Today, words mean anything you want them to. Consider, for example, what the words “liberal” and “racist” meant a year ago and what they represent and mean today. The key to world opinion appears to be semantics. If you twist and turn it around but can phrase it PC correctly, you’ve got it sold.
Today, language is a free-for-all. Language is stronger than all the concrete physical archaeological evidence in the world. Even solid, hard evidence like the thousands-years-old Western Wall of Jerusalem can be redefined if you throw the proper wrench in the works. Just say the magic word “controversial” and – poof! – it “officially” becomes declared by the UN or UNESCO as “not Jewish” or “occupying”.
Language for centuries has and continues to be a means of bullying Am Yisrael. Sometimes the bully deals out small jabs, like thinking it can decide for us that we must participate in a full-scale debate to defend ourselves as “indigenous”, while in others it’s a square punch, where it’s “decided” our Temple Mount and even entire capital is not ours.
Whose language you accept is whose authority you accept – whose “word” calls the tune you act upon. So they throw down the gauntlet. We don’t have to accept. So UNESCO voted to deny us our rights to our own holy capital, Jerusalem? – So what?! Who is UNESCO anyway?? – Not my authority!
My authority declared to the wisest of all men, King Solomon:
“I have chosen Jerusalem into which will be My Name there, and I have chosen David to be over My Nation Israel” (2 Divrei HaYamim 6: 6).
And my authority, The Authority, has authority over all, including little ole UNESCO. So why can’t we just stand up to them? Or don’t we? Why not say, “Hey, UNESCO. Y’all ain’t our authority. The real Authority has given us the rights and ownership of this land, and it’s not up for discussion or your approval. So go take a hike!” Or why not just ignore the bully? Ignore his-its words and boot him out of our country.
It all begins with language. It’s all in how you manipulate language and whether you are held accountable to your manipulation. And the only concrete and constant standard against which this can be assessed – is Torah. And that’s the bottom line: Hashem has “drafted” the terms – the language – and their meanings.
Any human-added or amended titles, definitions, appellations, etc. to those that Hashem already gave are superfluous, and frankly – blatant chutzpah! Not to mention – dangerous.
But this means that Am Yisrael must never let go of Torah in anything and everything we do and say. To do so is a slippery slide. Once Am Yisrael lets go of Torah, it’s a free-fall into the Twilight Zone where anything is possible, as we’ve seen and suffered from the many examples of when it has. In fact, only by the standards of Torah can we condemn the actions of the Erev Rav on Yom HaZikaron just a few days ago, to be discussed shortly.
Against this free-for-all we must stand strong and firm with our own terms. And our terms are Torah. We don’t need to take the bait or give in to the bully. Only when we stand with the absolute truth and standard of Torah can we stand up and state, “You’re wrong. You’re dead wrong!”
Consider the language power of the following vocabulary list Leon Uris compiled in his monumental 1961 bestseller on the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, Mila 18. Part 2, “Dusk”, chapter 30:
“The German language has been bastardized by the Nazis… The whole text on behavior towards Jews also has been compounded in this new ‘language’… Here are examples of their new double-meaning language:
Reservation – ghetto.
Legitimate war booty – wealth stolen or confiscated from Jews.
Contaminated – to be confiscated.
Sanitation measures – an excuse for mass executions.
Unpleasantness – the carrying out of mass murder.
Shot while trying to escape – a common phrase for someone killed in prison.
Resettlement – deportation with confiscation of all property.
Voluntary labor – slave labor.
Sub-humans – Jews, Slavs, gypsies, political and criminal prisoners, clergy, homosexuals (other than German), and others unfit to breathe Aryan air.
Mongrelization – the excuse to ‘get rid of sub-humans’ who will contaminate the pure German blood lines…
[T]he Germans go to fantastic trouble to make themselves truly believe what they are saying. The verbal acrobatics are played out. Basis: In order to live in the ghetto, one must break the law. Therefore, everyone who is alive is a criminal in the German lexicon and can legally be executed. Incredible?
Here are some of their ‘proofs’: …” (page 280). And so forth…
Torah is the absolute standard and is the common denominator between Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, since the Quran too acknowledges Torah as the word of God. When you place Torah as the center and standard, then there’s no room for claims that, for instance, entering the Covenant of Abraham (circumcision) is child abuse, or that the Land of Israel belonging to the Nation of Israel is apartheid. Nor can you smooth talk your way into decrees against Torah observance, as various European countries are legislating kosher shechting illegal – not 70-80 years ago, but today. And France’s presidential candidate Le Pen wants to ban Jews from donning kippot – again, not back when, but today.
