Tuesday, January 4, 2011

I hear you, George Santayana.

Yom revi'i, 29 Tevet 5771.

Do you know how much I cry when I think about how they never wanted us?

Forty-five years ago, as a young non-Jew, I believed what they told me: that the United States and Britain were always friends of the Jewish nation, Israel.  That the world together felt bad about the Holocaust, and found in it's great big loving heart, through the voice of that sainted body, the United Nations, that it was the least that could be done after the horrors of Hitler (yemach shemo) that the poor Jewish people should be returned to their ancestral Homeland.  When I learned these concepts, they made so much sense.  The kids today would say "Duh!"  The kids of a decade ago would call it a "no-brainer."  It was so obvious:  the beleaguered Jewish people should have their own State: and the whole rational world agreed.

I'm 53 now.  Not an impressionable kid anymore.  I have read too much history now to believe those lovely claims about the US and about Europe, and their part in Israel's redemption, at face value.  But it still brings tears to my eyes -- frustrated, uncomprehending tears -- when I am confronted with historical proof that most of the world did not want the Jews to survive -- even after the Holocaust.


Hat tip to my friend and neighbor, Esther Caplin.

And, of course, much of the world still doesn't.  Does it?  The arguments have changed.  The rationalizations have changed.  But the hatreds (at their most honest) and the abstentions (at a more refined, but equally culpable level) still exist, with as much ferocity as ever.

I am grateful to G-d that I can still cry.

Glossary:
Yemach shemo:  May his name be erased.
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