For anti-Semites and Israel haters alike; tonight (September 15, 2004) ushers in the 5765th year in the Jewish Calendar, proving their inability to kill a belief that has endured the test of time.
To place this in perspective, Christianity was formed approximately 200 years after the death of Christ, making it about 1800 years old.
Islam has been a religion since 600 AD, making it about 1400 years old.
On the other hand, Judaism has been around in its mostly original form for almost 6,000 years. Yet; to many worldly elitists and elitist organizations like the UN, Judaism is illegitimate and in constant need of proving itself.
When it comes to giving a culture approbation, like the Palestinians for example, the UN, EU and all the other international alphabet groups point to the historical rights of the Palestinians, even if that history is more or less none existent.
But; when it comes to Judaism and Israel; it seems to the alphabet club, that Jews have only been around since 1948, the year the world recognized Israel as a Jewish State, even though the first Jewish Temple stood in Jerusalem more than 3,000 years ago.
Judaism survived nearly 6,000 years of unspeakable physical and emotional challenges, including: slavery at the hands of the Egyptians. The wars waged by Assyrians, Babylonians, and Philistines. The later Crusades, French and Spanish Inquisitions.
And finally: The Eastern European Pogroms and the Holocaust.
Today; Jews once again face the challenge of organized European anti-Semitism, coupled with global Islamism intent upon destroying Israel, and defeating modern Jewish prosperity, especially in the USA.
But; it’s really old hat.
A graveyard joke that makes the rounds amongst Jews who gather at supper tables to celebrate and remember moments in Jewish history is: They came. They tried to kill us. They couldn’t. Let’s eat.
That sort of sums up nearly 6,000 years of Jewish history.
Someone once said: What doesn’t kill me, makes me stronger. He was right.
I don’t know what the future is for the world. But I do know what the future is for Judaism if the world survives. We will be here for at least another 5,765 years.
Whether some Jews are ultra Orthodox like the Chasidim. Or Orthodox, but not fundamentalist like my grandparents. Or Conservative like many of my peers. Or Reformed or Reconstructionist like the Leftists. Or Atheists like myself.
We all share a common social philosophy that drives us to make the world a better place.
Making the world a better place is the glue that binds the many different elements of Jewish belief, and the invisible barrier that keeps us alive. It is easy to kill a body. But it is something else entirely to kill a belief.
It is this Jewish belief in the humanities that has been unkillable, and the eternal salvation of the Jewish people.
When one measures the success of the world based upon the gifts and contributions of the Jewish people, more than just the 13 million worldwide Jewish population should be celebrating 5765 years of survival and success.
Because of the philosophy of Jews, the world is indeed a much better place.
I wish the entire world a L’Shona Tovah – A Happy New Year with a bright, happy, healthy and peaceful year.