Ehr Kumt (He is Coming)


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[Editor's note: the following is a sermon written and delivered by Atlanta Rabbi Schlomo Lewis on the First Day of Rosh Hashanah, 2010. It is titled in Yiddish, Ehr Kumt, "He is Coming."]

Many years ago, a Chasid used to travel from shtetl to shtetl selling holy books. On one occasion he came to a wealthy land owner and asked if he would like to purchase a book of Torah teachings. The banker agreed and not only purchased the book, but paid for it with a hundred ruble note. He then began to chat with the Chassid and offered him a cigar, taking one also for himself. The Chassid noticed that the banker proceeded to rip a page from the holy book he had just bought and, holding it to the open flame on the stove, used the page to light his cigar. The Chassid said not a word but simply drew out from his pocket the 100 ruble note he had just received from the banker, held it over the stove as well and used it to light his cigar.

This simple, little tale reflects a profound divergence of values. Our sympathy clearly and instinctively is not with the banker but with the pious Chassid. None of us would come to the defense of the banker. None of us would claim moral supremacy for the banker. None of us would justify his boorish deed. As the sages of the Talmud would say – “Pshita – It is so obvious.” Sadly though our planet is immersed in perversity where morality is not so manifest – where the book burner is a hero and the pious one, a villain.

I thought long and I thought hard on whether to deliver the sermon I am about to share. We all wish to bounce happily out of shul on the High Holidays, filled with warm fuzzies, ready to gobble up our brisket, our honey cakes and our kugel. We want to be shaken and stirred – but not too much. We want to be guilt-schlepped – but not too much. We want to be provoked but not too much. We want to be transformed but not too much.

I get it, but as a rabbi I have a compelling obligation, a responsibility to articulate what is in my heart and what I passionately believe must be said and must be heard. And so, I am guided not by what is easy to say but by what is painful to express. I am guided not by the frivolous but by the serious. I am guided not by delicacy but by urgency.

We are at war. We are at war with an enemy as savage, as voracious, as heartless as the Nazis but one wouldn’t know it from our behavior. During WWII we didn’t refer to storm troopers as freedom fighters. We didn’t call the Gestapo, militants. We didn’t see the attacks on our Merchant Marine as acts by rogue sailors. We did not justify the Nazis rise to power as our fault. We did not grovel before the Nazis, thumping our hearts and confessing to abusing and mistreating and humiliating the German people. We did not apologize for Dresden, nor for The Battle of the Bulge, nor for El Alamein, nor for D-Day.

Evil – ultimate, irreconcilable, evil threatened us and Roosevelt and Churchill had moral clarity and an exquisite understanding of what was at stake. It was not just the Sudetenland, not just Tubruk, not just Vienna, not just Casablanca. It was the entire planet. Read history and be shocked at how frighteningly close Hitler came to creating a Pax Germana on every continent.

Not all Germans were Nazis – most were decent, most were revolted by the Third Reich, most were good citizens hoisting a beer, earning a living and tucking in their children at night. But, too many looked away, too many cried out in lame defense – “I didn’t know.” Too many were silent. Guilt absolutely falls upon those who committed the atrocities, but responsibility and guilt falls upon those who did nothing as well. Fault was not just with the goose steppers but with those who pulled the curtains shut, said and did nothing.

In WWII we won because we got it. We understood who the enemy was and we knew that the end had to be unconditional and absolute. We did not stumble around worrying about offending the Nazis. We did not measure every word so as not to upset our foe. We built planes and tanks and battleships and went to war to win….. to rid the world of malevolence.

We are at war… yet too many stubbornly and foolishly don’t put the pieces together and refuse to identify the evil doers. We are circumspect and disgracefully politically correct.

Let me mince no words in saying that from Fort Hood to Bali, from Times Square to London, from Madrid to Mumbai, from 9/11 to Gaza, the murderers, the barbarians are radical Islamists.

To camouflage their identity is sedition. To excuse their deeds is contemptible. To mask their intentions is unconscionable.

A few years ago I visited Lithuania on a Jewish genealogical tour. It was a stunning journey and a very personal, spiritual pilgrimage. When we visited Kovno we davened Maariv at the only remaining shul in the city. Before the war there were thirty-seven shuls for 38,000 Jews. Now only one, a shrinking, gray congregation. We made minyon for the handful of aged worshippers in the Choral Synagogue, a once majestic, jewel in Kovno.

After my return home I visited Cherry Hill for Shabbos. At the oneg an elderly family friend, Joe Magun, came over to me.

“Shalom,” he said. “Your abba told me you just came back from Lithuania.” “Yes,” I replied. “It was quite a powerful experience.” “Did you visit the Choral Synagogue in Kovno? The one with the big arch in the courtyard?” “Yes, I did. In fact, we helped them make minyon.” His eyes opened wide in joy at our shared memory. For a moment he gazed into the distance and then, he returned. “Shalom, I grew up only a few feet away from the arch. The Choral Synagogue was where I davened as a child.”

