There is no label more sinister than the 'ism.' Isms are no more than a plot of the same simple-minded people who designed bank account application forms and medical waiting rooms to make neat little boxes in which to suffocate the ideas of those who actually dare think for themselves.

Yet there is one ism—one that I previously maligned, attacked and bashed—that I now realize can be redeemed.

You will note that the prefix of most isms is whatever those ismites are purported to believe in. Buddhism, Taoism, Mohammedism, Christianity (itys are a peculiar form of ism), industrialism, materialism, spiritualism, post-modernism, antidisestablishmentarianism... all follow the same pattern.

What do Jews believe in? G‑d? Moses? The power of guilt?

Take a look at their ism. Jews believe in the Jewish people.

I can already hear the rant: "Judaism is about monotheism, revelation and divine justice! Judaism is about Torah and mitzvahs! Judaism is about holocaust commemoration and fighting anti-Semitism! This Freeman heretic has gone too far!"

Back up two meters. Why do we believe that G‑d gave us the Torah and told us to keep it? Because it makes sense? Because it makes life more convenient? We believe for only one reason: Because the Jewish People say it happened.

How about G‑d? Does G‑d make sense? Those who say He does certainly don't know the Jewish G‑d—an infinite, boundless entity-that-isn't-really-an-entity that is very concerned over world peace, black leather boxes and what I'm putting in my salami sandwich.

Where did we get such a G‑d from? Certainly not out of philosophy. There's only one explanation: Because this is the experience of the Jewish People. "From the east to the west," the Talmud says, "all nations know there is one G‑d. But wherever the Jewish People have been, they know He has something to do with this world."

Yes, Maimonides tells us that "the foundation of foundations and the pillar of wisdom" is, in short, G‑d. But before you can lay a foundation, you need something else: A plot of land. The Jewish People, then, are the Jewish G‑d's real estate.

Why am I bringing this up now? Because now, this is what's on the line. There was a time when G‑d was under attack. There was a time when Torah and mitzvahs were under attack. Plenty of damage was done, but the Jewish People survived—and even flourished in some ways from the challenge. Difficult as it may have been, we were able to sustain a community and even return to our homeland and establish ourselves there while bickering with one another about the veracity of monotheism and Torah.

But now, it's not Torah, not G‑d, but we ourselves who are at stake. Now they have begun to chisel away, no, smash and shatter, the very idea that we are a people, a single, integral whole.

Now it has become okay for Jews to demonize, disengage, dehumanize and smash the skulls of fellow Jews. To hate them more than our real enemies. Which is the equivalent of rejecting the very notion that there is a Jewish people at all. We are in mortal danger.

If we are not a people, what on earth are we doing in that land? If we are not a people, what are we doing in existence in the 21st century? If we are not a people, what point is there to Torah, to G‑d, to the messianic ideal, to all the holocaust memorials and anti-defamation leagues—if we ourselves are the anti-Semites?

Who is ripping apart the Jewish People? You imagine I refer to a posse of politicians. No, sadly, it is a joint effort from both sides. It is the fact that there are sides at all. It is the failure of leadership to talk to our youth and say, "Above all and beyond all isms, there is one thing we must transmit to you and you must know: We are one people. They are us and we are them. There are no two sides, just two hands of a single body that are not coordinated too well."

Today's battle is not about G‑d or the holy land or what you put in that salami sandwich. No matter how important those are, none are as important as this. Today's battle is the ultimate battle for Jewish survival. If you believe in the Jewish People, stand up and rant and rave and scream in protest: Jewish skulls, no matter how empty you think they are, are not for smashing and Jewish police, no matter how brutal and savage they have been trained to behave, are Jews and not to be cursed as "Nazis." We are all Jews. Nothing is more sacred.