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Thank You, Helen

Thank You, Helen

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So a venerated, old woman said that the Jews should get out of Palestine and go back home to Germany and Poland. Or America. Or wherever. And after the negative feedback she scrambled to the terra firma of the two-state-solution mantra. Which was more instructive, if less astonishing.

Was she really changing her passionate belief in the few hours, or just putting some lipstick on it? Maybe, we should be glad her true colors came out. I am. The White House Press Secretary opined, "She should and has apologized. Obviously, those remarks do not reflect the opinion, I assume, of most of the people in here and certainly not of the administration."

You assume, do you now? And I assume that if someone else had barked Juden raus! you would have then assumed that Helen Thomas shared the opinion "of most of the people in here." And what is the administration's opinion when calling for a two-state solution, because no credible Arab movement for over a century has ever cared for it? (The constant two-state buzz is reserved for Westerners and skilled Arab diplomats.) With either malevolence or naiveté or both, the two-staters are calling for a "Palestinian" foot in the door, or, in other words, a Jewish foot out the door. A launching pad against its "sister" state of Israel, figuratively as well—kind of like Gaza. Ask Helen.

There has been a lot of noise here in the California Desert about high-school honor students playing Nazi. And in the anonymous rantings of the blogs and feedbacks you can hear America singing, the reassuring sounds advocating personal responsibility as well as the boys-will-be-boys-get-over-it blather. You also hear the blatant screeching anti-Semitism. Instructively, the latter often cites the Gaza flotilla brouhaha. One even suggested that the local Jews here orchestrated the outrage over this high-school business to deflect the news over Gaza. I should invite him (her?) to my think tank.

So the clarity emanating form the press corps illuminates my little corner of the universe, and the illuminated scene is sobering. There is a lot of hate and it isn't going away and we have nowhere to get away from it. Not to say we don't have friends and those who appreciate us, we do. (Actually, Americans for the most part could care less about your ideology and if you have integrity in your belief they will respect you.) But while these unseemly outbursts at this party of life embarrass them, they frighten us.

Being frightened doesn't feel good, lemme tell you. It feels better to hear two-state talk and just-a-game soothings. But now I see that feeling better isn't the same as being better off. That reality is frightening but fright makes you more aware, more focused and ultimately safer.

There is another, more personal element to it all, what Paul Johnson memorably worded in History of the Jews. The Jews are the light unto the nations; but while light illuminates it also disturbs. Some will want to turn the light off. I must be careful.

But more importantly I must remain true. Not allow the bully to win, to remember that a bully is a frustrated coward. That justice is its own reward. That selfishness and evil are temporary, temporal, even when they are in the driver's seat. That from baseless hatred can come boundless love and by my staying true I can be part of that process.

It sounds dreamy; it is not as real as the bully. That is why he is the bully. What will I be? Those who hate me will paint me as the bully (the Gestapo called the Warsaw Ghetto fighters rapists) that is part of the tactic.

I will let Jewish teenagers know how lucky I feel to be a Jew.


Rabbi Shimon Posner is the director of Chabad of Rancho Mirage, California.
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Beverly Kurtin Hurst, TX June 15, 2010

Agreed. The longer I thought about it the less I thought she was set up, so although this is not an argument per se, you win; I said what I did in error. Thanks for the opportunity to correct myself.
I have made up a business card that simply says "If you hate Jews, you hate Gd." Genesis 12:3 and hand it out to people to pass along to other folks. The Wiesenthal organization has a great brochure available for download or for free for reasonable numbers.
Communications is going to be the key to overcoming the lies the Arabs and their cohorts are spreading. The Arabs have finally gotten it through their heads that they can't beat us militarily so they make up lies, lies and more lies and Jew haters BELIEVE the lies. Aarrgghhhhhh... Reply

Anonymous Hitchcock, Texas via chabadhouston.org June 15, 2010

She was Not Set Up! She is who she and there were no excuses for her words which she has carried in her heart for quite sometime. I can never find any good or bad excuse for these people with Black Hearts against Israel. The Truth always comes out.
Everything else you wrote has been well written. Reply

Debbie Levine via chabadofbocaraton.com June 15, 2010

I agree with everything the Rebbe, may his memory be a blessing, said about even mentioning autonomy. I also agree: the government here is WEAK.
OK - but guess what? If G-d made the Land of Israel a modern Gan Eden and everything was safe and wonderful and everyone had a gorgeous house and lots of food - who WOULDN'T come??
G-d is testing us to see if we really really just want to live in the Land of Israel, or we have some excuse not to.
And believe me, there are thousands of excuses.
If you are sick, don't have the money, have ailing/elderly parents and simply cannot make aliyah (move to Israel), BUT you desire every day to be here, G-d makes it as if you ARE here. I'm not talking about people like these. I am talking about observant Jews who CAN come, but choose not to.
G-d gave us a beautiful gift - the Land of Israel - and He wants us to live here. Period.
In addition to that the world is becoming very dangerous - every day there is an earthquake somewhere or a tsunami warning, or flooding, fires, tornadoes - the only safe haven is here. Reply

