Friday, May 10, 2024

People Love Dead Jews

People Love Dead Jews. Dara Horn authored this book with this provocative title. Society is fascinated with the death of Jews but cares little for living Jews. To Horn, the destruction of world Jewry is a compelling historical narrative, but the current crisis of antisemitism is minimized. In a subsequent interview with The Atlantic, Horn argues that Western society prefers to tell stories about how Jews died rather than how they lived because "it's much easier to mold dead Jews into martyrs and morality tales than it is to coexist with living ones." A chilling example of this theory came to the forefront of the national arena. The President delivered remarks in observance of Yom HaShoah. He said, "'Never again,' simply translated for me, means never forget. Here we are, not 75 years later, but just seven-and-a-half months" since October 7, "and people are already forgetting." On the very same day, the WhiteHouse confirmed that it was withholding key weapons Israel needed to wage war against a genocidal enemy. Let that marinate. Israel is fighting an existential war that it did not ask for against an adversary that unabashedly calls for its destruction. Not to mention that this adversary is still holding over 130 hostages. Israel is told by its "greatest ally" that it will not be granted the weapons in this just cause. How can these actions be reconciled with the rhetoric of remembering October 7? While there can be different theories on disconnect, the words of Dara Horn ring accurate as for too many, Holocaust remembrance means feeling sad for the Jews. However, helping Israel defend itself with capabilities to bolster its defenses makes it equivocate. As a community of faith, we are reminded of the words from the Mishna, עַל מִי לָנוּ לְהִשָּׁעֵן עַל אָבִינוּ שֶׁבַּשָּׁמַיִם. This is translated as (In the End of Days), upon whom should we rely? Only upon our Father in Heaven. The silver lining to all this upheaval is the benefit of gaining clarity. For years, many have thought the secret to the military strength in Israel was due to its reliance on its "best friend" or commitments that were "ironclad." The auspicious times we find ourselves in are an opportunity to turn again to the true Guardian of Israel, who can deliver us salvation. Have a Peaceful Shabbos, Rabbi Yaakov Fisch

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