocams being right there did actual zip/nada to stop the crime. A thought for those that think those security cams are useful. Along with tefillin, Jews often wear a Kippah. Now that’s not part of a costume per se, but it is something that is part of Jewish dress. Unless you are a Jew in Ramallah Israel. NYC Councilor David Greenfield was asked by U.S. officials on his visit to Israel to remove his Kippah when he left the U.S consulate. To his credit, after first ascertaining he wasn’t placing the other members at risk, he refused to remove it. NYC Councilor David Greenfield is no shrinking violet, no he isn’t. That video is well worth watching too.
But if Bibi Netanyahu is setting the tone for going forward, that could begin to change. From one of his speeches
And as Prime Minister of Israel I have a moral obligation to speak up in the face of these dangers while there is still time to avert them. For 2000 years, my people, the Jewish people, were stateless, defenseless, voiceless. We were utterly powerless against our enemies who swore to destroy us. We suffered relentless persecution and horrific attacks. We could never speak in our own behalf, and we could not defend ourselves. Well, no more! No more. The days when the Jewish people are passive in the face of threats to annihilate us, those days are over.
But hey, it’s not like Iran wants to destroy Israel or America! I don’t know what would ever make you think that! I mean Iranians love Israel and America, just look at this recent domino competition in which they prominently displayed American and Israeli flags. Nope, no hostility here!
Is it just me or does anyone else find the timing of Bibi’s speech to congress interesting. Not in terms of Israeli elections as the current regime has harfed, but in terms of Purim, when Ester spoke to the King on behalf of her people.
Purim celebrates the survival of the Jews against one of the attempts to wipe them off the face of the earth. There have already been many, there will be more. The attacks we’re seeing now are against Jews, Christians and other faiths, well, except for one. Wise people will be prepared, if they are someday there may be another holiday similar to Purim, because with Purim, none of the Jews died because Esther rose to the occasion, and so the Jews were allowed to defend themselves when the attackers came.
“They tried to kill us. We won. Let’s eat!”
Good deal. May we all do our best to rise to meet the occasions that come before us.
Jews. Guns. No compromise. No surrender.
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