He paused for a moment and once again was lost in the past. His smile faded. Pain filled his wrinkled face. “I remember one Shabbos in 1938 when Vladimir Jabotinsky came to the shul” (Jabotinsky was Menachim Begin’s mentor – he was a fiery orator, an unflinching Zionist radical, whose politics were to the far right.) Joe continued “When Jabotinsky came, he delivered the drash on Shabbos morning and I can still hear his words burning in my ears. He climbed up to the shtender, stared at us from the bima, glared at us with eyes full of fire and cried out. Ehr Kumt. Yidn Farlawst ayer shtetl – He’s coming. Jews abandon your city.’ ”

We thought we were safe in Lithuania from the Nazis, from Hitler. We had lived there, thrived for a thousand years but Jabotinsky was right — his warning prophetic. We got out but most did not.”

We are not in Lithuania. It is not the 1930s. There is no Luftwaffe overhead. No U-boats off the coast of Long Island. No Panzer divisions on our borders. But make no mistake; we are under attack – our values, our tolerance, our freedom, our virtue, our land.

Now before some folks roll their eyes and glance at their watches let me state emphatically, unmistakably – I have no pathology of hate, nor am I a manic Paul Revere, galloping through the countryside. I am not a pessimist, nor prone to panic attacks. I am a lover of humanity, all humanity. Whether they worship in a synagogue, a church, a mosque, a temple or don’t worship at all. I have no bone of bigotry in my body, but what I do have is hatred for those who hate, intolerance for those who are intolerant, and a guiltless, unstoppable obsession to see evil eradicated.

Today the enemy is radical Islam but it must be said sadly and reluctantly that there are unwitting, co-conspirators who strengthen the hands of the evil doers. Let me state that the overwhelming number of Muslims are good Muslims, fine human beings who want nothing more than a Jeep Cherokee in their driveway, a flat screen TV on their wall and a good education for their children, but these good Muslims have an obligation to destiny, to decency that thus far for the most part they have avoided. The Kulturkampf is not only external but internal as well. The good Muslims must sponsor rallies in Times Square, in Trafalgar Square, in the UN Plaza, on the Champs Elysee, in Mecca condemning terrorism, denouncing unequivocally the slaughter of the innocent. Thus far, they have not. The good Muslims must place ads in the NY Times. They must buy time on network TV, on cable stations, in the Jerusalem Post, in Le Monde, in Al Watan, on Al Jazeera condemning terrorism, denouncing unequivocally the slaughter of the innocent – thus far, they have not. Their silence allows the vicious to tarnish Islam and define it.

Brutal acts of commission and yawning acts of omission both strengthen the hand of the devil.

I recall a conversation with my father shortly before he died that helped me understand how perilous and how broken is our world; that we are living on the narrow seam of civilization and moral oblivion. Knowing he had little time left he shared the following – “Shal. I am ready to leave this earth. Sure I’d like to live a little longer, see a few more sunrises, but truthfully, I’ve had it. I’m done. Finished. I hope the Good Lord takes me soon because I am unable to live in this world knowing what it has become.”

This startling admission of moral exhaustion from a man who witnessed and lived through the Depression, the Holocaust, WWII, Communist Triumphalism, McCarthyism, Strontium 90 and polio. – Yet his twilight observation was – “The worst is yet to come.” And he wanted out.

I share my father’s angst and fear that too many do not see the authentic, existential threat we face nor confront the source of our peril. We must wake up and smell the hookah.

“Lighten up, Lewis. Take a chill pill, some of you are quietly thinking. You’re sounding like Glenn Beck. It’s not that bad. It’s not that real.” But I am here to tell you – It is. Ask the member of our shul whose sister was vaporized in the Twin Towers and identified finally by her charred teeth, if this is real or not. Ask the members of our shul who fled a bus in downtown Paris, fearing for their safety from a gang of Muslim thugs, if this is an exaggeration. Ask the member of our shul whose son tracks Arab terrorist infiltrators who target – pizza parlors, nursery schools, Pesach seders, city buses and play grounds, if this is dramatic, paranoid hyperbole.

Ask them, ask all of them – ask the American GI’s we sit next to on planes who are here for a brief respite while we fly off on our Delta vacation package. Ask them if it’s bad. Ask them if it’s real.

Did anyone imagine in the 1920’s what Europe would look like in the 1940’s. Did anyone presume to know in the coffee houses of Berlin or in the opera halls of Vienna that genocide would soon become the celebrated culture? Did anyone think that a goofy-looking painter named Shickelgruber would go from the beer halls of Munich and jail, to the Reichstag as Feuhrer in less than a decade? Did Jews pack their bags and leave Warsaw, Vilna, Athens, Paris, Bialystok, Minsk, knowing that soon their new address would be Treblinka, Sobibor, Dachau and Auschwitz?

The sages teach – “Aizehu chacham – haroeh et hanolad – Who is a wise person – he who sees into the future.” We dare not wallow in complacency, in a misguided tolerance and naïve sense of security.

We must be diligent students of history and not sit in ash cloth at the waters of Babylon weeping. We cannot be hypnotized by eloquent-sounding rhetoric that soothes our heart but endangers our soul. We cannot be lulled into inaction for fear of offending the offenders. Radical Islam is the scourge and this must be cried out from every mountain top. From sea to shining sea, we must stand tall, prideful of our stunning decency and moral resilience. Immediately after 9/11 how many mosques were destroyed in America? None. After 9/11, how many Muslims were killed in America? None. After 9/11, how many anti-Muslim rallies were held in America? None. And yet, we apologize. We grovel. We beg forgiveness.

