ISIS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi recently turned his threats towards Israel. In the war against ISIS, while other countries are perceived as victims of radical Islam, Israel is perceived as its perpetrator. So when ISIS sets its eyes on Israel, the world is more likely to sigh in relief than in concern. Fortunately, Israel is the only country that can land a lethal blow against ISIS.
Europe’s greatest fear today is fundamentalist Islam, and many Europeans openly proclaim that their problems are Israel’s fault. Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom, Dutch Socialist Party leader Jan Marijnissen, and Albrecht Schröter, the mayor of Jena, Germany, are a few of the many who blame Israel for Islamic terror.
Another visible example of the global mindset concerning Israel is the grossly one-sided media coverage of the current wave of terrorism happening in Israel. Imagine the uproar if the headline of a respectable newspaper reported the San Bernardino massacre like this: “16 people die in gunfire episode in San Bernardino, California.” Or in traditional anti-Israeli media style: “Police shoot dead two people in San Bernardino, California. 14 others are hurt as well.”
So why do otherwise sensible, enlightened people become almost blind fanatics when it comes to Israel? Clearly, reason has nothing to do with it. It is a gut feeling that tells people that they are right to blame Israel and the Jews for everything, even if they can’t explain it logically.
But Jews aren’t natural-born murderers, and every statistic in the world proves it. Jews donate to charity per capita far more than any other ethnic group, and many donations are unrelated to Jews or Israel. Jews volunteer more, and Israel helps more than any other country when a natural disaster occurs. Take the April 25, 2015, earthquake in Nepal: the Israeli delegation of medical personnel was the largest, most active, and almost three times larger than that of the second largest delegation, that of Taiwan.
To understand why everybody blames us for everything from ISIS to Ebola, we need to look into our roots. Everywhere, from the Talmud, through The Book of Zohar, and down the line of Jewish sages, we are told that we are chosen in that we have been given the tenet, “love your neighbor as yourself,” and that in projecting this we become “a light unto nations.” In this, we are a chosen people, and in nothing else.
Sages such as Rabbi Moshe Chaim Ephraim of Sudilkov, Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, Rabbi Nathan Sternhartz, Rabbi Yehuda Ashlag, The Book of Zohar, and many other sources write that the word, “Israel,” derives from the Hebrew words Li Rosh (my head). They explain that humanity is a single system, and Israel is its Rosh (head). Judging by the blatantly harsher standard by which the nations judge us, it is clear that the nations expect of us what they do not expect of any other nation. This makes us leaders by example, or in a word, the Rosh.
Just as the head thinks and the body executes, what Israel thinks, the world necessarily executes. When Jews think badly of other Jews, it is reflected in bad actions among the nations. The nations may not feel it but they still blame us for everything that’s wrong with their lives, because they sense (!) that we are causing it. As individuals, we are not worse than any other civilized nation. Our only problem is our connections, our attitude toward fellow members of the tribe.
We cannot be like everyone else. The world will not settle for it. We have to nurture and display exemplary connections among us that will inspire the world.
Because we are the Rosh, when connections among us are altered for the better, they will transform human connections throughout the human system. In this way, we will eventually eliminate violence throughout the world, including fundamentalist Islam. And just as now the world blames us for the existence of ISIS, when we mend our connections, the world will praise us for creating beauty and love.