Posted by Dean Rotbart
I guess it says something about my upbringing and my insular adulthood that I am only now coming to grasp just how twisted our Bizzaro world really is.
Contrary to my life’s experience predating the latest Israeli war with Hamas, I have awakened to the reality that evil is sympathetic; self-defense is terrorism; opinions - actually warped opinions, are journalism; relief organizations are intended to relieve those who do good of their reputations; civilians are okay to kill, but only if they are Jewish; all world leaders are fluent in the language of duplicity; and, perhaps most confounding, Hamas and many vocal Palestinians really do care more about exterminating Jewish lives than preserving their own.
Logic fails. How does one reason with a lunatic world?
Can someone, anyone, please explain to me Roseanne Barr or Annie Lennox, both of whom have mistaken mild celebrity for wisdom? Have my journalism colleagues at TIME lost their friggin minds?: “Can Israel Survive Its Assault on Gaza?” asked TIME’s Tim McGirk this past week, reporting from Jerusalem, where the press is free and the government freely elected.
It’s not Israel that I’m most worried about, Mr. McGirk, it’s the rest of the festering world.
If there had been printing presses in the time of Abraham, TIME no doubt would be reporting: “the residents of Sodom and Gomorrah, who share the world’s hopes for moral clarity and integrity, look to Abraham and his life and bemoan the Jew’s obvious lack of virtue and decency.”
I’m not a fire and brimstone type of prognosticator, but one need not be a bible scholar to understand that once the world spins off its moral axis, as it clearly has, the suffering and destruction may start with the Jews, but won’t ever end there. How many tens of millions of non-Jews died in World War II because large segments of the world population believed Hitler would only decimate Jews?
It is not enough in 2009 for large elements of society to betray their humanity; to live hedonistic, sadistic lives; to cultivate and satisfy animalistic appetites; and to deny God and His values. These dybbuks - devils - anoint themselves guardians of “morality” and then proceed in ‘majority-rules’ mobs to enact their own depraved proclamations of who is good and what is evil.
Well, they may be able to fool CNN and TIME (truth be told, they include CNN and Time) - but just as they cannot make man-made global warming a reality because they declare it so, they cannot and will not turn Hamas into victims and Israel into Nazis.
It is an abomination that they even try.
So I write and I pray. I write not in the belief that I will break through to any of the demented with logic, but because if I don’t express my feelings I will explode in disgust and anger. And I pray. I pray because I believe, as surely as I believe that the diurnal movements of the sun and moon are beyond human control, that we’ve reached a point in our uncivilization that only the hand of Hashem can now set decency back on its proper axis.
These days, and I fear for many days ahead, the world sinks deeper into depravity. For those who read this and wonder how to proceed, I offer these few words of advice: Keep your eyes and your feet on your own moral path and when you are eventually clear of the evil that engulfs us, don’t look back.
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January 6, 2009 | 1:26 pm
Posted by Dean Rotbart
In my email this morning comes word that one group of pro-Hamas, pro-Jihadists supporters is encouraging aligned American Jews and others to go to synagogues on Friday night or Saturday morning and stage a protest.
“Jews especially should be doing these actions,” encourage the protest organizers. The plan is to enter shuls in groups of 3-4 “and – in dignified firm and unemotional voices – repeat “STOP THE KILLING.” The protesters plan to bring along a video camera to record the congregants’ responses.
“I see no possible legal impediment to this. The public, and certainly Jews – cannot be barred from entry to the services,” says the organizer email. “And it will be extremely hard for the synagogues to enforce exclusion.”
Finally, perhaps in an effort to explain why the pro-Hamas supporters are targeting U.S. Jews – when they always claims their beef is with Israel and Zionists, the email reads: “The Jews of America must be confronted with their clear responsibility – far more than complicity – in the mass murders, occupation, and forced starvation of the people of Palestine.”
I doubt this will happen here in Los Angeles or almost anywhere, because the organizers are better at bluster than deeds. But assuming that someone or some few do actually show up and interrupt services, I have some basic advice. Let them.
These kooks are looking for confrontation and looking to generate YouTube-worthy outrage. Their goal is really publicity and self aggrandizement.
If the Rabbi is speaking or the congregation is engaged in prayer when someone stands to protest, I would suggest that a responsible member of each congregation encourage members to finish their prayers and then be seated to “listen” to the protestors. Give them 10 minutes, 20 minutes, whatever it takes to exhaust their rhetoric. Then calmly finish services.
The designated congregation member might, after an appropriate time, say to the protestors, “We’ve given you ample time to state your grievances. Now, please, allow us to resume services.”
If the protestors do not leave or allow services to continue, then, and only then, would I recommend asking security – but never members of the congregation – to step in. If at all possible, have the police arrest and remove the protestors.
At all times, keep in mind the goal of the protestors is to make Jews look aggressive and angry. Don’t be either. Don’t give them the video they so crave of seeing Jews in America acting in a fashion that is unbecoming of our people.
If it were my shul, I’d go so far as to invite them on the pulpit to make their presentation and then answer questions. I’d give them the respect they deny us.
More than being confronted by police or security, I suspect that what these protesters fear most is being confronted by the truth. Their nightmare is actually having to engage in a calm, rationale dialogue.