Beverly Kurtin Hurst, TX June 15, 2010

I feel that Helen was set up by the guy who asked the questions, but that does not excuse her answers. In my blog I point out that Germany is only 772 years old, Poland is 1012 years old and that London is a thousand years younger than Israel. The Arabs have learned that they cannot beat us militarily, so they're now using Germany's "tell a BIG lie long enough and people will accept it as the truth." Since the world has never had any particular love for us, although they should, the idiots of the world now question the validity of Israel. They have been robbing us blind since forever. Queen Isabella got her money to send Columbus by kicking all the Jews out of Spain and stealing the Jew's money. That has happened to us time after time after time, usually with the Roman Catholic Pope's blessing. Those who hate us hate Gd. Genesis 12:3 says that Gd will bless them that bless us and curse them that curse us. Reply

Dr. Amy Austin Rancho Mirage, CA/USA June 15, 2010

Helen Thomas's rant has nothing to do with an organic etiology, but exudes historically toxic vitriol. The seemingly educated position she has held these last 90 years has been replaced with an epitaph of stupidity and ignorance. Reply

Gavriel Eliezer ben Ze'ev Gershon St.Petersburg, FL June 15, 2010

Until the Moshiach comes and we have the ingathering, we must be spread to the four corners of the earth to be the light unto the nations. That is our job, in spite of the dangers (and the hazard pay is in the World to Come). I would love to be able to live in the land, but cannot do more than visit occasionally. However, I am sure that my presence has influence on others and that will have to suffice for now. Reply

Daniel Waldron Rockford, Illinois,Winnebago June 15, 2010

Her statements must be only excused by her age, perhaps she suffers from altzheimer's? As far as Jews leaving Israel and returning to Poland or Germany, that is as stupid as saying all Black Americans should return to Africa, all Hispanics in the US should go back to their perspective countries. Every nationality should return to the country of their parent's or grand parent's origin. What a mess!

There are no words to describe the attitude of most of Islam toward the Nation of Israel. The Jewish people can only trust in G-d to be able to survive these days... Reply

Beverly Kurtin Hurst, TX June 13, 2010

As much as I'd love to move to Israel, there has to be a Jewish presence here in the states. Right now the lies about Israel abound. Who is going to counter those lies? Just today I got a person to understand the term Apartheid and that we are NOT in anyway an Apartheid state. I can tell people the truth that we are 3,000 years old and not there as a result of "European guilt." They wanted us all dead. Where did the term Palestine come from and who the real Palestinians are. Yank me out of the states and who is going to be left to tell the truth? Besides, I use a wheelchair to get around; Israel is not the friendliest place for wheelchairs. Israel isn't an inexpensive place in which to live, how could I live there...in poverty? I think I'll stay here and work to tell the truth. Reply

YH June 13, 2010

It's not safe here or there. I object to your urging people to go to Israel for reasons of safety. The danger there is not merely apparent. Nor is the danger out of Israel merely apparent. It is dangerous in the world because JEWS IN ISRAEL in the government endanger the welfare of ALL JEWS everywhere by discussing autonomy, bowing to our murderers, and by giving away our Holy Land to our enemies.

Israel is not a safe haven so don't promote it as such. Say, "Israel is a pit filled with scorpions and snakes due to our stupidity but it's better to be in danger there than in other places since it's our Holy Land." Reply

Debbie Levine Israel via chabadofbocaraton.com June 13, 2010

"A man is safer in a pit filled with scorpions and snakes in the Land of Israel, than in the opulent palaces of a foreign land. Safer, in apparent physical danger in the Land of Israel, than in circumstances which appear physically secure outside the Land." Rabbi Chaim of Volozhin, from his comments on the Talmud Sanhedrin 6, on the matter of Joseph being thrown into the pit. Reply

Ben Boruch Toronto, CA June 11, 2010

I truly loved your post and admire your faith - such strength! May you have a complete recovery soon!

May we all merit to be in OUR dear Holy Land with immediate coming of Moshiach NOW! Reply

Anonymous Hitchcock, Texas via chabadhouston.org June 10, 2010

If G~d could get me home to Ysrael, I would be in heaven, this would be the ultimate dream come true, believe me, but my medical heath situation is somewhat of a stumbling block with much medicine needed to stay alive and under the care of doctors, I am so blessed to be alive. I so Love Israel and our Land, I have friends who will be going there to live permanently, KBH!
I SHALL KEEP ALL OF iSRAEL IN MY PRAYERS ALWAYS, CONSTANTLY.
Yes, there is much going on in the world and much more yet to come, but I know that G~d will stand with us no matter where we might be, we have the best in front of us who will protect us as promised in the Holy Torah.
Thank G~d, bless G~d for all the returnees and may the angels surround you all always.
Rachel Reply

YH June 10, 2010

If you told me to move to Israel because it's a mitzva, because I can fulfill numerous mitzvos there that I can't fulfill elsewhere, fine. If you told me the quality of life is extraordinary, fine. But if you tell me to move to Israel for reasons of safety, it doesn't sound very convincing. I remember being able to go to Kever Rochel (Rachel's Tomb) when it wasn't a fortress and when we could visit Kever Yosef (Joseph's Tomb). I remember being able to drive over to the Me'oras Ha'Machpela (the Cave of Our Patriarchs) without an armored vehicle. With attempted and actual attacks on Jews on a constant basis, you don't exactly convince me to take the next flight to Israel for reasons of safety!

