Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Stand with Israel: A Speech Before the Independence Day Rally for the Constitution
Yesterday, July 4th, 2011, I gave a short speech at the Independence Day Rally for the Constitution in Luna, New Mexico. Here is what I said:
Good Morning. Shalom Aleichem.
I ask for a few minutes of your time to discuss something that goes beyond the important national and Constitutional problems we have been thinking about this morning. We are certainly facing those dangers from within, but we are facing dangers outside of our country as well. As you have heard, the International Left has now joined with the forces of Jihadist Islam in order to work together for one world government. the leftists believe that they are using the Jihadists to attain world domination. The Jihadists know that they will use the leftists to attain one world Caliphate and then destroy them.
For us, this means the loss of our liberty and the Western Culture that produced it, no matter who wins. I am not a betting woman, but I expect that in any struggle between the Left and the Jihadis, the Jihadis will win. They are the most consistent.
But this is not the first time Western Culture has been threatened. In fact, the first time it was at risk, Western Culture had not even been developed. The nascent ideas of the Rule of Law and Individual Responsibility would be given to the world by Judaism, which at the beginning resided within the future of the dynamic people of the Israel more than two thousand years ago.
Imagine with me, if you would, circumstances a long time ago in place very far away. It is the year 701 BCE. Sennacharib King of Ashur ( that is, Assyria) sent his general up from the sack of Lachish to threaten the City of Jerusalem with utter destruction. If you had been an Israelite upon the walls of the old city, you would have heard this general, Rab-Shakech, saying in your own tongue that your city is doomed, that should you fight, you will lose, and you will be flayed alive and beheaded, and that your wife and children will be taken into slavery in Ninevah, that great city, and forced to serve idols. But the general also said, O, he of the honeyed tongue: "Come now, and surrender, and you shall eat of your vine and fig tree until you are taken to serve in Ninevah, that great city, a place not unlike your own."
In these circumstances, what would be your hope? Would you hope that Hezekiah, King of Judah, would listen to the beguiling voice and take you into slavery, to bow down to the gods of death in order that you may live?, Or would you hope to stand and fight, no matter how desperate the situation—to fight to remain faithful to your covenant with the G-d of Israel, to die free rather than live as a slave?
Whatever your wish would have been while standing on that wall, knowing that the hour of trial was soon upon you, this is what happened. The G-d of Israel told his prophet, Isaiah son of Amoz to tell Hezekiah, King of Judah: “Be not afraid”. And the king listened to Isaiah and prepared his people for battle. For he knew that a choice between slavery in defeat and slavery in surrender was really not a choice at all. But by some unaccounted for miracle Sennacherib’s army became desperately ill, and no battle was fought. Rab Shakech and his armies left the field of battle before it began, and were gone by morning light.
And so it was that Western Civilization was saved before it ever began. Historians and scholars recognize this battle that never was as one of the decisive moments that set the future history of the world onto a path recognizable by us today. One of the pillars upon which Western Civilization is built is the Jewish understanding that the universe rests upon order and law, and that the law applies to all equally, that it favors neither the rich nor the poor, neither the kings and priests, nor the choppers of wood and drawers of water. But had Hezekiah King of Judah, chosen to surrender before the battle began, then there would have been no Judah, and no Jews to bring the idea of the Rule of Law forward, to see it in full bloom as a pillar of human freedom in the West.
There are many such moments in human history, times in which if a small group of seemingly unimportant individuals had wavered in the face of seemingly unbeatable foes, human freedom might have been stillborn, and the generations that have now lived free would have never seen liberty’s great light.
I believe we stand at such a moment today. Western values—individual rights, the rule of law, liberty its-own-self—is under attack from within and without, and as in 701 BCE, the tiny land of Israel, is standing in the crosshairs. The enemies of individual rights and human liberty will strike there first, seeking to destroy the West, the keeper of human dignity and freedom.
The Jewish State is the canary in the coal mine: if Israel falls to the bronze-age group-think that is the marriage between Jihadist Islam with the Left, then what is left of the West will not be too far behind.
And now it is we who are called upon to “Be not afraid.” Courage, it is said is found in the most unlikely of places, and its messengers are often the least important of people. We are those people, and what we do matters.
Last summer, the radio host Glenn Beck called for a rally in Washington DC, and he asked us, just ordinary people, to restore our honor by coming to the Lincoln Memorial on 8/28. The number of people who did so, peacefully and with purpose, speaks about how the smallest of persons can make a great difference in the world.
This year, Mr. Beck is holding a Restoring Courage conference in Jerusalem, on the south steps of the remnant of the Temple. He is asking all of us to stand with him, to stand for Israel, for he believes that Israel is once again the place where the battle will be met, and where the resolve of the West will first be tested. And to those of us who cannot travel to Israel, he is asking that we stand here, in our neighborhoods and in our churches and temples and synagogues. He is asking that we participate in the events through the wonder of the internet, and that American Christians find and invite their Jewish neighbors to join them for this event.
I stand before you today as a Jew. I believe that American Christians are the truest and surest friends that Israel has in the world. Despite what many have said, American Christianity shares important bonds with Israel, and Israel recognizes it. In Hebrew, the United States is called ARTZOT ha-BRIT—the Lands of the Covenant. That Covenant is the United States Constitution, born of the longing of those who left their birthplace to become a light to the nations, to advance the cause of Liberty in the world. Imperfect as we are, this is the Covenant that we strive to protect: Justice—characterized by the Rule of Law and not men; and Liberty—characterized by the recognition that individual rights are the divine gift endowed through our very nature and unalienable by any government.
To stand with Israel takes courage in these days. And that is why the rally in Jerusalem is called Restoring Courage. The time is coming, it is said, when we will all have to choose between what is easy and what is right. In the free choices we make, we come to learn who we are. As a Jew, my choice is between standing for who I am or risking certain annihilation, for the enemies of Israel have proclaimed the desire to kill every last Jew on the face of the earth. As Americans, your choices may not seem to be that stark. But they are still choices between being who you are and being enslaved. So I am asking you today to look into Restoring Courage: Stand with Israel. I am asking you to look into how this can be accomplished even here in New Mexico, here in Catron County.
It takes some Chutzpah to stand here and ask you this, but I am inviting myself to join with you to participate in this event on August 24.
I ask you: Will you stand with Israel?