In an attempt to counter rapidly growing antisemitism in the country, the French government updated its plan to combat antisemitism to include training teachers and requiring students to visit sites of antisemitic or racist incidents.
The problem of rising antisemitism is hardly exclusive to France. We see this targeted hatred rising dramatically in many places. One may ponder why this age-old hatred does not go away despite initiatives like France’s Interministerial Delegation for the Fight Against Racism and Antisemitism (DILCRAH), which it adopted in 2015 and updates every three years, and the multiple efforts in other places in the world where Jews are persecuted.
Hatred toward the Jewish people has been a regularly recurring phenomenon over the course of history that started in ancient Babylon and has taken on many forms up to the current time when we see what we call the “new antisemitism” is the same old hatred clothed in new dressings.
Ancient Babylon was a time of great social turmoil marked by the shattering of the Tower of Babel when the Babylonians felt an outburst of the human ego and lost their ability to understand one another.
In response to the demands of the time around 4,000 years ago, a Babylonian priest named Abraham discovered a method for rising above humanity’s divisive inclinations to reveal the single unifying force of nature.
Essentially, Abraham led his followers on a path to the discovery of this uniting force of nature through work in practical actualization within the relationships between people who applied the principle, “love your neighbor as yourself.”
The uniqueness of the followers of Abraham was that they shared no biological roots. They came from among all the peoples, clans, and tribes of the region. They coalesced as a group formed of people from different nations in the area who were drawn together based on a unifying ideology and joined together by a commitment to work on themselves in order to attain the quality of love of others above the pressure toward social division that existed at that time.
The Jewish people became a nation through a pledge to be “as one man with one heart.” This common ideological connection among the people of Abraham was formalized into a binding covenant at the time of the reception of the Torah at the foot of Mount Sinai.
Since then, it has been our duty to maintain this connection between us and to pass it on to other peoples, a role that does not involve entitlement, but rather service to others. Therefore, it is the duty of the Jewish people to fulfill the law of love among ourselves and to set an example of this brotherly love to others.
Unfortunately, since the time this covenant was made, we have completely lost awareness of our Jewish unity, and in its place, frictions and separations prevail. However, this shared experience of attainment made an indelible impression on the Jewish soul that is so profound that it could never be erased.
Thus, we should not waste energy thinking about how to make small fixes here and there. Instead, we need to put all our effort into achieving unity. I am certain that if the few million Jews on the planet today would think about how to unite in order to do good to all of humanity, the unifying tendency would expand throughout the world and everyone would join in.
In short, humanity will be able to connect on the condition that the people of Israel unite. Today, however, Jews are more divided than any other people. Therefore, antisemitism will gradually gain force and acquire forms that will unpleasantly compel us to unite.
Eventually, an inner perception will form within Jews that we need to be closer to each other. And by finally doing so, we will save ourselves and the whole of humanity from all hatred, division, and crisis.
More on the subject in my book, 𝘕𝘦𝘸 𝘈𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘴𝘦𝘮𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘴𝘮: 𝘔𝘶𝘵𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘖𝘧 𝘈 𝘓𝘰𝘯𝘨-𝘓𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘥 𝘏𝘢𝘵𝘳𝘦𝘥.
Posted on LinkedIn Newsletter, The Times of Israel, Facebook