Shemot - Weekly Torah Portion

It was with great unease that I watched the views of an incited mob breach a minimal security ring and scaling Capitol Hill into the crown structure of the United States of America’s democracy. Several years of unharnessed attacks, creation of alternative “truths”, uncontrolled incitement, and here again we witness their ugly results. We should not take these lightly. That our parents and grandparents before us have done, back in the dark times of the 20s and 30s of the 20th century. Those who think that the ideas of the deep state are different from the belief in a network of Jews holding tight the world capital, are not in touch with reality. The threat is the same threat, the wickedness is the same wickedness, the evilness is the same evilness, and it is as deliberate as it was then. We have an obligation to cry out loud because the land is traitorous, and very slippery, so much so that was we slip there will be nothing to stop the deadly ride.

It is but a new historical phenomenon. On Shabbat “Shemot” we read about just such a Pharaoh who instills a fake-fear in his people’s minds, something that could happen in the future but has no basis in reality. “Now a new king arose over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. And he said to his people, ‘Behold, the people of the sons of Israel are too many and too mighty for us. Come, let us deal shrewdly with them, otherwise they will multiply, and in the event of war, they will also join those who hate us, and fight against us and depart from the land.’” A weak leader needs an even weaker enemy so that he or she can make themselves seemingly great. What is then easier than picking on a weak population of the land? The one who can be easily controlled, pointed to as the source of evil and take the opportunity to promote the graciousness and wisdom of the leader. In reality this is a weak leader, one who needs intrigues, lies, and falsifications to maintain that fake-leader posture.

That leader is so disconnected from reality, that he demands an output from his now slaves despite the fact that he refrains from providing them the means to so do. “Then the foremen of the sons of Israel came and cried out to Pharaoh, saying, ‘Why do you deal this way with your servants? There is no straw given to your servants, yet they keep saying to us, ‘Make bricks!’ And behold, your servants are being beaten; but it is the fault of your own people.’ But he said, ‘You are lazy, very lazy; for that reason you say, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to the Lord.’ So go now and work; for you will be given no straw, but you must deliver the quota of bricks.’” How successful that new king was we learn from the complaints the Israelites raise with Moses and Aaron, “May the Lord look upon you and judge you, because you have made us repulsive in Pharaoh’s sight and in the sight of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to kill us!” They side with the so-called leader as they cannot distinguish between that who is a real leader and the one who is fake.

Reading these ancient scripts, as well as observing today’s events overseas, but not only there, it is understood where there is display of despair and concern. I have no doubt in my mind that eventually victory shall lay with those who promote equality, truth and justice. Those who will willingly debate with the other side, but will not demolish or belittle it, will fight to voice their opinion, but will not swing their sword, work diligently against distorted and malicious ideas, but understanding that not every disagreement means that the other side’s ideas are distorted or malicious, just simply different. When we all know, but first and foremost our leaders comprehend and implement this, then we may be able to enjoy the words of the prophet Isiah in the Haftarah reading, “It will come about also on that day that a great trumpet will be blown, and those who were perishing in the land of Assyria and who were scattered in the land of Egypt will come and worship the Lord on the holy mountain in Jerusalem.” We may also add to this, “On that day the Lord of armies will become a beautiful crown / And a glorious wreath to the remnant of His people; / A spirit of justice for him who sits in judgment, / A strength to those who repel the onslaught at the gate.”.

Repelling an onslaught at our gates is what we must do about the struggle against the implications of the coronavirus and its different mutations. Despite the lack of apparent leadership, we must obey orders, bylaws and instructions. It is also necessary to employ good judgement. It is certainly important to stress once again the importance of getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Here in Israel well over one million people have received the vaccine basically without any special problems or side-effects, other than those typically associated with such vaccinations. Go get the shot. You owe it to yourselves. Doing so you help us all. I have already been vaccinated.

Shabbat Shalom and wishes for Good Health.

Reuven Marko, 8 January 2021, 25 Tevet, 5781

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