«Jewish Observer»
February 2002
5762 Shvat

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It seems that nothing new can be said about our eternal Jewish question - how to go on living? To answer it we should first of all identify what are we, Jews?

It's quite clear that we are ancient people coming from Abraham. It's also clear that the land of Khanaan that was full of milk and honey and that now shakes from explosions was willed to us by God. We also remember that all the previous century we were trying not to lose it and mourned the loss of it. We could still remain the only people in Palestine if not the tragedy of Babylon captivity and the destruction of the Second Temple by Romans. But what to do with the bloody Judaic wars of the same people? What to do with an incontestable fact that the considerable part of our people refused to return from Babylon back to Palestine. 800 years before the destruction of the last Temple they dispersed in other countries and forgot about their Divine destination? So what kind of people are we? These questions are not so pleasant ones but we can't disregard them even if we want to. One can't play tricks with history. By some calculations we could be 600 million people today instead of 16, if not forced or even voluntarily assimilation with other nations.

So why do we eagerly assimilate with other people even now when all conditions for the spiritual revival have been created? Let's remember our ancestors who preferred to be killed by the enemy than to have a piece of fat. Are there many such people here, in America or Israel today? We have to agree that there was a breakdown inside us but we can't identify its character. We lost spiritually except for some sincerely and fanatically religious people. Some people eat non-kosher food, some go for permanent residence to Germany, but what do they feel while visiting sacred graves of the Great Righteous men? Moving to Germany is like moving from one galut to the other, from the forced to the voluntarily one, to the place where people are fed well and kept well and where there is no shooting yet.

Israel is a dream of dozens of generations of Jews. But we don't go there preferring to mark the time. So we mark it and demand respect to ourselves, good attitude, kind words (this is about those who decided to stay here, including me).

But if to come to the point, we're unwelcome or even illegal guests in Israel. Zionism, this romantic and atheistic spurt to the Promised Land without Mashiah, doesn't work. There were so many victims, and who knows the number of the following ones.

Under such conditions all living there Jews should be called heroes. Really, heroes, because they are risking their lives daily and hourly for holding the last Island of Jewish Hope alive. Aren't all their efforts in vain? What's the reason of the tragedy taking place there now? Whether the only reason is that they moved there earlier than Mashiah, like those brave men that wanted to reach the sky by building the Babylon tower without the help of God?

May be there is another reason, for example, their "non-kosherity"? Hundreds of thousands of non-kosher Jews and their non-Jewish relatives live in Israel today visiting not only Jewish temples but other places also. It's a sin from the Judaic point of view but the Israeli government thinks that just these non-kosher Jews and their non-Jewish relatives provide for the safety of their country. But won't it be better to amnesty all those deviating from orthodox, addle, non-kosher and hesitating people? Not to repudiate but accept them as they are. As a matter of fact, we all greatly differ from our ancestors. What unites us? Maybe the language, customs, traditions, religion or historic common fate? Probably the second one.

I have recently found out that the Jew who shows interest in some other religion is not a Jew any more, and an Arab who adopts Judaism becomes a Jew at once.

How could it be so? If he decided to return to Islam, then he's Arab again? We don't value people at all! But Hitler could unite all of us - the religious people and atheists before the execution at the edge of the ditches. I think that Jew - is a nationality and Judaism is a belonging to the religion.

So our wise men and theologians have a lot to think about in such extremely difficult and important days for the existence of our people. There are still some millions of us, Jews, remained. But the rude reality takes the head of the brilliant theory.


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