May 27, 2024
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Why Is Everyone Surprised by the Truth?

After Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu divulged publicly the astounding news that Iran has had a nuclear weapons program for years by showing actual proof, we are shocked but not particularly surprised that today the United Nations nuclear agency rejected his claims, stating that there were “no credible indications” to support his statements. As absurd as this is to us, we started mulling over the fact that often it is human nature to refuse to accept facts that are staring us in the face.

Years ago we would meet with parents who declared that each of their children had a “learning disability.” These children were not able to be in regular schools, even in supervised programs, yet according to their parents they were “learning disabled,” rather than any other classification.

We hear from parents today who, upon learning that their child is falling behind in a subject, automatically blame the school and/or the teacher. When behavior is an issue, it clearly stems from the teacher’s/youth leaders’ inability to control the group. Taking responsibility and accepting that there might be an actual issue to deal with seems to elude the consciousness of many.

We have never understood that behavior. We have heard so many unpleasant things in our life but never have we chosen to pretend they are not there. It is not easy to be dan l’kaf zechus when people are saying something negative about one of your children. Who wants to hear that? However, rather than ignoring it and moving on as if the words were never said, perhaps we should assume that the person transmitting the news is doing so with the hope that he will be listened to in order for the problem to be dealt with. We should not turn a blind eye, nor ignore the truths being presented to us, no matter how difficult they are to face.

In a totally different vein, we often wonder where the Jews in North America were during the years of the Holocaust. As the news began to trickle out of Europe regarding the atrocities taking place, were they too abhorrent to believe? It is unfathomable to think that so little was done. Were our parents and grandparents surprised when word began to escape of what was truly happening? Was that a surprise that many chose not to hear? We really do not know.

The Jewish world has experienced far too much pain for any of us to ever believe that such a thing could never happen again. Complacency in our comfort and security should never allow us the luxury of forgetting. We are not surprised when there are incidences of swastikas being painted on shuls or Jewish homes. We are not surprised by muggings of people on their way to or from shul in Brooklyn. These are all reminders that we are not immune from what has happened to the Jewish world in the past.

We should be diligently supporting Eretz Yisrael and every young person who makes the decision to make aliyah and/or join the IDF. We should cheer on the brave and commendable actions of families young and old who make the challenging move to Israel. They are seeking to protect their children and themselves from the scourge of anti-Semitism and to have the zechut of “being home.”

Some of us love surprises. We make parties to surprise a loved one. We give “surprise” gifts to someone special. Sometimes, though rarely these days, we see young men propose to their beloved as a surprise. (In the frum Jewish world, the entire family is hiding behind the bushes.) Surprises have a proper time and place, but when a power such as the United Nations denies the facts that Prime Minister Netanyahu so eloquently revealed about the Iranian nuclear arsenal, we should not be surprised. If ever the United Nations would come to the defense of Israel, we would indeed be majorly surprised.

By Rabbi Mordechai and Nina Glick

Rabbi Mordechai and Nina Glick are living in Bergenfield after many years of service to the Montreal Jewish community. Rabbi Glick was the rav of Congregation Ahavat Yisroel as well as a practicing clinical psychologist in private practice. He also taught at Champlain Regional College. The Glicks were frequent speakers at the OU marriage retreats. Nina coordinated all Yachad activities in Montreal and was a co/founder of Maison Shalom, a group home for young adults with special needs. They can be reached at [email protected].

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