This title, I believe, is most appropriate for the Jewish people’s historical survival. Indeed, could you answer the following questions: What group of people has been the cause of humanity’s greatest hatred? What religious entity has provoked such universal, deep and permanent hatred, or antisemitism, in pagan, religious and secular societies? The answer of course is the Jews.
In general, as years go by, people tend to suffer from long-term memory. So let me refresh you and substantiate what I have indicated in the above paragraph. The Jews have been accused of both being communists and capitalists; they have been branded as rootless cosmopolitans and ethnic chauvinists. Jews have been wrongly accused from the middle ages up till now of drinking the blood of non-Jews, that they are guilty of causing plagues, such as the Black Plague, of poisoning wells and that they murdered God himself. Jews have been expelled from virtually every country in which they have resided. Most of the world’s great powers, while Jews only comprised a small percent of the population, have regarded Jews as their central enemy. This particular phenomenon started as early as the Greek persecutions of Jews during the Second Temple period and it continued with the late Roman Empire, the Arabs and the Christian world for over 15 centuries. More recently, I am sure you all know about the Holocaust perpetrated by the Nazis in Europe.
The attempts of non Jews to destroy the Jewish people from the earliest times until the present are too numerous to enumerate as explicitly written in Psalm 83:5 “Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation, that the name of Israel may no more be remembered.” The survival of the Jewish people has been so uncertain that it is reflected in a statement of the Haggadah which says “In every generation they rise against us in order to annihilate us.”
Yet, astonishingly, in spite of the Jews’ small numbers and dispersion throughout the world, Jews have survived and most surprisingly, have kept their Jewish identity with the culmination of the birth of the State of Israel. Although we are now in charge of our own destiny, we continue to be harassed and hated by the Muslim world which combines anti-Semitic motifs from Nazism and medieval Christendom as well as from their own tradition. This harassment is supported by the rest of the world who, cognizant of the suicidal consequences of carving a Muslim State in the heart of Israel, still keep pressuring Israel to abide by this devastating policy.
The Jewish people should pause and think what they have done wrong to deserve this treatment throughout the ages. The Jewish scriptures say “You are My witnesses,” says the Lord, “and My servant whom I chose,” meaning, as servants of God, we are supposed to deliver a message to the world, and we haven’t done so. As the great Jewish thinker Abraham Joshua Herschel said “The Jews are a messenger who forgot his message.” The time is approaching for the Jews to remember the message since I believe that the time for the redemption is coming soon, and when this happens, the miraculous survival of the Jewish people did indeed have a messianic purpose.