Friday, November 28, 2008

Fiddler on the Roof

Yesterday, TCM showed Fiddler on the Roof. I've seen it about three times and it led me to read Sholom Aleichem's books. Throughput the movie, Teyve and his family have the daily joys and struggles of people everywhere. Then you see the fiddler on the roof and you know something is about to befall Teyve and his neighbors. First, it is the half-hearted pogrom. The official who leads it is reluctant but does it anyway. At Tevye's eldest daughter's wedding, the gifts for the bride and groom are torn apart and through the village, window shops are smashed and stores are looted. At the end, all the Jews in the village are ordered to leave in three days. The fiddler plays madly. The fiddler represents the bittersweet life of many Jews. There is the dancing at the wedding and there is the precariousness of life. And yet, Teyve, his family, and his neighbors have a wonderful capacity to continue to struggle on. The point is that Jews have been targets in one or another for over 2,000 years. And in the end, the toast of l'chaim is said with gusto.

Today, no less than in the Dark Ages, during World War II, and Israel's rebirth, Jews are targets. Even in America, this bastion of religious freedom, Jewish shuls and schools have to be heavily guarded. Across the world, in places like France, Jewish school children riding school buses are targets.

The latest attacks have occurred in India. Two hotels and the Chabad Jewish center were attacked by Islamic terrorists. The fate of the Chabad rabbi and his wife are still unknown at this time. The two hotels are very popular with tourists. Why the Chabad Center?

News Bunny: The insurgents targeted luxury hotels and such, why do you think they also targeted a Jewish center.

News Hack: I just don't know what their motive could possibly be. We'll have to identify the insurgents and then figure it out.

We must say Tehillim, Psalms, for everyone being held hostage by the terrorists, who by the way, have made a demand and gee, what a shock: “We urge the Indian government to return stolen Muslim lands,” the terrorists said in a statement.

It's surprising that the world hasn't condemned the tactics of India's commandos against the terrorists. After all, these Islamic terrorists are just trying to get the land 'stolen' from them, the terrorists are surely justified in their murders of civilians? It is the same excuse they give for attacking Israelis. When Pakistan was formed, close to 10 million people were uprooted, funny how there isn't a UN refugee department for them. Kashmir was given to India. These is the land the Islamic terrorists consider 'stolen'. Why isn't the Indian government condemned when it does everything in its power to stop the murderous rampages of Islamic terrorists?

Perhaps the answer is this 'joke':

Speaker: Hey, I just heard that the first act of the re-unified German Parliament was to declare their intention to kill all Germany's remaining Jews... and two postmen.

Listening: [after a long pause] Um, I don't understand... why two postmen?

Speaker: What, wiping out Germany's remaining Jews doesn't strike you as odd,... but the death of two postmen does???!

The joke echoes the actual statements by newscasters. It is somehow acceptable for Jewish life to be spilt. It is somehow acceptable to condemn the Israeli government for its actions against Islamic terrorists while countries like Lebanon, Egypt, India, and even Pakistan use the same or even harsher methods without condemnation.

A few weeks ago, the Torah portion read was the akedah, the binding of Isaac. G-d tells Avraham that human sacrifice is a big no no.

The majority of people on this planet want world peace, I think it will only come when a Jew can wear a Star of David and walk down any street without fear of being attacked. This is something that cannot be done safely in many parts of the world. This is something that cannot be done even in some parts of the US.

Anti-Semitism is rising across the world. The position of the fiddler on the roof is becoming even more precarious. Iran openly threatens Israel with nuclear annihilation.

In Treppenwitz's post, he makes the observation that out of India's 1.1 billion population, there are about 5,000 Jews. We know why the Islamic terrorists targeted the Jewish center. It is only because it is a Jewish center. It is no different from when the Israeli athletes were targeted by Islamic terrorists. It is no different when a Jewish high school in Jerusalem is targeted by Islamic extremists. It is no different than when an Islamic terrorists smashes the head of a Jewish 4 year old against rocks, It isn't because of 'stolen' lands. It is because they are Jews.

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