This week, ArutzSheva.com reported as follows:
“International Jewish bodies have called upon the Vatican to “clarify” a new Papal edict expanding use of an old prayer that asks Divine help for Jews to overcome their blindness. Pope Benedict XVI issued a directive last week, authorizing expanded use of a prayer service known as the Tridentine Mass. The phrase “perfidious Jews” was removed from the liturgy in question by Pope John XXIII in 1959, such that the anti-Semitism that accompanied it for centuries is not self-evident. However, the prayer, recited on Good Friday, still includes a prayer for the conversion of the Jews, asking Divine help in removing “the veil from their hearts” and overcoming their “blindness.”
The article also isolated a callout, which reads,
“How do we now sit and dialogue when the other side [Jews] believes we are blind and need to be converted?”
Note the words “How do we NOW sit and dialogue…” What must strike us are not the sustained views of the Church, but the “surprise” of Jews at this Christian prayer that Jews “overcome our blindness” and accept Jesus. This has always been the Christian doctrine. It is not news “now”.
The question is why the Church’s condemnation of Jewish beliefs is such a surprise to Jews. The word “surprise” must be defined, and when it is, the answer will emerge.
A surprise is that which is unexpected. This means that Jewish leaders did not expect the Church to include a prayer for Jews to convert. They wonder how they can “now” continue interfaith dialogue. Why are Jews surprised? This stems from a fatal flaw not monopolized by leaders and politicians, but by all mankind. That flaw is “imagination” or fantasy.
What leads Jewish leaders to interfaith dialogue? What allows Israel to negotiate with murderers? Reality clearly teaches that these actions are futile and lethal. It is man’s imagination that assumes change might take place. The Jews’ wish to be recognized by the world, lures the Jew into a fantasy state where he truly believes the Church recognizes Judaism. He truly believes he can “talk” murderers into laying down their arms and turning around 180°. It is the unexamined path, and baseless fantasies that sentences the Jewish future without parole.
Judaism’s primary fundamental is to adhere to reason, and dispel fallacy. God teaches the Jews this primary lesson:
“And God spoke to Moses saying: Speak to the Children of Israel and say to them, ‘I am Hashem your God. Like the ways of the land of Egypt that you dwelled therein, do not do. And like the ways of the land of Canaan that I bring you there, do not do, and in their statutes do not walk. My laws you shall perform, and My statutes you shall guard to walk in them; I am Hashem your God. And you shall guard My statutes and My laws, that man shall perform them and live by them; I am God.” (Lev. 18:1-5)
Let us understand more profoundly God’s exact wording. Why do we need to be reminded here, “I am Hashem your God” and also, “that we dwelled” in Egypt? I believe God reiterates His being God – the Creator – to underline the very danger in assimilation, which God addresses in these verses: man ignores that God alone dictates what is real and true.
If we can ponder that momentarily, we realize – how impossible it is – that without God, nothing can exist. And equally true is this: ONLY that which He created exists. That may appear obvious, but it is not to many of us. Man rarely checks his beliefs before accepting them. He does not ask, “Is this God’s creation, or my imagination?”
To help steer us away from the fallacies of the nations, God reiterates, “I am God”. Meaning, “Accept only that which I created, for only THAT is true and in existence”. Again: if God didn’t create something, it does not exist. This lesson alone should suffice for someone attached to reality. He or she will realize that if God did not create something, then there is nothing to speak about. Therefore, the practices of the nations where they accept stone and wood figures as possessing power, is false.
But God also warns us here “why” we might accept idolatry, and a life of imagination, which idolatry truly is. We accept falsehood because “we dwelled in Egypt”. What does that mean?
Our ego, teamed with the very dwelling amongst others, creates a need to gain recognition. Therefore, many Jews accept even the most foolish, imagined beliefs, since it offers them “social approval”. It boils down to our self-image. We seek accolades of other nations, so we adopt their ways in an attempt to gain their applause, which in turn offers us a false, self-validation.
In truth, we achieve just the opposite when we mimic others…our insecurity is exposed as we convey this message: “We are nothing if you don’t like us, so we will copy you”.
Who does a movie star admire: his fans, or a greater star? Certainly it is the latter. Why? It is because when others praise man, he now accepts that he is better than they are. He despises the fans to some degree. He no longer needs them. So too: when we strive to mimic others, they will not applaud, but they will reject us.
A wise Rabbi once taught:
“Jacob would not permit Eisav the justification to act upon his anger and destroy Jacob. Jacob did not afford Eisav the opportunity to find fault with him and in this way, Eisav could in no way assuage his guilt and justify acting upon his hatred toward his brother.”
