|Babylonian lion (Metropolitan Museum of Art)|
You know what's a primary Jewish value?
I hope I'm not spilling the beans here. Revealing some deep rabbinic secret.
But it's true.
We like being alive. It's important to us. I can't say whether Jews like living more than gentiles, since I'm not gentile. I would assume everybody likes life equally. So maybe it's just that Jews make a bigger deal of it—"To life! To life! L'Chaim!" We talk about it more, perhaps because there's always somebody trying to kill us.
Nebuchadnezzar, the King of Babylon. Razed Jerusalem and took the Jews into captivity, more than 2,500 years ago. Various caesars. About 1500 years worth of Christian leaders. Assorted Russian czars. Don't forget Hitler, and his pal Stalin. After the formation of Israel, the Arab states. When they failed, the PLO and periodic freelance Muslim terrorists, cheered on by half the sophomores around the world.
Let's not forget home-grown American haters, like the guy who murdered 11 people at a synagogue in Pittsburgh Saturday.
That didn't happen in a vacuum, but two years into the administration of Donald Trump, our own miniature Mussolini who uses prejudice of all kinds to stir up and distract his base.
"I am a nationalist," Trump said. Actually, what he said was "I am a white nationalist" but the "white" is unvoiced, like the "p" in "psalm." And if you didn't hear it, his far right supporters certainly did.
Still. Mass shootings happen so frequently in the United States now—at churches, schools, music concerts, workplaces—that I don't feel inclined to join the chorus connecting this one to the anti-Semitism that Trump winks at. (Jews are the "globalists" that Trump refers to. Hitler called them "internationalists." And people claim there is no progress)
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