Thursday, January 15, 2009

Parshat Shemot: The Eternal Nation


This week's parsha of Shemot details the descent of the Jewish people into slavery and the beginning of their redemption. Pharaoh, alarmed over Jewish growth and prosperity, sets out his Final Solution to the Jewish problem. He afflicts the Jews with horrendous suffering and labour and decrees the death of all male babies. The future saviour of the Jewish people is hidden in a basket in the Nile and eventually found by Pharaoh's daughter, who nurses and mothers the baby.

The Torah recounts, in one of the most beautiful episodes in the Tanach, how G-d reveals Himself to Moses from a burning bush. The Torah tells us that "behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed" (Ex. 3:2). This powerful metaphor is symbolic of the Jewish people. Suffering under harsh taskmasters controlled by a tyrant who would bathe himself in Jewish babies' blood, the Jewish people seemed to be on the brink of extinction. The mighty Egyptian empire would surely outlast the Jews, the dregs of existence. Pharaoh's wicked enforces would cement Jewish babies into the walls of his monuments if the required amount of bricks were not met by the Hebrew slaves. Despite all this, G-d promised that His nation would endure. Out of this tremendous affliction came the Divine response: "I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and I have heard their cry because of their slave drivers, for I know their pains. I have descended to rescue them from the hand[s] of the Egyptians and to bring them up from that land, to a good and spacious land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivvites, and the Jebusites. And now, behold, the cry of the children of Israel has come to Me, and I have also seen the oppression that the Egyptians are oppressing them." (Ex. 3:7-9) G-d had not forsaken His people. He would redeem them from Egyptian bondage.

Throughout history, the Jewish people has been tested under fire. We went through the "holy" fires of the Inquisition, which burned our holy books and our bodies at the stakes, tried for being true to our faith. The Nation of Israel was subjected to the ovens and crematorium of Auschwitz, Treblinka, Majdanek, Belzec, Sobibor, Bergen-Belsen and the other mass graveyards of Europe. Even today, the State of Israel remains under constant bombardment from jihadist rockets. Our enemies continue to proclaim the eventual destruction of the Jewish people. Like the Pharaoh of old, Hamas, Hizbullah, al-Qaeda, Iran and the like continue to plot out demise and annihilation.

As much as the Egyptian oppressed Israel, so the Jews prospered and multiplied. "But as much as they would afflict them, so did they multiply and so did they gain strength" (Ex. 1:12). They sought to break our backs and our spirit but our resolve only strengthened. This is Jewish history in a nutshell. Only two generations ago, we went from Auschwitz and built Jerusalem. We emerged from the ashes, from the graveyards and sites of death and established ourselves anew in our land. "Son of man, can these bones live?'... these bones are the whole house of Israel; behold, they say: Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are clean cut off. Therefore prophesy, and say unto them: Thus saith the Lord GOD: Behold, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, O My people; and I will bring you into the land of Israel." (Ezek. 37:3,11-12) The dry bones, left for dead, scorched by the raging fires of anti-semitism and hatred, arose and had live breathed into them again. Today, our resolve is tested by rockets, bombs, condemnations and threats. We will not be broken! Just as the Egyptian failed to break us, so will we not be broken by Hamas or any other murderous terrorists. From their attacks we will grown and be strengthened.

Our trials and tribulations are increasing right before the advent of the Messianic Era. G-d said to Moses: "Go and assemble the elders of Israel, and say to them, 'The Lord God of your forefathers has appeared to me, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, "I have surely remembered you and what is being done to you in Egypt." ' And I said, 'I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt, to the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivvites, and the Jebusites, to a land flowing with milk and honey.'" (Ex. 3:16) The same thing will happen again in our days, when G-d will remember our affliction and bring us out of our current captivity. We are the eternal nation, the bush caught in the flames but is not consumed.

Am Yisrael Chai! The Jewish Nation lives!



Cross-posted to Stop Raping Israel

10 comments:

Cabbage said...

http://youngfoxredux.blogspot.com/2009/01/take-walk-through-gaza.html

You defend this.

Bar Kochba said...

