Thursday, March 25, 2021

  • Thursday, March 25, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon


In August, 1776, Benjamin Franklin suggested this scene to be on the Great Seal of the United States:
Moses standing on the Shore, and extending his Hand over the Sea, thereby causing the same to overwhelm Pharaoh who is sitting in an open Chariot, a Crown on his Head and a Sword in his Hand. Rays from a Pillar of Fire in the Clouds reaching to Moses, to express that he acts by Command of the Deity. Motto, Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God.

Thomas Jefferson modified the idea somewhat:

Pharaoh sitting in an open Chariot, a Crown on his head and a Sword in his hand, passing through the divided Waters of the Red Sea in Pursuit of the Israelites: Rays from a Pillar of Fire in the Cloud, expressive of the divine Presence and Command, beaming on Moses who stands on the shore and extending his hand over the Sea causes it to overwhelm Pharaoh. Motto: Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God.

The American story is the story of the Israelites. A people fleeing persecution, going through the wilderness and journeying across a body of water, to build a new nation of a type never built before, based on a covenant and ideals, utterly unlike every other nation that existed in their respective eras.  

Even the thirteen colonies uniting to become one nation, but maintaining their own distinct laws and customs, echo the twelve tribes of Israel.

The American idea was described by Governor John Winthrop in 1630, as he was en route to Massachusetts, with purely Hebrew Scripture quotes and sensibilities:

[F]ollow the counsel of Micah, to do justly, to love mercy, to walk humbly with our God. For this end, we must be knit together, in this work, as one man. We must entertain each other in brotherly affection. We must be willing to abridge ourselves of our superfluities, for the supply of others’ necessities. We must uphold a familiar commerce together in all meekness, gentleness, patience and liberality. We must delight in each other; make others’ conditions our own; rejoice together, mourn together, labor and suffer together, always having before our eyes our commission and community in the work, as members of the same body. So shall we keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace. The Lord will be our God, and delight to dwell among us, as His own people, and will command a blessing upon us in all our ways, so that we shall see much more of His wisdom, power, goodness and truth, than formerly we have been acquainted with. We shall find that the God of Israel is among us, when ten of us shall be able to resist a thousand of our enemies; when He shall make us a praise and glory...And to shut this discourse with that exhortation of Moses, that faithful servant of the Lord, in his last farewell to Israel, Deut. 30. "Beloved, there is now set before us life and death, good and evil," in that we are commanded this day to love the Lord our God, and to love one another, to walk in his ways and to keep his Commandments and his ordinance and his laws, and the articles of our Covenant with Him, that we may live and be multiplied, and that the Lord our God may bless us in the land whither we go to possess it. 

Thomas Jefferson, in 1805: "I shall need, too, the favor of that Being in whose hands we are, who led our forefathers, as Israel of old, from their native land, and planted them in a country flowing with all the necessaries and comforts of life..."

Abraham Lincoln once referred to Americans as God's "almost chosen people."

This idea is renewed again and again in America. Bill Clinton said in the introduction of his second Inaugural address, "Guided by the ancient vision of a promised land, let us set our sights upon a land of new promise." 

The story of America is the story of the Exodus. It is the story of Passover, taught to children generation after generation.  It is the story of a people with a mission to spread universal ideas of freedom, liberty, justice and equality around the world. 

This is one major reason why America has always been good to its Jews, and why the United States is always going to be a friend of Israel's. 

It also explains another interesting phenomenon.

Antisemites, on both the right and the left, hate America as much as they hate Jews. American exceptionalism and the American dream are abhorrent to them, just as the idea of the Chosen People and a successful Israel enrages them. 

Antisemites want to destroy America, because they see in America the things they hate about Jews. 

The far-Right antisemites claim to be patriotic, but they want to tear apart the nation, as we've seen recently, throwing out the Constitution and all American ideals when they disliked how an election turned out. Waving the flag is not the same as loving America.

The far-Left antisemites use old Soviet socialist tropes and methods to sow discord among Americans.  They spend countless hours publishing screeds about how terrible America is. They are trying to divide Americans into classes and races and saying that these artificial divisions are not reparable, when the American dream is precisely the opposite - that anyone can succeed no matter what their social standing and these divisions are abhorrent. They want to destroy the American story and recast it as horror; they want to change the American dream into a nightmare.

Those who want to fight antisemitism must also fight for America, because if America turns into the type of nation that the far-Left or far-Right want it to be, it will not be a welcome place for Jews. 

The American story is the Jewish story. Our fates are intertwined. In this age of custom Haggadot where any political or social position overtakes Passover's message of freedom, American Jews could add a prayer of thanks for living in a great nation that shares so many ideals with the Jewish people.  




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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون



This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.

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