From the Rabbi

Rabbi Mark

“Not by might, not by power but by My (G-D’s) spirit” ( Zachariah 4:6) 

This month American Jews will be celebrating two holidays, one as Jews and one as Americans. On November 26, we all will remember the Puritans and their establishment of the colony at Plymouth. Most of us know them as the Pilgrims because what their voyage to America meant to them. They fled England and its religious civil war so they could worship as they pleased. They went to the Netherlands for its freedom of worship as did our people 100 years before, fleeing the Spanish Inquisition. And as our people discovered acceptance there by the Dutch, the Puritans found the Netherlands too open and free. So they travelled to the New World and settled in the colonies. That is where the similarities end. Our people were met with governmental anti-Semitism, while the Puritans were the government of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Our people wanted to be accepted by Peter Stuyvescent, the governor of New Amsterdam (later New York) including our different form of worship especially the Sabbath, and we agreed to participate fully in the Dutch life. The Puritans made it abundantly clear that anyone differing from how they worshipped, including no dancing and requiring grey clothing was expelled or in some cases executed for witchcraft, the colony became famous for the Salem Witch trials, where the crime of dancing to one’s own choice in music, left you open for ridicule and possibly death.

How can we celebrate these people’s abuses of power? How can we be joyful? By doing and creating a community based upon acceptance and love of uniqueness. The Puritans were not the only ones in American history who fought for freedom but then when it was achieved denied others the same freedom. Immigrant groups throughout our history have been the victims of prejudice and bigotry but when they move to the upper parts of town, instead of helping the less fortunate, treat the newcomers as if they had no rights. German Jews called Eastern European Jews, “ Green Horns” even knowing what  Jews with Horns has meant to  fellow Jews.I wrote a Facebook entry, while light in words was serious in meaning, It said,” I don’t know how any Jew can be anti-African knowing that our greatest Prophet was born there (Unless they have moved Egypt, it has always been in Africa)” I am serious, how can we be anti-anyone when we have suffered for so long at the hands of governments who treated us as subhuman or, at most, second class. We now have the power America has given us as equal citizens. We must do our best so that all fellow Americans have an equal share in America! Please don’t let our 366-year Love Affair with America turn into our using that romance to hurt others. We all deserve a piece of the American Apple Pie. Let us always share! For all our lives have been baked in the ovens of oppression, discrimination and baseless hatred. Let us enable everyone to taste the sweetness of Freedom!

The other day, a Facebook post caught my eye. It said, “How could American Jews remain loyal to the modern Democratic Party after its attacks on Israel and the Jewish People?”

So, as a Jewish teacher of American History, I just finished teaching a High School Student, remotely, in China, and in Honor of the 73rd Anniversary of the Passing of the UN Partition Plan, I made up a chart.

I hope this sets the record straight. In the words of Sgt. Joe Friday, (it has) Just the Facts:

Let us look at how Presidents of the United States have dealt with Israel

  • Truman, US 1st to Recognize Israel 1948
  • Eisenhower-Threatened War with Israel over Gaza Strip 1956
  • Kennedy Sold Israel Hawk Missiles for Defense 1962
  • Johnson – Began wholesale arms sale to Israel after France     backed out 1968
  • Nixon-Told Israel Hold off until after Egyptian Invasion, then sent Weapons 1973
  • Carter-Brokered Israel-Egyptian Peace Treaty 1979
  • Signed Executive order instructing all US Embassies in Europe to grant Visitor Visas to all Iranian Jews who arrived there when fleeing the Iranian Revolution
  • Reagan- Used Israel as middle man in Iran-Contra 1981. Imprisoned Jonathan Pollard with the harshest penalty for spying on record 1987
  • Bush-Told Israel Stand Down in face of Iraqi Missile Attacks-Sent Patriot Missiles 1991
  • Clinton-Brokered Oslo Accords 1993
  • Brokered Israel Jordan Peace Treaty 1994
  • Trump-Moved US Embassy to Jerusalem, replacing Consulate,placating Christian Evangelicals (His own Words)
  • Brokered Israel-UAE Peace Treaty 2020
  • Brokered Abrahamic Accords

Everyone, my aim is to educate not pontificate! Please VOTE !

 

B’ahava,

Rabbi Mark