Assimilation vs. Annihilation
Recently, I returned from a “quick trip” to the United States. After not visiting the land of my birth for 2 years, I was counter-culturally shocked on just how big everything is there. The streets, the grocery stores, everything. What was equally shocking to me was the mindset of the American Jews I encountered.
My parents did a wonderful job of teaching me and embracing all that it means to be Jewish in a Gentile world. I wasn’t missing anything, but was different than most of my friends. And my grandfather, who would travel periodically to this Middle Eastern land called Israel taught me that there is a real “Jerusalem” that we always talk about at the end of the Passover Seder. So it was a natural (albeit scary) move to immigrate to Israel.
Enough of the “Pollyanna” lifestyle that I had…I am not oblivious to the obvious that we are also not the best liked people in the world. Time and time again, I would hear the words from my well-meaning –yet propaganda believing friends…”If it weren't for Israel, we would have peace” (as if a small country - smaller than the size of New Jersey could really make such an impact on the matters of world peace).
I laugh when I hear such things as “we” (the Jews of the world) were really behind 9/11, JFK assassination, or any other world catastrophe that occurred. (Do you really think that we are that smart?)
Okay, back to my American Jews….What was more shocking to me was how assimilated my brothers and sisters have become. Hebrew has been replaced (proudly, I might add) with Yiddish, with such sayings as “good Yomtov” (in Hebrew that is translated to “Good, good day” and not what is commonly said here for holidays;”Chag Sameach” or Happy Holiday) and the holidays (not the Christian ones) are celebrated as an afterthought. (“Oh yeah, Hanukkah, when does it start?”)
I even went to my Synagogue that my grandfather started some 60 years ago only to find that the Mezuzot that are supposed to be on every door post (except the bathroom) was non-existent.
Trust me, I am not turning into a “Super-Jew with a mission” (as some would call that a missionary), but hey, what happened to why we Jews are here?
God called us out to be separate, to be a light to the nations, to display His promise to keep us and protect us. He also called us NOT to assimilate to the countries of the world. To honor Him as much as He has honored us. Instead, we have blended into almost non-existence.
People, being Jewish is not a byword, nor is it a curse. Yes, we have encountered horrendous evils throughout the ages because of our heritage, but all those countries that touched us, are either non-existent or benign in the grand scheme of things. Yet, our small nation…both in Israel and the Diaspora thrives…IN SPITE OF US.
Look, it appears that everywhere we turn, we are subject to annihilation. Nations and even continents hate us. People groups use us as scapegoats for every evil under the sun, and yet, we still exist.
They do it to us, and we, because of assimilation, do it to ourselves. BUT there is one who is still in our court. There is One, who in spite of us, and in spite of our neighbors,, still stands for our side. And He is not one to mess with.
Wake up my fellow Jews, take off that “poor me” attitude and be as proud to be Jewish as God intended. Yeah, it will get a few odd looks and accusations, but we can beat them INSTEAD OF JOINING THEM!
In the end, I would rather follow the One who was always there to defend me, than to answer to Him when He asked me if I was my brother’s keeper….
I believe you feel the same way...