Wednesday, November 08, 2023

Rallies: Do They Make a Difference (Judean Rose)

Disclaimer: the views expressed here are solely those of the author, weekly Judean Rose columnist Varda Meyers Epstein.

Rallies have figured large in the wake of October 7th. Not in Israel, mind you. In Israel, we are too busy to hold rallies. We prefer to rally around each other.

Outside of Israel, things are different. There, the rally has become an important vehicle for expressing solidarity; for taking sides, and in some cases, for whipping up the masses to kill Jews. 

The rally is many things, but what, in fact, does the rally really achieve for those of us on the side of Israel? It’s all a numbers game, and their numbers will always be larger: There are more of them than us.

Does it matter? Of course it does. The rally is a kind of test; a chance to choose good or evil, though it’s not always cut and dried. There are the sheeple who passively allow themselves to be swayed by the crowd; they just want to fit in. On the other hand, there is true evil, the thugs, and the academics who say they are exhilarated by what happened to the Jews—and the people who tear down posters of Jewish babies held hostage in Gaza.

Evil takes other forms, sometimes in the guise of a Jew who will tell you that as Jew, they say it’s okay to commit atrocities as long as you know the context—as long as you know the history. . .

 . . . or the woman who shouts “I’m a rabbi and I demand a ceasefire!” These Jews are sick, sicker, sickest and the very definition of the banality of evil.  

It must be said that sometimes, and here there is only one phrase, crude as it is, to describe the phenomenon: the rally is a pissing contest. Sometimes the participants scuffle or worse. 

Sometimes someone hits an elderly Jew over the head with a megaphone and kills him, and the police can’t decide if it’s murder.

It’s not all bad, though. There are Jews, pure of heart, who flock to rallies to express anguish and cry out for justice, “Justice, justice, you shall pursue.”

That’s very nice. But as I told my relatives on the eve of October 11, “From experience, all of you should stay close to home. I wouldn't go to shul or to rallies. It's not worth the risk, even with beefed up security. Personal safety is more important, and it's bad to be in crowded places. . . Don't be lulled into thinking you're far away and safe. I mean it. Please just stay safe. The rallies don't help us anyway, IMHO.”

The response? “This was an attack on all of us.”

That’s true. I’m glad their eyes are open. But it doesn’t help us in the aftermath. There’s a war, and it is those of us in Israel who must fight it.

What would help us would be unceasing rallies at the White House, protesting Biden’s aid to Iran and Hamas, and his demands for a ceasefire. Short of that, rallies are pretty useless. They may make you feel good, and give you a feeling of communal bonding, but that’s not a good enough reason to get together when it isn’t safe out there for Jews and lovers of justice and light.

Our IDF soldiers need ceramic vests to keep them safe as they fight Hamas. We have started a crowdfunding campaign to purchase these vests for my son's platoon:  Ceramic Vests for IDF Soldiers.

Even a small donation would be greatly appreciated--each vest costs approximately $520.

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