The sight of two ruins encapsulated the week. Both resonated ominously.
We dithered over a ruined wall in Jerusalem and mourned a ruined Aleppo. As people, we had one answer and as a State another. They were different answers. And therein lies the problem.
Aleppo burned to the ground, and we did nothing. The Jewish State proposes to imprison Jews praying at the Western Wall, and we do nothing.
     Visions of reminiscent trauma reignite the embers of nightmares past. The hell of Aleppo is the ruins of the Jewish Warsaw. Reincarnated visions of the falling last bastion of Europe’s freedom flickered through the soot and flame of Aleppo. The screams of theirs are the scream of ours. The defenseless peoples of Warsaw, Aleppo, and Mosul, faced the identical, recalled, demonic national intent to wipe them off the face of the earth. The same six million in number.  The cynical slaughter flitted from one century to the next. The inevitable Reaper and time traveler jumped another time quantum. For Assad and Auschwitz, there were no bombs. For Aleppo and Warsaw, there was no relief.

     Righteous Gentiles, men, and woman of stout and courageous heart did not remain idle. They came. They helped. They knew the price. They paid the price — for some the highest price possible. Amid evil, there was good. People helped; nations did not.
     Cynicism, again, has run amok. Institutionalized, nationalized, even supra- national slaughter is the order of the day. Evil is good; good begets evil. Leaders, blessed with rhetorical excellence, mumbled and stuttered. Only the cannon fire and screams were explicit and clear. Leadership was rudderless. The galleons of state drifted without a hand at the helm. Empty vessels pilot the bloated vessels of democracy and freedom. The death-hand of tyranny and Satan steered an unerring course.
      The people of Aleppo cried out, and no State heard. Aleppo burned to the ground, and no State saw.
The State of Israel— the Jewish State, was proclaimed as the ‘light unto nations.’ The light unto nations was looking the other way. The light was turned off.
     The Jewish State on conception decided to call itself Israel. Every Jew proclaims ‘Hear O, Israel…’  at least once in his or her lifetime. A clear majority say it at the time of personal danger. Probably, the only sound to be heard above the hissing gas was the dying Jews uttering this prayer as their last act of allegiance to their God and people.
     The State of Israel did not hear the screams from nearby Aleppo. The State of Israel was not even listening. The light unto nations decided not to be a nation like no other nation; it chose to be a nation among nations. Israel did nothing. Israel said nothing.

     The people of Israel possess more than the rallying cry: ‘Hear, Oh Israel.’ We have an iconic symbol. The symbol represents our identity as people, religion, and State. The symbol is the Western Wall; the remnants of the Temple. In our exiles, the longings to reunite with Jerusalem and the Temple focused and united us.      
      We dispersed as a nation, but never as a people— we maintained our identity. The wall as a symbol is of indescribable significance. We yearned to be free and pray there.

     Turmoil, self-centered, sectoral, senseless stupidity epitomizes our governance. Israel, in its dispersal, was not particulate. Israel, in its own state most certainly is. This week the fools who strut as politicians and leaders of the State of Israel decided the people of Israel have lost its rights to pray in the place most central to us all. Jews and Gentiles alike would vilify and pillory any non-Jew performing a similar act of blatant anti-Semitic prejudice. The Israeli ruling coalition has, de-facto, declared it had more in common with the Mufti of Jerusalem than with most Jews living outside of Israel.
     In one week, the State of Israel has abrogated all its raison d’etre. We are not a light unto nations. We do not hear suffering. We are no longer the national home where all Jews can live as practicing Jews. Our State, the Phoenix arising in the smoldering ashes of the Holocaust has learned nothing from it. We Jews, who can only rely on ourselves, have turned our backs not only on Aleppo but on ourselves.
      We are not in an either-or situation where we choose between either being a Jewish People or a Jewish State. We do not have to choose. We demand to be both. There are no contradictions between People and State. There is a moribund, spineless, government unable to blend the two. This week shows they must go. They have betrayed all that we are.
     Are the visions of a ruined Aleppo, the remnants of a ruined Temple the evolving, rudimentary hints of the  ruins of the Jewish State?  A Jewish State which forgot who, why and what it is. 
     If we cannot define ourselves and unite ourselves, we will cease to exist. If we no longer bear the beacon, we carried through the generations, we have no right to exist. We are not here to be a partner in ignominy. We are here to defeat it. And we sorely need the leadership to do so.

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