An Oylem Goylem

What Alexander Hamilton said in his day ["the masses are asses"] was a mere echo of a famous Yiddish folk saying, "der oylem iz a goylem". The golem, one recalls, is that brutish being incapable of independent thought, and keyed to the will of its master. Alas, the more things change, the less anything in the Jewish world does. The OYLEM, the Jewish audience, remains a GOYLEM...

I speak of the incredible willingness of the Jew to want to believe any lie, fraud and cynical manipulation - as long as that allows him to preserve his illusions of heroes. I speak of the almost absolute ability of politicians to do and say anything, in the knowledge that their idolatrous followers will see only divinity and truth in them - despite the fact that if the same act would be done to by a politician they despise, they would be crying for "the traitors scalp". And I write this, as the cult of Ariel Sharon spreads among the masses that is a
Goylem, the masses of asses.

There is an apparent need on the part of human beings, and certainly Jews, for a hero. There is a need for man to worship. Alas, G-d lacks charisma for the modern Jew, who seeks something more exciting. And in every decade there is someone else to worship, some other god with feet and mind and soul of clay. Now, it may be legitimate to raise high the banner of a leader, but only the
Goylem refuses to see his feet of clay and his nakedness of principle.

In the past it was Moshe Dayan, he of the one eye and the lion heart of Judah. Jews of the Exile, humiliated for two millennia, ached for a hero and here was the Jewish Samson who smote the gentiles and gave every Jew in Levittown pride and self-respect. Little matter that Dayan was a man of tiny faith and immense fear of the gentiles, who along with Golda Meir (yet another Jewish winner) - refused to allow the Israeli Army to strike a preventive blow a day before they knew the Yom Kippur War was to begin, out of fear of the American reaction.

No less than 4,000 Jewish boys fell because of that criminal decision by Moshe the lion-hearted, who was quoted in the first week of that war that seemed to be a debacle, "we are seeing the destruction of the Third Temple." And who recalled, or cared to, that it was Dayan, who, in the Six Day War, opposed reaching the Suez Canal and capturing the Golan Heights lest Israel get involved with the Soviets. (It was Divine Providence that saw the Israeli Army outrun Dayan's pathetic orders). And who recalls, or cares to, that it was Dayan who refused to expel the Arabs in 1967, when the world stood awe-struck, lest as he put it, "the world think that there is another wave of Arab refugees." Indeed, he ordered the army to return thousands of Arabs who had fled on their own, and the tragedy of today is in such large measure the doing of Moshe Dayan, hero of the Jewish people. And yet he continues, incredibly, to dwell in the private Pantheon of millions of Jews.

Indeed, an
Oylem Goylem.

And Golda, the architect of the murder of 4,000 Jewish soldiers because of fear of the world. The architect, too, of the saying that will surely enter the Hall of Fame of Insanity, as she declared: "I can forgive the Arabs for having killed our soldiers but I can never forgive them for making us kill theirs." And yet, this person still remains in the eyes of millions "the only
gever (man) in the Israeli cabinet..."

And Begin. What shall we say about a man who will go down in history as the saddest and weakest of all Prime Ministers, while, at the same time, continuing to reap the kudos and hurrahs of millions who make up his
Oylem Goylem. Had Peres given up the Sinai, with its huge oil supplies and land area, knocked down Jewish settlements and dragged out Jews; had Peres stopped the Israeli Army in Lebanon from annihilating the PLO and its leadership and thus cause more than 650 Jewish soldiers to die for nothing; had Peres allowed his army officers to take the blame for Sabra and Shatilla - Begin and his groupies would have taken to the streets calling for the head of the "traitor". But since it was Begin who did it, the Goylem accepts it as the decision "forced upon him". What an Oylem! What a Goylem!

Every decade, every year, the
goylem finds himself another hero. Shamir. He is better than Peres. Why? Only G-d knows why a man who arrested and prosecuted the Jewish underground; who is Prime Minister of the "intifada"; whose plan for elections is a guarantee of a Palestinian State; who lied on every issue (except money) to the religious parties; who speaks loudly and carries a small twig - is lionized by the Oylem Goylem. And worst of all - is Sharon.

