The ARAM identity

Rav Leon Askenazi זצ »ל, Manitou, taught us to understand many discrete but manifest messages in the letter of the Bible. One of the most famous is that the descendants of Ever, the Hebrews, lived in Eretz -Israel before the Canaanites, who were in fact invaders.

When Avram leaves Haran, he sets out directly to the Land of Israel when he has not received any specific command to go there.  The explanation is that In Ur-Casdim, Terah’s family was in reality a Diaspora engaged in making the idol-like concepts for the civilization of the time, like the « Jewish intellectuals »  do  in  the exiles of all times.

On the other hand, when Joseph appeared before Pharaoh two generations later, he declared: « I was robbed from the Land of the Hebrews … » and Pharaoh understands perfectly, whereas according to the biblical narrative, only one family has traveled throughout the Country and has remained there with great difficulty! So, at that time everybody knew that « the Canaanite was then in the land », but that it is indeed the Land of the Hebrews.

When Isaac sent his servant to look for a wife for his son, he told him to find her « in his family » at Laban the Aramean. Who, then, were these Arameans who belonged to the family of the Hebrews?

They were a lost Hebrew Diaspora, crystallized in exile and refused to leave it. But, not content with refusing the Hebrew vocation, the Aramaeans became the worst enemies of it, as the Haggadah of Pesach emphasizes.

It is time to draw lessons from these stories for our time when, before our eyes, the Jewish community of the USA, which we believed for a long time to be powerful and attached to the identity of Israel, is moving away massively from the support for the sovereign Jewish state. Nearly seventy years after the resurgence of Jewish sovereignty in his country, turning his back on him in many ways, such as insane support for Obama, a scorner of Israel, in his second campaign, the attempt to prevent the appointment of a US ambassador to Israel judged « too right », highlights a remote identity of many American Jews.

Even if it is not necessary to generalize and the phenomenon is perhaps reversible, the signs are too numerous to be passed over in silence. These signs concern not only the American Diaspora, but also reflect the behavior of large sectors of European Jews, increasingly timid in the face of the anti-Israel policies of their governments and especially of the European institutions.

The rise of anti-Semitism everywhere in the West puts the great Jewish Diasporas at the foot of the wall: or choose to return to their Jewish roots by rallying the State of Israel or accepting not only the alteration of their identity but, an Insensible and perilous metamorphosis into enemies of Israel. Perhaps this is what the Bible wants to say to us, in a word, through the « ARAM » identity.

Leon ROZENBAUM

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