The Storm, the Drum and the Jew

July 30, 2014 by Rabbi Laibl Wolf
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If you are a Jew, don’t hide it under the covers. Beat your drum to a new march……writes Rabbi Laibl Wolf

The Storm.

Rabbi Laibl Wolf

Rabbi Laibl Wolf

The gale-force winds lash the beach-side palms, bending their long slender trunks making them sway precariously. As the winds abate, these trees will restore their upright stance, while many a house will have been de-roofed, crumpled and flung aside side.

Unlike the house, the tree’s branches, trunk and roots form an organic whole. Unlike the house, these elements are not connected by nails, glue and metal fasteners. Trees bond with the earth to a state of wholeness. The ground squeezes the roots tight as the roots grip tightly to the soil.

The world is being lashed by gale-force winds of violence and war. We can be buffeted by these storms or withstand the elements by being rooted in the soil of conviction and commitment. This is the time for you to decide what you live for, what you truly believe in and what eternal principles guide your life.

If you don’t discover your truth, the winds of war will rip you from the earth and cast you adrift into the tidal waves of moral relativism.

The Drum

The steady beat of the drum beats the rhythm of conformity, ordinariness, and uniformity. A terrorist drum beats a different rhythm – a rhythm that nevertheless leads neo-conformists to disaster and destruction. Whole societies will sublimate poverty and deprivation into a malevolent  ‘jihad’ in a mistaken bid for empowerment and pride.

We must march to the beat of yet another drum. That drum must beat a rhythm of love and compassion, understanding and contribution, sharing and oneness.

The wars will end and a new sanity will prevail. To nurture that newfound reason, goodness must displace suspicion, and friendship neutralize revenge.

The shortest distance between two people is a smile. Then does the heart beat with grace, urged on by love. (Or beat with ugliness when urged on by hate.) Measure your social pulse rate now.

The Cancer

For reasons not quite clear cancer is a good cell multiplying prolifically spelling doom. One treatment is to cut it out. Another – to fight it. And a third, to change its environment so that it behaves differently.

There is a cancer in the world today called terrorism. It is made up of people born good that turn bad. And the bad attract even worse, until it infects the whole social body. Attempts to cut it out by legislation and law enforcement may provide temporary relief but the social illness will find weaknesses elsewhere and breed even faster.

To fight it militarily will repress it and hold it at bay – but only for a while when fear rules.  Repression by law of the gun is a recipe for rebellion and revolt, and eventually backfires, the cancer resurging even more acutely.

The Jew

The Jew is an unusual actor on the world stage. Tiny and insignificant in numbers and despite two thousand years of exile and wandering, the Jew enjoys remarkable success in all fields of science, social service, health research, technological ingenuity and more. The Jew boasts more Nobel Prize Laureates per religious or national grouping than any other peoples in the world. And yet, the Jew finds himself at the locus of wars, defamation, revilement, hate – anti-Semitism (even when sardonically couched in the political language of ‘anti-Zionism’). The Jew was and remains the most convenient scapegoat for social malaise, and is inevitably a lightning rod to those who hate and revile. But the Jew is an amazing enigma and his longevity is not by chance alone albeit against all odds, as noted by no less a literary giant than Mark Twain, who writes:

“If the statistics are right, the Jews constitute but one percent of the human race. It suggests a nebulous dim puff of stardust lost in the blazeof the Milky Way. Properly the Jew ought hardly to be heard of, but he is heard of, has always been heard of.

He is as prominent on the planet as any other people, and his commercial importance is extravagantly out of proportion to the smallness of his bulk.

 His contributions to the world’s list of great names in literature, science, art, music, finance, medicine, and abstruse learning are also way out of proportion to the weakness of his numbers. He has made a marvellous fight in the world, in all the ages; and has done it with his hands tied behind him. He could be vain of himself, and be excused for it. The Egyptian, the Babylonian, and the Persian rose, filled the planet  with sound and splendor, then faded to dream-stuff and passed away; the Greek and the Roman followed, and made a vast noise, and they are gone; other peoples have  sprung up and held their torch high for a time, but it burned out, and they sit in  twilight now, or have vanished. The Jew saw them all, beat them all, and is now what he always was, exhibiting no decadence, no infirmities of age, no weakening  of his parts, no slowing of his energies, no dulling of his alert and aggressive mind.

All things are mortal but the Jew; all other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality?”

If you are a Jew, don’t hide it under the covers. Beat your drum to a new march.

Create a new environment for truth and love. Defeat cancer by ‘reforming’ its  cells. Remain rooted to the source of inner truth – the soul of life, the Torah.

 Rabbi Laibl Wolf, Dean, Spiritgrow – The Josef Kryss Center, Australia

Comments

2 Responses to “The Storm, the Drum and the Jew”
  1. Ruth says:

    Laibl wonderfyl thoughts. Helps to make Shabbat one of shalom.
    IM”H there will be shalom in Eretz Yisroel .

  2. Thank you That is so beautiful ! n

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