PRAGER: The Pittsburgh Synagogue, Anti-Semitism And Trump


Daily Wire, Dennis Prager: All my life I have reminded fellow Jews in America that we are the luckiest Jews to have ever lived in a non-Jewish country. I know what I’m talking about. I wrote a book on anti-Semitism, taught Jewish history at Brooklyn College and fought anti-Semitism since I was 21, when Israel sent me into the Soviet Union to smuggle in Jewish religious items and smuggle out Jewish names.

Even after the massacre of 11 Jews in a Pittsburgh synagogue, this assessment remains true.

But the greatest massacre of Jews in American history is a unique American tragedy.

It is a tragedy in part because America has finally made the list of countries in which Jews were murdered for being Jews. While this was probably inevitable, given that 330 million people live in America, it is painful — equally for me as an American and as a Jew.

On Passover, Jews read the Haggadah, the ancient Jewish prayer book of the Passover Seder. In it are contained these words: “In every generation, they arise to annihilate us” — not “persecute” us; not “enslave” us; annihilate usmore …

Opinion: The Haggadah is a Talmudic discussion of which Abba ben Joseph bar Ḥama, known as Rava, (280 – 352 AD) takes part. The earliest manuscript to survive is an 8th century Haggadah discovered in the Cairo Geniza.

The Oral Torah was not transcribed. Instead it was transmitted from father to son and from teacher to disciple (thus the name “Oral” Law). Approximately 1800 years ago, Rabbi Judah the Prince concluded that because of all the travails of Exile, the Oral Law would be forgotten if it would not be recorded on paper. He, therefore, assembled the scholars of his generation and compiled the Mishnah, a (shorthanded) collection of all the oral teachings that preceded him.

While we cannot call the ancient Jewish texts of the Talmud, Mishna, Haggadah inspired and the direct word of God, we can find many writings that parallel the Scriptures:

Haggadah: “In every generation, they arise to annihilate us” — not “persecute” us; not “enslave” us; annihilate us.”

Exodus 17:16: “Because the Lord has sworn: the Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.”

And it is reasonable that since God commanded the Jewish people to recite His commands to the generations to follow that they would be given divine accuracy.

For He established a testimony in Jacob,
And appointed a law in Israel,
Which He commanded our fathers,
That they should make them known to their children;
That the generation to come might know them,
The children who would be born,
That they may arise and declare them to their children,
That they may set their hope in God,
And not forget the works of God,
But keep His commandments” Psalm 78:5-7.

(See our post: Amalek comes to Pittsburgh here)