Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Remember

Guest post by AnonT

Less then a year ago, the world mourned as Leiby Kletzky was found, brutally murdered and butchered. Jews as a nation and the world mourned. Jews everywhere stood together, were unified in trying to understand this travesty, in trying to bring comfort to a shocked and bereaved family. This past summer, two young boys were tragically killed as they drove home from the mountains. And just months ago, Jews around the world, regardless of affiliation, spent 25 hours standing, praying and fasting on Yom Kippur.

Yet today, I open up the news and see Jews against Jews. I see children petrified and other children being used in horrific ways. I see comparisons of Jews, by Jews, to the vile evil that were/are the Nazis. It is enough to make you sick.

It is unfortunate, but I have been told for many years that it is imperative that we don’t Judaism by its practitioners but by the religion itself. While I accept this, it any wonder that so many Jews are leaving Judaism? Is it a wonder that those of us who are sticking it out with Judasim are disillusioned? When we Jews tear ourselves apart, when we fight with each other, when we tear each other down, when we lose sight of what our life is supposed to be about, the value of God, Torah and mitzvoth, are eradicated right before our eyes.

What does it take to make us Jews remember that we are all one? What will it take to ensure we remain united, even in our disagreements? Our enemies seem to have no problem remembering that a Jew is a Jew is a Jew. When 6 million jews were murdered in Europe less than 100 years ago, there was no discrimination. When Jews were burnt on the auto de fay in the Inquisition, a Jew was a Jew. When pogroms occurred, blood libels, tach ve’tat, it did not matter! We were all Jews. When bombings go off on buses, in restaurants, in wedding halls and in dance clubs, a Jew is a Jew.

Almost 10 years ago to this day, Daniel Pearl was beheaded and it was because, as he said himself, "My name is Daniel Pearl. I am a Jewish American from Encino, California, USA. I come from, uh, on my father's side the family is Zionist. My father's Jewish, my mother's Jewish, I'm Jewish. My family follows Judaism.” His captors did not care if he was from NY or California, if he was Reform, Conservative, or Chassidic. He was a Jew. His mother was a Jew. He was Jewish. That was enough. Do we forget? Do we forget the murder of the young Israeli in Europe a few years ago? I don’t remember his name, or what country he was in. But I remember the picture of him, in his happy days, sitting on a fence. And I know that he is no longer alive. Killed because he was a Jew.

Yaakov and Eisav were given brachot, the essential foundation of our nation. The brachot said that while one nation was up, the other nation would be forced serve the other. We are pulling ourselves down, and in doing so, we are forcing ourselves to serve those who have sought to kill us in every generation, at every chance they can get.

We are told countless times in our religion, zachor, remember! And if we weren’t told to remember, then the way of the world is to remember in order to understand history, and refrain from making mistakes again. We just had Chanukah, have we forgotten so recently the destruction of what we had? Purim is so soon, have we forgotten that we as a nation were so almost annihilated? Do we need MORE calamities and deaths and near destructions of our entire nation, to learn the lesson achdut!?!?!?!?

What else has to happen? How many more people, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, friends have to weep because their loved one, OUR brother or sister, are killed? How much more pain and suffering do we as a nation have to endure!?!?

I don’t know how to stop the conflict in Israel. I don’t know how to stop sinat chinam. I don’t know any of these answers. But I do know, that if we remember, recall and never forget, we, as a nation will find an answer. Let's make sure that each and every Jew that was murdered, for just that, being a Jew, has not died in vain. Let's make sure every Daniel, every Leiby is remembered.

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