Embassy Sign Change by U.S. Embassy Jerusalem (CC BY 2.0) via flickr
I woke up this morning to a wonderful surprise. My neighbor across the street draped a huge colorful sign with Israeli and U.S. flags painted on it across the entire building, on which was written,"G-d bless President Donald Trump!"
If there is one thing that Judaism values and teaches more than any other personal or national character trait it is the concept of hakarat hatov (appreciation). Lacking this trait, we cannot value or enjoy anything with which we have been blessed.
I happen to live in the same neighborhood in Jerusalem as the new U.S. embassy, and it is a pleasure to see how the city has festooned the area in honor of the great occasion of the embassy’s opening on May 14.
Why is it a great occasion? The nations have, with their actions, decided that Israel is indeed the center of the world. No other country or people has met anything close to the attention — and usually the ire and criticism, if not open hostility — of the world than the teensy desert country built by a handful of refugees.
It seems that since Israel's return to herself the world has known no rest. I laugh when I think how unlikely and illogical this phenomenon is. Yet for those attuned to the word of G-d through His prophets, it comes as no surprise but rather as an exhilarating rush.
History offers outstanding examples of non-Jews who understood this and placed themselves, their words, and their actions on the side of G-d and of His People. Cyrus of Persia is the most famous example. Alexander the Great spared Jerusalem, and in turn Alexander became an accepted Jewish first name. Lord Arthur Balfour is a modern example with his Balfour declaration.
Their names are ingrained in the hearts of Jews forever. There is no memory as long as the Jewish memory; leaders concerned with their legacy and posterity should keep this in mind.
U.S. President Barack Obama knew which legacy he desired to leave. When he made the now famous round of extreme self-effacing visits in the Muslim world while ignoring Israel on his first presidential trip, he was rushing to establish this legacy. He did not like us, but he seemed to gush love for corrupt kings and dictators — it must be a "progressive" thing.
As much as he fawned on the corrupt Arab tyrants, so did he heap continual scorn on Israel's democratically elected leader. As his last act in office, he got one last lick against the home of the Jews when he voted with the other corrupt nations against Israel at the U.N. We do not forget, never.
Then there is U.S. President Donald Trump. Standing strong against an effete, elitist, smug establishment that heaped scorn on him at every turn, he dared to propose an agenda that the "Progressive Left" automatically hated. Included in this latter group are a disproportionate number of Jews — the same “useful idiots” that once idolized Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin are today holding the banner for Obama and loathing Trump. In Israel we remember how the Left anti-religious kibbutzim flew black flags in mourning when the mass murderer and anti-Semite Stalin finally kicked the bucket.
Trump can recognize Jerusalem as our capital, stand with Israel against Iran — the country that has been preparing itself for Israel's destruction, and more, but it doesn't matter. The useful idiots are consistent; their smug smiles are pasted on.
This morning as I admired the beautiful sign on my street, I met a neighbor walking his dog. As he looked at the sign he broke into a laugh with smug disdain all over his face. He attends the synagogue I go to and, yes, he is a leftist.
I asked him, "What’s so funny? Isn't appreciation a central tenet of Judaism?” I got no answer — just more laughs. I wonder how long it took the useful idiots to move on after Stalin left us?
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