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Our first priority

by Golda Shira, White House Correspondent/Israel Correspondent

Standing in the Oval Office just a few years ago, my knees shaking, I couldn’t dream that I’d turn to the gentlemen next to me and say this. But the time has come, and so my friends, I implore, “Come on David A., for real Rahm, now Mr. Mayor, you do know better, don’t you?”

At least I hope you do. Hope you haven’t lost it altogether (while thinking you’re winning.)

A recent survey by the American Jewish Committee showed that Israel ranked fourth on the list of issues American Jews said are most important to them. And so, I ask David and Rahm, are you really ready to let the land of Israel, the people of Israel, stay number four on the list of Jewish concerns?

The people of Israel are us. Not them over there. (though Hillary and her former rep against anti-Semitism, Hannah Rosenthal, had the audacity to spread like so much manure, all over the frigging world, that it’s okay to be anti-Israel, as long as you’re not anti-Semitic.)

Has Hillary not yet figured out that her son-in-law is part of the people of Israel? Does he know that he is? Methinks the wearing of a Tallis at his wedding is a hint he may.

Maybe. Cause a lot of us wear a Tallis and don’t remember that the people of Israel are inextricably one with the Land of Israel and the Torah of Israel. With one G-d, who sent each of us and all of us here on a very holy mission.

So yes, Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, we Americans certainly have plenty about which to be concerned regarding the apparently inch worm rebounding of the economy. And the concomitant horror of the job paucity and housing debacle. And the terror of rising health care costs as well as the unknown specter of Obamacare. And women’s rights need to be a given, without question.

But are we ready to keep letting the President be guided by our false selves? Our forgetful selves? Our ostrich selves?

Come on people now … let’s get together and love one another right now. Let’s fulfill our sacred mission, realizing that the United States is a rest stop. A wonderfully democratic, free and, until recently, pretty cushy rest stop.

So was Germany. And we forgot. We want to forget.

Cause so many of us have lost the joy of being Jewish. The soul shaking delight and quenching fulfillment of celebrating our gloriously unique holy mission, individually and together.

We need to remember what we forgot to in Germany and in so many other times and in so many other places — who we are and what comes first.

When we embrace our Jewishness, cherish it … not water it down until we don’t even know what it is, who we are, then we won’t chameleonize ourselves just to safely fit in. Not to sanitize it by pulling kids from Jewish day school into public schools to be more socially acceptable, Not desperately doing anything to blend … In a city, a country, a world which, I promise you, never forgets who we are and what we’re here to do.

Do you know who are Israelis? Your neighbors, friends, relatives. Do you know who are the Haredim? Guess what? A whole lot of them are children and grandchildren of folks who were sitting at Yasgur’s farm in 1969, at Woodstock. But that’s another article…

So if dressing the part (literally and figuratively) of an American is really no cover, then what is the real safety? According to the Bible, we are required to follow the law of the land in which we live. So we need to know what’s going on and participate in the process. That may mean proudly serving in the military, protecting our precious rights and freedoms that make this land so great.

This land. Israel.

As well as the good ole US of A.

Protecting the land, our rights and freedoms — how then? Inside each Jew is a “pintele Yid,” an indestructible eternal part of G-d connection. No matter how far we may have wandered, the G-d of Israel is here, right within us. We are a holy people. We can try to run away, cover it with the latest fashions, or let our addictions to power obscure that still, small voice within. Until and unless we remember and relish our true selves, we will always think the answer, the protection, is somewhere out there.

Perhaps, instead, the real safety for us and what we contribute to the world is in learning and fulfilling what the Almighty lovingly gave us in His/Her Handbook for Life, the Torah. Like it says in the “Aleinu” prayer,” on that day, G-d will be one and G-d’s name will be one.”

As we embrace our authentic Jewish selves and learn and pray, we need to be in accord with the law of the Land: therefore the security of the Land of Israel and its inhabitants needs to move on up on our list of priorities.

The global threats that face the Jewish people threaten not only the magnificent Holy Land, but each and every one of us who are intrinsically part and parcel of it.


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