The compound word antisemite was popularized in Germany in 1879 as a scientific-sounding term for Judenhass “Jew-hatred” and that has been its common use since then. It is ironic that we play into the hands of the worst Jew-haters by toning down this horror with a more acceptable term anti-Semite. After all, we wouldn’t want to offend those who hate us the most. Therefore, the term Jew-hatred will be used throughout this essay.
Bila’am prophesized that, “We are a nation that dwells alone and among the nations, we will not be recognized.”
How right he was! What do I mean? Just look at the United Nations. They have condemned us more times than any other country! When will we experience this the most? In the period leading up to Moshiach. For we see that the UN is ganging up against us. In the words of Dovid HaMelech, “All the nations surround me… they encircle me…” As the Novi tells us, “I will gather the nations to Yerushalayim for war…” However, this is materializing in our times! Only liberals, leftists or irreligious Jews – who have no Torah in their life – can’t see that it’s the ‘hand’ of G-d running the show and not their own efforts.
Rashi says, “It is a law that Eisav hates Yaakov. This is referring to Jew-hatred. Some of our brethren just don’t seem to understand that when our Creator makes a law, we can’t fight it, only obey it. For He told us, “Amongst the nations, you will not be tranquil…” Yet, there are people within our nation who ‘think’ they can eliminate Jew-hatred altogether. A certain website once wrote an article in which someone (he had a username – not real name) commented – I wrote his comment as my memory recalls it:
“If we teach our children to respect non-Jews, then Hashem, will, in turn, instill into them to have mercy on us and there will be no more assaults or stabbings etc. ever again.”
The reason we must respect non-Jews and teach our children to do the same has nothing to do with acting civilized. It’s for a higher cause: to sanctify our Creator’s Name. As the Novi informs us, “You are My servant, Yisrael, through whom I am glorified!” This means we have an awesome responsibility on our shoulders!
Yet, for him to say that Hashem will, in turn, instill into them to have mercy on us and there will be no more assaults or stabbings etc. ever again, is complete and utter nonsense! It’s like Theodore Herzl, who claimed that the establishment of a “Jewish” state would cure Jew-hatred. When Dovid HaMelech said, “Do not rely on nobles or on a human being, for he holds no salvation,” he was referring to people like “Theodore Herzl”.
Does the Torah contain a SOLUTION for Jew-hatred?
In Parshas Kedoshim, Hashem warns us, “Do not follow the traditions of the nations that I expel from before you, for they did all of these [abominations] and I was disgusted with them… I am Hashem, your G-d, Who has separated you from the peoples.”
Where else do, we find similar words “do not follow the customs of the nations”? In Achrei Mos the posuk says, “… do not perform the practices of the land of Canaan to which I bring you and do not follow their customs.”
On the words, “do not follow their customs,” Rashi says, “… Matters that are etched for them in their ways as if they were laws, such as theaters and stadiums i.e., (days set aside for) attendance at theaters or stadiums…”
The Gemara says, “Whenever it is stated in the Torah ‘do not,’ it is nothing other than a negative commandment.” Rashi is telling boys, teenagers and young adults of our nation, “Do not go to a movie theater or sports stadium.”
Rav Moshe Feinstein zt”l says that one who goes to a movie theater or sports stadium does not violate, “do not follow their customs.” Yet he states the following:
“Anyone who goes to these places transgresses the prohibitions of moshav leitzim (gatherings of frivolity and unethical behavior) and bitul Torah; not only does he transgress during the time spent in those places, but he also transgresses because these activities cause him to stop learning Torah entirely… in addition, he also brings upon himself the yeitzer hara of promiscuity, as most of these things entail depraved speech and turning people towards promiscuity.” The only time one can attend a sports stadium is when Jews are renting it out for an event, like a Siyum HaShas etc.
The Gemara says that a person should never bring himself to a test, i.e. one should not place himself in circumstances in which he will be tempted to sin. In addition, the posuk says, “And you shall beware of any evil thing.” The Gemara derives from this posuk that a person should not think immoral thoughts by day and come thereby to tumah by night. Going to a movie theater involves walking through the mall. This means passing or entering certain stores that display things which are completely immodest for one to see, thereby transgressing, “…You shall guard yourself against any evil matter.”
Someone once asked Rav Yaakov Kamenetsky zt”l if he was allowed take his children to a circus. He responded by citing the posuk in Novi which states, “Yisrael do not rejoice like the rejoicing of the nations.” In the words, he was saying to the person “no”.
Had that person asked Rav Kamenetsky the same question regarding a movie theater or sports stadium, he would have responded no as well. Today’s “circuses” are a movie theater or sports stadium in which people gather for entertainment.
