Yshai Amichai
Yshai AmichaiCourtesy

Something most Jews seem to agree upon is that anti-Semitism should not be tolerated. We might not agree upon most things, including who’s a Jew or what it means to be a Jew, but we agree that non-Jews should treat us fairly, with human dignity.

We agree upon this because we know what it’s like to be treated unfairly, and we don’t like it. We empathize with those who have been treated unfairly, like us, because we know what it feels like.

That’s why Jews stand up for the downtrodden and wish to help them. We’ve internalized the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do to you.” This is a derivative of the Torah Commandment: “Love your fellow as yourself.” (Leviticus 19:18).

Jews fight for other people, such as blacks, Latinos, Muslims, and gays, yet these people seem to have no problem hating us, which makes no sense. Why is the Golden Rule not reciprocated? We are compassionate and accepting, so we expect others to be the same. Why do they not love us back?

That’s what anti-Semitism feels like. It feels like a dog-eat-dog world out there. The compassionate and loving ones are the first to be eaten. Where did we go wrong?

A World Out of Order

Places where anti-Semitism flares up are places where Jews have failed their mission to God. We fail miserably because we don’t even know what our mission is. Most Jews don’t even know God.

The full sentence of Leviticus 19:18 is: “You shall not take revenge or bear a grudge against the children of your people, and you shall love your fellow as yourself, I Am the Lord.”

This seems to speak of our own people and of God, so certainly this should be our priority, to love our fellow Jews, and to love God (as the Torah Commands us in other places). Why are we out there loving other hated peoples and defending them, when we despise our fellow Jews and betray God?

It is not our mission to fight for civil rights, women’s rights, human rights, gay rights, religious freedom, or democracy. Our mission is to know God and observe His Commandments.

We do not have any reciprocal deals with other victims of hatred that should be relied upon to save us. We have a Covenant with God.

What we do to God when we break our Covenant, is what other people do to us when they repay our kindness with violence.

What it “Feels” like for God

We can understand what anti-Semitism feels like for us, so we should also comprehend what our behavior “Feels” like for God. We empathize with other people and love them, but they betray our emotions and hate us. Out of all the people in the world, they hate us. Why?

We betray God, Who Loves us, to fight for people who hate us, and yet we feel betrayed? We feel betrayed by God and mankind, but we are wrong. Our feelings of betrayal are mistaken. We are not being picked on for no reason. We are receiving Justice from God, which is a form of Love.

Loving your fellow as yourself is not a fixed response. If your fellow is righteous, like you, it should be easy to love him as yourself, but what if your fellow is a murderer? How should you then love him? You should love him to death, literally. You should love for him to die for his crime, for justice to be executed upon him, to be done to him as he did to his fellow.

Loving your fellow as yourself is related to empathy and justice. We empathize with the victims and prosecute the offenders. The innocent should receive the love they deserve, and the guilty should receive punishment.

The same applies to us. God Loves us and Empathizes with us when we are innocent, but when we sin against Him He Loves us differently. He loves for us to reap what we have sown, to receive our punishment and atone for sin. He Loves for us to be made innocent again, to return to Him wholesome and pure.

A Substitute for Anti-Semitism

Anti-Semitism means against Jews or against Israel. When we are against God the world is against us. We have no one to turn to but God. A path is cleared for us to return to Him.

In the company of people, we become distracted. We are too busy with them to notice God or turn to Him. We become reliant upon others and forget about God. We betray God and serve them. We need a major shakeup to wake us up.

Anti-Semitism provides that shakeup. Those who we rely upon turn against us. They isolate and banish us. They oppress and assault us. They make it clear enough to us that they are through with us. We are left alone with God.

We shouldn’t wait for anti-Semitism to achieve this. We should beat it to the punch and help ourselves. We should turn back to God and Israel.

We should make Aliyah and make the Torah our Constitution. We should observe God’s Commandments as a nation and serve Him. We should part ways with the nations and hasten our redemption.

Yshai Amichai is a father of six and an author with a legal education, whose books advocate upholding the Torah as a national Constitution. He may be contacted at: [email protected]