A whole lotta wisdom here!
Sunday, August 7, 2011
Monday, August 1, 2011
"Judea capta": Would she really still be sitting there weeping if
she knew Israel had re-captured the Temple Mount?
Since I began this blog back in 2006, I've been trying to add my small voice to those who think the Jewish people need a new way of looking at this world. Or maybe not a new NEW way, but a very OLD way. "Everything old is new again."
To be crass and crude, I thought (and think) Jews need to stop being afraid of WINNING their conflicts, especially in our unwanted (but unavoidable) encounter with The Jihad. That we need to WANT to win, and we need to PLAN to win, and finally we need to EXECUTE THE PLAN AND WIN.
To make a long story short, I believe that Judaism has a host of great and redeeming qualities and blessings, not just for Jews but for mankind. Since I believe that, I HAVE TO fiercely oppose any ideology that seeks to eliminate Judaism, or render it into a craven, slave-like dhimmified status. (Dhimmitude is not normal, natural, nor dignified for any of us made in God's image.) Such a fate would obviously extinguish or choke off to near-extinction those blessings of Judaism. How would that make the world a better place?
If you doubt Judaism's gifts, consider a few Gentiles in recent history who have befriended the Jewish people: George Washington, Winston Churchill, Konrad Adenauer, Martin Luther King Jr...Now consider those who have attacked the Jews: Adolph Hitler, Iosif Stalin, Saddam Hussein, Ayatollah Khomeini... Whose society better approaches what God wants for us here on earth?
I chose the title of "Odysseus" for this blog because there was a man who was not afraid of winning. Indeed, his entire (legendary) existence was devoted to 2 objectives: winning the war, and returning home to regain his lost homeland. Anyone who is familiar with those Homeric masterpieces knows that there is not a shred of ambivalent consideration in Odysseus's heart: he MUST win, his enemies must be destroyed, and the only question is how best to make the victory as complete and one-sided as possible.
So how to explain why so, SOOOOOOO many Jewish people seem afraid of winning? Or, even worse, who seem so devoted to helping our soulless and transparently demonic enemies to DEFEAT US?! How to explain the mentality that has been beautifully exemplified by Pam Geller's pet-phrase, "Jewicidal?" How did this happen to the Jewish people, who staggered out of the death-camps of Europe to liberate and rebuild our homeland in the teeth of 7 bloodthirsty Arab armies? What is going on here?
My favorite rabbi, the visionary Rabbi Chaim Richman, has produced a new, powerful and brilliant explanation. Interestingly, it hearkens back to an ancient pagan cult, the Babylonian Tammuz, which was adapted by the Greeks for their tragic plays. I cannot do the Rabbi's essay justice here--and why should I, when you can hear the pearl-like words of the man himself--but suffice it to say that, when a peculiar behavior appears over and over in history without any apparent explanation, then you can be sure there is a profound historical reason for that behavior; it is no accident nor anomaly. And to the extent the ingrained behavior is in fact detrimental or self-defeating, the identification of its root cause is a huge step in curing it. A necessary step, in fact.
Rabbi Richman explains that the Jews have positively avoided victory (and redemption, in spiritual terms) because they have been entranced by the romance of tragedy, and loss, and mourning. And their attraction to the Tammuz cult was noted by the Prophet Ezekiel (Chapter 8) as far back as the time of the First Temple.
Suddenly, a lot of staggering questions are answerable:
Why would Jews revive the dying PLO? A desire to mourn.
Why would Jews support Barack Obama? A need for despair.
Why would Israel refuse to rebuild the Holy Temple, the site of which is firmly in her hands? A craving for loss, and weeping.
Posted by Jewish Odysseus at 8:24 AM