Tuesday, June 09, 2009

B’Kiso, B’Kaso, B’Koso

No it is not a magic incantation. The phrase B’Kiso, B’Kaso, B’Koso is found in the Gemarah. It is a statement of wisdom from the sages. These are the three ways in which one can find out the true character of another person: With his wallet, and what he says when he’s angry or when he’s drunk!

Two of these three were apparent in a group of young Americans in a video widely viewed on YouTube. They were drunk and they were angry. And they really let loose. The result: a huge Chilul HaShem!

They were interviewed just before the President’s speech in Cairo about their feelings for him. Out came the truth - gushing forth like an newly discovered oil well. It was a foul mouthed and racist diatribe against a gentle man who has not displayed an ounce of anti-Semitism in his entire career.

The venom these young people had was palpable. It was disgusting and unworthy of anyone who calls himself a Jew - or even a civilized human being.

I did not vote for the President. I had my reasons - most of which had to do with which candidate I felt would be ultimately better for this country and for Israel. But I never doubted for a second that the President was anything but an honorable man who only wanted the best for his country. And though I was worried about his policy towards Israel – and still am – I have not the slightest doubt about his commitment to this strong and viable ally.

All he wants is for Israel and the Arabs to make peace. I think we all want that. How we get there is a matter of very serious debate. But no one can doubt the President’s intentions – nor his commitment to the existence of the Jewish State. He is unequivocal about the morality of its existence post holocaust. And he has repeatedly stated his position that the ties between Israel and the United States are unbreakable.

There is absolutely no excuse for the attitude, the accompanying vile language and racism of these young ‘people’ (I use that term reluctantly). They were not raised on Jewish values at all. They were taught hate. At best they were also taught to also mask it in polite company. Surely they were admonished to never express these kinds of views in public. But these kids were drunk. And that – Chazal tell us - is when truth comes out. To say that they desecrated God’s name is an understatement.

I realize that they are probably not religious. Normally I would say that it makes a difference. After all they were not raised on Torah values. But in this case it doesn’t matter. They were clearly identified as young American studying in Israel. They are seen as reflective of Jewish thinking. That makes it a Chilul HaShem.

I am embarrassed by them!

My fear is that these young ‘people’ are representative of a much larger but silent group of Jews who have the same feelings about the President. These kids didn’t just arrive at these opinions in a vacuum. They have heard them before from others - a parent, an uncle, a teacher, or a peer. I have seen the same kind of attitude expressed by some on this blog. It is disgusting. It is anti Jewish. It is anti Torah..

I think it stems from an unrealistic view by some of the future. If there is ever a dissolution of terrorist organizations like Hamas – then until Moshiach comes - the future of Israel will probably not include most of the West Bank and any of Gaza.

But to diehards who think that Israel cannot ever give up an inch of Eretz Yisroel under any circumstances, that is an unacceptable scenario. It is from this segment where people with this kind of hatred stem. Not only for the President but for anyone who dares to mention 'land for peace'!

Even great Israeli leaders who were heroes, who have fought wars, and risked their lives have been turned into villains and called traitors for even suggesting it as a possibility. The venom that has been spewed at them was palpable - whether it Rabin, Sharon or Netanyahu. Even Menachem Begin couldn’t escape their disdain when he gave up the Sinai to Egypt. No one escapes their wrath - a wrath that was not lost on Rabin's assassin Yigal Amir.

So when an American President is perceived as wanting to force Israel to give up land - they vilify him in their minds. When plied with alcohol they will tell you point blank. And in the case of this President racism raised its ugly head to boot!

These were not just a bunch of drunken racist kids representative of their own drunken state. These were people expressing real views and feelings about the President.

One of those interviewed pointed out that he memorized his grandmother’s tattooed Auschwitz number. I ’m sorry to say that he did his grandmother no favors with that outburst. These kids are condemnable and if t were in my power I’d kick them out of Israel and ostracize them from the Jewish people.