The Right to Dwell Alone:

Ellen W. Horowitz

    “Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual.” – Viktor E. Frankl

[This is beautifully written. I share the sentiment of this article though I embrace support from evangelical Christians.]

From up here on the Golan Heights, this individual mother can’t really do much about the Syrian threat, an Iranian madman, or the gangsters from Gaza; other than to prepare my sons for war, and to secure the homefront by strengthening myself and my own people. It amounts to both a very personal and epic struggle.

Somehow the outside threats don’t disturb me nearly as much as the domestic difficulties that continue to plague the Jewish state. Because I know in my heart that external manifestations are indicative of internal conditions.

The pathology goes beyond the obvious corruption, mismanagement, godlessness and indifference, that has eroded the foundations of the Zionist enterprise. We brought this one upon ourselves by permitting our walls to be breached via an open invitation for a globalized/multicultural invasion.

So physical enemies aside, this Jewish mother laments as she watches a procession of an extremely mixed multitude of lovers, friends, and allies pervade our inner sanctum in the name of a brand of liberty and humanity that threatens our very soul.

As Gay activists parade their right to paint Jerusalem pink, the Evangelical saints are marching in with a theologically-loaded Judeo-Christian mission. The Reform and Conservative champions of assimilation are making a bid to redefine the very essence of Judaism in the Jewish state; while an oil-thirsting America continues to micro-manage us and trample through this region of the world in the name of their personal brand of freedom and democracy. All the while we consume the latest tastes in international haute cuisine, fashion, technology and culture.

In an attempt to untangle the tumult, you can understand the inherent problem of our running to outsiders – as they are already here and very much a part of our mess.

Caught between the extremes of those clinging to us while espousing a biblically inspired babel, and others who desperately want to get to “know” us in a biblically censured way, makes me feel like running outside (after a shower) and screaming from the very Heights, “Rome go home. I vant to be alone!” (but then the UN observers on the other side of the hill may report my peculiar behavior).

For years, political, economic and military assistance from and cooperation with America had been a source of strength and development for the Jewish state. Despite certain real disagreements and concerns with regards to the direction and demands of American foreign policy; Israel maintained a relatively comfortable degree of political, religious, and cultural autonomy. We were recognized and respected as a democracy with a very individual and unique character and mission. But in a rapidly changing world, the fine lines and wires got crossed.

Our eager embrace and import of the American value system and lifestyle is perhaps the biggest threat facing Israel today. It has led to our loss of self, sovereignty, and determination. American-style emancipation has resulted in our emasculation. So our potential for swift victories in six-day wars, rescues at entebbes, and very-clean overnight removals of enemy nuclear threats, have – for now – been relegated to history’s dust bin.

Those of us who are hanging on to the Torah for dear life don’t want to be assimilated, globalized, baptized, sodomized, and controlled or restrained so that the many multi colored champions of the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness can tread on us. But we do want the freedom to fulfill our mission and contribute to the world community in our own unique way.

Other than our right to the Land of Israel, we Jews forgo certain liberties and a sense of entitlement in exchange for the opportunity to serve our Creator and fulfill our obligations in this world. What we have learned through thousands of challenging years was best expressed by Viktor Frankl, as he discovered the very secret to physical and spiritual survival – as well as a certain degree of emotional fulfillment – in the midst of Holocaust hell:

    “It did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us.”

To ask Israel to assimilate and accept the concept of a liberating Judeo-Christian heritage as the answer to a threatening and oppressive Islamo-fascism is -for us- a spiritually stifling and simplistic solution. It would, in essence, annul our belief that Judaic values are universal values which have been and can continue to be adapted to any culture or religion without infringing upon the belief systems of those independent faiths or communities -whether they be Christian, Muslim, Hindu or Buddhist. The moral and ethical contribution of Judaism is available to any community that strives to be creative, productive and wants to contribute to the greater good of mankind.

The solutions that the Jewish people aspire to transcend those that are found in either fundamentalist biblical Christian theologies or in a secularized globalized worldview. Our unique ability to hear the cry of humanity is engraved upon our hearts.

Somewhere in the heart of every Jew is an awareness that solutions for complex contemporary challenges in the realm of stem cell research, unwanted pregnancies, gender confusion, global warming, and global Jihad are within our reach – if only we had the chance.

And the tragedy of today’s world is that we are so immersed in our struggle for survival, that we have little time to create. There has been no reprieve.

The chaos inherent in multiculturalism destroys our ability to hear. A degree of solitude that enables an intense synthesizing of head and heart is necessary in order for spiritual and creative inspiration to take root. This is how the Jew prays – it is personal, intimate and powerful.

Our destiny requires that we have solitude in order to generate the kind of solutions that can help mankind. The accuracy and alignment of our moral compass is in direct relation to the profundity of our intimate relationship with our Creator. There are Einsteins and Rebbes, and everything in between, just waiting to happen – waiting to contribute in the spiritual, scientific, technological, environmental, political and cultural and humanistic spheres.

The Jewish nation is strategically situated between the East and the West – between freedom gone berserk and stifling oppression. We have a job to do. And anybody or any nation that respects the contributions that Jews have been able to give to the world, should strengthen our hand and give us the space and license to live and act in our very personal and unique way. Enforced multiculturalism and interfaith amalgamation is counterproductive and confuses rather than speaks to the Jewish heart. We demand and deserve the right to dwell alone. So that we can cooperate with, develop, and share the redemptive solutions with the rest of mankind.

The writer is the author of The Oslo Years: A Mother’s Journal (Gefen Publishing).

July 1, 2007 | 4 Comments »

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