For some of us, Israel embodies our spirit. The stiff necked people, proud, strong, who are not afraid to question anything and anyone! Nothing, no topic is sacred, not even God’s word. That’s why, we are told, God loved the simple shepherd, who questioned his word.
Perhaps that’s why I have embraced Judaism, no other religion gives me the flexibility to think , feel, and question. We are a skeptical people, we have to be, to survive! Judaism demands that I be present, humane and accountable. Our philosophy is the basis of most Western Philosophies,
We have suffered for our arrogance. We’ve had campaigns launched against us, we have been a ” universal” scapegoat”, there have been attempts to annihilate us. Yet, we exist , not merely exist, for a relatively small population, we have a “loud” voice in human affairs. Perhaps that’s why Israel and the Jewish People are held to a higher standard?
Never again is our creed and I take great pleasure in knowing that I belong to the vestiges of a “great race”. Great trauma has effected us, but if we survive and face that trauma we will be a better People. It doesn’t mean we are ” soft”, Au contraire, we are tough but humane. I like identifying with a strong people, forged of steel, confident and flexible; the world has shaped us to be this way.
I don’t think we need apologize for being Jewish. It should be embraced like a Tallis. No wonder Chagall painted the Holocaust with a crucifixion? There was nothing in his memory to portray such horror besides a Jew wearing a Tallis and being crucified.
Since one never knows when the next Pogrom will begin, Israel must remain strong. The vision of Peace is tantalizing but there always has to be strength to back up our identity. Our claim to a land that was bathed with our blood.
Today the French are immigrating to Israel, tomorrow it may be the Ukrainians. We need a safe place of refuge: Because the future of the Jews is never certain.