Sunday, February 20, 2011

Anti-Semitism 1

Many times I was asked by my fellow Yiden, “Why do the goim hate the Jews”?
Why is there such a thing as anti-Semitism?
In this weeks post, with Hashem Help, I will try to explain my understanding of this issue from one angle and then next week I will try to explain it from a different point of view I-H.
First we have to ask ourselves a question, how do the goim see us in general?
This question alone can have more than one answer.
There is a big part of the population that heard the word “Israel” and “Jews” somewhere in school, news, a conversation or in the church but they don’t know anything more than terms.
We tend to think that if someone hates us he must know whom it is that he hates, it is not the case. Majority of people shape their opinion on what they hear from the sources listed above without a deeper analysis of what the subject of information is. They stay on a very superficial level of knowledge. So is their hate toward the Jews. They don’t understand and can’t comprehend or explain not only their feeling toward the people of the Bible; they can’t explain almost anything in logic and in a consequent manner. They lack the intelligence necessary for this task or disengage from a deeper analysis of reality. Many other people are limiting themselves, and they using their intellect in irreverent matters. They are masses that most of the times; hounded, provoked and justified, were direct executors of anti Jewish persecutions and pogroms.
But higher in the social echelon there are others, these are the people who know Jews. Sources of their knowledge are school, mass media and literature. Yet another possibility is, that they live near a Jewish community and know some Jews firsthand. Many of them tend to think themselves as some kind of specialists regarding Jewish life and religion.
Those are the guys who always know better. From them are recruited people who are the leaders or provocateurs, the shapers of the opinions and views; they influence masses impressing them with their knowledge and erudition. Some of them, as politicians and people of media, advance to a position that enables them to direct and influence others as only people of this kind of power can do.
Above that there are cynical manipulators of public, they don’t really care by which means they will fulfill their desire of power, fame and luxury. They will use any opportunity to achieve their goals without moral considerations blocking their conscience. We will not talk more about them here.
All the above somehow explains the mechanism of anti-Semitism in short but it dose not clear up the reasons and the reasons behind reasons of it. Let’s shortly dwell on the topic of reasons.
The Macharal from Prague explains the first chapter of the of Bible, with support of targum Onkelos - its Aramaic translation, that man was created as a “talking being” talking though possessing intellect.
Even a person with low intellect, understands that there is – “good life” and “not so good life”.
He observes it in his surroundings and if he considers his own life as that of “not so good’ he has two choices.
One choice is to work toward improvement of his life by labor on his character which in consequence will help him to achieve more, and regulate all the disorder – improve disability the that he is living in.
The second choice is to do nothing but find justification for his unfortunate state and explanation why the guy with the “good life” is prospering and he can not.
He will not blame the lack of his own initiative and intellectual and moral laziness.
Instead he will set up his mind the way that he will see himself as the victim of some kind of scheme. The one behind his misfortune will be the guy who has a better life than him. It doesn’t have to be a Jew but there are some other reasons why he finds the Jew as such a convenient object of blame.
A Jew living by the standards of Torah, regardless of his intellectual qualification, will always stand on the higher level of society than someone who must operate without Torah.
Even the person that engages himself in a progressive way of life will lack what the Jew posses. Already at the beginning of his life, a Jew stands on the privileged position. He was born in a society equipped with the map - the manual of life, and all the other means of helping him grow socially superior but otherwise equal to the (in non transcendental matters) gentile. One more time – it is the Torah that the Jewish people are living by, it makes those descendents of the same father – Adam, moral aristocracy of the world. This higher quality of Jewish life generates jealousy, which is the direct reason for hate.
They hate people of Torah because they are aware that this Torah is the real reason for Jewish success. 

Matys Weiser

No comments: