How They Do It– ‘Some People Take Revenge. Jews Do Something Else’


In our tradition we do not dwell on tragedy and hatred. Instead, we make the world a better place

ed note–A case study in ‘how they do it’.

In all the various discussions taking place over the centuries in coming to rational terms with the ‘JQ’, the one aspect in deconstructing and thus better understanding all the turmoil and upheaval that has attended this particular group of people throughout their journey that unfortunately has not been adequately explored or discussed has been the issue of mental illness and the complete disconnect with reality that serves as the electrical current of virtually all Judaic thought processes and the behavior that must inevitably flow from these thought processes.

And again, as we like to point out, all of this is the result of the ‘fake news’ that has been part and parcel of the ‘family album’ of Jewry for millenia, meaning the Torah. Beginning with tall tales featuring the character Abraham hearing voices in his head telling him that the fruit of his loins is destined to rule the world, followed by these voices then telling him to murder his only son, followed by character after character after character all the way up to Moses hearing voices from a burning bush to Joshua wiping out entire villages of non-Israelite-ish men, women, and children, all of this was/is deliberately designed to create a peculiar group of people whose role in the world is to employ the protocols of the mental illness produced by this ‘fake news’ within the daily workings of the greater world, and all of this as the necessary precursor to shaping and configuring that world into the magic lamp in the Aladdin story, bringing wealth and power to those screenwriters credited with writing/producing/directing that  ‘fake news’.

In this case, our unesteemed and mentally deranged Hebraic author is a textbook example of what happens to an otherwise normal human brain that has been subjected to prolonged and extreme exposure to Judaism, leading to the condition we like to refer to here as Jtosis, in itself something akin to a spiritual acid trip/psychotic episode where reality and all its protocols have no effect whatsoever on the victim’s thinking.

Rather than doing an extended verbal deconstruction of the central thesis brought forth by this deranged Rabbi and giving example after example after example where Jews as a group have indeed dwelt upon past grievances and–more importantly–the manner in which they perpetrated revenge to the 666th power against those Gentiles accused of harming the apple of yar-weh’s eye, we have elected instead to utilize the more profound method of visual imagery in underscoring just how out to lunch and off the reservation the insane Jew who has written this truly is.

Rabbi Mark Wildes for the Times of Israel

The Jewish Sages teach, based on the life of the matriarch Sarah, that a righteous person never stops growing. A pious person never becomes complacent where they are, no matter what their age. That’s why one of the most striking things about the terrible attack in Pittsburgh was the age of the people killed. Their ages ranged from 55 to 97.

But they weren’t just older people – they were older people who came to shul early.

Our Jewish brothers and sisters in Squirrel Hill taken from us attended shul early because of their devotion to prayer and community – because they wanted to continue to learn and develop themselves. To honor their memory, synagogues around the world very appropriately made a push for more people to come to synagogue and, what I think is even more appropriate in subsequent weeks, is to try to come earlier.

In a letter to Rabbi Jeffrey Myers of the Tree of Life Synagogue, I informed the rabbi that our community will strive to have eleven people at MJE Shabbat services on time, each and every week going forward. I told the rabbi this is not an easy task given the young age of our community and the fact that growing up, most MJE participants never went to shul on Saturdays. But I said we would do this as a way of elevating those eleven souls and our way of telling the world: we may have lost eleven holy Jews but another eleven will rise up in their place.

There’s an even deeper reason behind this campaign for more Jews to come to shul on Shabbat. It’s not just to tell our enemies: we won’t back down, we won’t be intimidated or prevented from practicing our faith. We’re saying something much deeper: by more of us coming to synagogue on Shabbat, we show how Jews deal with tragedy.

How We Deal With Tragedy

How does the Torah teach us to confront a tragedy? The Torah teaches to deal with it, even to learn and grow from the unfortunate experience, but then to move on. We confront the problem, which here is clearly anti-Semitism. We figure out the best way to deal with it but then we move on – not to forget it – but to ensure it doesn’t stop us from our mission.

