I am a Jew and today I am coming out of hiding.
I am a Jew and today I pull off my garb of polite concern and reveal the heart that beats beneath. I am a Jew and today I will speak my truth.
In a world where everyone has an opinion and connection is often obscured by the sound of clashing voices I have always taken a stand; “Be a lover, not a fighter.” And though they may not phrase it exactly like that, many of my friends and fellow Jewish leaders choose the same.
We have sought to make an impact, spreading light – by teaching Torah in ways that people can hear it. Our goal is to offer truth and clarity so that we can improve the lives of our fellows. For me that meant an unspoken rule – stay away from politics. And if I’m really honest, what it meant was, don’t talk about Israel.
How can a Jew not talk about Israel? Why would someone in Jewish leadership leave out one of the most central components of Judasim? Why would I hold back from being honest about what is dear to me?
Why would I hold back from speaking out in the name of my people whose blood is being shed – when my own relative in Israel landed up in the hospital last week – she was eating lunch at a cafe when the stones were hurtled at her face.
Why? Because I was scared. Anti Israel voices stand ready to lunge, brainwashed by the media, fueled by irrational arguments like a loaded cannon. And when I would step out and put anything on Facebook about terror attacks in Israel, they would fire.
BAM!BAM! BAM! ATTACK! ATTACK!ATTACK! Ridiculous, vociferous and virulent. Against the people that I love.
So I stopped. I said to myself, “I don’t want to subject the People of Israel to more hate. I can’t post about the daily atrocities because I will be adding fuel to the fire. “
I rationalized, “If I post things that people don’t like, they won’t be open to hearing my message. I will just cause controversy.”
I ran away from the truth. I didn’t want to rock the boat and so I chose love as my best defense.
But I was wrong. Because being a lover doesn’t mean to not ruffle any feathers. To be a lover means to stand by your loved one’s side and not let go no matter what. Even when it causes mockery, even when it’s misconstrued, even when you pay a price.
Today I admit that I was a coward – shamed into silence by those same people who are killing my friends; Frightened into political correctness by a blind and biased world. My unpublished articles and unposted videos give testimony to my fear.
“Stay clear of the topic, just keeping spreading light” I thought. But light equals truth and the truth needs to be spoken.
Today I will tell you in clear and unafraid words where I stand. I stand with Israel.
And today I will invite you, Jew or non-Jew to take an unabashed stand with me. Be courageous, think for yourself and see what’s going on!
I cannot spend another minute in silence while families are gunned down and women are knifed in the back screaming for help while Arabs nearby watch calmly drinking a cup of coffee.
I cannot be quiet when fireworks are shot in celebratory parties after Arabs kill both the mother and father of the Henkin family and were saddened that they didn’t get to kill their four kids as well.
I cannot be quiet when one week later a baby is born and proudly named after the terrorist who shot them.
I cannot be quiet when young men are kidnapped and murdered and deadly missiles are shot into towns and parents worry about sending their kids to school.
I am not here to educate you. If you are willing to be honest you will find the answers. But be prepared. The distortions and silence of Western media will disturb you. The insane irrational hatred of the Arabs will unnerve you. The truth of what is going on will rock your world.
Good and Evil are at war here. Choose your side.
I am a Jew. I am proud. I stand with Israel.