In the oral history of my family there’s a description of my great grandfather, R’ Uziel Chazanow, a’h, arguing with his siblings about the virtue of communism. They felt it was a liberating movement that would finally get rid of the czar and his anti-semitic decrees. He disagreed, arguing that it was a G-dless thirst for power that would end in a lot of bloodshed. He quipped: families are routinely torn apart dividing assets from an inheritance and you expect a country of strangers to divide resources evenly? Foolishness! Greed masquerading as virtue has heavy consequences.
We know how it turned out. Communism resulted in more deaths than Nazi Germany. Despite this reality, when my great aunt Fanye left Russia at the end of the 80s, she was totally unaware and indeed surprised to discover that Stalin, yemach shmo, was an evil person. There was absolute control of what people saw.
Which brings us to current events.
Leftist activism currently rules the day in almost all universities. Students who voice opinions not in line with the mob get shamed, bullied or even physically attacked. Mainstream personalities such as Ben Shapiro were either outright denied permission to speak and if they got permission, needed a huge police presence to protect those students wishing to hear his lecture.
Leftist activism caused the reality of increased Anti-Semitism to be practically ignored because it doesn’t fit with the narrative of the left caring for minorities. Indeed, just one year ago NYC had a string of attacks targeting visibly Jewish persons without stealing anything from them, and yet next to nothing was done by Mayor De Blasio. When, right here in LA, the mob – ostensibly rioting about civil rights – showed frightening expressions of Anti-Semitism, it was brushed under the rug. In this week alone, three restaurants in Portland serving Israeli cuisine were vandalized. Where’s the outrage?
Leftist activism created an extreme reality of cancel culture where they can target a corporation or business and in no amount of time shame them into falling in line. This is a very dangerous reality.
Leftist activism relentlessly attacked Bush McCain and Romney yet pretends this is about Trump.
Leftist activism created the slogan #notmypresident, made the power of impeachment a political tool and created a pressure campaign for athletes and companies to boycott routine visits to the White House.
Leftist activism allows for the looting and wanton destruction of body and limb for months straight, while calling them “mostly peaceful protests,” allowing groups and individuals to use their social media platforms to create spontaneous protests.
On the international front leftist activism supports sending 1.7 billion in cash to the country responsible for the most deaths in the middle east in the past hundred years yet will call for the financial boycott of peaceful Israel.
Leftist activism allows for personal attacks against politicians you disagree with, calling for lists and public shaming of anyone who worked in the previous administration.
It looks like the mob, it smells like the mob – because it is the mob. And when the mob controls most of the media, it’s a recipe for disaster.
There isn’t a single mainstream public figure who wasn’t authentically disgusted by the violence at the Capitol last week (a mere fraction of the hundreds of thousands of respectful, hardworking people who were there.) The same cannot be said when the perpetrators are Antifa or far-left activists.
There’s a great idea expressed by civil rights attorney Alan Dershowitz. Don’t judge people by how they treat upstanding individuals, judge them by how they treat people who made mistakes. Their reaction tells you exactly who they are. The collusion of a few individuals in removing the Parler app from the world wide web should shock anyone wary of so much power in the hands of so few.
We believing Jews have a fairly good ability to see past tyrannical leaders who claim their power grab was for the people, for public safety or for public health. Perhaps that’s the reason we were always the first target of the newest dictator on the block.
Knowing all this doesn’t change the reality, and perhaps the only thing most of us can do is register our disgust by deleting the Facebook owned WhatsApp app and switching to Signal, but it does give us a starting point of at least knowing what’s going on.
But I digress. World events are completely in the hands of Hashem. We are in great Hands. We will continue to increase our acts of holiness, goodness and kindness. And we have complete bitachon in Hashem that even while we are still in golus we will have light, joy and gladness.
With Hashem’s help, we look forward to seeing how current events are ushering us into the time when there shall be no more greed or strife for the world shall be filled with knowledge of the Creator.
Wishing you a wonderful Shabbos,