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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Sept. 22, 2006 / 29 Elul, 5766

The Pope's message for Jewry

By Caroline B. Glick



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We ignore it at our own peril


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Pope Benedict XVI has become political Islam's newest excuse for rioting. Mobs from Rawalpindi to Ramallah are burning him in effigy. Muslim leaders from Gaza to Indonesia to Qatar, to Turkey to Washington and London are attacking the pope and demanding that he apologize to Islam for what they consider to be a heinous attack against their religion by the leader of the Catholic Church.


To recap what has been exhaustively reported in recent days, the pontiff's "crime" against Islam occurred in the course of a scholarly lecture at the University of Regensburg in his native Germany earlier in the month. Benedict quoted from a dialogue between Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologus and a Persian scholar of Islam circa 1391 where the emperor criticized harshly the Islamic practice of forcibly converting non-Muslims to Islam.


In the pope's words, the Byzantine emperor, "addresses his interlocutor with a startling brusqueness on the central question about the relationship between religion and violence in general, saying: 'Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.'


"The emperor, after having expressed himself so forcefully, goes on to explain in detail the reasons why spreading the faith through violence is something unreasonable. Violence is incompatible with the nature of G-d and the nature of the soul. 'G-d,' he says, 'is not pleased by blood - and not acting reasonably is contrary to G-d's nature.'"


As Benedict explained, the harsh judgment that the Byzantine emperor rendered on Islam stemmed directly from his Christian understanding of G-d as a reasonable deity. That is, according to Benedict, the reason a Christian leader was able to judge Islam, and so conduct a meaningful inter-cultural discussion of the merits of Islam and Christianity, was because he had a clear understanding of how his religion construed the G-d-created world and conceived of man's relationship to G-d.


Expanding on this theme, the pope told his audience that European civilization itself is a fusion of Christian faith and Greek philosophy of reason. Europe's current cultural drift, he argued, stems from the cultural separation, which began with the Reformation and went on through the Enlightenment between faith and reason. By relegating faith to a sub-culture that has no place in discussions of practical human endeavors, he said, Europeans have rendered themselves incapable of understanding who they are and of defending themselves and their values in a manner that the Byzantine emperor, in the pre-scientific era was able to do so stalwartly.


It could be said that the Islamic world's hysterical and violent reaction to Benedict's use of the 600-year-old dialogue only serves to reinforce the Byzantine emperor's impression that Islam does not perceive G-d as being a reasoning deity. But limiting an analysis of Benedict's lecture to the Muslim world's hysterical reaction it would ignore the pope's central point. Benedict's overarching message in that lecture was that to survive, a culture must be willing to embrace its identity, for if it does not, it won't even be capable of understanding why it should survive.


While Benedict's specific message was to his fellow Christians, the Jewish people should take heed of his general message for ourselves. Today, the Jewish people, in Israel and throughout the world find ourselves under attack from all quarters. The rise of anti-Semitism globally, and particularly in the Islamic world, finds us in a period of grave self-doubt. Like the Europeans, our ability to defend ourselves against the swelling ranks of our haters, is dependent our ability as a people and as individual Jews to embrace our identity as Jews.


Commenting on the nature of this surge of Jew hatred, the great (non-Jewish) Canadian pundit, Mark Steyn wrote last month in the National Review, "The oldest hatred didn't get that way without the ability to adapt. Jews are hated for what they are — so, at any moment in history, whatever they are is what they're hated for. For centuries in Europe, they were hated for being rootless-cosmopolitan types. Now there are no rootless European Jews to hate, so they're hated for being an illegitimate Middle Eastern nation-state. If the Zionist Entity were destroyed and the survivors forced to become perpetual cruise-line stewards plying the Caribbean, they'd be hated for that, too."


It is crucial that all of us internalize the message that these lines convey. For in recent years, rather than recognize the prejudice of our detractors, we have devoted ourselves to attempting to understand and so justify the hatred they heap upon us.


We tell ourselves we are hated because we are too strong — or because we are too weak. We are hated because we are too religious — or we are hated because we are not religious enough. We are hated because we insist on defending Israel — or we are hated because we are willing to compromise on Israel.


Yet, as Steyn wisely notes, we are not hated because of what we do, we are hated because we are Jews. In light of this, the best way to defend ourselves, the best way to safeguard our freedom and our heritage is to embrace and celebrate our identity as Jews. As Elie Wiesel once explained to me, the key to defending ourselves is to never allow our haters to tell us who we are. "Hatred only defines only the haters," he said.


