A brief European Detour

13 Jan

We usually send out some weekly words of spirituality, but this week we cannot resist a piece of historical commentary, based on recent events.  Let us ask the following:  Do you think that the huge march in Paris was all about France and Europe suddenly awakening to the Islamic terror in their midst?  Do you really believe that after years of pretending that jihadist attacks on innocent human beings have nothing to do with Islam and everything to do with downtrodden Muslim populations in Europe, that all of sudden the French authorities are waking up?  And that now they will name jihadi terrorism for what it is, a hateful Islamic manifestation?  Personally, I don’t think so.  When the French authorities treat the Israeli Prime Minister like a leper and mention “terror against Jews” only out of the sides of their mouths, there has been no transformation here.

To understand what’s really going on, we have to look deeper.  In fact, we need to go back to the beginnings of Jewish life in Europe.  Recently there was an article about how Ashkenazi Jews all come from a small group of 350 Jews who settled in Europe.  In fact, those Jews settled in the Rhine area in what is now Western Germany and Eastern France.  They were there in the time of Charlemagne, before there existed what we now know of as Germany and France.  So, there was never such a thing as Europe without Jews.  The current prime minister of France, Mr. Manuel Valls, stated that, “Without the Jews, there is no France.”  Looking at the big picture, the large historical canvas of European history, we can take Mr. Vall’s statement one step further and confidently declare, “Without the Jews there will be no Europe.”  We wonder if this isn’t the time to make that happen.

And now back to our normal routine.  We would like to direct you to our “Tefila tip #7,” a brief commentary on the Jewish spiritual routine in the morning.  You can find it at www.jerusalemconnection.org/weekly   And if that’s not enough for you and you want to learn all about Jewish prayer and meditation, try www.jewishspiritualbooks.com  And if what interests you is Chabad in Jerusalem, so check out our website, www.chabadjerusalem.org 

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