In Jewish tradition mourning only lasts 30 days. The only exception is mourning for the loss of a parent, which goes for an entire year because of the mitzvah of honoring parents, but that’s the exception. For everyone else, mourning ends with shloshim (30 days) because tragedy, sadness and loss can never be allowed to prevent us from carrying on with our purpose and mission to live a life of Torah. And with regard to this tragedy, and with any act of anti-Semitism, that is precisely what our enemies want – to stop us from living as Jews.

The Jewish “Revenge”

We have a tradition of not excessively dwelling on tragedy, on mourning, or in this case on the hate and anti-Semitism. We have to talk about what happened so we can figure out the best way to keep our synagogues safe, but we don’t allow that conversation to distract us from the mission: from coming to shul and praying, from building our community and from being a light unto the world. The natural feeling after such an attack is to focus on the hate or even to try somehow to get back at our enemies. But we Jews have our own unique form of revenge.

I was speaking with my friend Charlie Harari, whose grandparents survived the Holocaust. Years ago, when Charlie had his first child, he brought his son to meet his grandparents. When he walked into the room his grandparents pointed at the baby and said: “that’s our revenge against Hitler.”

That’s the Jewish concept of revenge: others may spend their lives hunting their enemies, exacting violent revenge.

But Jews?

We have children.
We build hospitals.
We create cures.
We make the world a better place.
We move on and we build further.

An amazing documentary on the Chasidic community in Williamsburg recorded a reporter asking a random Chasid on the street how many children he had. The Chasid looked at the reporter and without any emotion answered:

“Twelve”
“Twelve children?!” the reporter exclaimed, “are you planning on having more?”
“Yes, of course,” he answered
“More than twelve, how many kids do you plan on having?”
“6 million” he answered.

That’s how we come back from tragedy. We don’t get consumed with hate, we defend ourselves with vigor, but we spend our energies getting back to our mission of being a light, of keeping the mitzvot, of studying Torah and making the world a better and more spiritual place.

How Jews Operate

Dr. Jonathan Cohen, a member of the Tree of Life synagogue, also happens to be the President of Allegheny General, the hospital where Robert Bowers was brought for treatment. After Dr. Cohen walked into Bowers’ room to check on him, an FBI agent on guard said to the doctor: “I’d never be able to do that.”

Most people would not be able to do that, but that’s the way we are ideally supposed to operate. We don’t allow these situations to destroy our values and bring us down to the level of our enemies. We don’t operate in their world, we operate in ours. The murderer’s nurse in the ER was also Jewish. She treated him too because we’re above acting like our enemies.

Building on their Legacy

As explained, the Jewish approach to tragedy is to deal with the pain but then to move on, but we don’t just move on. Tragedy changes us. Losing a loved one creates a void and the people who are no longer with us not only deserve to be remembered, ultimately, they leave a legacy from which we build. The Sages of the Midrash teach that after the matriarch Sarah died, the special miracles that existed in her home disappeared: the Shabbat candles which remained lit continuously, the special blessing in her dough and God’s cloud of glory which hovered over her tent. These miracles disappeared when Sarah died but when Rebecca came into Sarah’s tent, they suddenly reappeared. This teaches that Rebecca did not simply replace Sarah as the new Matriarch, but rather she built upon her legacy. Rebecca took the foundation that Sarah established, moved back into the tent Sarah lived in, and from there continued to build the Jewish people, not as something new, but as a continuation of the past. We too are not just carrying on from those whose lives were taken in Pittsburgh; we are building on their legacy.

Rebecca took Sara’s place but Sarah and her teachings were never forgotten. We live her values every day of our lives and we will carry on the legacy of those souls from Pittsburgh by continuing to come to synagogue and by living the full Jewish lives of which they were so proud. Our eleven will be their eleven. Through us, they will never be forgotten.

