During November, the head of the Anti-Defamation League declared Christians to be the enemies of Jews. "Their goal is to implement their Christian worldview, to Christianize America, to save us!" he said. He proceeded to name names: "Major players include Focus on the Family. Alliance Defense Fund, the American Family Association, Family Research Council and more. They and other groups have established new organizations and church-based networks, and built infrastructure throughout the country designed to promote traditional Christian values."
Where do these traditional Christian values come from? Why, from the Bible of course. Remember that book? The one God gave to the Israelites at Mount Sinai a little over 3,000 years ago. Would you tell me please which 'traditional Christian values" could be opposed by any Jew who took the Torah seriously? In attacking Torah values, the ADL's leader clearly indicates that his organization is driven by Democratic Party doctrine, not by Jewish values. Jewish values derive from the Bible. But one isn't supposed to say that.
Have you noticed? In a weird sort of Alice-in-Wonderland reversal of reality, people now utter apologetic disclaimers whenever they quote something Biblical. It wasn't so long ago that failing to incorporate Biblical metaphors into your conversation labeled you an ignoramus. Now, for the first time in 500 years, people utterly ignorant of the Bible still think of themselves as educated.
Stop the defensiveness already. Whether Jew or Christian, you need to know this book. It is the only book never to be out of print since 1452 when it became the first book ever printed. It is the book in which is enshrined the moral code of western civilization. It is the book which inspired Isaac Newton to probe and reveal secrets of science. It is the book that encouraged Oliver Cromwell to rebel against King Charles 1.
It is the book which stirred Samuel Taylor Coleridge to write, "In the Bible I have found words for my inmost thoughts, songs for my joy, utterances for my hidden griefs." It is the book from which sprang the Founders' vision for America. It is your legacy. Know it and quote from it.
I told you all that only so I could tell you this: Biblical morality declares peace to be more important even than truth. Or to put it a bit more accurately, peace is one of the elements that defines truth. If you didn't understand this, you'd have to accept that God lies. In fact, God appears to have lied to none other than His first devotee, our father Abraham. Here is what happened.
In Genesis chapter 18, God's angel informed one-hundred-year-old Abraham that during the following year, his ninety-year-old wife, Sarah would have a son. The next verse reads: "Now Sarah was listening from behind the door." This is followed by Sarah laughing to herself at the very notion of an elderly couple having a son. She explicitly says in verse twelve, ". . .and my husband is far too old."
God seems to lie in the very next verse, distorting what made Sarah laugh. "And God said to Abraham, 'why did Sarah laugh at the news saying 'How could I give birth with me as old as I am? " God told Abraham that Sarah laughed at her own age. In fact, she didn't laugh at the thought of her own age as much as she laughed at her husband being too old. That is exactly what she said in verse twelve . Yet God changed the facts when He reported Sarah's laughter to Abraham.
Ancient Jewish wisdom points out that the Bible is a moral guide not a history book. Thus it teaches humanity that peace, in this case between husband and wife, is more important than recitation of facts. What is more, it explains that an ultimately truthful report would have to take into account how horrified Sarah would have been had she embarrassed her husband. For this reason, God reported Sarah's laughter as having been the result of contemplating her own age rather than doubting her husband's virility.
That is how important peace is to Judaism. Peace isn't the highest value of all; it can't be pursued, for example, at the price of betrayal, defeat, or dishonor. But gratuitously picking fights and encouraging disharmony is abhorrent. Doing so to one's friends is even worse. Peace between American Jew and American Christian is not only achievable, it is a beautiful reality. If you think about it, this peace is an amazing historic development. But more importantly, it is a brotherhood of destiny. What on earth motivates those so-called Jewish organizations who jeopardize it ?
If America is to prevail against Islamic terror and once again save Western civilization, American Jews and American Christians must link arms. This great struggle which threatens to plunge, not just Europe but the whole world back into darkness and primitivism is ultimately a struggle between the culture of the Koran and the twin civilizations of the Bible. Only if we, who sprang from the Bible, stand firm can we hope to prevail.
If America is to stand with Israel, American Jews and Americans Christian must link arms. The Washington Post reported how Donald E. Wildmon, chairman of the evangelical American Family Association, warned in a Dec. 5th 2005 radio broadcast that Foxman was fighting the very people who are the strongest supporters of Israel. "The more he says that 'you people are destroying this country,' you know, some people are going to begin to get fed up with this and say, 'Well, all right then. If that's the way you feel, then we just won't support Israel anymore.' " I know Don Wildmon and he is a philo-Semitic supporter of Israel. He is not saying that he will stop loving Jews and Israel. He is warning that many people finally tire of being endlessly kicked by those they considered their friends, and eventually change their minds.
If America is to restore its culture, banish vulgarity, and resist those who would remake it in Europe's image, American Jews and American Christians must link arms.
In the face of these mighty challenges, Mr. Foxman of the ADL, and Rabbi Eric Yoffie of the Reform Jewish movement see fit to try and destroy peace between American Christian and American Jew. In mid-November, Rabbi Yoffie insisted that anyone who opposes homosexuality is like Hitler. That is right, Rabbi Yoffie is saying that adhering to the words of Leviticus makes me a Nazi!
Mr. Foxman denounced by name, organizations like Focus on the Family. Alliance Defense Fund, the American Family Association, and Family Research Council. I have spoken for these fine organizations on numerous occasions. Whenever I have done so, my speeches were Torah-based words of an Orthodox rabbi. These organizations which Mr. Foxman not so subtly suggests are anti-Jewish applauded my remarks. I have broadcast and socialized with Dr. James Dobson, the founder of Focus on the Family; he is a Bible-loving supporter of Israel and friend of the Jewish people. Alan Sears, the head of Alliance Defense Fund is a dear friend and is deeply committed to Biblical values. His organization does outstanding work and is supported by many members of Toward Tradition as indeed it ought to be. The American Family Association and Family Research Council both stand for the basic unit of social organization--the family. What Jew committed to Jewish values would not support these excellent organizations that advocate for the life model recommended by the Bible?
Peace is a foundational Jewish value. Those who try to bring about peace and maintain it are acting in accordance with Biblical values. Those who undermine it and attempt to replace it with enmity are acting in accordance with some other set of values. I am not sure what it is but I am sure it isn't Jewish.
Rabbi Daniel Lapin, an Orthodox Rabbi in Seattle, and President of "Toward Tradition." "Toward Tradition" is America's leading bridge-builder between Jewish and Christian communities; spanning the divide between Christians and Jews by sculpting ancient solutions to modern problems.
© Rabbi Daniel Lapin. Read the entire article on the Toward Tradtion website (new window will open). Reprinting allowed with attribution.