Jacob told Eisav that he was steadfast in God’s ways even while working under the wicked Lavan. It is the committed Jew who has nothing to worry about, not the assimilated Jew. If we would hold fast to our Judaism, other nations would have no basis to despise us, and attack us. We would even offer them examples of God’s perfect system, regarding which they would most certainly appreciate. The Rabbi also said this:
“There is one further principle underlying the emotion of hatred, namely, the aggressive expression of one’s hatred toward another person always seeks out a justification from reality. The Koran, which expresses great hatred toward the Jews on numerous occasions, often points out that the Jews transgressed their commandments and are therefore lowly people. Sura 2:63 writes: “And well you know there were those among you that transgressed the Sabbath, and We said to them, “Be you apes, miserable slinking!’ And we made it a punishment exemplary for all the former times and for the latter, and an admonition to such as are God-fearing.” The Koran claims that the Jews did not adhere to the tenets of their own law and thus according to their Torah the Jews are despicable people. In this way Mohammed tried to justify the expression of his hatred toward the Jews in the Koran.”
Man has a tendency to accept as true, that which is repeated enough, what is in print, and that which is accepted by others. Man also believes as true, that which caters to his personal needs. Case and point: the belief that the Church recognizes Judaism. Jews want this to be true, since Jews place world accolades above truth. But truth cannot be denied: truth does not go away. And the truth here is that Judaism is diametrically opposed to Christianity, as black is opposed to white. Judaism’s primary tenets are: God alone retains all focus, God is not physical, and man is never to be deified. The Church has the opposite opinion on all three tenets. Thus, there is no possibility of interfaith dialogue.
If Jews were living in reality, they would have studied what makes Judaism, Judaism. But since Jews treasure alien accolades over the pursuit of truth, there exists a preponderance of Jewish leaders who are suddenly “surprised” at the Church’s prayers. Our Jewish leaders don’t know what Judaism is.
In truth, there cannot be any dialogue. We don’t proselytize others: we leave their lives to their own freewill as God demands. But we also must not delude ourselves, when God Himself has warned us so clearly not to learn from the ways of others. We must not seek their approval, for their ways are idolatrous. The ironic truth is, other religions should not accept interfaith dialogue with us either, since it violates their King James version too, as God says Jews must not learn from others.
It is this fantasy lifestyle that sustains Israel’s position to talk to murderers. Israel seeks a political platform, and ignores God’s words. We just read the Song of the Day yesterday that states the following:
“If only My people would listen to Me; if Israel would follow My ways, in an instant I would subdue their foes; and against their tormentors [I would] turn My hand”. (Psalms 81)
We have guarantees from the Creator. We have proof of His providential protection from countless miracles and victorious wars. When we obeyed Him, He protected us. But this seems to carry no weight anymore. Although we must not rely on miracles, nor ignore political maneuvers, we must not deny God’s acts and promises. Israel ignores history. God is simply not part of Israel’s equation. So Israel dooms itself to increased casualties.
Why are Israel’s religious leaders not insistent on pushing a Torah platform, for a land only claimed through the Torah’s history? Our claim of Israel is based on the Torah history regarding God’s oath to Abraham…yet, we ignore God’s terms of residence. And by our further ignorance of His warnings, we will be ousted by God.
God’s Torah decrees death for those who kill. This makes sense, since leaving a murderer alone can invite your own death. Christians accept this Biblical passage (Gen. 9:6). The U.S. sentences murderers to death. So why does Israel negotiate with terrorists? It is as God forewarned: “Do not learn from the nations”.
If however the terrorists met with a deathblow each time they killed a single Jew, they would cease their murders from both a strategic decision, and ultimately, because their murderers would no longer exist.
Israel has adopted the fantasy life where anything imagined is possible. But just as imagination cannot grow back a severed limb, imagination cannot convert terrorist into peace lovers. Imagination cannot undo the decades of martyrdom indoctrination indelibly tattooed in thousands of Arab hearts.
If you are not surprised that Arabs wish us dead, don’t be surprised that the Church wants us converted. In both cases, it is a denial of reality that promotes a fantasy of hope.
What we must do is change our course, and accept only that which reality dictates. Forget about interfaith dialogue. We share no common ground. And if we do engage in this dialogue, it displays just how blind we are to Judaism. This does not mean we should not admonish the Church if it does anything to counter the American freedoms guaranteed to all Jews.
We are responsible first to our own, and this responsibility is to make the Torah truths known. It demands we educate Jews towards a path where reason and proof are the sole arbiters of our actions; where fallacies and baseless notions are rejected. Judaism does not impose anything, on anyone. But we must also be courageous enough to select God’s words over man’s accolades, and follow what He knows to be reality, not what we wish to be true.
If we choose the path of reality, then God’s proven Torah words and laws must be upheld on all platforms, starting with Israel. Jewish leaders should be courageous and responsible to fulfill their roles and their debt to all Jews…or they should step down.
An Israel governed by Torah is the only Israel: its leaders the only true leaders. It is something I hope I see in my lifetime.