Sunday, December 20, 2015

Stubborn and Stiff-necked

We were newlyweds in Phoenix, Arizona when my husband started a fledging scrap iron business. In the beginning he had only one employee whom I will call Bob Roberts. To say that Bob took advantage of my spouse’s goodwill and inexperience would be an understatement.  He was notorious for missing work and would come up with the most outlandish excuses for his absences. Truth was that the real reason he didn’t show up was that he was too hungover to get out of bed. His most notorious explanation was that he’d been in an iron lung the day before and unable to get to a pay phone to call his boss.

That was the excuse that broke the camel’s back. My husband fired Bob. This happened on December 23rd and Bob did not take his dismissal kindly. He complained that his holiday would be ruined because, without a job, he’d have to cancel the layaway present for his wife. The holiday came and went but the abusive calls my husband received at work didn’t stop. And then Bob called our house phone. “Hitler didn’t get enough of you,” he declared.

We called the police. Two officers came to our home. They sympathetically listened to our story and managed to calm us down. Apparently they also spoke to Bob Roberts because we received no more threatening calls. 

Unfortunately, Mr. Roberts is not the only one who thinks Hitler didn’t get enough Jews. There are almost daily terror attempts to murder more in Israel. Last week a terrorist rammed his car into a crowd of people standing at a Jerusalem bus stop. Fourteen were injured, including Yotam Shmuel Ben Yael, an eighteen-month-old toddler whose foot was amputated. On Shabbat a terrorist went on a stabbing rampage in Rannana injuring three. I don’t think either of these attacks were reported in the international press. I’m sure most of the world is oblivious to all the foiled terror attacks that have occurred.

Killing Jews and ignoring Jewish blood being spilled is nothing new. In the book of Lamentations Jeremiah the prophet gave a graphic description of the terrible murders and starvations that took place when the First Holy Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians. Other nations followed in their anti-Semitic stead; the Romans, the Spanish, the Crusaders, the Cossacks, the Nazis, and now the Arabs.

On the tenth of Tevet, this year the 22nd of December, we fast in commemoration of when the Babylonians began their siege on Jerusalem, the first step to the Temple’s demolition. In recent years the rabbis have declared that it should also be marked as a memorial for the six million Jews Hitler murdered. He murdered six million who should never be forgotten. However, as Bob Roberts declared, he didn’t get us all.

Where are the Babylonians today? The Holy Roman Empire? Ferdinand and Isabella’s Kingdom? The Crusaders and Cossacks? The Third Reich? All gone and the Jewish people are still here. Stubborn and stiff-necked we cling to our faith knowing that HaShem will never let us be totally destroyed.

The Bob Roberts of the world might continue with their hateful jibes. The Arab terrorists might continue to try to murder us. We know that they won’t succeed.  Am Yisroel Chai. The Jewish people live.
iron lung courtesy of

Please pray that Yotam Shmuel Ben Yael will have a complete recovery and be able to live a full life despite the disability the terrorist gave him.

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