  1. #1 by Know1 on 11/08/2018 - 9:34

    MARTIN LUTHER, 16th century German religious reformer
    “They (the Jews) are the real liars and bloodhounds, who have not only perverted and falsified the entire Scriptures from beginning to end and without ceasing with their interpretations. And all of the anxious sighing, longing and hoping of their hearts is directed to the time when some day they would like to deal with us heathen as they dealt with the heathen in Persia at the time of Esther… On how they love the book of Esther, which so nicely agrees with their bloodthirsty, revengeful and murderous desire and hope.
    (1) The sun never did shine on a more bloodthirsty and revengeful people as they, who imagine to be the people of God, and who desire to and think they must murder and crush the heathen. And the foremost undertaking which they expect of their Messiah is that he should slay and murder the whole world with the sword. As they at first demonstrated against us Christians and would like to do now, if they only could; have also tried it often and have been repeatedly struck on their snouts… Their breath stinks for the gold and silver of the heathen; since no people under the sun always have been, still are, and always will remain more avaricious than they, as can be noticed in their cursed usury. They also find comfort with this: “When the Messiah comes, He shall take all the gold and silver in the world and distribute it among the Jews.
    (2) Thus, wherever they can direct Scripture to their insatiable avarice, they wickedly do so. Therefore know, my dear Christians, that next to the Devil; you have no more bitter, more poisonous, more vehement and enemy than a real Jew who earnestly desires to be a Jew. There may be some among them who believe what the cow or the goose believes. But all of them are surrounded with their blood and circumcision. In history, therefore, they are often accused of poisoning wells, stealing children and mutilating them; as in Trent, Weszensee and the like. Of course they deny this. Be it so or not, however, I know full well that the ready will is not lacking with them if they could only transform it into deeds, in secret or openly.
    (3) A person who does not know the Devil, might wonder why they are so at enmity with the Christians above all others; for which they have no reason, since we only do good to them.
    They live among us in our homes, under our protection, use land and highways, market and streets. Princes and government sit by, snore and have their maws open, let the Jews take from their purse and chest, steal and rob whatever they will. That is, they permit themselves and their subjects to be abused and sucked dry and reduced to beggars with their own money, through the usury of the Jews. For the Jews, as foreigners, certainly should have nothing from us; and what they have certainly must be ours. They do not work, do not earn anything from us, neither do we donate or give it to them. Yet they have our money and goods and are lords in our land where they are supposed to be in exile!
    If a thief steals ten gulden he must hang; if he robs people on the highway, his head is gone. But a Jew, when he steals ten tons of gold through his usury is dearer than God himself!
    Do not their TALMUD and rabbis write that it is no sin to kill if a Jew kills a heathen, but it is a sin if he kills a brother in Israel? It is no sin if he does not keep his oath to a heathen. Therefore, to steal and rob (as they do with their money-lending) from a heathen is a divine service… And they are the masters of the world and we are their servants – yea, their cattle!
    I maintain that in three fables of Aesop there is more wisdom to be found than in all the books of the Talmudists and rabbis and more than ever could come into the hearts of the Jews…
    Should someone think I am saying too much – I am saying much too little! For I see in [their] writings how they curse us Goyim and wish as all evil in their schools and prayers. They rob us of our money through usury, and wherever they are able, they play us all manner of mean tricks… No heathen has done such things and none would to so except the Devil himself and those whom he possesses – as he possesses the Jews.

  2. #2 by St. Longinus on 11/08/2018 - 9:34

    For everyone else, mourning ends with shloshim (30 days) because tragedy, sadness and loss can never be allowed to prevent us from carrying on with our purpose and mission to live a life of Torah. And with regard to this tragedy, and with any act of anti-Semitism, that is precisely what our enemies want – to stop us from living as Jews.

    OH, don’t you worry. The non-Yews KNOW you have been and will continue to live “as Jews.” Your “purpose” and “mission” are quite plain to anyone paying even the slightest attention to what you do.

    Our best revenge is to live as Christ commands us to live, which includes lawful punishment(s).

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