Missionaries too are old pros at twisting and manipulating language – especially their attempt to redefine Torah terms. They call themselves “Messianic Jews” when there is no such thing – it is a contradiction in terms, as a Jew cannot be an idol worshipper of the J-god. By Torah standards they are idolaters, even while they ironically try to “kasher” their idolatry by twisting the words of the Torah. I have even seen written “Messianic Jew (not idolatry)” (sic) – as if by saying or writing it makes it so. Of course it’s idolatry – by Torah standards. This is, of course, the tip of the iceberg, as the Christian church has rewritten and fabricated much of our (literally) God-given Torah, from the Ten Commandments to the reconfiguration of Isaiah chapter 53. Their language bullying is old news.
Back to language: Take, for instance, the term “fanatic” which is used across the board in every society. Whoever calls this buzzword places him- or herself as the center and the standard. But the media is not center, nor are many who proclaim themselves as center either.
As far as “fanaticism” is concerned, Torah actually demands of all human beings, and especially of Jews, to act in a manner that is not natural, against human nature, above human nature and the laws of the “jungle”, for example to love one’s neighbor as him- or herself, not to murder, not to steal, not to revenge or even carry a grudge. And that’s pretty “extreme” or “fanatic” when you think of it. But this is what the Creator wants of His creation.
Now, since Torah is the standard and measure of truth and objectivity, so too is it the standard and measure against which the quality of good education can be evaluated. And good education is a function of language – what you say and how you say it.
Our holy Prophets promise that in our global reality very soon, the nations of the world “will no longer learn war” (Isaiah 2: 4).
So, education, as language, is key.
It has (finally!) been publically declared that it is the same notoriously anti-Israel UN-UNESCO that is writing, supplying, and funding school textbooks to Muslims living right here in Eretz Yisrael – books filled with lies and fabrications aimed to incite hatred and terrorism against Israel and Jews. We have all seen the recorded clips of young Muslim children barely out of diapers, holding knives, and reciting, “Stab stab stab the Jews!” This is merely the expected and obvious end result of such bad education.
On the other hand, the wonderful words and actions of people like Mudar Zahran (of Jordan), Naveed Anjum (of Pakistan), and Ahmed Meligy (of Egypt) reinforce the veracity and realization of the words of our Prophets. And Baruch Hashem there are other truth-speaking peace-seekers like those just mentioned!
Consider the words of Zak Ebrahim, an American Muslim who has dedicated his life to speaking out against terrorism:
“[T]here’s a reason that murderous hatred has to be taught – and not just taught but forcibly implanted. It’s not a naturally occurring phenomenon. It is a lie. It is a lie told over and over again – often to people who have no resources and who are denied alternative views of the world. It’s a lie my father believed, and one he hoped to pass on to me. But he could not fill me with hate…Everyone has a choice. Even if you’re trained to hate, you can choose tolerance. You can choose empathy” (“Not My Father’s Son” Reader’s Digest Dec 2014/Jan 2015, p.134).
Amazing words, especially considering that his (biological) father is none other than El-Sayyid Nosair, the very terrorist who murdered Rabbi Meir Kahana HY”D.
If I were given the opportunity to rewrite those UN lie- and hate-filled textbooks, one of the first things I would include would be a depiction offering a short glimpse into the daily lifestyle of those they have been taught to hate. In particular, I’d offer a few cameos of the Jewish kosher kitchen. I’d give a brief description of the very extensive salting, soaking, and rinsing process meat undergoes to rid every last drop of blood from it in order to “kasher” it, i.e. make it kosher. And I would tell of one of the basic ABCs we teach our children when we initiate them into the ways of the kosher kitchen at home, along with separating dairy and meat, namely checking eggs. I’d add a sentence or two about how we always first crack eggs into a clear cup and then hold it up to the light to carefully assure there is no blood – not even a single small drop. If there is, and it’s in a disposable cup, we just toss the whole thing out – egg and cup. And if it’s in a glass, we need to toss the egg and kasher the glass. That’s how strict we-Judaism-Torah forbids our consuming even the slightest amount of any and all blood.
Then, the next time some priest or imam tries to sell them a cheap, gruesome Kafkaesque and sensational tale of ‘What those Jews do to make their Passover matzas’ or the like, that new generation will actually know the facts plus understand why blood libels against the Jews cannot be true and why only the ignorant masses have believed those lies.
After that, I would add the following short piece a factual history:
“Hitler was influenced in his attitudes towards the Jews by a publication called The Protocols of the Elders of Zion…The Protocols were used by the German nationalists to prove that the defeat of the Second Reich in 1918 was caused by a global Jewish conspiracy…In fact The Protocols were a forgery created by dissident members of the Czarist secret police. They planned to use the document to undermine the influence on Czar Nicholas II…” (Michael Howard’s The Occult Conspiracy: Secret Societies – Their Influence and Power in World History, p. 127).
