When my great grandmother Dvosyah, for whom I am named David, was shot and killed and thrown into a ditch in Babi Yar, it was not because the Nazis wanted her land. It was because they wanted her dead. And they wanted her dead because she was Jewish and the Nazis were anti-Semites; they were simply anti-Jewish.
Throughout Jewish history there were those who wanted the Jew dead - not because of any reason other than they wanted the Jew dead. It’s all about anti-Semitism; it’s always been about anti-Semitism. And with regard to modern day history and the present current events of Israel, it is only about anti-Semitism – anti-Jewish hate.
What is the reason for all this anti-Jewish hatred? And was there a different reason during the times of the destruction of the First Temple as compared to the reason during the time of the Spanish inquisition? And was there another reason during the Holocaust, and another reason when Israeli athletes were slaughtered at the Munich Olympics? And what was the reason the Fogel family was butchered while they slept on the Sabbath?
The Lubavitcher Rebbe, who advised heads of state, military generals, rabbis, brides, grooms, mothers and fathers – explained that there is one reason for anti-Semitism and there has always been one reason, the same reason.
Jews are the recipients of Torah; the Jews brought the book of morality into this world. In more familiar terms, the Jew “ruined the party.” The Torah introduced into the world a code of decency. Everyone knows this; and some are upset by it.
If this is not evident from the present glee the Hamas terrorists, and citizens of Gaza, have at the killing of Israeli teenagers and Jewish soldiers, it is made crystal clear by the reporting being proliferated by certain news services. For instance, CNN, MSNBC, BBC, Sky News, Al Jazeera and the New York Times – to name a few – carpet bomb their moral equivalency comparison between the Children of Israel’s army and the blood thirsty Hamas terrorists.
There is an emphatic race to question the moral judgments of the people who brought this morality concept down from Mount Sinai. And with a quick draw and a gloated smirk, the line is protracted to happily display the Jew as having lower morals than even the terrorist. The main story being broadcast about this conflict is that of the Jew killing children. And that is anti-Semitism.
The proliferation of rioting and violence against Jews in Europe today has nothing to do with any morsel of land; it’s about anti-Semitism. The boycotts, UN condemnations, Iranian nuclear proliferation, Turkey’s flotilla and French money to Gaza - the list goes on – it’s only about anti-Semitism. (And conversely, by the way, those who support Israel do not do so because of real estate; they are simply in favor of morality and truth.)
The anti-Semite says: We hate the Jew for his moral barometer and we will kill him for it; and at the same time, we will also endeavor to prove that he doesn’t have a moral barometer and kill him for it. And therefore morality is killed as well; then we can misbehave without feeling that any laws of decency are being broken.
What the world really needs to know is that the morality brought into this world at Mount Sinai from G-d’s Torah is the same morality that exists in Israel today with the decision to risk the lives of Israel’s own ground soldiers in order to save the lives of children and innocent civilians in Gaza. The incredible highest level of decency and morality of the Children of Israel still shines as a beacon to the world.
Today six million Jews live in one small spot and the anti-Semite needs only to lob bombs over them and tunnel under them.
That is the army of Torah, which conducts itself in such a fashion. Morality is not the easy way; it is often times difficult and dangerous, but it is the only way for the Children of Israel. They are not the “Chosen People” but rather the “People who have no choice.” They have no option but to follow their Torah’s ethical codes, principled judgments and moral directives and statutes. And they have and will be misunderstood, criticized, hated and even killed for their adherence to that code of moral behavior.
It’s all about anti-Semitism. The anti-Semitic Nazis had to scour Europe to collect six million Jews and invent macabre contraptions to slaughter them. Today six million Jews live in one small spot and the anti-Semite needs only to lob bombs over them and tunnel under them.
How can one possibly negotiate that term, anti-Semitism, into a sustainable ceasefire and lasting peace? Land is easy to negotiate; but the real everlasting treaty must include the complete genocide of the Jewish people in order to satisfy the anti-Semite. They want to negotiate morality out of this world, so they can live in a place devoid of principles and decency; and they desperately want to erase all evidence of those Jews who carried that sacred ark into Jerusalem filled with the rule of universal law.
And so my great grandmother, Devosya, lies in that Babi Yar grave with 100,000 other decent souls. She cries and pleads, along with all the victims who were slaughtered in Europe and in the sacred Land of Israel – it’s not about the land. It’s about anti-Semitism.
May the souls of our murdered loved ones, and our brave fallen soldiers, be a blessing and a reminder about what this battle is truly about. It is a fight for decency. Each one of us should enforce our efforts to do the Mitzvot that were given to us in that sacred Scroll of Morality. Tfillin, Shabbat candles, Tzedakah and all Mitzvot need to be enlisted and called up to service immediately by all of us in order to assist the Israel Defense Forces in eradicating anti-Semitism and recapturing truth and goodness.
(Rabbi Dr. David Nesenoff is an internationally renowned speaker on Israel, anti-Semitism, Judaism, Chasidut and media. His video interview exposing and expelling the anti-Semite Helen Thomas from the Washington Press Corps went viral and became global news. [email protected])