The mystifying litany of our foolishness continues. Should there be a shul in Hebron on the site where Baruch Goldstein gunned down twenty-seven Arabs at noonday prayers? Should there be a museum praising the U.S. Calvary on the site of Wounded Knee? Should there be a German cultural center in Auschwitz? Should a church be built in the Syrian town of Ma’arra where Crusaders slaughtered over 100,000 Muslims? Should there be a thirteen story mosque and Islamic Center only a few steps from Ground Zero?

Despite all the rhetoric, the essence of the matter can be distilled quite easily. The Muslim community has the absolute, constitutional right to build their building wherever they wish. I don’t buy the argument – “When we can build a church or a synagogue in Mecca they can build a mosque here.” America is greater than Saudi Arabia. And New York is greater than Mecca. Democracy and freedom must prevail.

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  • http://www.drgoodley.com Paul Goodley, M.D.

    Apropos to the above disclaimer request, I also greatly admire the general stream of thought but which glitched twice in my head. The pejorative reference to Dr. Baruch Goldstein presumes his accusers' side of the story. There is too much evidence to be ignored that Dr. Goldstein was not only a tzaddik (a righteous man) but he was set up. The jury will out until G-d allows the truth to come out.

    And, as much as there is no such thing as a Palestinian people, the "West Bank" is (also) a pejorative phrase. Judea and the Shomron are the soul of Israel.

    • gorpreebley

      Yes he save oodles of lives gunning down two dozen unarmed arabs with a machine gun!

      I subscribe to every word in the article above but I wish people would stop pretending Goldberg was a hero. He could have gone to the police or armed the Gush bloc to protect Jewish lives.

  • proxywar

    If you are looking for a fight this guy will give you one.

  • Triple_AAA

    Islam is exceptional in it's violence and destructiveness, everything about it is radical. Have you ever heard of the radical nazi? what about the radical communist? or the radical barbarian? So then why do we continue to refer to "radical" islam, as if there were a more moderate version of it? And as painful as it may be to say it, we are at war with not just an ideology, but with a people, including their elderly, their women, and their children. We are not at war with "radical" islam we are at war with all of islam.

    • bdouglasaf1980

      Yes we are, and they declared the war not us. I would be just as happy to leave them alone.

    • David

      Yes. This is correct. If someone is a PRACTICING Muslim, he must include jihad against all infidels. Islam is evil. Once a Muslim admits to teqiyya, he can never be trusted again.

    • Guest

      We are not at war with Islam; Islam is at war with us, while we in the West go on pretending that it isn't so. Hopefully, soon we wake up to that reality.

      • Triple_AAA

        Islam has been at war with Western Civilization since it began. It's still war!! If someone wages war on you, then how could you not be at war with them?

    • guest

      Islam is a religion of peace.[Salam] But every man has a brain that thinks in different direction.If the learnt Rabbi could delete the word" radical Islam" and instead put" zionism" its real —we are at war— they kill us ,our mothers,our sons and daughters,steal our land and property and farms and mosques and still they cry that they are the oppressed while they are the oppressors.Ehr kumt.

      • Cindy B.

        Let's not be fooled by what 'religion of peace' means in Islam. The promise is that in the end all infidels, especially the Jews, will either be converted or killed and then there will be no one left to oppose Islam, then Islam will have peace. THAT is what Islamists really mean by 'religion of peace' not what we mean when we talk about peace.

  • Perry

    Ehr kumt nicht. Ehr es shoin aher.

  • Robin Hood

    This is the most clear and compelling lucid description of the problem the Western World is facing. Rabbi Lewis – thank you! We ARE at war and unless we wake up real fast, we will be living in a frightening, prehistoric nightmare. If you need any extra information, read Craig Winn's e-book "The Prophet of Doom". This puts Islam and Sharia law in its true perspective. This is a "must read" for anyone interested on the threat of Islam.

    • Mark

      The rabbi loses credibility when he proudly proclaims his membership in the ACLU, the very organization most responsible for the runaway political correctness of these days, not to mention successful anti-religious and anti-family rulings across this country.

      Liberal Jews need to wake up! The ACLU is one of the most dangerous organizations in the US.

  • Pilgrim

    A clear and compelling analysis of what the civilized world faces.

  • John Beatty

    "We" have been at "war" with "them" since the beginning of time. The "enemy" only changes its name, not its shape. This generation is fighting Islam, the last communisim, the one before facisim, the one before Jewry, the one before Catholocism, and before that tyrant kings, and on and on.

    We always find another enemy to hate while we fight ourselves. We find secret books containing secret plans that somehow never have an original or an author that can be found. We assure ourselves that "if only" everyone were to agree with us we would all be saved.

    Saved from what? Do you even know what you're fighting for? There is no end to the fighting we have to do, I'm not offering any answers. But know that today's "enemy" will be tomorrow's trivia question, the boogieman we frighten children with at bedtime. We can't escape the "us v them" nature of biological existance, but we should be able to recognize it.

