On my last visit to Israel i had purchased a book that fascinated me enough to skip the chit chat with the lady sitting next to me on the flight back to Europe, i had thought the book “I am Jewish ” would be a great Chanuka present
by myself with a chabad rabbi i found on youtube who is currently paralysed but before he got ill had written a lovely song whose tune hunted me,
“Light a little light” i sang and great minds think alike, i recorded my not that great voice and found that the chabad already set up a website for people like me who wished to share their efforts and their menorahs, so that was a light in the darkness.
The book had a cure for what ailed me during my past 20 years of live in Switzerland. The idea that any ethnic group is ONE , and has no variety.
No group is made up of duplicates and seeing this article written by American new immigrant Rabinowitz said what i had thought myself, i too had compared one of Trump’s advisor to the KKK, which is not too far from the truth perhaps , but i do think that comparing Trump to Hitler goes too far, and comparing anything to the holocaust cheapens it and takes away from the sacred memory of those who fell victim to the murderous death machine.
As i pack all my books, thinking which to leave behind, this book will go with me unless one the children’s ice covered heart will melt in the light of a candle left unlit. There is a stage , i have heard, when young people seek to be like everybody else which means not jewish in a country where jews are like 0.001% but as a nonconformist i do not know what that must be like..
I am hoping the book goes to a nice young Jewish person seeking their identity , one of my children, so that they will not have to rely on a negative defintion by an antisemite to activate the questions that need to be asked about what being jewish really and truly means , especially in these turbulent times. ..
Thank you Irene Rabinowitz, hope to run into you one day.. important to read her words , even if it is one more article about media matters and Trump..but first more about the book i mentioned above;
Being Jewish. What does it mean—today—and for the future? Listen in as Jews of all backgrounds reflect, argue, and imagine.
When Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl was brutally murdered in Pakistan, many Jews were particularly touched by his last words affirming his Jewish identity. Many were moved to reflect on or analyze their feelings toward their lives as Jews.
The saying “two Jews, three opinions” well reflects the Jewish community’s broad range of views on any topic. I Am Jewish captures this richness of interpretation and inspires Jewish people of all backgrounds to reflect upon and take pride in their identity.
Contributions, ranging from major essays to a paragraph or a sentence, come from adults as well as young people in the form of personal feelings, statements of theology, life stories, and historical reflections. Despite the diversity, common denominators shine through clearly and distinctly.
Ehud Barak • Sylvia Boorstein • Edgar M. Bronfman • Alan Colmes • Alan Dershowitz • Kirk Douglas • Richard Dreyfuss • Kitty Dukakis • Dianne Feinstein • Tovah Feldshuh • Debbie Friedman • Milton Friedman • Thomas L. Friedman • Ruth Bader Ginsburg • Nadine Gordimer • David Hartman • Moshe Katsav • Larry King • Francine Klagsbrun • Harold Kushner • Lawrence Kushner • Shia LaBeouf • Norman Lamm • Norman Lear • Julius Lester • Bernard-Henri Lévy • Bernard Lewis • Daniel Libeskind • Joe Lieberman • Deborah E. Lipstadt • Joshua Malina • Michael Medved • Ruth W. Messinger • Amos Oz • Cynthia Ozick • Shimon Peres • Martin Peretz • Dennis Prager • Anne Roiphe • Sandy Eisenberg Sasso • Vidal Sassoon • Zalman M. Schachter-Shalomi • Daniel Schorr • Harold M. Schulweis • Lynn Schusterman • Natan Sharansky • Gary Shteyngart • Sarah Silverman • Michael H. Steinhardt • Kerri Strug • Lawrence H. Summers • Mike Wallace • Elie Wiesel • Leon Wieseltier • Sherwin T. Wine • Ruth R. Wisse • Peter Yarrow • A. B. Yehoshua • Eric H. Yoffie
Here is the article by Irene Rabinowitz for “the Israel times”
“Fifteen years ago, the world watched as a good man, a journalist, was murdered by jihadist terrorists in Pakistan. He was a Wall Street Journal reporter chasing a story about Richard Reid, the shoe bomber. Many of us, mostly Jewish, watched from afar horrified at his being held hostage, but hoping for the best and that he would be released. There was little faith that the State Department would be able to do anything on his behalf. In late February of 2002, a video was released by the terrorists showing his beheading.
Amidst the horror and fear, he chose these words among his last:
“My name is Daniel Pearl. I’m a Jewish American from Encino, California, USA. I come from, uh, on my father’s side the family is Zionist. My father’s Jewish, my mother’s Jewish, I’m Jewish. My family follows Judaism. We’ve made numerous family visits to Israel.”
This is the short version of Daniel Pearl’s life and death. For more information about Daniel Pearl and his legacy, please visit the Daniel Pearl Foundation.
These words are haunting in an era when Jewish life in the Diaspora is at risk because of assimilation and the adoption of causes that are the antithesis of support for Jewish life, both in Israel or elsewhere.
Every year on the anniversary of Daniel Pearl’s murder, I post information about him and a comment on social media. The purpose is that we remember him and the continued struggle against jihadists who see any Jew, journalist or not, as a symbol of evil and a target for annihilation. As global jihadism and the accompanying terrorist attacks spread, it seems as if the denial grows in the west, further allowing this horror to grow and become more violent.
One would think that the vision of the World Trade Center attack would have been etched into the memories of all sane people, but it has been depersonalized, much as all mass murders become over time, even the Shoah. With Daniel Pearl, we have a face, a family, and a legacy; it is more personal. We cry when we read his last words and know that his child was born after his murder. That is real. That is terrorism up close.
But this year’s post was different. Among the comments of remembrance, were two comments from American Jews connecting his death with the new president of the United States, implying that their opposition to him was in some way connected to Daniel Pearl’s murder. One stated that he “mourned” Daniel Pearl’s death therefore he would fight Donald Trump because they are related. Huh? There is no connection between the type of jihadist terrorism that took Daniel Pearl’s life and the present situation in the United States.
These inane comments were removed, but it is an example of the forced move to connect everything to everything. People who believe Trump is bad think they can connect it to something in history that is, in fact, bad. We hear the utmost in ridiculous analogies along the line of “……..is Hitler” by people who believe that anyone they disagree with politically is a genocidal fascist. Intersectionality rules and makes no sense. When American Jews stand by and accept Linda Sarsour’s leadership in the march on Washington, knowing that she has been a supporter of Hamas, but supporting her because she allegedly supports women’s rights and surely is an opponent of the new President, we know that logic has been thrown to the wind. And that everything is at risk of being hijacked by a movement with no moral center, no goals, and no purpose other than to bring down an elected leader.
In an effort to give people a place on social media to speak about their remembrances and emotions regarding Daniel Pearl’s murder, hijackers disrespect what is as sacred a space that you can create on Facebook. Both of those people have now been blocked….two American Jews who I thought were smarter and more compassionate than they actually are and who will use anything, even the sacred memory of a dead Jew, as fodder for their political beliefs.
But we can take a step backward and remember Daniel Pearl with respect for his bravery and legacy. And we can also honor him with dignity and pride in our own Jewish lives. That is the least we can do for him.”
-Irene Rabinowitz for “The times of Israel”