During more than 3,000 years, countless vicious enemies have paraded across the stage of antisemitism, and we have miraculously succeeded in surviving them all. Even today, with the looming threats of Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran, ISIS, and more, the people of Israel can never be completely at rest. Yet I am convinced that of all these hate-filled, xenophobic warmongers, the absolute most dangerous enemy facing the Jewish people in the year 2018 is the Jewish people. Jewish businessmen make billions by swindling their brethren; Jewish Israeli politicians line their pockets by defrauding the state and prevent mass social progress to protect their private interests; radical Jewish fundamentalists refuse to acknowledge the bond with their “less-observant” compatriots, thereby creating a religious monopoly on what purports itself to be a pluralist democratic safe haven for all Jews.
In theory, our spiritual leaders tell us that we are a beacon of understanding, the people of the book, a light unto the nations; yet in practice we use our past victimization to justify current atrocities against our very own people. Modern Israel has become a dog-eat-dog battlefield for personal survival at any cost; we ignore history and its valuable lessons as we desperately search for individual material success, totally blind to the exorbitant price of our selfish obsession with personal gain. Our infighting and lack of tolerance for ourselves leaves us weakened and vulnerable, suggesting that we are no more enlightened than those who have perpetually committed themselves to our destruction.
As Passover, also known in Hebrew as the Holiday of Freedom, draws to a close this year, I pray that we, both as individuals and collectively as a people, will find the strength, wisdom, and humility to love our neighbor as ourselves, to not judge others but rather to examine our own actions, to not whitewash past transgressions but rather to strive for an understanding and internalization of the moral lessons contained therein. I pray for a miracle that will enable us to survive the mortal threat of our own greed, self-loathing, and tragic penchant for always wanting more. May all the humans of Planet Earth be blessed with tolerance, understanding, and peace. Hag Sameach!.
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