… for You Were Strangers in the Land of Egypt

Every time I sit down to try to write about Israel’s assault on Gaza, I feel defeated before I even start.  I keep thinking of God’s words to the Jewish people in Exodus 22:20 (The Jewish Bible, Jewish Publication Society): “You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.”

For the 12 years that the Nazis dehumanized, persecuted, and finally exterminated the Jews of Europe, almost no one was there for us. The abandonment of the Jews in the period leading up to and including World War II is undeniable historical fact. After helping Hitler make his case to the world that nobody wanted the Jews, after rejecting one opportunity after another to take specific actions that could have saved the lives of hundreds if not thousands of Jews, and after — insult to injury! — forcibly blocking survivors’ dreams of emigration, the same political voices now turn away from another stateless, dispossessed, subjugated people, and try to silence anyone who speaks out on their behalf with charges of anti-Semitism and supporting those who would destroy the Jewish people!

This is what gets to me. This is why my heart and mind seize up with such inchoate frustration, anger, and sadness when I try to sort out my feelings about Israel’s actions and write about those actions and what others are saying about them. That’s why it took me about four hours (I kid you not) to write the two paragraphs above this one.

Which means, among other things, that any commentary by me on the commentary on this issue will have to be another post.

2 Responses to “… for You Were Strangers in the Land of Egypt”

  1. Kathy says:

    I had to stop watching when he got to the part about Hamas torturing prisoners with sleep deprivation for days and weeks. Now I understand why Pres. Bush is so upset about Hamas. Such horrors are probably beyond his wildest imaginings.

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