BS”D Parashat Lech Lecha 5772
AGL vs ADL and JDL
And HaShem said to Avram “Leave your land, your birthplace and your father’s house and go to the land that I will show you.
Why the three localities: land, birthplace and father’s home?
Terech, Avram’s father, was a well known and highly respected personality in Ur Kasdim. So much so, that he was granted the privilege to produce the idols before which the nation’s “who’s who” bowed down in daily worship.
But his son Avram (prior to having his name changed by HaShem to Avraham) was a rebel, a dissident, a heretic who defied the accepted religious practices and beliefs of his wider nation in their land, and the beliefs he was brought up with from the time of his birth and the mores of his father’s home.
The Midrash relates several encounters Avram had with his father and his pagan beliefs, which reached a climax when Avram physically destroyed his father’s idols.
At this point Terech complained before Nimrod the King, of his son’s heretical beliefs and actions, for which Nimrod had Avram thrown into a fiery furnace. Avram was saved miraculously, but no doubt was declared an “enemy of the State” whose rights were severely curtailed.
HaShem commands Avram to leave the land – his land, his birthplace, his father’s house – where he is no longer welcome in order to go on aliya to Eretz Yisrael.
One great lesson the Jewish people should have learned a long time ago, which would have saved innumerable Jewish lives, is do not insist on staying in a place where you are not wanted.
The ADL (Anti-Defamation League) designated its original mission “to stop, by appeals to reason and conscience and, if necessary, by appeals to law, the defamation of the Jewish people. In time it enlarged its goals to “secure justice and fair treatment to all citizens alike and to put an end forever to unjust and unfair discrimination against and ridicule of any sect or body of citizens”.
To extract, dislodge, eliminate, purge, or uproot Anti-Jewish feelings, sentiments and actions from people who were led to believe for nearly 2000 years that we killed their god or that we are heretics is naive, irrational, mindless, and reckless.
When we are destined to live in gentile lands, we have no choice but to try and protect ourselves as best we can. The ADL tries by legally fighting anti-Semitism, bigotry, and racism, supporting separation of church and state, defending other religions, tracking “extremists”, Holocaust awareness, Interfaith meetings, etc.
My brother Meir z”l sought to protect the Jews by physical actions through the JDL (Jewish Defence League).
But all these activities, as honorable as they are, are successful only to the degree that the gentiles are willing to accept them. But when the heat of frustration reaches the boiling point due to unemployment, social discrimination, loss of homes and other possessions, not the ADL nor the JDL will be able to stem the tide of Anti-Semitism.
Meir z”l established the JDL in the 1960s when I was already in Eretz Yisrael. I recall the heated discussions we had regarding the protection of Jews in the galut. My position was that HaShem gave us a window of opportunity to convince the Jewish people to leave the galut. By offering them protection the JDL was permitting them to adhere and cling to the places where they never should have been in the first place. Our energies and emotions should be centered not on protection but on dislodging our brothers and sisters from the galut in order to return home.
If we play the alphabet soup game it is not ADL or JDL that we need, it is AGL – Anti Galut League.
For as much as we try to be nice, and play according to the rules, the reality is that goyim don’t want Jews in their midst. And that is the bracha (blessing) that will in the end bring the Jews to realize that in a house where you are not welcome don’t demand room and board.
To continue on the subject of not insisting on staying in a place where you are not wanted, for the last 63 years Medinat Yisrael has been the whipping boy of the United Nations.
The UN declared us to be a racist state. We were condemned every time we fought to protect our lives, and won. And no member state has been degraded and disgraced as much as our beloved Israel.
Israel is the only member that cannot stand for election to a full range of UN bodies. Not long ago, membership of the UN Human Rights Commission included Cuba, Libya, Sudan and Syria, four of the seven states designated by the U.S. State Department as state sponsors of international terrorism by the U.S. State Department, while we cannot even be a candidate.
They damn us when we do and damn us when we don’t.
I suggest that Ya’akov (the Jewish people) overcome our irrational pursuit after Aisav’s love and affection (the gentiles) and let the world rot in its pollution, without their favorite scape goat – the Jewish State.
We should direct our ambassador to the UN to stand in the UN plaza, and in a most dignified manner lower our beautiful blue and white flag, fold it with great affection, and place it neatly in his luggage – and come home with the General Assembly name plate “Israel” neatly tucked under his arm.
This should be done in the near future before the UN acts to expel us from their midst.
It is only a matter of time before they do so. So whatever self esteem is yet left in us as a nation, should suffice to save the State of Israel from the inevitable indignity of being expelled from this conglomerate of Anti-Semitic, hate driven peoples and initiate our resignation to be a “Nation that shall dwell alone”.
And in order to satisfy the “international” tendencies within us, we should establish in Yerushalayim the UNP – United Noachide Peoples – for all who wish to accept the Noachide way of life. It would be open for gentiles who reject idolatry and accept the Jewish view regarding what HaShem decreed at Mount Sinai for the gentile world.
It would be open for all who believe in pure monotheism, which would exclude the believers in the Trinity which presents a problem for pure unity of the Creator.
What I am suggesting is in the spirit of what we recite daily in the Shacharit (morning) service:
“May it be Your will, Lord my God and God of my fathers, to deliver me today and every day
from impudent men and insolence, from an evil man and an evil impulse, from a bad companion and a bad neighbor… from slander and false testimony from human hatred and wanton charges…”
Copyright © 5772/2011 Nachman Kahana