Passover: 2019 : Antisemitism Here and Now

So this is the story of the Jewish people -The Hagada (the guide for the Passover seder on the eve of Passover states:  “We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt, and the L-rd, our G‑d, took us out from there with a strong hand and with an outstretched arm. If the Holy One, blessed be He, had not taken our fathers out of Egypt, then we, our children and our children’s children would have remained enslaved to Pharaoh in Egypt. “
But this is only the beginning of the Passover story. It has so many hidden messages that it is an endless source of inspiration of all kinds. And the rabbis hinted at this when they continued right after the above statement with the following message: “Even if all of us were wise, all of us understanding, all of us knowing the Torah, we would still be obligated to discuss the exodus from Egypt; and everyone who discusses the exodus from Egypt at length is praiseworthy.”

The Passover story includes the bitter and the sweet. We do not shy away from the truth – from the helplessness and humiliation of slavery: The other part of the story is that G-d did save us from the Egyptian genocidal evil “with a strong hand and with an outstretched arm“.  The Jewish people were in no position to save themselves: And yet we were saved!!!!! This is the message of hope and redemption offered by the Passover story. And the Hagada continues:

“For not just one alone has risen against us to destroy us, but in every generation they rise against us to destroy us; and the Holy One, blessed be He, saves us from their hand!”.

We have had this story replayed in our recent history. 75 years ago, Hitler, the arch enemy of the Jews described Jews as subhuman and immoral: But the main reason he opposed them was because he wanted to destroy the conscience of the world which he knew was part of the DNA of the Jewish people.

I wish I was making this up because it sounds so fantastic – if I had not done the research myself, I would think that this is some kind of Jewish reverse conspiracy theory about  Hitler and Nazi ideology, but sadly it is true. Hitler knew that Jews would oppose his plan to destroy the maimed and enslave the weak because the basis of the Jewish creed is to protect the weak and to feed the hungry.

In more recent times, Arab/Muslim Jihadists such as the Muslim Brotherhood, have also adopted Nazi ideas, demonizing Jews, and have superimposed these ideas on the Israel/Palestine situation. They too are losing their vicious genocidal battle.

The demonic ideology of antisemitism was replayed in real time in the USA just a few day ago with the shooting of Jews at prayer at the Poway, San Diego, California synagogue: a  shooting on the last day of Passover when Jews were gathered in the synagogue to pray.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Poway synagogue shooting

The nineteen year old nursing student was infected by the vicious libel of antisemitism. This is what he wrote in his manifesto about why he took a rifle and went to the synagogue to shoot as many Jews as he could.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

And this was how the person he killed, Lori Gilbert-Kaye, 60, was eulogized by those who knew her:

Lori Gilbert Kaye, killed in synagogue shooting, is remembered as a teacher of ‘radical empathy’

Woman killed while protecting rabbi during shooting

Woman killed while protecting rabbi during shooting

  1. Every week, Lori Gilbert Kaye baked challah bread, the egg-laden loaves that are a staple of the Jewish household. But her family didn’t get to enjoy them most times.

    She would drop loaves off at other homes, put them in mailboxes, and bring them to work with her, her daughter recalled. It was typical of Kaye, a woman of deep faith who exemplified kindness and generosity, those closest to her said at her funeral Monday.
  2. “My mother thrived and lived her entire life for the sake of friendship, to give flowers to people all over San Diego and from the world, to bask in the glory of connection, of story, of history,” her daughter Hannah Kaye, 22, told mourners at the synagogue…
  3. She was her daughter’s advocate and dancing partner, and a peaceful woman who nurtured the friendships she formed.
    “Her relationships are one of the things that made her most proud,” her daughter said. “My mother raised me to become like her, to be a woman who embraced all people, to give to all people, to love all people.
  4. Hannah recalled how she and her mother had a rocky relationship when she was a teenager and they were estranged. But their relationship improved, and her mother taught her “radical empathy.”…
    “We healed together under trees, in booths at diners, in car rides while hugging one another tightly, swinging back and forth to a rhythm just our own,” she said. “My mother gave me every opportunity I could have dreamed of. All of who I am today is a result from the experiences we had together.’
    The elder Kaye celebrated her daughter’s love of words from a young age.
    Hannah, a poet, recalled writing her first poem about bubbles at the kitchen table with her mother in fifth grade. Kaye would find the sections in the newspaper where a writer or poet was highlighted and give them to her, Hannah recalled.
    Her mother was “an ecstatic Jew from birth,” who celebrated her Judaism by remaining dedicated to traditions and rituals, Hannah said.
    Kaye was dedicated to her ritual of Shabbat (the Sabbath) and often welcomed people into her homes on Fridays to celebrate.
    Hannah said her mother “knew Judaism went beyond the text.”
    For Lori Gilbert Kaye, Judaism was about who you were as a person and treating others with respect and kindness, Hannah said.
    “My mother lived her life this way. Everyone was her sister,” she said. “Everyone was her friend.”
    Her husband, Howard, a physician, recalled how his wife was always doing good for others.
    “Sometimes people do good and things don’t turn out. Whatever good she did always turned out,” he told mourners. “And whatever I did that might not have been good, she repaired and made me look good.”
    He said he was reminded of her goodness every day. His wife installed a peace pole in their front yard. In several languages, it said: “May peace prevail on earth.”
    “That’s exactly who she was. And she wanted the world to know it, and every day I went out of the house, I knew it,” he said.
  5. Over the years, Hannah said she came to understand what her mother was trying to teach her as their relationship grew stronger. “In simple terms, the importance of kindness, the sacredness of connecting with others,” she said. “And forever, this will be a key element steering me onward on the journey of my own life.
Lori Gilbert Kaye’s life is emblematic of what Jews stand for in this world, loving kindness and moral values. May her death bring the lie to the terrible things that are spread about Jews by Iran, by Muslim Jihadists, Palestinian supporters of BDS, and the white supremacy movement in the US – Nazis by a different name.

I pray that none of you get caught up in their lies like this young man, John T. Earnest did.

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