I am a Jew. My son served in the IDF from November 2007 to March 2010 as a Chayal Boded. This means he was a Lone Soldier. Lone Soldiers are those who have no family in the country. My son was not born in or had ever even visited Israel until he was 18 years-old.
When he was considering joining the Israeli military I asked him, “How does a reform Jewish mother raise her son to be so dedicated to the land of Israel?” I do think I already knew what his answer was going to be. But, this is what he said.
His response was, “Mom, that’s what you taught us. It is what we read and repeated every year at Pesach, ‘Next year in Yerushalayim.'”. It is even part of what is referenced on our dreidel, “A Great Miracle Happened THERE’”
Of course, he was right. While I did my best to expose he and his sister to all religious thoughts Judaism was our base. It is a reasonable and rational thought. Judaism teaches love, peace, treating the stranger among us as one of us, searching out justice, education, and learning how to swim.
Judaism is a very earth-centric religion. Many of our holy days are honoring the earth and the foods it provides for us. There is a very deep sense of caring for and respecting the earth. While we were, as some translations of the Torah state, given dominion over the earth that does not mean we are in complete control and can use and abuse it as we like. Just the opposite seems to be true from what I read in our Bible. These are some of the things Judaism/Hebrews/Ivrit are taught to seek, ways to behave, and beliefs to hold.
Israel is the singular most significant, nearly fully democratic secular and religious country in the world. Even Helen Thomas comment that the Jews should go back where they came from showed her lack of understanding that it is her Lebanon, and Egypt, and Iraq, Iran, Syria… that we come from.
Just as Helen Thomas urged we Jews are trying to do exactly as she asked. Going back to where we came from. DNA shows there is no genetic difference between middle eastern Jews and middle eastern Arabs. We are going back to where we came from. The land of our Genesis.
Back to Israel and the greater Middle East from whence we came. We are no different from the Egyptians, Arabs, Irani, Iraqi, Syrian, Assyrian, Jordan, Lebanese, or other relatives. What separates us from our genetic brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, and uncles? A mere mode of thought.
We have evolved a very egalitarian social construct.
I have yet to figure out why this thought and belief pattern is so frightening that Arabs want us all dead.
Really. Do you understand why Arabs believe Jews should die for wanting to bring education, justice, critical thought, discussion, and earth honoring to the world?