Ariel Sharon. Latest hero of the masses. He is the "hawk". He is the tough hero. He is the no-nonsense man. He is the salvation. Masses. Asses. Oylem. Goylem.

It was a Saturday night and Begin was on the verge of signing the infamous, insane Camp David Accords. The sticking point was Sadat's absolute refusal to allow Jews to remain, hence the need to dismantle the settlements and remove the Jews. Begin feared one man. Sharon. He called him from the U.S. to ask if he would support the plan. What else was said we can only guess. But what is known is that Sharon agreed to support it, voted for the Camp David accords in the Knesset (Shamir did not) and then was appointed Minister of Defense.

And as Minister of Defense, it was Ariel Sharon, hawk, hero, salvation, who hovered over the area in his helicopter directing the knocking down of Jewish settlements (and creating a precedent for Judea and Samaria) and bodily dragging out Jews from their homes. If Peres had done that, what would the hawk have said? What would the hero have shouted? What would the salvation have exclaimed? Masses. Asses.
Oylem. Goylem.

I know of countless cabinet ministers in the world, and even some in Israel, who resigned over principle. If the handling of the "
intifada" is so terrible, and it is, and if Israel is headed toward disaster (and it is!), why does not Sharon resign? And what can one say about a man who in November 1987 and then again in December of that year and again after that, called for the drafting of Arabs into the army and who condemns Meir Kahane for his proposal to expel them instead?

Donkeys, asses, are programmed in their limitations. They cannot see; they cannot grasp reality. Human donkeys are different. They can - but they are worse than the four-legged brand because they refuse to see and admit truth and reality. The same Ariel Sharon is a man whose word is suspect (and I attempt to be kind). In an interview with the newspaper "Ma'ariv" on the eve of the 1973 elections, he told the paper that he supported equal rights for all wings of Judaism - Reform, Conservatism, as well as Orthodox, and was for public transportation on the Sabbath. Today he goes to the Lubavitcher Rebbe for his "blessings" in his battle against Shamir's elections plan, and the
Oylem Goylem goes wild in ecstasy.

And all the rest. Tchiya and Geula Cohen (whose hatred for Kahane is more than pathological). She writes a letter to "Ha'Aretz " in July, 1986 offering Israeli citizenship to any Arab of the territories who wishes it after annexation. And Prof. Yuval Neeman, indeed a good man and the finest of all of them, but who is interviewed by two French journalists who write: "He says that in no way is he a racist and claims that he would accept an Arab son-in law, provided of course he adhered to the values of the Jewish State..."

And Rabbi Levinger who is a good man, just as the Arab he thankfully shot was not, but like Gush Emunim which blasted any idea of expulsion of Arabs and instead raised high the lie of coexistence with them, (lest they be branded "racists") - is responsible in the end for the "
intifada" and for the Arabs who stoned his car. The February 10, 1984 issue of the Jewish Press carries a long article on a Levinger trip to America. In it he says: "In Judea and Samaria, in general, there is no trouble. Arabs and Jews work together, travel together... It is not only good to live in a settlement near Arabs, it is good to live together..."

I could go on and on. But hopefully the point is clear to that percentage of Jews that has risen above the
Oylem Goylem, who have achieved more than donkey status. Be honest. Be truthful. And above all, cease being idol worshippers. A horror committed by Ariel Sharon is just as horrendous as one committed by Yossi Sarid. The Likud is not better than Labor and neither, in the end, is Tchiya or Moledet whose leader, Rechavam Ze'evi, called for an Arab Vice-Speaker of the Knesset and never tires of disclaiming any attempt to force Arabs out of the country ("I speak of voluntary transfer...").

To go as allies with the best of the worst - of course.

But when the question is whom to support and join and believe in - the answer is only those whose record is that of consistency; who never changed and never wavered and never compromised. Anything less than that will never bring salvation. Ever.

By Rabbi Meir Kahane
Hosted by