    • Mike

      It must be nice to live in your cocoon of denial, Mr. Beatty, where flesh and blood genocidal psychopaths are magically transformed into imaginary bogeymen who don't fly airliners into skyscrapers and don't massacre thousands of defenseless human beings. What a comforting, escapist delusion.

      It's no wonder you're offering no answers – you haven't even begun to ask the right questions…

    • John von Dohlen

      Satan never sleeps. But we do. When we stay awake long enough to defeat him in one shape, he waits until we nod off, and then he changes his shape and comes back at us with a new plan. There will always be evil, and we must always keep fighting.

    • Elliot Teitelbaum

      Mr. Beatty,

      Yours is one possible outcome.

      The other is that the enemy wins and WE become the trivia questions of the future.

      Which outcome occurs is completely up to us… our decisions on how we handle the issue of Islamic fundamentalism and its adherants.

  • Rebecca Moulds

    This should not be a cry just for Jews to wake up, but for all freedom-loving people, in this country and the world, to finally pull their heads out of the sand and see who is the enemy, confront it and beat it. Europe has given in, has lost its backbone, but let us take a page from the Prime Minister of Australia and stand firm against our enemy, not being afraid to name who it is: radical Islam.

  • anti-fascist18

    Very powerful…and this Rabbi is a self-described Liberal too. He tells the truth, and anyone, anyone who sticks up for Islam, for Mosques at Ground Zero, who makes excuses for Hamas or even Al Qaeda are no better than those who supported Hitler.

    In fact one can call them NAZIS and they'd be telling the truth – unlike the pigs and jackals (and that's insulting pigs and jackals) of the Left, including Obama.

  • bdouglasaf1980

    I liked what he said, but I can't get over the idea that he says "radical islam". A moderate muslim who only wants a jeep in his garage is not really practicing the faith. That's like calling a Christian who drinks and parties like there is no tomorrow a moderate Christian. The goal of a Christian is to spread the gospel. Those that do not accept we are told to leave them alone. The muslim's goal is to spread islam. Those who do not accept have three choices, none of which are good.

    It is a very VERY frightening prospect, but islam is the problem. We should not be afraid to articulate that fact.

  • Underzog

    I was looking through this article and while it is clearly well intentioned, contrary to all of you guys there is no radical Islam. There is just Islam, ramming into the twin towers, slicing off the heads of Nicholas Berg and Daniel Pearl, and killing the Said girls — honor style — in Texas; etc.

    As the Prime Minister of Turkey Endrogen said, there is no moderate Islam — just Islam. There are probably more Germans with decent impulses in Hitler's Nazi time than there are Muslims today with such feelings. The Muslims who murder thousands on 9/11 or teens in homicide bombing in Israel are activist Muslims. Those Muslims who get off their ass and actually do something without a General behind them odering to do so.

    It is like when I was protesting for Kahane back in the 80s. In Jews against Jackson, we got off our ass and protested against the anti-Semite Jackson while many people agreed with us, but just didn't feel like going through the trouble (not that I would become a homicide bomber or sumping).

  • http://southernrunner.blogspot.com loseyateefa

    Islam is the kudzu of society. It was created by a narcissistic illiterate loser who fell victim to lucifer's deception. When you break down the tenets of Islam, all of them serve to create a prison for all members of their so called family, which then paralyzes the society into nothing more than hate, victimization of themselves and a martyr complex, hate for everyone else and a mindless lust for fleshly desires both here and in eternity. No greater retrograde force has ever existed on earth because it comes from the belly of the earth: hell.
    I'm halfway through reading the Quran and it is unintelligible, irrational and illogical.
    If we don't fight against Islam specifically and for our freedoms, we will become fodder for the vine. The Bible reveals in the last days a terrible kingdom will rise and from it will come the anti-christ. Islam fits the bill perfectly. But the victor will ultimately be Jesus Christ, through Armageddon.

    • WilliamJamesWard

      Amen Sister……………………William

    • integrity/honesty

      Not true.
      The majority of ordinary Muslims are good and decent people.
      The 1500s Christianity was pretty cruel.
      The 2010s Christianity is the civilization itself in the enlightened West and rather primitive in Africa or South America.
      The 2010s Marietta Jews as fairly civilized.
      The 2010s Ethiopian Jews are similar to the Ethiopian Christians and Muslims if they still live in Ethiopia.
      The national leaders of the Muslim countries are the culprits.
      They can choose violence or reforms.
      And we hope, they choose reforms.

  • http://www.resonoelusono.com/NaturalBornCitizen.htm Alexander Gofen

    Thank you Dr. Goodley! I too was greatly admired by the general stream of thought in the article: yet the stream not without glitches.

    1) Correctly comparing Islamic threat with that of Nazis, the author visibly does not mind that Islam (Nazism) be a protected part of American life. So much so that the erection of the 13-story swastika near the 9/11 graveyard is legally OK. But the conscientious "Nazis" must simply demonstrate their "sensitivity" to our grief.

    2) A rabbi speaking about feasts of homosexuals in Jerusalem and Israel should use the term "desecration" rather than express something bordering with enthusiasm about it.