And indeed, when we look at the manner in which Jews in Israel and throughout the world are being attacked today, we see that the attacks are based not on Jewish actions but on the fact that we are Jews. So it is that in the midst of yet another wave of violent attacks by Muslims against Jews in Norway last month, Norway's Jewish community warned its members not to wear yarmulkes or Stars of David in public.


So it is that in Hamas's charter, the movement which now controls the Palestinian Authority calls not for compromise with Israel but for all Jews to be expelled from the Land of Israel or forcibly converted to Islam in the course of the global jihad.


So it is that attacks against Jewish supporters of Israel in the West target not the substance of their arguments, but their right as Jews to lobby for Israel in their countries of citizenship.


"We Jews," Wiesel explained, "have always defined ourselves as the Children of Abraham, Issac and Jacob." Indeed, at Mt. Sinai, in our acceptance of the Ten Commandments, the Jewish people became the first nation in history to self-consciously define itself. And each subsequent generation of Jews has remade that choice. Jews do not exist, as Jean Paul Sarte ignorantly argued, because anti-Semites exist. The leader of the existentialist movement should have understood; anti-Semites exist because anti-Semites choose to exist.


As Steyn notes, today hatred against Jews is anchored on Israel. Provoked by this new form of Jew hatred, some Jews, both in Israel and in the Diaspora see Israel as a burden. This is a self-inflicted tragedy. For if we look at Israel, we see that far from being a burden, our Jewish State is one of the most stunning successes of Jewish history.


Today, Israel is the home of the largest Jewish community in the world. More Jews live in Israel today than at any time in our history. And the state in which we live is one of the most vibrant, optimistic, "happening" countries in the world. We have the highest birthrate in the Western world. Rates of entrepreneurship are among the highest in the world.


We are one of the most highly educated societies in the world. Over the past fifteen years, more than a dozen colleges have been established in Israel and last year the government decided to allow two of these colleges to join Israel's nine research universities as full-fledged, independent research universities.


Israelis are among the most patriotic citizens in the world. Our patriotism is expressed in the high level of volunteerism in all age groups. In the recent war, tens of thousands of reservists willingly left their families and jobs to take up arms to defend the country and hundreds of thousands of Israelis volunteered to help our one million brothers and sisters whose homes were targeted by rockets, missiles and mortars.


Jewish life blossoms in Israel as it has nowhere else in our history. The rates of literacy in Jewish learning in Israel are higher than they have ever been anywhere in our history. Israel is the home of some half dozen generations of Jews whose mother tongue is the language of the Bible and the Talmud.


Israel's success stems from its serving as a vehicle that allows us to express our heritage in all facets of society. And our Jewish heritage is one of the most precious heritages known to man.


The Jewish people gave humanity the concepts of G-d, liberty and law. Our understanding of the fallibility of mankind has prevented us from being tempted by false prophets who promise us heaven on Earth, and has allowed us to take practical steps towards improving our lot and our world.


All of the ideals that Israel represents both spiritually and physically have for millennia formed the foundations for human progress and freedom throughout the world. Our willingness to retain our loyalty to our identity and our heritage has been the key to our survival throughout the ages in the face of countless foes who sought to destroy us both spiritually and physically.


Rosh Hashana marks the beginning of the Ten Days of Repentance that precede Yom Kippur. To properly atone for our sins and correct our mistakes, we must understand who we are and what we represent and what we can and should aspire to as Jews. To do this, we must reject the notion that our haters can tell us who we are. To do this we must embrace our Jewish identity and uphold our commitment to our collective destiny.


The fact that hatred of Jews has endured for so long says nothing about the nature of the Jewish people. What does speak volumes about the nature of the Jewish people is that our fortunes throughout the ages have been directly related to our ability to spurn our enemies' distorted portraits of the Jewish people and our willingness to endure and progress as Jews in the midst of that hatred.


Pope Benedict is able to discuss Islam because, secure in his Christian identity, he has a clear basis for judging the goodness or unreasonableness of Muslim values and behavior. Whether we agree with his judgments or not, through his willingness to judge, Benedict capably defends and advances his faith.


When we embrace our moral and intellectual identity as Jews, we are similarly capable of meeting the challenges of our times. It is my prayer that in 5767, the Jewish people will rally around our heritage, history and culture and so pave the way for a secure, peaceful and moral future for our people and our world.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

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JWR contributor Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East Fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, DC and the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post.




© 2006, Caroline B. Glick