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Jewish Lives Matter

September 16, 2015 | by Rabbi Benjamin Blech

The deal is written but it is not yet sealed.

The days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur have very special significance. They determine our fate for the coming year. It is the time of Divine judgment. In the heavens above mankind is evaluated, our deeds weighed and our actions considered. A decree written on Rosh Hashanah is held in abeyance awaiting final approval on the Day of Atonement. Whether the world acknowledges it or not, this is the most important period of time in the year, the final days in which we can still change our personal fate as well as the destiny of mankind.

And remarkably enough, just as above so too below. For months the world has watched with ever growing bewilderment as a deal has been put in place with Iran, the major sponsor of worldwide terrorism, which ensures them of eventual nuclear capability as well as the immediate boon of over $150 billion to carry out their nefarious plans for universal domination. The plan is written – but it is not yet sealed. In the very 10 days set aside for the heavens to render final judgment, America’s political leadership is given its last opportunity to nullify what over 70 percent of Americans and 90% of Israelis consider nothing short of suicidal.

It is in the prayers uttered by Jews in synagogues around the world at this time that we so clearly address our contemporary concern. “On Rosh Hashanah it is written and on Yom Kippur it is sealed – who will live and who will die.” In case we took the threat lightly, the Ayatollah of Iran chose to remind us: “You will not see the next 25 years,” Khamenei said just before Rosh Hashanah, referring to Israel. “God willing, it will be nothing – no Zionist regime by the next 25 years. Until then, struggling, heroic and jihadi morale will leave no moment of serenity for Zionists.”

It is a great irony of history that those who plot the greatest evils do not conceal their plans; they publicize in advance their genocidal ambitions and rely on the naïveté of the civilized world not to take them seriously. Hitler spelled out exactly what he would do to the Jews in Mein Kampf. The Western world wrote it off as pure rhetoric, exaggerations with no link to reality. That is what allowed the Holocaust to happen.

The world is once again guilty of the same misconception. On the very eve of passage of the deal predicated on the belief of Iran’s willingness to join the family of peace-loving nations, Iranian leadership spells out loudly and clearly that annihilation of Israel and all of its inhabitants is its nonnegotiable goal. And the deal is still on the table. It is written – but it has not yet been sealed. The politicians will be discussing and debating. And the calendar reminds us that we are in the midst of the 10 days of repentance and the very same moment of judgment is taking place in the heavens above.

So much is hanging in the balance. Jewish lives matter – and so do our prayers.

Shockingly, there’s been no anguished response, no furious denunciation, no screams of outrage at the ayatollahs promised commitment to genocide. No defenders of the deal have come forward to proclaim with equal vigor that annihilation of Israel is a deal breaker and that Jewish life matters. No one, not the President of the United States or any world leaders, felt sufficiently motivated to denounce a pledge for the destruction of a member of the United Nations and the extermination of an entire people.

There is a mantra that has gained much popularity in the United States today because of valid outrage against the sin of racism: “Black lives matter.” And they most certainly do. We must add another group which has somehow lost claim to love or even legitimacy in the hearts of those ostensibly carry the banner of brotherhood: “Jewish lives matter.” Bigotry and prejudice are sins even when its victims are Jews. Anti-Semitism may today be fashionable but it is just as abominable as racism rooted in color.

Who would have believed that a mere half-century after the Holocaust we again need to remind the world of this simple truth? Jewish lives matter.

During these days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, we need to reflect not only on our own future but on the fate of mankind. So much is hanging in the balance. Jewish lives matter – and so do our prayers. May we all be sealed in the Book of Life.

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