  • Stephen_Brady

    As a Christian, I don't claim to understand all what the Rabbi said … primarily, the specific probably Yiddish words. But I am also an American Christian of German ancestry.

    As a child, I remember the occasional visits of a second cousin who had been a member of the Waffen SS. After his release from the detention camp, he spent the rest of his life fighting in the service of one country or another (eventually dying in a South African raid on Angola … he was a full colonel in the SA Army). He regaled us children with stories of war and glory on the battlefield. But one thing he said stuck with me, all of these years.

    He said, "Hitler habt recht." It was in the context of a heated discussion about the Holocaust.

    Yes, Rabbi Lewis, the enemy is among us. He hates us. He wants to kill us. And he is coming to our "city". Neither Jew or Christian is safe from this enemy.

    We must fight this war as though it is truly a war, and make Dresden look like a Sunday School picnic …

  • Samurai Hit Woman

    Amen rabbi. The tenets of Political Correctness fit hand in glove in serving the tenets of Islam. Nothing could be better suited to spread Islam throughout the West than the insanity of Political Correctness.

    • WilliamJamesWard

      Yes the PC is the means for those who betray us by act
      or omission to bring us down to the level of our enemy and
      look into their evil eyes, let it be forbidden by the Almighty
      that we wait that long to take on the effort to rid ourselves
      of this putrid evil……..November starts the turnarond.
      William

  • Choi

    NOW THAT'S BREATHTAKING!
    After all of THAT, the Rabbi concludes with his "support" for the GROUND ZERO MOSQUE.
    WOW!
    It's NOT ABOUT "Their RIGHT" to build,IT'S about THEIR EXCERCISING THAT RIGHT to BUILD A VICTORY MOSQUE at GROUND ZERO!
    I certainly HOPE his congregants WALKED OUT WHEN HE CONCLUDED LIKE HE DID.

    • Judy

      No, actually, we gave him a standing ovation.

  • stern

    Choi, click on the little "2" at the bottom of the story. It doesn't end there.

  • Carl M

    Of course they are coming! We gave them a standing invitation 65 years ago: When both FDR and Churchill came calling to the king of Saudi Arabia, begging for oil concessions in exchange for our protection, we knew they would have to spend their dollars somewhere, didn’t we? Maybe we assumed they would just build up their Western-imported military complex to use as a defense against each other. Like Iraq starting a war with Iran – over oil of course. Did we think they would build libraries or polling stations; free newspapers and radio; or allow Christians to settle?

    IMHO, we have 2 simple choices: the longer view — collapse the price of oil to under $40 to keep the money home and force the Muslim countries to refocus their attention to each other and basic survival; or quickly force the price of oil up so high that we can no longer afford to waste it on our ever-expanding decadent lifestyles. $10-20 a gallon should do the trick. Our decadence has created massive corruption on all levels of society, and lifestyles that have made us obese, dumb, and permanently immature.

    The Chinese should be warned that either they help us, or we will soon not need most of their exports. It may be a minor miracle to see 50 choices of flat-screen TVs on sale. But it would be a major miracle to find one TV show worth watching. The U.S. is still the breadbasket of the world, and much of the world is running out of water and food, and fast. But he growth of barbarism is a natural occurrence throughout human history. Focus on the source and cause, not its effect. We must cut this umbilical cord of petrodollars that is feeding the problem. FDR and Churchill made a deal; we need to break it and fast.

    • Boogie's Daddy

      Drill here! Drill now! The West can indeed win this like the cold war by outproducing OPEC.
      And it would help US business' immeasurably by affording them low transportation costs.

    • badaboo

      Great points Carl , but it's a little too late for that .We got our wake up call in the early 70' s , and have been sleeping ever since . And any attempts to rid ourselves of this dependence , have fallen on deaf ears or been swallowed up by the oil lobbies …and now any push to green , or atleast some sort of rational conservatism regarding the use of fossil fuel is met with the usual , "tree-hugger /socialist /marxist B.S.
      Hope someone comes up with a way to "break that deal " .
      That is before we have to reach for our Bushmasters .

    • Nurit

      YES YES YES YES YES !!!!

  • ziontruth

    Fascinating speech! There's just a few points I don't agree with.

    "But, too many [Germans] looked away, … Guilt absolutely falls upon those who committed the atrocities, but responsibility and guilt falls upon those who did nothing as well."

    This argument can be and has been made the other way round, regarding "American silence in the face of atrocities in Iraq" and "Israeli complicity in the oppression of the Palestinians." There is no point that can't be argued. That's why I don't think ideology ("We're fighting in defense of freedom, morality, decency" etc.) will cut it. As far as I'm concerned, self-defense is its own justification. Defending one's nation at all costs is just like defending one's family, a deed justified by itself, because you and yours are your obligation to defend.

    "Let me state that the overwhelming number of Muslims are good Muslims, fine human beings who want nothing more than a Jeep Cherokee in their driveway, a flat screen TV on their wall and a good education for their children,"

    I'm sorry, but I don't believe this. It's just not in evidence. Oh, sure the active jihadists are a minority (which, when speaking of millions of people, isn't such a comfort), but I have reason to believe their supporters and comforters are the majority of Muslims. I don't wish it to be that way, but reality doesn't always bow to our wishes.

