Remember the Sweetness of Judaism

By Diane Weber Bederman

WE are a people of memory. Our memories are inscribed on our collective soul.

WE remember when we were slaves to Pharaoh and we wandered in the desert for forty years. WE remember going into the Promised land with our Torah. We remember building the Temple and WE remember our exile to Babylon where our tongues would cleave to the roof of our mouths if we forgot thee O Jerusalem.

WE remember coming home and building our second Temple. And WE remember our longest exile from our home from the day the Romans destroyed our land and sent us wandering for 2000 years.

WE remember the horrors done to our people through the centuries.

WE remember when the The Crusaders, on their way from Rouen in Normandy to Jerusalem to liberate the Holy city from the Muslims, murdered us along the way, accusing us of being, “killers of the prophets, and murderers of the Lord.”

Pogrom De Strasbourg 1349

WE remember in 1146, the blood of Jews ran through the streets of the Maghreb.

WE remember the pogroms in the 13th century throughout Germany, in Mainz and Cracow; the rampages in the 16th century throughout Italy, Switzerland and Germany following the Passion plays.

WE remember the Cossacks and Poles in the 17th century led by Russian tyrants Chmielnicki and Krivonos murdering us. WE remember the Ukraine when 1.5 million of us were shot to death and then burned. WE remember seeing our mothers and daughters heads shaved, running naked through the forest to a pit already dug where they stood and waited to be shot and fall into the pit. Dead, nearly dead and wounded, we watched the earth move for three days until all died.

WE remember World War II France: 76,000 of us deported to the Nazi concentration camps and incinerated.

Now we are home. We must hold those old memories close so that we remain vigil against those who wish evil on us. Those who look at us with evil intentions neatly wrapped in pretty ribbons.

This Rosh Hashana let us not be taken in by those who try to deceive us. Let us not embrace those who say they love us - but don’t respect us as the Jewish people, who hear and believe in one God.

Because WE remember.

When we sit down at our dinner tables this Rosh Hashana, let us dip our apple into the honey and remind ourselves of the sweetness of Judaism and promise ourselves we will never bow down to evil intentions wrapped in so-called love.

Diane Weber Bederman is a multi-faith, hospital trained chaplain who lives in Ontario, Canada, just outside Toronto; She has a background in science and the humanities and writes about religion in the public square and mental illness on her blog: The Middle Ground:The Agora of the 21st Century. She is a regular contributor to Convivium: Faith in our Community.

Excerpted from Times of Israel, reprinted with permission from author. Read the original blog HERE.


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About the Author

Diane Weber Bederman
Diane Weber Bederman graduated from university with degrees in science and the humanities. Her love of religion led her into a residency in Clinical Pastoral Education at Toronto Hospital. Living with mental illness prompted her to write, produce and narrate The Many Voices of Mental Illness, a six part radio series podcast on her website The Middle Ground, The Agora of the 21st Century at where she also writes about religion, ethics and politics. She is a passionate advocate for Israel. She wrote for Huffington Post Canada, and now contributes to Convivium Magazine, Times of Israel and CanadaFreePress.

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