Tonight begins the holiday of Passover in which Jews celebrate deliverance from Egyptian bondage.
In order to escape the shackles of slavery, the vast machinery of the mighty Egyptian state had to be crushed. Those who wielded absolute power were reduced to nothingness. G-d did this not only to diminish the physical power of a pitiless slave state, but to begin the process of making free the minds of the Israelites.
Slavery is an insidious institution, not only because it shackles the body, but it creates a mentality where the slave identifies with his master to such a degree that he becomes complicit in his own bondage. He loves his master and cannot imagine a world absent an overlord.
The Torah informs us that the generation that escaped Egypt died in the desert. It was only their children who were permitted to enter the land of Israel.
Because the generation that witnessed G-d’s mighty miracles were never able to free their minds from bondage. And G-d deemed such people unfit and unable to establish a national homeland.
Slavery warps the mind. Freedom, the slave comes to believe, is fraught with peril. Free choice appears like a black hole. Better to work, get fed, have a place to sleep, secure in the certainty of tomorrow rather than face the bewildering choices that confront a free man in a civil society.
One of my closest friends here in Los Angeles is a Holocaust survivor. Over 80 members of his family were murdered by the Nazis, including his mother and his baby sister. My friend, Sol, has told me, in exhaustive detail, about his years in Auschwitz, Dachau, Buchenwald. I’ve heard sickening details of ghettos, gas chambers, torture, mass shootings, death marches, starvation, and disease — an endless catalog of human evil and depravity.
But the one topic Sol cannot talk about are the Jewish overseers: the Judenrat, and the Kapos, Jews who collaborated with the Nazis. Of these men and women, Sol just shakes his head in disbelief. The evil of the Nazis is comprehensible for evil is ever present. But the Jews who cooperated in the genocide of their own people is beyond imagination.
The Judenrat and kapos are still with us.
According to the great Soviet dissident Natan Sharansky we can recognize Jew-hatred when manifested against Israel by the 3 Ds: demonization, double standards and delegitimization. By this definition J Street is loudly and proudly anti Semitic. Jewish Voices for Peace has gone so far Progressive that they honored Rasmieh Yousef Odeh, an IslamoNazi Jew killer who is about to be deported by the United States.
American Jewish Progressives worship at the altar of the state. Their religion is not Torah Judaism but Progressive values. So closely do they identify with the power of government, they don’t even realize that they are creating the apparatus that will enslave their children and their children’s children through an insidious web of government regulations and entitlements.
The slaves are told that they must pay higher and higher taxes to support this simulacrum of liberty. They are told that their labor is desperately needed to build the roads and bridges that will make their lives easier. But those roads and bridges only exist to transport the pool of slaves so more roads and more bridges can be built. Ironically, the slave fails to notice that the roads and bridges he has just built are already rotting. Because the roads and the bridges are simply pretexts for more taxes, which is the pretext for more government control.
It’s an endless loop designed to simulate freedom.
Indeed, as George Orwell said, slavery is freedom.
Seraphic Secret will celebrate Passover. We will chant: “Once we were slaves in Egypt, and now we are free.”
But Karen and I will gaze at the faces of our children and our grandchildren and worry that the world they inherit from us will be a world less free, a world where children are brainwashed to believe in an endless litany of rights rather than obligations.
Seraphic Secret will be offline until Thursday.