The Heartwarming Story of My Guilty Demise

Imagine that from tragedy sprang hope. That from murder, came unity.

It’s a beautiful image of rebirth that gives us hope that the world can be a better place. It’s the stuff that makes us get up each morning with a sense of optimism.

Does that story truly work for ALL scenarios? Does the sentiment described above have a uniquely linear orientation to be truly positive, or is it an uplifting message regardless of the actors and their roles?

Consider a different scenario than the one that actually played out in 2014, when an “incel,” an involuntary celibate man by the name of Elliot Rodger went on a killing spree in California because girls would not go out with him. Imagine that in the days following his murders that various women from sororities at the university took his message to heart and went out of their way to be nice to all men they encountered. Wouldn’t that have been a heartwarming gesture for the many men who felt neglected by women?

That approach of “restorative justice” did not happen. Rodger was roundly denounced and the incel community was labeled as a dangerous group that unjustly targets women. These celibate men were further marginalized by society and denounced for having horribly hateful ideas which only gained legitimacy in the cramped echo chamber of their social media consoles.

The victims did not reach out to their attackers, as society played out its normal process of criticizing the perpetrators. It made no demand of the victims, as to do so would have suggested that they were not truly innocent but had a shared responsibility in the attack against their persons.

People rallied to the victims, not the attackers.

If immediately after the attack, a male member of the university school board said that the voices of the marginalized men must be heard and that women should be kinder to men, people would not have come to his defense. Women’s groups would have demanded his resignation by the end of the day.

But our world doesn’t always operate consistently. For 99.8% of the world, there is a common language, which could be called base 10 in mathematics. For Jews, there is a different standard, base 666; it is the calculus based on the formula that Jews are evil and can never be truly innocent.

So people came to defend a Black member of the Jersey City school board who said that the Black murderers of Jews had a valid point that Jews were “brutes” ruining the community. People considered that Jews caused their own demise for moving into a predominantly Black neighborhood.

Because dead Jews are not the same as dead women.

Such attitude is not limited to the non-Jewish world. Even in its own progressive papers, Jews are called upon to consider how their own actions cause people to hate and kill them.

The New York paper The Jewish Week ran a story on January 3, 2020 about the aftermath of the shooting death of people in a kosher supermarket in Jersey City, NJ just weeks earlier. It was a story meant to inspire.

The article noted how Blacks and Jews “United” for a holiday charity drive. It described how Jews and Blacks came together to bring food and toys to the Black community in Jersey City for Christmas.

I had to read the article twice to make sure I caught the facts underlying the message.

The article did not write about the Black community delivering presents to the Jews for Hanukkah as would have met the natural linear thinking of reconciliation. No, no. Too simple. This was a story where the Jews tacitly admitted their guilt at being killed for not being good neighbors and not getting to know the people in the community.

Hannukah 2019 was turned into the holiday of Purim, where everything was upside down. Not only were Jews killed but they voluntarily handed out sweets to their attackers and apologized for getting their dirty Jewish blood on the attackers’ hands. Another “al chet” to consider during Yom Kippur: too many al chets.


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Losing the Temples, Knowledge and Caring

In modern times, the “Western Wall” or the Kotel has become the center of Jewish prayers.  As it has done so, it has replaced the Temple and Temple Mount in the minds of many Jews, so much so, that people have forgotten and misrepresent what the Kotel actually is or have stopped caring at all.

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Young and Old pray at the Kotel

Non-Orthodox Jews “Don’t Care”

The Jewish Week, a popular weekly newspaper for Jews in the metropolitan New York City area, published a piece called “Mourning the Temples’ Losses” on July 24, 2015. The article was written about the holiday of Tisha b’Av, the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av, which is when tradition states that each of the two Jewish Temples were destroyed.  The article claims that the holiday has become only meaningful to Orthodox Jews, and for “secular Jews, ‘Tisha b’Av seems a vestigial organ,’ writes Don Futterman, program director in Israel for the Moriah Fund, wrote in Haaretz [a left-wing Israeli paper].” 

The secular anti-Orthodox newspaper quoted a left-wing charity in Israel which describes itself as “Promoting Civil Rights, Social Justice and Democracy in Israel and “Protecting and advancing human rights” which it feels it can achieve by funding movies questioning Israel such as “Breaking the Silence” and the anti-Israel 972 magazine.  These are indeed the views of many secular and liberal Israelis who feel that Judaism has evolved from Temple service to prayer, and from prayer to “social justice”. Together with such evolution was an abandonment of historic places and forms of worship to a modern emphasis only on people.  Those “vestigial organs” are there as part of history, but serve no function (and can and should be removed if they prove dangerous to the body as a whole).

Orthodox Jews “Don’t Know”

The Jewish Week continued that “for many Orthodox Israelis, the center of their Tisha b’Av observance is the plaza of the Western Wall, the last remnant of the Second Temple.” The statement repeats an often repeated falsehood about the nature of the Western Wall. The Temples were completely destroyed and no walls of the Temples stand today. Aish.com, which claims to be “the leading Jewish content website” posts on its website that “The Western Wall is a surviving remnant of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem,”  .

The Kotel is the western wall of the TEMPLE MOUNT, not of the Temple.  The Temple Mount was built by King Herod between 19BCE and 63CE to extend the size of the platform southward to both enable more people and traffic flow to the Second Temple. As the Temple was built atop a hill, extending the platform at the same height as the Temple required “filling in” the slopes of the hill.  The Kotel is the western wall of that supporting structure.

The Kotel gained significance in Judaism (say compared to the southern Temple Mount wall which is similarly a retaining wall), around the year 1550.  Prior to that year, many Jews visited and prayed on the Temple Mount itself including Rabbi Menachem Meiri (1249-1316) and Rabbi David ben Shlomo Ibn Zimra, (known as the Radbaz, 1479–1573), the Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem.  However, around 1550, while Ottoman leader Suleiman I made various structural improvements to the city of Jerusalem, he set aside the Western Wall area as a designated area for the Jews to pray.

After the 1967 Six Day War, Israel reunited Jerusalem including the Old City, the Temple Mount and the Kotel. After 18 years of being banned from the city by the Jordanians (1949-67), Israelis celebrated their return to the Old City.  To maintain calm after the war with the Muslim world, Israel handed administrative control of the Temple Mount to the Islamic Waqf. Israel then demolished the Mughrabi Quarter which abutted the Kotel to create the Western Wall Plaza that many know today. This plaza enables thousands of Jews to visit the Kotel at one time.

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The Kotel with the Dome of the Rock,
location of the Jewish Temples

Tisha b’Av

Every year the Jews mark a day on the calendar to remember the destruction of the Temples. Over time, the Tisha b’Av holiday incorporated other tragic events such as the expulsion of 200,000 Jews from Spain in 1492.  Perhaps today Jews should also mourn a newer tragedy in their history: their apathy and ignorance.


Related First.One.Through articles:

The United Nations and Holy Sites in the Holy Land

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The Waqf and the Temple Mount

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