Cabbage, Hamas has no shame in showing dead baby pornography. I can't show you similar pictures from Israel because Jews have honor for the dead. We don't use them for propaganda purposes. You can make your points without desecrating the sanctity of the body. Shame on you.

Hamas is to blame for hiding among children. Should Israel just allow itself to be bombarded and attacked? Sheep to the slaughter? That would be a proportionate response, right?

Yehudi said...

Having a hard time feeling bad about those pictures. I'm trying, but there's nothing there. Maybe it's because I know that these people have zero regard for the sanctity of human life. For those who are truly innocent victims who have no ill will against Israel, don't support Hamas, don't embrace violence and simply want to live a quiet and peaceful life...I am truly sorry for their loss. Unfortunately, due to their culture, (which I suspect you really know nothing about, cabbage), their religion, and the propaganda they're fed everyday, I'm afraid those truly innocent victims are extremely few and far between. If they voted for Hamas in the elections, they are just as culpable as the idiot firing the missles towards Israeli schools.

BTW, could you defend this, cabbage?
http://barenakedislam.wordpress.com/2008/09/01/beheadings-r-us/

Cabbage said...

I'll respond to both of you.

Those pictures were not taken by Hamas. But that's besides the point. It's indefensible.
It's indefensible, it's disgusting and there's absolutely no reason for it. The problem is that Israel has nothing to lose here, it has no reason to come to the table. It has a greater economy that all of it's neighbors put together, largely fueled by subsidiaries of United States corporations and subsidies from the United States itself.

Your rhetoric about Hamas hiding itself among children, among civilians, is entirely invalid.
If the Germans had won world war 2, they would have said that
the Churchill gang hid among the population of London, misusing the millions of citizens as a human shield, and that the Germans were compelled to send their Luftwaffe and reluctantly reduce the city to ruins. This was called it the Blitz.

And further, I disagree with your reductionism of the two choices that Israel has at it's hands; to be bombarded or to bomb the hell out of Gaza. Even if were the cae that the casualties on either side of the conflict were remotely equal, the root cause of the conflict stems from the anger that the Palestinian people feel from being kicked out from their homes and herded into refugee camps, into the Gaza strip and blockaded, subjected to abuse and racist, colonialist treatment.
So I turn this on you: should the Gazans just allow themselves to be blockaded? Should they just allow themselves to be bombed? Should they resign themselves to homelessness? If Israel won't, why should the Palestinians? And finally, is the crime of not recognizing Israel's right to exist much different from your not recognizing the existence of a Palestinian people?

--
Yehudi,
It's unfortunate that you don't feel bad about the death of children. It was my mistaken belief that human beings everywhere had compassion for innocent children. Its an unfortunate irony that you say after that, that THOSE people have no regard for the sanctity of human life, while you say a line before that that you don't care about children dying from Israeli bombs, from American bombs.
I'm not for defending senseless violence. It's fucked up that people kill each other so often. But you know, after all the pillaging, raping, colonizing and theft of resources in the global south and middle east on the part of the western world, I can understand how people would rationalize killing a contractor. I probably would not want American contractors in my country either.
In these attacks, we are being faced with the fact that the entire world does not belong to American imperial interests.
What you've done in your head is delegitimize the anger of these people, writing them off to crazed zealotry.

Bar Kochba said...

Cabbage, nothing happens in a vacuum. The "occupation" and "blockade" is just another excuse for Arab hatred. The violence did not start in 2005, or in 1967 but rather in 1921. That is when pogroms against Jews in Israel began. There was no occupation then. Hundreds were murdered. Again in 1929. Then came 6 wars against the state of Israel. The root cause of the conflict is the inability to accept the Jewish right to existence. In 2005, Israel expelled 10 000 Jews living in Gaza and unilaterally disengaged. Since then, there has not been so much as a Jewish fingernail (besides Gilad Shalit --- where is he?) in Gaza. Israel left the Arabs greenhouses and they received billions of dollars in international aid. Instead of renouncing violence and terror, they elected Hamas. Only once they chose a terror group dedicated to Israel's destruction as their representatives did Israel blockade Gaza.

