By Rabbi Berel Wein
There is a famous Hassidic story that pretty much sums up our
present situation and the world that we live in.
A great king had an extremely wise adviser whose opinion he trusted
implicitly. One day the adviser appeared before the king with very bad news
- the crop of grain just being harvested contained an organism that would
drive people stark raving mad. The king was terribly shocked and found
himself in a quandary. If the contaminated grain was removed from the
market, the population would starve to death. Yet if the people ate that
grain they would all become crazy.
The adviser told the king that he should allow the grain to be marketed,
for better mad than dead. The king agreed to this. The adviser then told
the king that there was enough of last year's normal grain in the king's
pantry for the king, the adviser and their families until next year's more
The king responded that if he and the adviser were the only sane people in
an otherwise insane society, they would be deemed insane by the crazy
people. Therefore he ruled that he and the adviser and their families would
also have to eat from the affected grain. However, the wise adviser painted
a line on his forehead and that of the king, so that when they looked at
each other they would at least recognize that they were crazy.
The world around us has eaten locoweed. It is crazy beyond belief. How else
can one explain that Amnesty International is after ambassador-designate
Carmi Gillon while the pope exchanges hugs and kisses with Palestinian
Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat?
Of course, Arafat's unblemished record of 35 years of terror, murder,
corruption and violence earned him a Nobel Peace Prize and international
approval, while all Gillon can show for his efforts at attempting to save
the lives of innocents here in Israel is a lousy ambassadorial appointment
to Denmark with a threat of being arrested there.
And what do you say about the "peace rally" last Saturday night in Tel
Aviv? Has it not yet dawned upon the peace camp that there has to be
another side willing to make peace with us for any "peace process" to work?
I would also willingly join rallies for peace if I knew that such rallies
were taking place in Gaza, Ramallah, Nablus and Jericho as well. But as
long as they are taking place only in Tel Aviv, I think that such
gatherings, in light of present realities, border on the ludicrous, if not
AND WHAT shall we make of the journalistic rewriting of the Camp David
fiasco? What grain are these journalists eating? Somehow it isn't Arafat's
fault at all that he turned down the deal to end all deals, made no
counter-offer to prime minister Ehud Barak and unleashed the murderous
campaign of terror and violence that, while it may be hurting Israel, is
certainly destroying the Palestinian economy and social structure. Bill
Clinton, Barak, Madeleine Albright, Dennis Ross, Martin Indyk and all of
the others are wrong in blaming Arafat. Only the crazies are right in
sympathizing with and rationalizing for him.
What are we to think about the "humanitarians" who unleash Code Red viruses
and worms onto the world's computer systems in order to prove some obscure
point? What sadistic pleasure they must gain from their twisted exploits.
And how should we understand the behavior of the noble anti-globalization
protesters who have trashed Seattle, Genoa and other world cities in their
quest for social justice?
Nothing accomplishes the advancement of the cause of the poor and the
downtrodden the world over as quickly and definitively as does breaking
shop windows, looting goods from their legitimate owners, hurling rocks and
firebombs at police, and becoming drunk and stoned. And, naturally, in this
lunatic world of ours the police are to be blamed for "overreacting" and
beating the firebomb-throwing crazies.
The "crazies" are going to hold a conference on racism in South Africa next
month. In attendance, among others, will be the Hutus and the Tutsis of
Burundi and Rwanda, the Zulus and the ANC of crime-ridden South Africa,
Muammar Gaddafi of Libya and Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, all of whom are
experts in killing and stealing, with a horrendous record of
accomplishments in these fields. They will gather and solemnly decide
whether Zionism is racism.
The Russians, whose methods of attempting to stamp out the Chechnyan
uprising make the Middle East violence look like a touch-football game,
will undoubtedly intone on the matter. The righteous French, who have never
yet admitted their collaborationist role with the Nazis in World War II,
will also have something to say on the matter, as will the Oslo-creating
Pay them no heed. They are all mad. But then again so are we, for we also
eat of the same grain that feeds post-modernism, secularism, no-guilt value
systems, family-destroying promiscuity and selfish politics, above all else.
The least we should do is paint a line on our foreheads so that when we
view each other, we will be aware what an insane world we live in.