The Lubavitcher Rebbe repeatedly warned that if Israeli politicians even TALK about autonomy, never mind actually give away land, they ENDANGER millions of Jews.

Tens of thousands of Jews in Nazi Germany heeded the warnings and left and they didn't go to Israel ... Reply

Debbie Levine Jerusalem, Israel via chabadofbocaraton.com June 10, 2010

I moved to Israel from Queens, New York 24 years ago. I have watched, amazed at how religious Jews actually witnessed 9/11 and did NOT see that as a wakeup call.
Well, G-d has a lot of patience, but you still have to heed the call to come home to Eretz Yisrael (Israel). The Diaspora is getting more dangerous for Jews every single day.
What are you waiting for? How many other dire warnings will G-d give you before you realize that the only safe haven for Jews is in Israel?
Don't wait until it's too late, G-d forbid.
The Jews in Nazi Germany waited - Learn the Lesson!! Reply

Anonymous Hitchcock, Texas via chabadhouston.org June 10, 2010

I wish that Israel could see and understand what I am about to say, this should not come as a surprised statement because there are a lot of Helen Thomas in politiics and everywhere else around, they just keep quite about their true selves, until they accidently or meaningful say what is in their minds and hearts, not saying what they truly believe.
Although it is good to remove all those who are evil doers who then become exposed by their blacken hearts and own actions of using words or otherwise.
Let us open our eyes, and removed the dark clouds that stand in the way of truth, but yet let "US" in unity, as One People ask G~d to help us, to see the light of Love which He has implanted in each and everyone of us to be better, kinder people to our fellow man. Instilling goodness, love, compassion and acts are great starts. Reply

Anonymous Toronto, Canada June 9, 2010

Her opinions and pro-Arab stance reflects bias, because the fact of the matter is, she is Arab. Both her parents are from Lebanon. An Arab has a problem with Israel and Jews and voiced it (surprise, surprise). Reply

elizabeth hnl, Hi. via chabadpasadena.com June 9, 2010

This is spiritual warfare. Not all gentiles wish for the destruction of Israel, Mr. Mequon, my Bible states that those who bless Israel will be blessed and those who curse Israel will be cursed. Our nation has been blessed because we have stood for Israel and God. Every Bible reading Christian understands the connection to Israel and what a blessing and privilege it is to stand with those whom the Lord loves. We also understand the dangerous road our country is on asking God to step away so we don't offend anyone and we remain politically correct. Turning our backs on Israel. I did not vote for Obama.
Yes Mr. Posner, it can be frightening, but we must believe God's word in Tehillim (Psalm) 91. Stand on his promises. Reply

Beverly Kurtin Hurst, TX June 9, 2010

Jew-haters do not realize that by hating us, they hate G-d. Look at King David's Psalms, they are filled with the enemies of Israel called the enemies of G-d. Their hatred of us will lead them to their downfall.
Morality came to the word through the Torah; Hitler wanted us destroyed because one cannot be moral and a pagan at the same time. And Thomas wanted to send us to lands that are not ours?
When Berlin and London were swamps, Israel was filled with the Jewish people. We have populated Israel for 3,000 years, we have NEVER LEFT ISRAEL. For three millennium Jews have had communities in Jerusalem. We were there long before the Romans changed the name of the land to honor our blood enemies, the Philistines and even though they thought we'd all left, we were still living in Israel. I almost pity Jew-haters for their reward is the reward of those who hate the Gd of Israel. I pray they repent before G-d brings final judgement against them. Reply

Atara Kennedy Silver Spring, MD June 9, 2010

Fenton, did we read the same article? I'm sorry that you were unable to derive any meaning from the well-organized article. I'm more sorry you insulted the author. Here, I will spoon feed a summary: an overview of recent climate and the attitude towards jews, the sobriety offered by the increasingly illuminated situation, the fear, being careful about our role, a response to fear. I apologize in advance if I included a needless adjective. May you soon be in a better mood. Reply

Victor Germantown, Maryland USA via ourshul.org June 9, 2010

This is an evil, horrid woman. She would stand by while the Jews are rounded up. Be strong. Reply

What's the latest news? For that information, check your local or national news outlet. In this blog we will discuss the "why?"

Not "why did this event occur?" but "why did I find out about it?" There must be a reason. It must contain a lesson I can use to better myself and my surroundings. Together we will find the lessons...
Rabbi Shimon Posner is the director of Chabad of Rancho Mirage, California.
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