Your sense of righteous indignation is hollow. You had nothing to say when Sderot was being bombarded for 8 years, with over 10 000 rockets. A 7 year old was just hit by a rocket the other day. A little child lost his legs to jihadi rockets. There were no marches or protests in the streets.

Israel is not a pawn of the US. The indigenous people of the region ie. the Jews, are defending themselves against Islamic aggression. You are a hypocrite.

Devorah said...

BK/Yehudi,

Cabbage is a ‘degenerate’ in the worst way possible – cabbage calls himself/herself a “rabble rouser”. Debating a person worthy of your debate is understandable; debating someone filled with haSatan, and who is proud of it, is not. I guarantee you that ‘stinky cabbage’ could care less for Arab people! No, cabbage does not care for them. It is the evil found in Hamas that so attracts stinky cabbage to their cause, not the plight of innocent children who are subjects in a war in which their own flesh and blood – members of their own families – seat them on the frontline of their imperialistic war to generate more of their man-made cheesy moon god propaganda to make them look ‘the victim’. Cabbage only wishes that more moslim children will grow up to be just like their moslim parents in hamas so they, too, can wage war against peaceful Israeli people… and all infidels in the world. It is cabbage’s evil inclination that incites him to argue with you, G-d’s covenant people, while literally cursing you.

BK and Yehudi, we know that the Jews only want what rightfully belongs to them, which is a small piece of land in a great big world… a small piece of land that sits among tens of islamic countries that already own vast sums of land and oil. (Have they proven their insatiable appetite and greed for what does not belong to them?) We know that Israelis wanted to peacefully live side-by-side with their Arab neighbors within their own land, Eretz Yisrael. It was only when moslims, unable to live peacefully with Jews because their religion, their false cheesy moon good, commands them to kill infidels (Jews (or as the qu’ran calls them ‘monkeys)) that they began wearing bombs strapped to their bodies into public places that were heavily populated with innocent civilians, that Israel had to put up cement walls and check points. Since then, except for a few incursions, there has been peace in Israel and Jerusalem.

Sorry, an open boarder between Gaza and Israel are not an option! There are closed boarders all over the world; every country maintains that right, including Israel. Too bad moslims are so badly behaved… too bad their religion and politics are so idiotic; moslims in Israel could have lived productive, peaceful lives alongside their Jewish neighbors, and some do, but those possessed by their cheesy moon god and his agenda to kill Jews would not hear of it… not then and not now. Nope, an open boarder is not an option.

Cabbage’s curses on Israel and G-d’s people, including you, are rendered powerless by G-d:

Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow,
an undeserved curse will not land on its intended victim.
–Proverbs 26:2

Let them see that this is Your doing,
that You Yourself have done it, L-RD.
Then let them curse me if they like,
but You will bless me!
When they attack me, they will be disgraced!
But I, Your servant, will go right on rejoicing!
May my accusers be clothed with disgrace;
may their humiliation cover them like a cloak.
–Psalm 109:27-29

Yehudi said...

LOL Deborah......"Stinky Cabbage." Hahaha....the rest was well said as well!

Anonymous said...

Remember when the Muslims in Holland chanted 'Joden aan het gas' ('Jews to the Gas') ?

Well they've got their wish...

"The Houston-based Noble Energy company, drilling for Israel’s Delek fuel company, announced that it has discovered a huge deposit of natural gas under the Mediterranean Sea near Haifa.

Infrastructures Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer (Labor) said that the find was of “historic proportions,” and that it could change the face of Israel’s economy.

Eighty-seven billion cubic meters, or nearly 3.1 trillion cubic feet, of high-quality gas are estimated to be in three deposits in the Tamar Drilling site, which is named for Delek owner Yitzchak Teshuva’s granddaughter. Teshuva said that the find marks a “historic milestone and a great holiday for Israel,” and that he has no doubt it will “supply Israel’s energy needs for many decades to come.”

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/129476
...............

G_d moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never-failing skill
He treasures up His bright designs,
And works His sovereign will.

- William Cowper

Paul said...

Cabbage, do you want Israel to exist or not? Simple enough question as Israel was established nder a UN mandate that most cherished of Institutions for the left.

Anonymous said...

Is this a real website or Hamas propoganda trying to get people to hate Jews?