It will never be normal or safe to be Jewish. And I hope it never is.
The Jewish people and their fate are the living witness for the absence of redemption. This, one could say, is the meaning of the chosen people; the Jews are chosen to prove the absence of redemption.
Brought to you me by YouTube. By an innocent romp through the web of Christopher Hitchens clips.
Though I know of Christopher Hitchen’s renown I haven’t read his writing or listened to his talks. Frankly, I’ve been scared. If he’s as good as everyone says, I have to be ready. But a 2.5 minute clip from Hitchens on Israel? I can do that. 30 seconds in he said of “Israel and the Jewish question” the first quote above, and then paraphrased Leo Strauss.
I felt punched. Physically punched. The absence of redemption, that’s what we are. Destined to wander and suffer and never be safe. Believing all the while that we’re the light, the chosen, that there’s reason and purpose to being hated or different or both. That there will be redemption, a redemption, one that vindicates everything we’ve endured at the hands of others and everything we’ve imposed on ourselves. May it be speedily in our days.
Without redemption, what is there?
In the clip before this one Hitchens responds to a girl in a Q+A session who asks why the world is so focused on Iran’s evilness versus Israel’s. Hitchens, “Does this (Israel’s guilt) in your mind make the destruction of human rights in Islamist countries okay? or not?”
He mentions that the Hezbollah flag (it was actually a banner at an event) has a mushroom cloud on it, with a threat to the Jews. So there’s knowing that many people want you dead – me dead – me, here in LA, with my first world problems and first world naivete and first world tolerance and liberalism towards all people. And there’s knowing that we’re the suckers, or the true believers.
Eli Weisel, as always, says it best:
Then came the march past the victims. The two men were no longer alive. Their tongues were hanging out,
swollen and bluish. But the third rope was still moving: the child, too light, was still breathing…
Behind me, I heard the same man asking:
“For God’s sake, where is God?”
And from within me, I heard a voice answer:
“Where He is? This is where–hanging here from this gallows…”