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Smile On Your Brother

Try To Love One Another Right Now

Why do bad things happen to good people? I don’t have an answer to this, although I am constantly seeking one. Three innocent people were just killed in a Jewish Museum in Brussels, Belgium. Two of which, according to HaAretz, may be Israeli. Six innocent people were killed hours later in Santa Barbara, CA, some of the names released were of young Jewish women. Unfortunately, these events are no longer shocking; they are the disturbing reality of today’s world.

CNN reports on Brussels: “The circumstances of the shooting have raised suspicions that it may have been an anti-Semitic attack, but no motive has been determined.”

When Jews worldwide are tortured, mistreated, and killed for no reason other than their faith, it’s safe to say these acts are anti-Semitic. The Jerusalem Post says it better than I can. But why do these terrorist acts occur so frequently? Why are Jews targeted this way? Are we so terrible and awful? I don’t think we’re so bad at all. I’m Jewish and proud, and can’t imagine living life feeling any other way.

Life in Los Angeles allows me to live this way (although I personally have experienced anti-semitism when living in Arizona and North Carolina, and know friends who’ve experienced it right here in Los Angeles). My heart hurts and my mind can’t comprehend how people can be so evil.

Henry Goodman, Brussels’ Jewish Community Center President, responds: “They are not going to silence us. … We are going to survive and fight.”

If Jews around the globe would feel more of a sense of unity, more of a feeling of oneness, would we be stronger? I believe the answer is a solid yes! But what needs to happen for us to unite? We hear saddening and maddening news, then continue with our lives. I propose that it’s each and every Jew’s responsibility – and privilege – to connect with and help other Jews whenever possible. Maybe this way, we can truly shed a light unto other nations as we unite.

My prayers go out to Brussels, Santa Barbara, and the world. Hug and kiss your loved ones, because this precious life can be taken from any of us at any time.

Friends, let’s take extra care to be kind to ourselves and others. Even though during times like these we feel helpless, remember there’s so much we can do to make this wild world a better place.

Dr. Mishmish

MBA, MA. Have more fun. Worry less. Laugh more. Be good to yourselves & others. Grow, learn, and develop.

The greatest risk in life is not taking one.

2 Comments

  1. Avichai

    6/25/2014 at 1:23 am

    I’d like to start by first saying ‘kol hakavod lach’ for bringing up two very important points here which I’ll go into further down. But before we do, we need to remember that we as Jews believe based on the torah in spirituality and physicality. We believe in the concept of ‘this world and the next world’, energies, spirits, demons, angels, souls both animal and human as well as what we understand to be ‘reward and punishment’. We may not always understand why things turn out the way they do, but for starters, It’s very important to know that even the unknown happens for a good reason.

    God created what? Along with everything else, he created good and evil. But what is good and what is evil? Is ‘good’ the yummy ice cream you ate last week? Is it what they refer to a well behaved child in school? Or in the opposite sense, is ‘bad’ the reality when the Yankees lose to the Red Sox, (that’s very bad for me). In my opinion ‘good’ and ‘evil’ are two different ways for our minds to comprehend and internalize the current situation we find ourselves in. ‘Good’ and ‘bad’ are the two very different but similar concepts that we as humans need in order to make sense of things which, well… make absolutely no sense. But when something bad happens to us, instead of saying ‘why me?’ or ‘can things get any worse?’, try thinking of it as part of the bigger picture. If you believe in god and that he loves each and every one of us and only does things for our good which we jews do believe, then what seems to you as ‘bad’ is only your understanding of what is happening NOW in the present. But, if it really is all going to be good, then essentially, there is no bad. There is only good. The problem is, is that we cannot tell someone with numbers on his/her arm that six million died for some bigger picture which may or may not have been revealed yet.

    ‘Why do good things happen to bad people and bad things happen to good people’: A question that I have heard many times and a question I find myself STILL asking at times. I have lived among many different sects of Jews in my life. From the ultra orthodox and chareidi communities to the secular Israeli way of life. I’ve lived in areas where the schools are separate from boys and girls and in areas where one makes kiddush Friday night (sanctifying the sabbath), washes for bread but then drives to the local club. I’ve had this conversations with rabbis, spiritual leaders, college professors and even a few catholic priests. I have had many different interpretations of what this question means thrown my way but there is one specific explanation that at least to me, makes sense and keeps me on the right path of life. This answer goes as follows: If we believe in god then we believe in both heaven and hell which some would actually argue that ‘hell’ is the tough, cruel, twisted world we live in now. If we believe in heaven and hell then we believe in good and bad which is what determines where our souls will go after our physical passing. Could it be that when someone bad has something good happen to them it’s really so that he/she will not be rewarded in the next world? Maybe that reward or ‘good’ thing he/she experienced was not even close to the reward he/she may have gotten in the world to come. And visa versa, When you see a good person go through pain and suffering, it’s because god wants to reward them eternally in the world to come rather than in this world. Why you ask? That’s the point, we’re not supposed to know. That’s where faith comes in. As our ancestors said in response to god’s offer of the torah: ‘We will do and then we will listen’.

    Now, onto your next question: ‘Why are Jews targeted this way? Are we so terrible and awful?’. Does the world really hate us? Is the tiger of ‘antisemitism’ really lurking in the shadows waiting and wanting to unleash it’s fury against god’s people? The answer is ‘most certainly yes’. Many of us have non Jewish friends, myself included. They, on a personal level may not hate you or your Jewish brother. But, (again we come back to the idea of belief in god and the torah) let us not forget Genesis 27:41 where it is said that ‘Esav hates Yaakov’. End of story. We’ve seen pogroms, inquisitions, crusades, holocausts, beatings, public humiliations, tortures, political and economic sanctions, as well as the average ‘Jew hater’ demonstrating his baseless hatred way before the state of Israel came to be. This only proves one thing: Anti Israel? No, more like antisemitism. The world hates us and that’s a fact. But ever since the end of WWII which saw six million Jews dead, the world cannot hate the Jew but instead hates Israel. A Jew and the land of Israel is one in the same. without Israel, a Jew is not a full Jew and with out a Jew, the land of Israel is not complete. That’s why I as a Jew will never give an inch of it away, I’m a full Jew and not a half Jew.

    I leave you all with this last piece of my thoughts and views: The situation at hand may be bad NOW and in the present, but will be good in the end which makes it that there is no TRUE bad. There is only what we interpret as bad. As for the ‘are we really so terrible’ idea, we are in fact a ‘stiff necked people’. We are sometimes pretty difficult to get along with but nonetheless, Esav hates Yaakov. The world hates us. Will they respect us even though they hate us? Only if we unite, stand for one another, fight and never stand idly by our brother’s blood again. Jewish national pride and faith in god will save us and nothing else.

    Am Yisroel Chai!!

  2. Esther

    7/2/2014 at 2:01 am

    Avichai thank you so much. What a beautiful and thoughtful response. Thanks for telling me you wrote it otherwise I would not have seen it.

    I love what you wrote, especially the part on not needing to know why, and just having faith. Difficult but true. Particularly challenging at times like these- those beautiful three teens, kidnapped and killed, while Palestinians celebrate in the streets and the world continues to call us occupiers.

    Don’t know why but must have faith!

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