The problems of the West

When one considers the problems facing today Western civilization, it may be useful, in order to maintain hope, to carry out a vast historical analysis over several millennia.

The problems of the West are really serious and the least are not the rise of Islam in Europe and America, climate change, globalization orchestrated by dark forces, rising insecurity, pollution, the loss of national identities, hedonism, frenzied individualism, desertification of the countryside, questions about education at time the Internet is present at any moment on your phone, etc.

Even if beyond 10,000 years, our historical knowledge proper becomes vague, we have at least some certainties: the climate has already experienced changes in the historical era, civilizations, sometimes advanced, have developed in empires and then ebbed in the face of other growing civilizations, equilibrium has sometimes been created for centuries and then broken off abruptly. Certain natural disasters and, of course, wars, have defeated brilliant civilizations with scientific knowledge and remarkable works of art to lead the world into times of chaos and barbarism.

When you have the feeling that the benchmarks of the world that you have known since your childhood and that you wish to transmit to your children are blurred or collapsed, feeling that concerns today millions of men and women in the West, all shaking, all adventures, especially dictatorial ones, become possible.

 

As we know, two great civilizations during the last twenty centuries, Christian civilization and Islamic civilization, have drawn, each in their own way, some major themes of their framework of thought, while neglecting or seriously altering others, in a small 4000 years old people of the Near East, the Hebrews, who became the Jews after the loss of their independence and their country.

 

But, the Hebrew tradition has this peculiarity of believing the possible salvation for men from an option of faith. To believe in a single Gd is to believe in the mission of Man on earth, it is to believe that there will come a time when « the sharing of bread does not lead to war » (Léon Askenazi-Manitou). It is also this hope pegged to the body of the Jews even in the most dramatic times and the worst sufferings, which allowed the miracle of the Return. That Israel, seventy years ago, has returned home, restored its sovereignty in its country and since then gathers its exiles, and rebuilds an innovative, generous and strong country, it is the very sign that redemption is possible and this is the « good news » that humanity is not without hope, even when everything seems to vanish.

 

Christianity, like Islam, has contributed to spreading the idea of ​​monotheism in the world on the basis of the Hebrew beliefs and largely undermining the idolatry so common for so many centuries for large parts of humanity.

Yet Christianity, by deifying the intercessor, postulating the original evil as rule and salvation as an exception, choose a mistaken « Good News ».

 

Islam, believing that to serve Gd, is to renounce one’s face, face down, that serve Gd is to deny freedom to man and his responsibility, has produced, in the long run, only overwhelming empires , of a cyclic violence, brutal and retrograde. Its current rise in power in the West does not change anything.

 

« When the way is bogged, the Jewish people who have their guide as their Torah, find the way » (André Neher). The State of Israel, where a Hebrew civilization is flourishing again, will be able to assume this vocation provided that the Westerners and the Muslims finally overcome their resentment, their jealousies, their gossiping, their complexes and draw again from Abraham’s fraternity the sense of hope.

Leon ROZENBAUM

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