A Different View
For too many years most Diaspora Jews have viewed Israel as the “poor Jews”, the victims, and of course, “we have to help the poor Israelis”. Who can blame them? Every week they see another one of us coming to their synagogues and telling another story asking them to give Charity or Tzedaka. They hear of our victims of terror, our hungry, and our sick. Most causes are not turned down, such it is in Israel also. Thank Gd! When it comes to Chesed (Kindness), we are tops. Our fellows Jews are always ready to assist, as “Chesed” is truly a noble characteristic of our people worldwide. Throughout Jewish schools in America they are always on the search for a new “Chesed” project. We do have what to be proud of. They however rarely hear of our strengths and our heroes.
I must say however, as an Israeli, I never regarded myself, or fellow Israeli Jews as “poor Israelis” and this label insults us. The hunt for Tzedaka (Charity), exists in Israel also as our doorbells constantly ring with those who are less fortunate. But we in Israel have an advantage that perhaps doesn’t make it to the US Jewish papers, the Diaspora Jewish communities or that which the younger generations are not aware of. In Israel we see our “Gvurah” (strength) daily, we live it and we breathe it. It is this reality that creates a balance in our existence. The concept of “Chesed and Gvurah” is part of who we are, especially in Judea and Samaria. Indeed we are fully aware that we fight and protect our nation not just for those of us that live in Israel, but also for Jews worldwide. That understanding is part of what motivates us, and keeps us strong. Remember, we have our own army, government (for better and worse) and a Jewish country, not to shabby. But we still come across as the “poor Israeli” to our brethren outside.
This image unfortunately has had an affect on Jews worldwide. Where as Israel was viewed as our champion, it is now viewed in some circles as a “bother”. By not showing our strength properly we have abandoned our brothers overseas, and in lacking a strong Israel they have fallen victim to our enemies, often joining them in their activities against Israel. It has been Israel’s strength that has united us for years, our just cause and fight against terror. By the absence of showing our strength this side of us has been distorted and turned against us, examples may be seen in US universities coast-to-coast and worldwide by Arab lead demonstrations demonizing Israel and its right to exist. In the absence of truth, lies propagate and history and facts are ignored.
Most Jewish children have not been brought up in the shadow of Israeli heroism in the face of our enemies. They are too young to have cheered our brave sons and daughters who have made the ultimate sacrifice, our revered history are only writings in their text books or stories they have heard from their grandparents. We stand guilty of not showing them the continuation of Jewish heroism, the accomplishments of our people today in Israel, and how that Jews, even in the Diaspora can make a difference and be fighters.
The Jewish reality stands to change once again. With Islamic influence growing throughout the west and Israel’s weakened stand against terrorism, this “change” has already started. What is the norm for others defending their citizens is considered extremism on Israel’s side. Jewish strength is being perverted by world’s media agencies into the new evil and Islamic terror is becoming accepted as a legitimate means against Israel’s existence. It is becoming increasingly “OK” for Jews to be hurt, because “they deserve it” because of Israel’s actions.
If there was ever a time to connect with Israel, it is now. Jews living in the Diaspora need this strength, this confidence, and this faith. Europe is almost lost to the rejuvenated Moorish rule, next victim will most likely be the US. We will only be able to depend on each other. Just as the unity of Jews was instrumental in bringing about the miracle, thank Gd, of Israel in 1948, so it may be again today. After attempted annihilation in Europe and Arab states, we rose as a people together, working side by side, each doing what he could to change reality. We looked at history and learned, and we said enough, and we said, “Never Again”.
We continue to say this, but as our voices have lately been whispers, they will be shouts again.
It is this connection to Israel that is essential now more than ever, We must strengthen each other as we rise to those that wish us gone. We did this before and changed the way the world viewed us as a people, we can and will do this again.
It is very important however that Jews from the outside get a better understanding of what is going on in Israel. The needs for Chesed both in Israel and the Diaspora are great and we have proven again and again, how we excel in taking care of our needy.
There is a difference however between “taking care of” and “participating in”. When a hand reaches out and we help, we are “taking care of”, when the need arises to fight and defend, we must rise to the challenge. However, not all of us can “participate” directly and this is where a stronger “connection” comes in. A Jews life must be balanced, between the desire and ability to help those less fortunate (Chesed), and the desire and dedication to act on behalf of our defense (Gvurah). How many of us connect with the image of the Jewish soldier defending his land, the Jewish farmer and builder rebuilding that, which is ours. These are not images of the past, they exist throughout our land today.
This balance of Chesed (Kindness) and Gvurah (Strength) is a key, and our existence as a strong people depend on it.
The future is ours to shape, it is action that will define who we are.