Originally published on Jewish Press.
“Privilege.” “Social justice.” “Oppression.”
If you’ve been paying any attention to Jewish Twitter lately, you’ll see many Jews across the world getting up in arms about the claim that Jews have special privilege. Firing back quick responses, the Jews of Twitter rallied around the hashtag, #JewishPrivilege, but instead turned it from a derogatory remark and used it to share their experiences of centuries of ancestral and personal anti-Semitism.
This was closely followed by Twitter banning the Star of David, which led to the mass call for a Jewish social media walkout for 48 hours between the 27th and 29th of July. The walkout is designed to be a silent protest against anti-Semites and their ilk.
We are getting so caught up in all these buzzwords, and we’re too busy reacting instead of responding. We’re busy playing the “Oppressed People’s Olympics” as Zvi Livshits, editor of The Nation of Israel, likes to say; so much so that we’re ignoring our true privilege – the Torah and the Land of Israel, given to us by G-d.
It’s all over social media; the minute-by-minute tracking of anti-Semitism, the speed at which we lament our lot in life. We are trying to appeal to Leftist sensibilities and logic, when there is no logic to which we can appeal. By speaking their language, we are playing their game. And this is not a game we will win.
Too many American Jews humiliate themselves by appealing to the woke social justice crew. Their hope is to connect with the far Left and heal them from their anti-Semitic sepsis. They blather on about justice and equality, but they are kowtowing exclusively to Leftist fantasy rules, when we, as Jews, have our own rules to follow – those given in the Torah.
Jewish thought is that the Torah was given on the condition that the children are the guarantors. We are the blessed inheritors of a several-thousand-year-old blessing, which was first given to Avraham, then to his subsequent offspring through Yitzchak. We are their children. We are their guarantors.
When we play the oppression game in a fantasy world created by the elite, we do not embrace justice or peace or any of those ideals they supposedly tout. We are tying the noose for ourselves. The leaders of these movements are counting on this. They are people who are self-interested and playing a game of manipulation and lies.
We learn in Bereshit that words have value, words create realities. The world, after all, was created through speech. If we are engaging in false words, we are also engaging in false realities. We create a false reality which is destined to be destroyed, because it was a sheker, a lie, in the first place.
Instead, we should engage in truth. We should only speak words of truth. And instead of playing by their rules and intentionally speaking in politically loaded terms like “privilege” and “minority,” let us embrace our true calling. We are a light unto the nations; when we act like a victimized minority, we become a blight. And here we are, staring into the face of anti-Semitism which is rearing its ugly head once again.
Why are we facing this primordial beast?
Apparently, it’s because we can’t seem to function without it. We need constant reminders to embrace our G-d-given role. We are called upon to be true to ourselves and stop imitating the other nations. We must stop speaking their false language, imitating their ways, and imbibing their principles.
Anti-Semitism is merely the push for us to recall this simple truth: we are not like other nations, and we cannot be allowed, in the long run, to be like them. They won’t let us – because G-d won’t let us.
He commands us to follow Him, not them.
Baruch atah Hashem, elokeinu melech ha-olam, she-loh asani goy. “Blessed are you, Lord our G-d, king of the universe, who has not made me a gentile.”
We have our guidebook, and we have our Guide. The rules are clear. And when we deviate from the rules, or attempt to reinvent them, He reminds us of them. At first, He reminds us in gentle ways – until He must pummel our door down. We must pray for the gentle reminders, which are running out. We must pray to speak only words of truth. And we must pray for our collective return to Him and to our Land, for without this, we cannot hope for a peaceful redemption.