Look how far lies can go. Look how much hate and slaughter they can cause.
But the need to revamp education goes both ways. The same Halachot of kashrut, and more, need to be taught to all the Jewish children of Israel who have been denied and deprived of Torah by the anti-Torah Erev Rav within the Israeli establishment. This is the same Erev Rav who, just days ago on Yom HaZikaron, preferred to stand with the murderers of Am Yisrael, while the rest of us, regardless of our politics, and despite the fact that Halacha was disrespected and disregarded by women singing and music playing on the Omer – the rest, or rather all of Am Yisrael stood with Am Yisrael.
The children of Am Yisrael need to know their own Book, the Torah, the Halachot of Kashrut and Shabbat – that wonderful, weekly otherworldly experience we have been blessed with, yet equally commanded and required to observe. And Am Yisrael needs to be re-educated in thinking in the language and mindset of Torah.
For example, our Sages teach us that one who has mercy on the cruel, in the end will come to be cruel to the merciful (Rabbi Elazar, Midrash Tanchuma on parashat Metzora). This is what results when there’s a mishmash of ideals and values. The statement also implies that there are set definitions or parameters for distinguishing the two opposites – and that they are opposites. This statement is derived from the actions of King Saul who did in fact make a mishmash – having mercy on the cruel King Aggag of the Amalekites, while later becoming cruel to the Cohanim of Nov. As a result of not keeping things straight, he lost his life and those of his sons, plus lost the kingship, because his actions and mindset were not befitting those of a king of Israel, being according to Torah.
Isn’t this what we’re seeing today when the bleeding-heart “liberal” (whatever that means today) Erev Rav went just this week to stand with the families of the terrorists who murdered our brethren of Am Yisrael? What they did was not merciful, nor was it equal to Am Yisrael’s mourning our dead. It was cruel and it was wrong – according to Torah. Only Torah keeps this distinguished properly.
A paragon of action according to Torah was Samuel the Prophet. While King Saul had mercy on the cruel Amalekite, Samuel did not and did not even think twice before killing King Aggag the Amalekite. But that does not make Samuel the Prophet nor Torah cruel chalilla. In fact, in penning the Book of Judges, Samuel the Prophet shows just how much Torah values and esteems peace by noting and crediting all those who effected peace, while also specifying the exact number years of peace each succeeded to achieve.
– Under Atniel ben Knaz, the younger brother of Kaleb ben Yefuneh, there were 40 years of quiet (Judges 3: 11)
– Under Ehud ben Gera there were 80 years of quiet (Judges 3: 30)
– Under Deborah there were 40 years of quiet (Judges 5: 31)
– Under Gideon there were 40 years of quiet (Judges 8: 28)
But I think the best example is the following:
“And [King] Solomon was ruler over all the kingdoms from the river of the land of the Plishtim (Palestinians?) and unto the border of Egypt…from Tifsach to Gaza, over all the kings on this side of the river, and he had PEACE on all sides around him. And Judah and Israel dwelt in SAFETY, every man under his vine and under his fig tree, from Dan to Be’er Sheva, all the days of [King] Solomon” (I Kings 5: 1, 4-5).
And just for the record, the cause of this beloved peace and quiet to cease lies in the following verses to those listed above:
– Judges 3: 12 – And [again] the Children of Israel did evil in the eyes of God…
– Judges 4: 1 – And [again] the Children of Israel did evil in the eyes of God…
– Judges 5: 32 – And the Children of Israel did evil in the eyes of God…
– Judges 8: 33-34 – And it came to pass when Gideon was dead that the Children of Israel turned back and whored after the Ba’als and made themselves a covenant with the Ba’al god. And the Children of Israel did not remember God their God Who saves them from the hand of all their enemies around [them]…
(both lists compiled for Chapter 9 of To Cross The Line With a Bridge).
This swings us back full circle to what promises us peace and security – namely language and education. King David on his death-bed instructs his son, the new King Solomon, “And you shall keep the guard of God your God to go in His path and to keep His statutes, His commandments, and His laws, and His testimonies, as is written in the Torah of Moses, in order for you to be educated in all that you do and to all where you turn” (I Kings 2: 3).
“If in My statutes you walk and My commandments you keep and do them, then…you will dwell in your land in SAFETY [and]…I will give PEACE in the land” (Vayikra/Leviticus 25: 18 and 26: 1-6).
Peace and security – isn’t that what we want?!
Am Yisrael, why not take Hashem up on His promise?