Rabbi Polak's Email
I was walking down the street in Jerusalem the other day when it suddenly occurred to
me in the way those obvious thoughts just pop into ones head out of nowhere, that
never, in all my life, have I felt more proud to be an Israeli and to be a Jew.
This might sound ironic coming at such a time; a time when the world is frothing at the
mouth, flinging every vile name at the Jewish people and the land of Israel, accusing us
of crimes they perfected sixty years ago, and terminology that theythose wise,
cultured Europeans -- invented because no terms existed in the history of mankind for the
barbarity they inflicted on the Jewish people. Holocaust. Concentration Camps. Mass
Murder. Nazis. And now, they think they can somehow wipe off their guilt by throwing those
terms at the survivors of their brutality and their children.
I was walking down the street, and I thought about the Church of the Nativity, and the
old priest who was holding the sheet painted in red with the words :Help Us on
it. And the way our soldiers took him out and put their arms around him. And the way this
old priest faced the cameras and said, with tears in his eyes: Thank you.
Theyve stolen everything. Our crosses. Everything. Thank you for helping me.
We saw it on Israeli television. I thought about the fifty children that are being held
hostage in the Church of the Nativity and about the silence of the Pope, busy dealing with
pedophiles, too busy to worry about condemning Muslim terrorists who invade
Christianitys holiest shrine and hold priests and children hostage. And about the
soldier that was critically wounded just yesterday by a terrorist hiding in the church,
hiding behind those children, that have no food, and little water. A soldier who
didnt want to tear gas the place, or shoot back.
I thought about other soldiers in the Israeli army which insisted on going from
booby-trapped house to booby trapped house in the terrorist stronghold Jenin they jokingly
call a refugee camp. Home to suicide bombers and bomb belt factories. They
wouldnt bomb those houses, and we lost 23 precious sons. Because we didnt want
to kill innocent people if there were any in such a place. Hard to imagine.
I thought about the Muslims in Sudan who kidnap Christian little girls(New York Times,
April 23, 2002)and enslave them, beating and raping and selling them as wives to old men.
And I thought about Muslims in Saudi Arabia holding telethons to raise money in the
billions for suicide bombers who will go on an indiscriminate murder spree all over the
world. And I thought about the IDF army spokeswoman who described the armys efforts
to get food and medicine to the refugee camps, and how they can get the food inside, but
that the Palestinian Authority isn't making any effort at all to distribute it because
they are still engaged in planning terror attacks from Arafat's compound, to which
Europeans in well-cut suits arrive by the busload daily to pay the mass murderer and war
criminal their respects. I suppose, given Europe's history, they feel right at home there.
Jews dont burn mosques, or Churches. We dont target children, or old women.
We, despite all that was done to us, and all the hatred we receive, continue to be
compassionate, to value justice, and human life. We continue to teach our children to
value life, and love other people, and strive towards peace. Our children don't throw
stones at Arabs. We don't burn the flags of other countries. We don't refuse to do
business with the anti-Semites in France, and the Nazi sympathizers in Belgium. Maybe we
should, but we don't. We judge each man on his merits, not his nationality or religion.
And despite the fact that an Arab tried to kill me and my husband and children only a few
weeks ago, I don't hate Arabs. Just terrorists and their supporters.
The other peoples of the world have always seemed better off, stronger, more numerous.
They live in lands that stretch out endlessly, and have treasures of oil, iron, gold in
their hills, and lush forests and abundant rainfalls and beautiful rivers. But I have
never been prouder to say those words in the prayerbook: Thank you God, for not
making us like all the other nations of the world, all the other families on the
earth. For they dont have a clue how to cherish what theyve been given.
How to share it with their own people and with others. And we, in our little, tiny, desert
and, care deeply about those among us who are hungry and poor. We dont waste water,
and we eat our fruits with a blessing. We glory in the beauty of our tiny Lake
and walk along our Mediterranean shore on a summers afternoon with joyful hearts as
we watch the sun set, our minds empty of hatred and plans for killing. Our minds on our
familys well-being and the future, a better future for all mankind when they
recognize that all the Earth belongs to God, and no one has a God-given right to kill
others because they want something they don't have. And that to kill someone who is trying
to kill you is a good deed, not an immoral act.
Yes, Mr. Kofi Anan. The whole world can be wrong and the Jews right.. Whether they are
ignorant tribesmen spewing hate in tents, or sophisticated newsmen, spewing their hatred
and prejudice through sophisticated cable networks and outer space satellites.
All those who join with us and bless us now, at this time, will be blessed. And all
those who join our enemies, now, at this time, will be cursed.
Ill bet my life on it.
Thank you God, for making me a Jew, and teaching me your Laws, at this time, and in
this place, when so many all over the world have lost their moral bearings and have sunk
so low. Thank you for keeping Your promise to Abraham, for bringing me, his descendant,
back here thousands of years later. I will try to be worthy of being a Jew, to be worthy
of all the good you've showered on me and the Jewish people by giving us back our
homeland, and helping us to defeat our enemies, the enemies of all good people everywhere.