|English: Symbols of Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year: Shofar, apples, honey in glass honey dish, pomegranates, wine, silver kiddush cup (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
This article is not a sermon, but just a few thoughts that should be in the reader’s mind about where we are heading and the type of world we are leaving behind as Rosh Hashanah approaches. This Holy Day - The Jewish New Year, is preceded by Selichot - Penitential Prayers which started this year on 5th September.(the Hebrew month of Elul)
This is the time when the observant should be asking themselves where they have erred in their relationship with their neighbors of all creeds. We can be held accountable to ourselves only. We cannot justify our wrongs because our enemies are involved in committing terrorist acts against us and take revenge on innocent people because they are Arabs, or non-Jews as happened during the cruel murder of an innocent Palestinian family in Duma in the occupied territories. There are home-grown fascists in Israel with a warped and hateful ideology that is closer to the ISIS (Daesh) world view than it is to Judaism. Instead of the Islamic Caliphate, they wish to establish a Jewish Kingdom in the Land of Israel where there is no room for non Jews. They may wear the symbols of “holiness” (kippot, tsitsit, peiyot) but they are an insult and a total aberration of Judaism.
These fascists will be reciting selichot prayers and attending services led by hateful rabbis that identify with their evil worldview and are responsible for teaching these fascists their savagery as observant Jews. They and their rabbis are a disgrace to the Jewish People and it is even difficult to define them as Jews when their warped and cruel ideology is barbaric.
The right wing ideologies that embrace the settler movements in the name of religious Zionism must be held responsible for this racist, fascist development in our midst. These “wild weeds” went out of control, mutating into a macabre group called Price Tag and their allies the wild “Hilltop Youth”. These groups carry out terror attacks and vandalism against Palestinians. They burn churches and mosques as well as attempting to destroy dialogue between Jews and Arabs. The latest incident ended in a terrible tragedy, the burning of a Palestinian family to death in Duma and total destruction of their home. There is also the racist Lehava group that is a perverted and hateful. All these extremist fascist groups in Israel are purveyors of hate in the name of keeping the Jews assimilation-free. The King’s Torah is their world view. It is a book that legitimises murder of “goyim” (non-Jews)
The other issue is the refugee problem that is knocking on the doors of Europe and the attitude of the Netanyahu government towards it. The leader of the Zionist Camp in the Knesset and the Opposition Leader, Yitzhak Herzog, has stated that Israel should take in a limited number of Syrian refugees. Naturally Israel cannot open its doors entirely to grant them all asylum. There are many Sudanese and Eritrean refugees in Israel as well and this problem is also far from solution. Israel does not have the resources that Europe has to deal with refugees. It is also a matter of time before Europe will solve this problem, if ever. Herzog is right in contrast to the official attitude of the Netanyahu Government, which is totally against it. In fact the Tanach lays great emphasis on accepting the stranger that is very much part of Judaism.
These are just a few thoughts that we have to consider in the New Year. There is so much strife and hate in the world today. Islamist terrorism in the Middle East that has created a flood of refugees seeking a better life in Europe. In Israel, we have fascist terrorism committed by those who see themselves as “observant” Jews but have no Jewish soul. The plethora of fascist terrorist organizations in Israel is the cancer that we have to cure and this should be our New Year’s resolution.
!שנה טובה לכל עם ישראל