Tuesday, February 28, 2006

I Am a Jew

I am a Jew.

I sat and wept by the rivers of Babylon.
I rebuilt with Nehemiah.
I fought the Greeks and was victorious.
I watched with disbelief as the walls of the Temple fell.
I saw rivers of blood at Beitar.
I died at Masada.
I watched in horror as Rabbi Akiva was martyred.
I studied at Yavneh.
I learned philosophy at the feet of Maimonides.
I witnessed in fear, the debate at Barcelona.
I experienced the disappointment in Shabbetai Zvi.
I marvelled at the Vilna Gaon.
I was outraged at the Dreyfus trial.
I had my wife and children torn from my arms in a death camp in Poland.
I heard Nazi guards sing christmas carols the day before my death.
I could not believe my eyes when the Germans retreated from the Warsaw Ghetto.
I helped build the atom bomb.
I followed the voice of Ben Gurion to the promised land.
I fought alongside Ariel Sharon.
I cried at Maalot.
I shocked the world in 1967.
I paid for my arrogance in 1973.
I was rescued by Jewish soldiers at Entebbe, and it felt like G-d himself took us home.
I saw smiles in Oslo, tears in Israel.
I said goodbye to Gaza, hello to Hamas.

I am a Jew. I am every Jew that ever lived. I brought morality to the world. I rejoiced at Einstein's Nobel Prize. I took pride in our great thinkers. I was shamed by every scandal. I cried after every attack. I comforted the survivors. I have died and I rose up from the ashes.

I am a Jew.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Beautiful Words In The Hebrew Bible

The Book of our people contains some beautiful poetic verses:
(translation from the original Hebrew is my own - JF)

"And Moses alighted to G-d, and G-d called to him from the mountain saying, So shall you say to the house of Jacob, and tell to the children of Israel. You have seen that which I did to Egypt; I carried you on the wings of eagles and I brought you to Me. And now, If you will indeed hearken to My voice and keep my covenant then you will be a treasure to Me from among all the nations, for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be a nation of princes, and a holy nation. These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel."

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Desecration of the Name of God

In Judaism we have a concept called "chillul Hashem" which is loosely translated as "desecration of the name of G-d". In practical terms this means that if a Jew does something wrong in the public arena he has caused the Jewish people, the Jewish religion , and ultimately G-d, to be viewed in a negative light. Since the Jews are supposed to be a "light unto the nations" this is obviously a very serious infraction.
It occurs to me that this concept is entirely absent in the muslim world. They act like uncivilized barbarians worldwide as a result of some cartoons, with absolutely no sense of shame. Who could possibly be attracted to Islam after witnessing this shameful display?

Monday, February 13, 2006

A Jewish Perspective on Christianity

As a result of my post on the disgraceful Michael L. Brown, the Atheologist suggested that religion has divided people far more than it has united them. While I agree wholeheartedly with the Atheologist's assessment, I would like to clarify that the intention of my post was not to be divisive.
First of all, this blog has thus far been written mostly from a cultural perspective, and not a religious one. My intention is to celebrate the proud heritage that is Judaism. To that end, anyone who seeks to humiliate, denigrate, assimilate, or exterminate the Jewish people earns a demerit in my book. No one rightly accuses the Black civil rights movement of the 1960's as divisive. It is instead seen as corrective. So please consider that what I am about to say comes from the perspective of a man whose people have only recently crawled out of the crematoria of christian Europe and have begun to make their way onto the world stage.

The Jewish people see christians first and foremost as persecutors and torturers.
History is stained with the blood of my ancestors at the hands of "loving" christians. Inqusitions, book burnings, forced debates, forced conversions, pogroms, forced conscriptions, forced baptisms, forced sermons, forced expultions, and numerous other tragedies have been perpetrated against the Jews by christians in the name of jesus christ for close to two millenia. Martin Luther, the great reformer and church father laid out the blueprint of the holocaust in his great work of christian theology entitled
"On the Jews and Their Lies". His vision was ultimately carried out during the second world war by the members of the denomination that bears his very name - the Lutherans.

Jews also view christians as deceitful evangelizers. Judaism does not actively seek converts. We believe that all people can be righteous in the eyes of G-d. Christians on the other hand, have used any and all means deemed neccesary to add numbers to their ranks. After all, this precedent was set by the most famous of the self-hating traitorous Jews, the apostle Paul. He stated: "And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; to them that are without law, as without law...that I might gain them that are without law. To the weak I became as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some". In other words, he will evangelize, truth be damned. The King James Bible (as well as most other christian versions) is replete with gross mistranslations of the original Hebrew text in order to twist and distort the message from one of personal responsibility to a message of a dying god-man who takes away personal responsibility. The book of our people, The Hebrew Bible, has been hijacked and deliberately tampered with by christians. Are my gentile readers aware that the Jewish interpretation of the Bible permits divorce, and allows for abortion in certain cases? That "An eye for an eye" means monetary compensation, or that the standard of proof in court is so stringent that according to one rabbinic opinion the death penalty was invoked only once in seventy years? And most importantly, that the people of all nations do not have to convert to the Jewish religion to be "saved" (there is no concept of salvation in Judaism, but that is a discusion for another time)? You probably have never heard of these ideas because your christian leaders keep them from you. You are presented with the bible that they want you to see, not the original in its original language. After all, If you don't need christ, you don't need the church, and the christian leadership are out of a job.

The spiritual heirs of the apostle Paul are in full swing today trying to eliminate the Jewish people through conversion. They will use any tactic at their disposal (except for honesty) to entice Jews away from their heritage. I have seen missionary training literature, and it is very detailed, from the targets chosen (uneducated and lonely Jews) to the very words used ("don't say christian, say bible believer"). I believe in the right of christians to evangelize, I only ask that they keep it honest.

For those who say that christianity has evolved into a tolerant religion, I would argue that it is only the power of government that separates fundamentalist christians from their Muslim counterparts. Do you imagine for one minute that fundamentalist christians would not try to control your life if they had the power of government behind them?

In summary , as I stated earlier, my purpose is not to be divisive. I only ask that the world stop trying to convert us. After two thousand years of subjugation, we have earned the right to be left alone.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Quote of the Day

"The pursuit of knowledge for its own sake, an almost fanatical love of justice and the desire for personal independance - these are the features of the Jewish tradition which make me thank my lucky stars that I belong to it" - Albert Einstein.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Shvantz Of The Week

This week's award goes to Michael L. Brown. Michael Brown is a traitor to his people. He was born a Jew, but converted to christianity as a teenager after a bout with drug addiction. It was not enough for Brown to insult his heritage by converting to the faith that has tortured the Jews like no other, he has also dedicated his life to convincing other Jews to follow in his twisted footsteps. He has written a series of three books with the title "Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus". These books are written solely to confuse the uneducated Jew. Any Jew who understands his history and tradition will find these books to be a cruel joke.
What's worse is that he has also written a book called "Our Hands Are Stained With Blood". This book is supposed to show with brutal honesty the unrivaled bloodshed and humiliation that the Jews suffered at the hands of the Christians. Even the Jewish reviewers said as much. I however, was very deeply disappointed after reading this book. It is nothing but excuses and moral distortion. There is no admission of guilt, and no attribution of cruelty to christian dogma, or to christians themselves ("real christians would never act this way").
I would ask christians in general , and Michael L. Brown in particular, to remember the words of the new testament - your bible. It says you can tell the quality of a tree by the fruit that it bears. The tree of christianity has borne rotten fruit for centuries, don't you think that it's time for some real soul-searching?