Antisemitism is Unstoppable

Antisemitism is Unstoppable

by Mordecai Plaut

The world is sliding down a slippery slope greased by the yetzer hora.

Fifty years ago, it seemed that the West, and especially the United States, was a society that was fairly moral in the specific sense that it upheld the Seven Laws of Noach. The largely Protestant country was free of idolatry, there was a very developed legal system that enforced laws against murder in all its forms, 80 percent of all households were headed by a married couple, and all public, acceptable behavior upheld reasonable moral principles. People were not perfect but public standards were high and they were not under constant assault.

In those days, when the norm was that human life generally should not be ended by other humans, HaRav Yaakov Weinberg zt"l shocked us all by suggesting that the efforts to legalize abortion that were starting then would lead to mercy killing becoming socially acceptable. People felt that he was making a point about attitudes towards human life by exaggerating.

How things have fallen since then!

Formal avoda zora has, so far at least, not reappeared, but all the excesses of its one-time practitioners have. Acceptance of murder has spread far and wide, as "assisted suicides" are shown in the mass media, and they are perfectly legal in many places. Human life has become so cheap that some people place no value on their own lives and the lives of their children, believing that it is understandable and worthwhile to give up their lives for no higher purpose than ending the lives of as many other people as they can. Murder and mayhem is prominent in the content of matter that is sold as entertainment for the masses.

Sexual licentiousness is promoted by people who feel that they are contributing to the world when they shatter another moral "taboo" in public, or portray some morally reprehensible act in a mass medium that has not previously been shown there, as is common nowadays. Social movements champion the right to engage in perversions and to tell the world about so many things that are best left private. The family is shattered and almost a third of all children are not born within families in the United States.

Lately the corruption has very visibly spread to financial matters. Theft and fraud on a grand scale have been taking place at the highest echelons of the business community. There seem to be no principles that limit the actions of businessmen; it is all just a matter of getting away with whatever then can.

The yetzer hora, it seems, has completely won. He has no new frontiers to conquer. Everything is his. If there is anything that he has overlooked, it should be no problem to take it over as well.

There is one corner left, one last representative of Hashem in the world: the Jewish people. They have become respectable and acceptable over the last half-century, since the Holocaust dealt them a blow that horrified everyone, and particularly those who lived a life based on the fundamental rules of Hashem.

This may well be what is behind the latest wave of antisemitism that is led by Moslems but has attracted sympathy and understanding in large parts of the Western world. It is just the progressive control of the yetzer hora that has found the last substantial area outside of its control, and now is trying to overwhelm the Jewish people as well.

If that is so, then no conventional effort can be fully effective. No public relations effort will win over the hearts of the masses, and no behavior on the part of the Jews will make the masses like us or even fully tolerate us.

We can only rely on our Father in Heaven and strengthen our efforts to lead lives of Torah and mitzvos that are dominated by the yetzer tov.

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