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Shana Tova - the New Jewish Year - 2016

The New Jewish Year is almost upon us, and I would like to wish to all the Jews (and the non-Jews) Shana Tova! A Good and Blessed Year! 

In designing and formulating this year’s greeting and its greeting, I have chosen to say something completely unrelated to all the tradition and the interpretation, to scripture and Kabbalah. This year I shall not share with you lessons I have learned in Judaism and new insights on my own Jewish journey of discovery. Instead, I have chosen to speak of something most current, which is not, in itself, new, and by no means born of this century, but in its specific context of the Jewish people and our country – we are witnessing some new heights.

I am talking about the rise of world Antisemitism, and specifically – its reflection in the intentional attempts to rewrite history by the Antisemitic factors.

Over the course of my life I have encountered plenty of Antisemitism in different ways and from different directions. I have spent my childhood in the USSR, where the “brotherhood of the Peoples” meant just that all these “brotherly” Peoples unanimously hated the Jews. We have been regularly beaten and ridiculed; we lived under limitations, open and well-known to all, but treated as if they just did not exist and surely weren’t government-sanctioned.

Illustation: Shana tova - rosh hashana 2016

But this sort of Antisemitism does not scare me. It makes the Jews stronger, more resilient and creative. It keeps us from assimilating into the other Peoples and disappearing, it helps to keeps our Jewish character. Largely thanks to that sort of Antisemitism we still exist, through millennia, as a single known example of an ancient people who still retain the same language, the same traditions and the same faith for thousands of years. History knows no other such example.

Antisemitism in the world today

What we have seen this year is a completely different manifestation of Antisemitism. It is a mass-insanity, the theater of the absurd par excellence, a general madness. As if the whole world has suddenly gone mad and turned upside-down.

  • We have seen a world-wide attempt to boycott Israeli products, manufactured in the disputed territories of Judea and Samaria, and sometimes – in Israel at large. All by means of using slogans which are blatant and complete lies.We have seen countries, which are supposed to be friends and allies, too easily swayed by the BDS movement pressure and passing down laws and regulations supporting this boycott, while claiming officially that they do not.
  • We have seen the President of the USA and his administration shamelessly stating and perpetuating lies from various stages, including the speech podium at the UN, as if repetition, even by authority figures, could somehow turn a lie into the truth.
  • We have seen countries change their schoolbooks’ syllabus, to include lies: maps of nonexistent countries, wrong maps of existing countries, changing of names and capital cities of countries, and more.
  • We have seen a wave of terror acts by children, who have been fed hatred with their mother’s milk and taught by schoolbooks and teachers, repeating made-up stories as historical facts. Hatred based in government-directed, intentional ignorance, supported and financed by the UN and the EU.
  • We have seen Iran promise to “wipe Israel off the face of the earth”, and its president and his ministers expressing their regret that Hitler hasn’t finished what he started.
  • We have seen the “deal” with that same Iran, by that same US administration of compulsive liars, completely ignoring any voices of reason and essentially and directly financing the continuation of terror, hatred and war especially, but not only, against Israel, but also against the West in general.
  • And if all the above is not enough, we have seen the esteemed UNESCO declaring that the Temple Mount and Jerusalem have nothing to do with Jews and belong, instead, to Muslim tradition.

We know for quite a while that the UN is an anti-Semitic body, dealing mostly with delegitimization of Israel and damaging it in every possible way. However, the heights which the current attempts of rewriting history has reached, outrageous attempts to change documented facts known to all, I have never witnessed before.

Thou shalt not lie

Thou shalt not bear false witness! Thou shalt not lie! (The 10 Commandments and Leviticus 19:11)

Lies shall never bring anything good to this world. A structure based on lies will crumble, like a house of cards. There can be no quality of life, if we just stand aside and allow this, if we do not stand strong against this growing phenomenon, supported by government and international institutions. We shall continue to state the truth and bring the documentation proving it beyond any doubt.

If we wish to have quality in our lives, we cannot allow life based in a lie. And to understand where the truth ends and the lie begins, we need to study history. There is no truth and no flow of processes without a strong foundation. There can be no solution to problems without true, solid basic assumptions. Thus we must never buy the lies nor give in to them; we mustn’t repeat them, repeat the words or phrases coined from them, sounding as if we support and strengthen them.

This is why this year, I wish for us that all the Jews of the world draw about themselves their talits, and sound the shofars with all their might, to open the gates above. And the cry shall be heard of our outrage against the blatant lies, and people will say – “Enough! No more!” – and mean it. And this cry will be heard by all the Jews, and they come together and unite, and come home to Israel, and work together to return sanity back to the world like only a unified and unique people can do.

Shana Tova! May we all have a good year, in which we see a decrease in hatred, hear the truth spoken out loud clearly and with no fear, and witness the return of sanity!

Below is the greeting card I designed for you. Click the picture to enlarge.

Greetings for Rosh Hashana 2016

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