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October 12, 2008: The Season of Our Rejoicing

October 12, 2008

Tomorrow night begins the week-long festival of Sukkot, the most joyous of our holidays. The heartache of world events must not rob us of this joy, as we sit in our Sukkahs. Sit, and eat and sleep in these fragile but lovely structures, mindful of the fact that we are in the hands of the Almighty.

In all likelihood this will be my last posting until after the holiday ends a week from Tuesday here in Israel.

To one and all: Chag Sameach: Joyous Holiday!


Don’t be fooled. Don’t imagine that what has been going on in Acre is no more than an innocent local disturbance. Yaakov Lapin, writing about the situation, cited on-the-scene residents:

“This is our city. What happened on Yom Kippur was a pogrom. We had to hide in our own homes and turn off the lights as the mob passed,” said Datya Bracha Malka…

“All of the cars on our road were damaged. Some were flipped over and burned,” recounted Herzl Malka, her husband…”The TV news has swept this under the carpet.”

Pogrom. That’s the term I’ve seen used in connection the Acre events several times now.

What’s different about this situation from many others that appear similar is the mindset of the particular Jews in Acre. For the most part they are working class Sephardi Jews who have little patience with the left wing elite of the nation, and who take no nonsense. Attacked, they attack back. Proudly.

“They [the media] are making out like we are the aggressors. Why don’t they come here to speak to us? We’ve had a Kristallnacht here.”

I daresay, we Israelis need a bit more of this attitude as we make our way within the world.


I want to call your attention to a disturbing and important piece by Jonathan Rosenblum, which appeared in Friday’s Post, “Ignore the Grandchildren.”

This is in reference to the deeply offensive and literally obscene YouTube video in which comedienne Sarah Silverman suggests that Jewish youth travel to Florida to convince their grandparents to vote for Obama. You don’t have to convince them with facts, she tells the young people, make threats: “If you don’t vote for Obama I’m not going to visit.” And she suggests that the objection the elderly people of Florida have to Obama is his skin color. No thought that perhaps the older generation has considerably more wisdom with regard to the political issues than their grandchildren.

This is what Rosenblum addresses. He writes:

“My guess is that bubbie and zaidie will not be too impressed by such bullying; nor should they be. The grandchildren will seek to prove that Obama is good for Israel, but their identification with Israel bears no relationship to that of their grandparents…

“A 2007 study by sociologists Stephen Cohen and Ari Kelman found that more than half of non-Orthodox Jews under 35 would not view the destruction of the State of Israel as a personal tragedy. The death and/or expulsion of millions of fellow Jews is something they can live with…

“Indifference to Israel, Cohen and Kelman found, ‘is giving way to downright alienation.’ Israel complicates the social lives and muddles the political identity of young Jews. Only 54 percent of the under 35 cohort profess to be comfortable with the idea of a Jewish state at all.”

Dear Heaven, this is enough to make any committed Zionist weep. Where has it gone wrong?

Concludes Rosenthal: “Bubbie and zaidie should tell their progeny that in Jewish tradition wisdom flows from the elders to young, not vice versa.”



It’s worth noting that this disgusting Silverman video was produced by the Jewish Council for Education and Research. This is a group with a benign and elevated sounding name — who could be against education and research? — whose goal, in matter of fact, is the promotion of Obama.

This is the same group that produced the video “Israel’s Generals Speak,” which gives the fallacious impression that those interviewed are for Obama. Two interviewees, Uzi Dayan, former deputy IDF chief of staff, and Ephraim Halevy, former Mossad chief, both say they were duped and their words taken out of context.

Protested Dayan: “This was a lie and a deception since I never expressed support for Obama or for John McCain. I was told this was a movie about the issues the next president will have to deal with and that concern Israel. I responded accordingly without taking any side politically.”




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