by Mordecai Plaut
"The Jewish People Cannot Be Broken" -- Why Not?
"Our enemies have yet to understand that the Jewish people
cannot be broken," Prime Minister Sharon said in speaking to
American philanthropists gathered in Jerusalem for their
annual convention (the United Jewish Communities (UJC)
General Assembly). "Can't be broken and will never be
This statement is true, but unfortunately, many of those who
consider themselves our friends -- like the prime minister
himself -- while they accept the fact, do not understand it
either. Until they do understand why this is so, until
they know what the true source of the strength of the Jewish
people is and why (as the prime minister said) "despite
repeated attempts to eradicate the Jewish people from the
face of the earth" we are still here, they will be unable to
convince anyone else, including especially our enemies, that
this is so.
The reason that the Jewish people cannot be broken is not
because of any intellectual or moral powers, or physical
strength. It is a lie to boast that "we have succeeded at
realizing the dream of reestablishing an independent and
democratic Jewish state," as the Prime Minister did in that
same speech. Our success is not due to our own power or
might, but to the fact that Hashem is behind us. We will not
be broken because He has guaranteed that we will not.
We are the heirs of Avrohom, Yitzchok and Yaakov -- and not
just to their physical property, namely Eretz Yisroel, but
primarily to their spiritual property, namely the Torah and
our relationship with the Ribono Shel Olom.
We will not be broken, but we can be badly bent. Insiders
whom we shrink from calling enemies can nonetheless do us
serious damage, trying to mangle us until we look no
different from any other nation of the world. They try to
suppress our uniqueness, the very things that have sustained
us throughout the long golus.
As long as we appear to be just another nation, we will
appear to be vulnerable to the same things to which any other
nation is vulnerable. As long as we are made to appear a
"normal" people, with a "normal" country, a "normal" army, a
"normal" government, a "normal" economy, our enemies will
make the "normal" assumptions that with a little more blood,
with a little more self-sacrifice on their part, with a
little more pressure, they can break us just like any
"normal" people can be broken.
Every "normal" people even makes arrogant claims about its
power and resolve, but who believes them?
If we wish to convince our enemies that we will not be broken
in the future (and every military commander knows that
convincing an enemy of this is an important step in forcing a
reasonable political solution), it is critical the we be
firmly rooted in our past. We must act and look like the
Jewish people that in fact survived the worst attempts of our
various enemies. No other way will work, and this way will
work like a charm. We must all understand, acknowledge and
live our truth, and then we can convince others.
If it is evident to all the peoples of the world that "the
Name of Hashem is upon us, then they will be in awe of us"
(Devorim 28:10). If we, "follow My laws and keep My
commandments, . . . I will send peace to the land"
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