Across Israel, Meir Panim responds to the growing needs of the country’s 1.75 million impoverished residents through various food and social service programs.
Small, independent, poorly funded groups and individuals have stepped up to the task, on campuses, on the streets, on the Internet. The large Jewish organizations are following, reluctantly and slowly, behind us.
As religious Jews we have an even greater task. Especially at this time of year, can we open our hearts to all those Jews whom we fear – whom we know – are behaving recklessly, selfishly, self-destructively? Can we try to understand, really understand, that they, too, are “b’Tzelem,” and that if we cannot find ways of connecting at some level to each other, our failure to do so may doom us?
Six years ago I first proposed a new kind of meeting of the twelve tribes in these very pages (“Jews on the Precipice,” front page essay, June 18, 2004). “So many Jews who hold passionate and opposing views have simply stopped listening and talking to each other,” I wrote. “The silence is more awful than arguments . We must come together in order to strategize about our very survival.”
If such a conclave were indeed to take place, I believe we would need one psychiatrist for every three Jews present. I am not saying we are crazy. I am saying we are all so angry at each other, so hard, so sure of our own position – so stiff-necked, arrogant and self-righteous – that without professional help we would all walk out on each other, mid-sentence, blood pressure boiling, curses on our lips.
I am asking us to envision doing something very difficult, very large. Can I actually sit in a room with J Streeters, or with Women in Black, or with others who demonstrate against Israel, sign petitions against Israel, arm the rogues at the United Nations with ammunition against Israel? Probably not. I fear I’d walk right out.
Moshe broke the first set of tablets at just such a moment. But he also begged God to forgive the Jews for the very sins that drove him to break the luchot.
We are all in Moshe’s position now. In Moshe’s merit, and for God’s sake, let us have less hate or even dislike for other Jews as we strengthen our resolve and gird our loins for battle.
Dr. Phyllis Chesler, an emerita professor of psychology and women’s studies and co-founder of the Association for Women in Psychology and the National Women’s Health Network, is the author of many works including “Women and Madness” (1972) and “The New Anti-Semitism” (2003). This essay was adapted from a speech she gave at Vacation Village on Shabbos Nachamu. She can be contacted through her website, www.phyllis-chesler.com.
About the Author: Dr. Phyllis Chesler is a professor emerita of psychology, a Middle East Forum fellow, and the author of fifteen books including “Women and Madness” (1972), “The New Anti-Semitism” (2003), and her latest, “An American Bride in Kabul” (2013). Her articles are archived at www.phyllis-chesler.com.
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The answer is an emphatic no.
The meaning of “God’s watch” here is not entirely clear.
Don’t Israelis and Arab Palestinians deserve more than this? Is it not time to stop the insanity?
At age 104, my mother was still concerned about her relationship with Hashem.
Obama’s incompetence, the way his naive worldview and credulity have made a fool of him, are equally frightening
“The only difference between this world and the time of Meshiach is our bondage to the gentile kingdoms.”
You’ve discovered our little secret!
Klein’s challenger has demonstrated a propensity to unleash poisonous vitriol, even to other Zionists
President Obama’s foreign policy is based on fantasy.
Welcome the book of Leviticus!
If the nationalist Knesset members don’t provide the answer, the Arab MKs will do so in their place.
International Agunah Day falls annually on Ta’anis Esther, this year on March 13.
Yeshiva University Museum recently hosted an exhibit titled “Threshold to the Sacred.”
Even a foxhole Yid has to admit that antisemitism is on the upswing.
Hundreds of boats tried to run the British blockade on the dangerous, open seas.
“I am surprised those Zionists are not outside protesting,” says one woman.
“Miral” is a film that has garnered an inordinate amount of media attention. In interviews, the director, Julian Schnabel, defends his right to tell the Palestinian “narrative” for what he claims is the first time. He seems not to know that many others before him have specialized in this particular line of work.
Our beloved, miraculous Jewish state is under siege.
It was assumed that the ceaseless persecution of the Jews in exile would cease once we again had our own sovereign homeland, our own army, navy, and air force.
In 1947-1948 I lived in Boro Park where, against parental and rabbinic advice, I joined a Zionist group. By 1950 I was packing machine-gun parts for Israel in a home not far from the Young Israel. But what I did as a child does not compare to what my friend and colleague David Gutmann did for love of Zion at that very time on the dangerous open seas.
Reality has become somewhat Scandinavian. It grows dark early and it is bitterly cold here in New York City and over a good portion of our fair land. Our Prince of Peace (The Norwegian Nobel, not the noble variety) is not yet asking whether “to be or not to be.” Perhaps he is not entirely convinced that “that is the question.”
One of four Courage in Journalism awards to be presented later this month by Christiane Amanpour and Irshad Manjie, among others, will go to the Israeli journalist Amira Hass, whose unremitting critique of Israel serves as a veritable blood libel against the Jewish people.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/our-daunting-task/2010/08/11/
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