    "This startling admission of moral exhaustion from a man who witnessed and lived through … McCarthyism"

    Seems like a nitpick, but I still think it's worthy of attention, because what's been done to Joseph McCarthy is the same rewriting of history as the Phakestinian Nation fraud. McCarthy should be remembered as a patriot and hero who fought against the real danger of Marxism in America (which eventually culminated in the rise of Hussein), not as a byword for tyranny. And the only nation that should be known as The Palestinian Nation is the Jewish nation.

    "I don't buy the argument – 'When we can build a church or a synagogue in Mecca they can build a mosque here.' America is greater than Saudi Arabia. And New York is greater than Mecca."

    That's the mentality of "We're better than them, and we're going to show it by not stooping to their level." It gives a good feeling and makes a nice epitaph.

    "Believe it or not, I am a dues-paying, card carrying member of the ACLU,"

    Then you should resign. The ACLU is on the Marxist, pro-Islamic side. It was founded by Communists, after all. It files suit against the tiniest public display of Christianity, but ignores Islamic encroachments completely.

  • Coupal

    I agree with everything that the rabbi said except for his tacit approval of the mosque at Ground Zero. The symbolic significance of this mosque is too important to ignore. I will be a supremacist mosque pure and simple. Whether they have the legal right to build it is irrelevant and pales in comparison to this fact. In order to fight your enemy, you must get to know his beliefs as well as his psychology. THIS MOSQUE MUST NOT BE BUILT.

    • Don

      The very thought that any Muslim would even ask to build an Islamic house of worship at the sight of Islam's worst anti-Western atrocity, is an amazement on its face. The very thought that we are considering it, are actually creating ways to accept it philosophically, is likewise a "believe it or not!" moment in history.

      It's time to consider replacing the eagle as a national symbol, with the sponge. Our ability to soak up anything, even self-destructive suicidal molecules, and fit them into our unfiltered open pores, is without precedent. Even ancient Rome saw the dangers.

    • yana

      it doesnt end in page 1, read page 2.

  • waterwillows

    It is time, and long over due that we stop refering to limp, weak-knee responses with the words; Oh it is the insanity of political correctness.
    Let's call it what it really is, just for a change; the insanity of being bullied.

    Glad I said that. Hope others can too.

    • Alfred

      I suspect this is fraudulent. Who is this 'Rabbi Lewis'? At what congregation did he deliver this sermon? This 'sermon' is a good example of being consumed by fear and sense of victimization.

  • badaboo

    The good Rabbi makes many crucial points , but falters on the most serious . THERE IS NO MODERATE ISLAM . If the Q'uran is revered by a muslim , then all non-muslims are worthy of the sword . And if they're not saying it , that is simply because they are a minority in places where it can't be spoken without grave consequence to themselves .The Q'uran expresses NO tolerance for non-muslims , only conditional periods where the infidels may live as dhimmis , but ultimately must choose – convert or the sword .

  • Claw of the Lion

    Humanity has had 2000 years to determine its fate and choose the sides it will take. Time's up !

    • yana

      only 2000? when is the last year? LOL

  • WilliamJamesWard

    The lines are being drawn and the enemy is known and they
    are here in America and around the world, until we appoint a
    war leader and have the orders to destroy our enemy everywhere
    and without quarter, we may loose. We can watch American Idol,
    sports, reruns of cartoons, listen to leftist liars and MSM liars or
    we can prepare and be ready to act. The use of force is on its
    way, anyone who says it is not so is a liar or a fool or both…..William

  • http://www.josiahgeneration.blogspot.com Mary Liz

    Rabbi, questions. Would God permit this invasion by the Babylonians on a global scale if the world were not as immoral as those who lived under King Manasseh? Was the world also immoral before the two great world wars? Can we not expect vengeance without repentance?

  • suprkufrB

    What an articulate, cogent and inspiring sermon! I'll be circulating it to many of my Glaubensgenossen.
    I know I sound like a broken record, but I am compelled to fault Rabbi Lewis for his use of the term "radical islam," which, unfortunately, serves only to divert us from the truth.
    The problem isn't "radical islam," a term coined by islamists and their dhimmi apologists, but rather islam, not a religion, but an offshore political belief system no less deserving of vilification than are the klan, the weather underground, the aryan nation and the sendero luminoso, and which, like these, should be classified as an illegal organization.

  • suprkufrB

    Of course only a small percentage of moslems actually carries out terrorist attacks, but how are we to interpret the deafening silence of the rank and file faithful? That they're on our side? There are fifty-six islamic theocracies – where are the freedom fighters?
    Until we acknowledge the painful truth that islam is not a religion, but rather an offshore and totalitarian political creed which should be vilified no less severely than are the klan, the weather underground, the aryian nation and the sendero luminoso, and like them declared illegal organizations, we stand in imminent peril of squandering the precious freedom which so many of our parents and grandparents bequeathed us by the laying down of their lives.

  • Alfred

    I suspect this is fraudulent. Who is this 'Rabbi Lewis'? At what congregation did he deliver this sermon? A good example of being consumed by fear and sense of victimization.

