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Beware the Misguided Majority

April 10th, 2012 Posted by Susan's Musings 6 comments

“Each Passover we should see ourselves as if we personally experienced the Exodus from Egypt.” Jews around the world recited a sentence expressing this thought at the Passover Seder a few nights ago. Shortly before the holiday started, my son, Ari, saw one aspect of this idea come to life.

I think most of us picture ourselves on the right side of history. Had we lived in different times and places surely we would have stood with the abolitionists rather than the slave-owners; would have joined the Resistance rather than the Nazi Party; and would have opposed Stalin rather than embracing him. We more easily picture ourselves following Moses through the sea rather than ignoring him and the God he represented.  But the majority of Jews did not leave Egypt. Eighty percent chose loyalty to Pharaoh and the status quo.  Bad choice.

Being courageous and noble is always easier with hindsight. If we were all virtuous, wise, discerning and proper-thinking people, there would be no evil to defeat in the world. It is obviously quite easy to follow a wrong ideology and be swayed by misguided and evil philosophies. Ideas which sound good can be awfully destructive. Fully aware of how courage is contagious, our son, Ari, took time from an incredibly busy schedule to go hear Ayaan Hirsi Ali, one of the brave and heroic women of our day. If you have not read her book, Infidel, I highly recommend that you do. An outspoken activist against the worst manifestations of Islamo-fascist behavior, particularly as it affects women and children, she risks her life by speaking out and has been forced into exile for her views.

Hearing her speak was a mixed experience. Ari appreciated her words and was glad to support her as she addressed the students at a major university in Maryland. The student reaction, however, was demoralizing. Ms. Ali and America were attacked. Listening to the questioners, one would be forgiven for thinking that the Moslem world is a bastion of women’s rights and peaceful coexistence among all religions while America is a bigoted, repressive society. In Ari’s words, “The questions and questioners were uniformly dumb, rude, antagonistic and illogical.  What was incredible is that the moderator, the president of the university, allowed and encouraged their behavior.  It was truly childish and embarrassing.”

In every generation in which evil triumphs, many who side with it are ‘useful idiots’ or swept along with the crowd. We should never stop looking deep inside ourselves and asking ourselves whether we are on the right side of issues and will be able to look back and declare that we, indeed, did align ourselves with those who chose God rather than Pharaoh.

 

 

 

6 comments

Gidon says:

wow, scary stuff going on there in America…

Marcia Skinner says:

Just wanted to let you know that I read your “Musings” often and always find them to be thought-provoking and insightful. Thank you.

Kevin Cullis says:

Interesting, but not surprised at a place of “higher learning.” Money is being wasted on bad education, need market forces to change it from bad to good to great. You and your husband are doing just that and I’m following your musings. Thanks

Menorahnorth says:

As you and Ari well know, universities are now bastions and indoctrinators of liberal, anti-American thought. The mere fact that Ayaan Hirsi Ali was invited to speak and heard is a precious counter-balance to the collegiate norm. Ari mentioned the ignorant questioners and the abetting administrator but didn’t say if he or other students then rose to Ms. Ali’s defense. All it takes is silence when decency is attacked to legitimize that attack. So the good news is that Ms. Ali spoke; the bad news is that apparently those in the audience affected by her life experience didn’t have the courage to respond to her detractors. But, perhaps some seeds were planted.
Thanks for the excellent post, Susan.

Betty Masley says:

Where in scripture or Ancient Jewish History is the source of your statement that ‘80% of the Jews chose to remain in Egypt rather than leave with Moses?

Susan Lapin says:

Betty,
Are you signed up for my husband’s weekly Thought Tool teaching? (http://www.rabbidaniellapin.com/index.php). One of his earliest Thought Tools was on this subject, showing how the 80% figure can be seen from the Hebrew verse. Unfortunately, since it was written before we had links to all the Thought Tools, I can’t give you a link to the teaching. But it is printed in our second Thought Tool Book which you can read about here: http://www.rabbidaniellapin.com/product.php?id=22

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