So Holocaust museums are now targets. Holocaust museums are here to make sure that... Never Again? And Israel was founded that never again shall a Jew need to cower in a pogrom. Tell that to Sderot. The League of Nations made sure that there will never be a war again and yes, we have elected a president to ensure, well, change.

Delusions become dangerous not when we start to believe them but when we stop questioning. Did we really think that the SS were so effective because they had never been to a tolerance center? That if only they would have been clairvoyant that shooting Jews leads to dead Jews they would have never... Is it possible that from the hundreds of millions of Arabs and Muslims virtually none of them could care less if Israel collapsed? Is it possible they would even approve?

Why are we afraid to face the obvious facts? Because the facts hurt too badly. So we hide behind two-state solutions, and pullouts, and dialogue and bridge building — the ultimate silliness. I have never, ever heard of a credible, viable attempt to get the Freedom Riders to dialogue with the KKK's Grand Wizard; no one pooh-poohed Mississippi terror as "the inevitable growth of Confederate statelessness." Why do we insist on sympathy for the Arabs? They deserve better than that.

So do we. The hurt I see in too many eyes; eyes of survivors who saw Berlin in the Thirties—and now that their eyes have dimmed but their minds have not—they see déjà vu. I've seen the pain of kids who naively go off to school and encounter hate—hatred of them—in bastions of learning that their parents pay beaucoup mulla for them to attend. I see the look of soccer moms who realize their kids—their kids!, not there-but the-grace of G‑d go I, but their kids...

It has all happened closer to my family than I could ever wish on my enemies. My heart bleeds for the victims; my blood boils when I see my people suffering and not knowing why. Not knowing what hit them. Not knowing that hatred of the Jew has ebbed and flowed but never abated, that hatred for the Jews has been with us forever. That we have been here forever.

I cannot accept or even fathom this hatred and I have no patience for historian theorists who yak-yak about it. But this I do know that whatever it is that makes them hate us is something good. That the reason for hating us is the reason to love us. We stand for something, whatever that something is.

We are the light unto to the nations. Light illuminates; light disturbs. I know we're the chosen people, kvetched Tevye of Fiddler on the Roof, but can you choose someone else? That line gets a grunt of a laugh, but never a vigorous nod. Here is a dreadfully abridged story to go with it.

In the Old Country on Simchat Torah, in a small synagogue, there was a man who, after the dancing had already gone on for a while, took off his shirt and danced bare-chested with the Torah. His back was scarred with whiplashes; three of his fingers were missing. He was a Cantonist; as a Jewish boy of eleven the Czar had kidnapped and held him, trying to force him into the church. But he survived. And on this night as he danced with the Torah, he sang, "Torah, Torah! This body never left you!"

My father was my fifth grade teacher and he told this story to our class slowly, over several days. And so I weep for all those who are being whipped and don't know that story. They are being shot at and don't know why. For whatever reason it may be, they have not gone to synagogue early on a frosty morning to recite "Ashreinu," how fortunate I am to be a Jew.

I am supposed to exercise every day; my doctor told me. The repetitive discipline will prime my body for when I need it primed. So too my Judaism. And so I'm frustrated that I've never been able to get the guys into synagogue in the good days, when the golf course beckons. And because I failed in that attempt one time too many, too many are feeling the whip and the pistol for the first time (and the second time) and not knowing Ashreinu; not having absorbed the legacy that goes with the story of "Torah, Torah this body never left you." The story of dancing on Simchat Torah.

One evening in the yeshivah some thirty years ago, Rabbi Mentlik was trying to make a point and had no one's attention. Suddenly he burst into tears and said in Yiddish "I don't know how to explain it but it's got to be different." That is all I remember of what he said. That is all I have to offer.