Why I am Proud to be a Jew

The ongoing existential battle in Israel is a potent reminder that even after the vileness of the Shoah, better known as the Holocaust, there are those people whose sole purpose in life is to annihilate Jews and subsequently destroy Judaism. They seek to extinguish the advancements in civilization and institute hell on earth. 

Moreover, they are aided by others who will not stand in defense of Israel or the Jewish people. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is a breath of fresh air in this regard but he stands very much alone in his defense of Israel. Anti-Semitism is the oldest disease known to mankind and while it always starts with the Jew, the hatred eventually spreads its tentacles to others. 

It is a never ending screed whose irrationality is, quite frankly, hard to fathom. These haters look like humans but act like beasts; they dare to use their own children as human shields. Such lacko f moral rectitiude should elicit outcries from the world but it rarely does. 

Clearly, Europe has learned nothing from 20th century horrors. And so the haters are all too familiar to anyone with even a passing knowledge of Jewish history. To wit, Iran's Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, stated "that the only solution for the region is the destruction of Israel, and that the armed confrontation must expand beyond Gaza."

Daniel Greenfield reports that from the 48 Hamas prisoners that Israel has recently captured and interrogated, a most "terrifying and horrific picture is being built about tunnels that have been dug under many kibbutzim that surround Gaza." Had the plan gone through there was to be an invasion of over 200 terrorists into the settlements in the area including all the kindergartens, dining rooms and other areas within the kibbutzim. The plan was to invade on Rosh HaShanah (September 2014), occupy the whole area and "kill as many Israelis as possible."

Those Palestinians who were born into this cauldron of hate could have a better life instead of being intimidated and brainwashed by terrorists. Indeed, they are pawns of the United Nations that also promotes the hate literature that teaches Palestinian children to kill Jewish children.

And, finally, far too many of the media can no longer be trusted to be objective reporters.  Instead, they couch Israel as the victimizer and simply ignore the terrorists who will stop at nothing to destroy Israel. Sadly, the lies, misinformation, distorted context and selective omissions in the news world are to use a Yiddish word -- a shanda -- shameful actions. The media has within its power the means to clarify issues, and to shed light on the diseased culture that is permeating the Arab Middle East. Yet it rarely does. Instead it "blatantly ignores the facts" and there is no moral clarity. The news media misuses its power and is guilty of imbalanced reporting and opinions disguised as fact. They do not even try to hide their indifference about the truth. There is no conscience so there is no shame and propagandists have taken over the airwaves.

From all corners of the earth, the anti-Jewish invective is shrill. And all of this is meant to pummel the Jew; to adversely affect the morale of the Jew; and to effectively break the Jewish dedication to survive.  It will not happen.  We are not the stiff-necked people for nothing. Thus, I would like to clarify that ...

I am proud to be a Jew because I refuse to do the world's bidding and disappear.

I am proud to be a Jew because Jews still try to maintain the higher moral ground even as our many enemies engage in the most brutal of attacks.

I am proud to be a Jew because Israelis have not given up on the duty to be a compassionate nation.

I am proud to be a Jew because I am also a realist and do not couch my actions in some murky realm of feel good, instead of doing good.

I am proud to be a Jew because my family is united all across the globe. Whether the Reform Jew or the Hassid, ultimately we share a set of core beliefs that try to improve mankind.

I am proud to be a Jew because when justice and truth are tarred and feathered, Jews still aspire for Lady Justice to prevail.

I am proud to be a Jew not because of some elitist notion of the Chosen People but because I know that Jews have been chosen to act ethically and be role models even when the world scorns our attempts to elevate mankind. 

I am proud to be a Jew because the ideas of liberty and freedom so embedded in the Torah influence my dedication to maintain these cherished traditions in America, which is also under attack by the evil ones.

I am proud to be a Jew because of the astounding discoveries and inventions that Jews, and Israelis, in particular, have given to the world in order to improve the lot of all people.

I am proud to be a Jew because of the universality of Judaism. To be a good Jew one need only be a good person. Judaism does not require blind faith or the suspension of rational thought. 

I am proud to be a Jew because Jewish law encourages free will and challenging questions.

I am proud to be a Jew because although I know the trials and tribulations of the Jewish people throughout the centuries, I have emunah or faith that we will prevail

I am proud to be a Jew and realize that one man contributed to the revitalization of an ancient language that is now freely and proudly spoken on the streets of Israel and not merely confined to the synagogue.

I am proud to be a Jew because Jewish holidays celebrate universal ideas. Passover is about liberation.  Chanukah is about religious freedom. Shavuot is about the giving of the Law. These meaningful beliefs act to cement the Jewish people and to invigorate the thinking of other groups. 

I am proud to be a Jew because I stand in awe of the faith of the Jew against insufferable odds.

I am proud to be a Jew because I am humbled by the courage of young Israelis of various ethnicities who sacrifice for the continuity of Jewish life, often giving the full measure of devotion to maintain this unbreakable link.

I am proud to be a Jew because Judaism understands the power of the word. Murderous words or lashon hara are a harbinger of great evil. And in our dealings, truth is to be sought after; facts are to be presented; evidence is the eye-opener.

I am proud to be a Jew because unlike my enemies, we value life over death -- even our foes admit this proclivity of ours.

I am proud to be a Jew because Judaism is truly a religion of peace. Jews continue to promote peace while our craven enemies do everything to thwart it.

I am proud to be a Jew and recognize the immense bravery of Israeli teachers who try to shield little ones from the horror of bombs by singing songs to them.

I am proud to be a Jew because Israel must exist; for without her, the world is truly doomed.

I am proud to be a Jew because as Edmond Fleg wrote in 1927, "I am a Jew because in every age when the cry of despair is heard the Jew hopes."

Eileen can be reached at middlemarch18@gmail.com