    • yana

      you should have searched it before making a comment! LOL

  • stablepar

    hope you don't have to ask directions to the bathroom. you would soon be hunting for the nearest tree. good luck with that too

  • Carl Levin

    We won't even be able to defend ourselves after next year. Part of the health plan requires the taxing and registration of any weapons you own. That was the first thing the nazis did in order to confiscate them. I say"NEVER AGAIN!!

  • MrKafirCoyote

    One revision..

    They are here.

  • HPW

    All of you should read a book by Malcolm Nance , "An End To Al-Queda".pub. 2010. Among his points is that we should not refer to AQ as Islamic Terrorist. We should refer to them as criminals and murders. They are not Islamist because they have distorted Islam to their murderous philosophy. AQ determines who is a pure Moslem and the rest are to be murdered. They have slain thousands of Muslims in the name of Allah which is a total distortion of Islam.

  • Gilda

    Get this speech into the media – every newspaper across the Western world!

  • F. Joan Baker, Ph.D.

    Rabbi, that is the most excellent sermon I have ever read or heard, bar none. I agree with you 100% and have for several years now. I am not Jewish, but I practice the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda of the Self-Realization Fellowship. The main teaching is meditation, and it does not matter what one's religious background is. That said, I have emailed your sermon to everybody on my contact list. I am going to print it out and send it to my 91 year old mom — I know she'll pass it on to her friends. Americans MUST wake up – it is so imperative that I am frustrated, because so many want to believe in the "good" Muslims. I personally do not recognize Islam as a religion. I believe it is a system of politics disguised as a religion so they can get 501(3)(c) status and be tax exempt, and be free from the prying eyes of the government or anyone else. I support the Jews and Israel 100% – after all, if it weren't for the Jews there would be no Christianity, there would be no women's rights in this country, and there would be no gay rights here either. I really believe there is no such thing as a "good" Muslim, because the radicals always threaten the moderates with death to either themselves or their children – in the face of this, the moderates go along with the radical Muslim agenda. I would like to do more to wake people up, but I don't know how to do it. I am not afraid of losing friends over this issue; I have already lost most of the friends I had in the denomination in which I was ordained, directly because of my stance on Islam. Such people are not ones I want to consider as friends; frankly, if the bury their heads in the sand, which most do, they therefore side with the enemy, as far as I'm concerned. So, Rabbi, if you have any suggestions of what a 65 years young Hindu-Christian-Buddhist-Jewish female person can do, I'd really like to hear them. I'm at baker.goldburg@yahoo.com. Thanks.

  • http://www.klezmerfunk.com Jamie Klezmer

    My mother is Jewish so people are always telling me that I'm Jewish. Why? Also what is Succot? I live in a part of Brooklyn where people are building small sheds in front of their houses – what is the tradition? Thanks – JK (klezmerfunk.com)

    • http://reevebrenner.com reeve brenner

      my my and how did you acquire a Hebrew family name meaning "musical instrument" ? chech out book w/o cost..google "eschewish Book" or call me at 301 762 4241…shalom…reeve brenner

  • Ramana Karkus

    Thank you, Rabbi, for stating so eloquently what I myself have recently come to realize: that we are at war with Islam and that we must wake up to and counter this stark reality before it is too late! I would like to know what we can actually do (other than to tell others) to stop the tide of this takeover … because it is nothing less than that. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  • RabbiM

    his name is Rabbi Shalom J. Lewis http://etzchaim.net/professional_staff.php

  • guest

    YOU WANT ME TO DENOUNCE MY RELIGION BECAUSE OF YOUR FEAR? Habibi in the life after we will meet.

  • Real New Yorker

    Sorry but you guys don't get it. When the moderate Muslims do speak out, they are painted as terrorists, even though they are peacemakers. They have been raked over the coals and theyr'e the GOOD guys. They condemn the militaristic terrorists of their own faith. So why are you painting them with the same brush. You should be ashamed of yourselves. Peace, peace, thou shalt pursue.

    • Stealthman

      I believe that the verse from Deuteronomy 16:20 that you are misquoting is "Righteousness, Righteousness You shall pursue". Your quote comes from the demagogues at the U.N., not the Holy Scriptures. Yes, for every 1000 silent Muslims there is one Zuhdi Jasser. And most Muslims think he is an "Uncle Tom" and hate him for not being faithful to the Quran and for being a friend of Glenn Beck. So what is your point? Do you think for a minute that there will be world peace without a common worldwide view of human decency? Apparently, well I will let you answer that yourself.

  • LFNYC

    What a cogent sermon…UNTIL…I got to that part where the good Rabbi says that he never voted for George W Bush. I can understand not voting for GW in 2000…too many fears that his attitudes about the middle east would echo that of his Arabist father. But after 9/11, it became apparent (even to Rabbi Lewis) that Bush 43 (along with his entire administration after Colin Powell resigned) had shown himself to really 'get it'… not only about Muslim terrorism being an existential threat to the entire world, but most immediately to Israel.