Our Creator signs off, “You shall be holy for Me, for I, Hashem am holy and I have separated you from among the peoples to be Mine.”
What does this posuk sound like? Marriage! Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan zt”l says, “The groom gives his bride a circular ring, which has no beginning and no end. This parallels Hashem giving Klal Yisrael the Torah, which is endless. The words the groom says, ‘…הרי את מקודשת לי’ begins with the letter hei, which has the numerical value of five, alluding to the five books of the Torah – the wedding ring of the marriage between Hashem and Klal Yisrael.’”
The Even Ezra says, “I took you out of Egypt only to be your G-d; if you will not be holy I will not be your G-d. If you wish that I be your G-d, be holy.”
How does one stay holy? Rashi explains that the only way for us to be holy to Hashem is by separating ourselves from arayos.
Do we need to ask ourselves, “Are we still wearing the wedding ring that He gave us? Have we forsaken it, in exchange, to develop a relationship with the nations that surround us?”
G-d ‘knows’ very well if we are living by our ‘marriage contract’: “If you are separated from [the other peoples], see, then, you are Mine. But if not, see then, you belong to Nevuchadnetzer and his colleagues, i.e. your enemies [who exiled you from the Holy Land].”
For instance, Rav Chaim Volozhin used to say, “If Jews make themselves holy, then – as this posuk guarantees – G-d will separate us from the nations to be His. What will happen if we do not sanctify ourselves? Then the nations will separate us from their midst – for persecution and expulsion, G-d forbid!”
Dovid HaMelech says, “If only My people would heed me! If Israel would walk in My ways, in an instant I would subdue their foes and turn My hand against their tormentors!” Therefore, the Sifsei Chachamim states, “The only way it’s possible for us to achieve holiness, is by separating ourselves from the nations, with our actions. For example: wearing tzitzis, donning tefillin and doing other positive mitzvos…” The Ba’al HaTurim says, “There are seventy mitzvos in Parshas Kedoshim, reflecting the seventy nations from whom I have separated you.”
If Albert Einstein had a theory of Jew-hatred, this is what would look like:
Separation = Holiness -> Assimilation ≠ Holiness -> No Separation = Assimilation -> Assimilation = Jew-hatred -> Jew-hatred = Annihilation of our nation – Hitler = the Holocaust.
The Gemara asks, “What caused that Israel shall be scattered among the nations of the world? The friendship that [the Israelites] desired to have with them. Because the Jews desired to be friendly with the nations, G-d punished them measure for measure by scattering them throughout the world to live among those very nations.”
G-d spread us across the globe with one mission specifically: To be a light unto the nations and not to learn from their ways.
When one buys an electronic item, it will say “batteries not included”. However, when the Creator presented us with the Torah, “batteries” were included. Those “batteries” were the sword. As the Medrash says, “A sword and the book came down from heaven bound together. He said to them: ‘If you observe what is written in this book, you will be spared from this sword; if you do not; you will be killed by this sword.’”
The more we stick to our way of life and not theirs, the more they will respect us and the fewer problems we will have with them. In the words of Rav Shamshon Raphael Hirsch: “If you are an authentic Jew, you will be respected because of this, not in spite of it.”
With Hashem’s help, by fulfilling and upholding His Torah, we should instantly merit to see and witness the day when:
“I will bring you out from the nations and gather you out of the lands to which you were scattered and bring you to the Land that your forefathers possessed!”
- In memory of Chaim ben Shmuel Efraim Zalman; Yisroel ben Yeshayah, Elisheva Basyah bas Yechiel Ephraim, Leah bas Leib Yehudah, Dovid Pinchas ben Moshe Aharon, Malka Devora Sima bas Meir Nosson, Esther Perel bas R’ Shlomo, Miriam bas Zelig Shaul, Menachem ben Shimon, Menachem ben Zev, Sarah bas HaRav Yisroel, Avraham Yosef ben Meir Dovid, Zushe Yosef ben Shmuel Tzvi, Dovid Tzvi ben Yosef Yochanan, Kayla Rus bas Bunim Tuvia, Dovid ben Uri HaLevi, Dovid Avraham ben Chiya Kehos, Yosef ben Moshe HaLevi, Tuvyah Shlomo ben Naftali Tzvi HaKohein, Altah Soshah Devorah bas Aryeh Leibush, Mashah Tzivyah bas R’ Shlomo Zalman and all the other departed souls of our nation.
- For the complete recovery of Chayah Malka bas Bas-Sheva, Menachem ben Rivka, Rivka bas Esther Rochel, Shilat bas Louza Aliza, Daniel ben Louza Aliza, Avraham ben Louza Aliza, Yosef ben Ahuva Masuda and among the other sick ones of our nation.
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