Saturday night, down town Jerusalem, my political antenna Â picked up a strong signal as Â I came Â across a Â gathering of Â about a hundred young people, some Â carrying signs.
They were Â not dressed like the ultra Orthodox nor were Â they wearing Kippot Â at all. This Â hint helped Â eliminate a number of possible Â themes for the Â demonstration.
Curious, I questioned a few of the young Israelis. Their sign, in Hebrew and Arabic, protested Â Jewish “racism” Â against Arabs in Israel.
Leaflets Â they distributed denounced a Â candidate for Chief rabbi of Jerusalem, Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, the Â current Chief rabbi of the Â city of Safed.
The Â rabbi Â is one of the lightening rods of the Left due Â to his firm stance Â about trying to keep Safed as Jewish as Â possible. He Â invokes non controvertible Â Jewish Â halacha / law that Â forbids Jews to sell or Â rent Â to non Jews in the land of Israel. He decried the Â influx of Arab students to the college in Safed as many harassed or dated the local Jewish Â girls; an unwelcome Â phenomenon according to the rabbi. Apparantly a Â welcome one Â to the Â demonstrators.
The other Â target of the Â demonstration was “Lahava” an organization dedicated Â to preventing intermarriage in Israel.
I asked some of the demonstrators, how is this racist? After all, “Lahava” and Jewish Â law / halacha does not bar any RACE from its Â ranks. The ban is on marrying into another FAITH. This by definition, is Â NOT racism. Jews come in many colors and Â shapes.
I did not convince them.
One of the Â organizers told me,”The Torah I accept Â has nothing to do with restrictions on marriage. My Torah tells me Â to lift up Â my voice Â for the right to marry who ever one wants That is Â the spirit Â ofÂ myÂ Torah”. Each to their own Torah…
I did ask one of them,why is it that Â as Jews are Â increasingly Â being attacked , maimed and killed in Jerusalem, they never raise their voices for theirÂ Â ownÂ brother’s and sister’s right Â to security and life?Â He answered,”as aÂ Jew I am responsible for whatÂ JewsÂ do and Â I am ashamed of Â the Jewish Â racism practiced against Arabs.
I repeated,”but what about yourÂ ownÂ people. Is there Â no Â room left in your heart for them as they suffer Arab violence?” He Â said, we Â have Â a police Â that takes care of that” I rely upon them.”
He was Â clearly Â very concerned.
“Takes Â care of that”. Rely upon the police”
Â Some how, I did not pick up the anguish, the zeal, the outrage.
There Â is Â an old Jewish saying,”When it Â truly hurts you scream”
But this is not a new phenomenon. Have we not witnessed Jews through out Â our history who identified with our oppressors; from the Â Hellenists right down to the “Jewish section of the Â Communist party – Â to those supporting the “Palestinian” cause Â today.
The Â main Israel state radio today discussed the latest Arab murder in which of three month old Chaya Zisel was Â run Â down. Why did he Â do Â it? Their Â expert Â suggested.. Poverty, Jewish settlers in his neighborhood. Jews visiting the Temple Â Mount?
How long Â can one Â keep the Â blinds on..?
Indeed, this Â unique Jewish malaise has been predicted by our prophets.
Â Zacharia 12:2 Â foretells, “All the Â nationsÂ andÂ Judah will besiege Â Jerusalem…”
I have often wondered what he Â meant by “andÂ Judah”.
Â It is Â clear to me Â now.
The Â good news is Â that Zacharia foretold this bizarre situation as Â a part of the Â final redemption.
May we Â merit it quickly.