    If the Rabbi didn't vote for GW in 2004, he either voted for John Kerry (a sop to the UN who also happened to be a self-denying Jew)…or Ralph Nader…an out and out anti-Zionist anti- Semite. I have to ask the Rabbi…what issues were more important to him back in 2004 that drove him to vote AGAINST the most pro Israel/anti-Islamist American president who ever held th office? Gay rights? Abortion? Fetal stem cell research?Affirmative action? This is the problem with Rabbi Lewis…along with the 80% of American Jews that voted for Barack Obama…their continued allegiance to the Muslim apologists of the Democratic party.

  • Steve

    Has anyone here talked to an actual live Muslim? If you do, you will find out that your interpretation of Islam is not theirs. Do you believe slavery is ok, or stoning people for violating the Sabbath? It's right there in your Bible, clear as day! But you choose to interpret it in a rational way. Why do you refuse to believe that any Muslim can do the same for the violent passages in the Koran?

  • Jessica

    The Bible of Christianity, which is a library of 66 books written by various authors sometimes centuries apart, is a completely different matter. The vast majority of the Bible is by men, not by God; and the parts that are from God that are obviously incompatible with modern society were never meant for our current society to begin with but for the nomadic Hebrews for preservation, which, too, is specifically stated in the Bible. Also, have you ever heard of the New Covenant? That, too, is logically explained in the Bible in chronological order.

    Bottom line: when read cover-to-cover chronologically, the Bible sanctions no violence whatsoever in our society, whereas the Qur'an commands it, among other vile acts, to be done forever until the world is Islam's.

    • EccoLa

      Jessica: You wrote "Bottom line: when read cover-to-cover chronologically, the Bible sanctions no violence whatsoever in our society" You said a lot of good things, but that bit isn't quite right and I wonder if you meant it literally? Of course, the Bible sanctions violence in certain cases. Jesus and the moneylenders was an act of violence. There are such things as righteous anger, justifiable self-defense, etc. I think the Bible supports the whole policy concept of "peace through strength" because it doesn't flinch from the reality that there is both good and evil in the world, and that human nature is imperfect. Post-modernists, cultural and moral relativists, secular humanists, etc. won't admit the existance of evil or the superiority or inferiority of different cultures and practices. Your interpretation would leave us all Pacifists — and dead ones at that. Pacifism in the face of Islam, Naziism, Pol Pot, Mao, etc. is just a one way ticket to obliteration. There's a reason our all volunteer military is chock-a-block with believing Christians. Peacefulness and being loving do not equate with Pacifism.

  • Jessica

    Just as Christianity's true doctrine/character can be seen in Christ's example (founder/role model of Christianity), Buddhism's true doctrine/character can be seen in the Buddha's example (founder/role model of Buddhism). Islam's true doctrine/character can be seen id Mohammed's example (founder/role model of Islam) who himself was a mass murderer, rapist, wife-beater, paedophile (google Mohammed's six-year-old wife Aisha). Mohammed murdered tons of people himself in the name of the religion he founded and commanded others to the same forever as is also commanded in Allah's eternal word, the Qur'an.

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  • http://www.maryeadams.com Mary E Adams

    Your article states that Israel is the only homosexuality-tolerant nation in the Middle East.
    Perhaps that is the reason for all that you write about. The scriptures made that plain at Sodom and Gomorrah.

  • http://12qw Rickie Comans

    Gday, can any individual suggest a nice caravan park to stay at on the gold coast?

  • Jerry Makar

    Ignorant and incompetent article full of inaccuracies and misrepresentations. Read history before you write something like this as you are causing more harm to a very compliacted problem. Solution is not simple, however one thing is sure – without religions there would be no religious extremists and no religious governments. But if you want top preach to other start with "God bless America" and this is not about Allah for sure. Putting all Muslims in the same bed is as ignorant as making Eastern Europe blind supporters of Arab countries. You will not see Puting hugging and holding hand of Soudi Arabia's king; you will see Mr. Bush doing it. And no, YOU didn't win the WWII . It was Russia and China which lost 26 and 20 million people respectively fighting the Nazis and Japanese. USA with 0.5M casualties joind the war 2 years after it had begun and did it ONLY because the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbour.

    In the end we will end up like the Aztec or Maya. They used to beat the crap out of each other for about a 1000 years until the civilization had disappeared. They would run for a day or so to another city to capture the king and rip his heart out decimating the populatiuon at the same time. So they vanished. We are doing the same thing! We go to another country like the Nazis or Japanes whack 60 million people or drop a nuclear bomb using the same principles as the Maya and Aztec just with more powerful sticks. This article is no different from this kind of ideology. I bet the ayatollahs, priests and other religious figures use the same tactics in their countries. Guys, you have to catch up with the intelligence of the humanity! We already have iPhone 5 and Galaxy 3! And WE Jewish, American, Arab, Russian and all other kids and open minded people all over the world do not want biggotry and lies. And the religious figures – get rid of the lines in whether it bible, testament or koran calling to murder the others. This should be criminal. The radicals, extrimists will not succeed. Good people will not let the evil win.

  • Rondo

    The problem of radical Islam is the problem of Islam itself.

    Many are afraid that if Islam is the problem there can be no solution. That terrifies them. So they do all they can to avoid engaging with the evidence that Islam is the problem.