S P E C I A L S

For the week ending 6 January 2007 / 16 Tevet 5767

Babylon, Bubble and Babble

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll
The last day of this civil calendar year coincides with the tenth day of the Hebrew calendar month of Tevet, a day on which observant Jews throughout the world fast.

They fasted in an effort to somewhat relive the trauma that their ancestors experienced almost two and a half millennea ago in the hope that they will thus learn from the mistakes made by those Jews which brought such sharp Heavenly retribution upon them.

What was that trauma?

On the tenth of Tevet the army of the king of Babylon initiated the siege of Jerusalem which eventually led to the destruction of the Beit Hamikdash and a mass exile to Babylon. That exile lasted for seventy years before Jews were given the opportunity to return to their land and rebuild their Beit Hamikdash.

But Babylon was no longer a power at that time.The Babylonian Empire had come to a bloody end when the Persian and Median armies slew its last king Balshatzer and laid waste his country.

Any Jew familiar with the history of his people cannot miss making the connection between the hanging of Saddam Hussein, ertswhile ruler of the modern version of Babylon – Iraq – one day before Jews fasted because of the siege of Jerusalem which his Babylonian predecessor initiated.

But the historical connection doesn’t end here. Babylon was replaced on the world stage by the Persian Empire whose sound and fury gave way to the Hellenistic forces. Persia, in its modern form of Iran, is again generating much sound and fury with its development of a nuclear potential in defiance of the international community. As history repeated itself with the fall of a Babylonian dictator so too will the boasting of his Persian counterpart about wiping the Jewish State off the map prove to be nothing more than a scary bubble, soon to burst.

To our profound regret, there are Jews whose myopia has misled them into identifying with this bubble by participating in the conference which the Iranians organized for denying the Holocaust. They have been condemned by every segment of Jewry and all of the explanations they offer the media for their shocking behavior are no more than childish babble.

Whatever criticism many Jews may have of Zionism and the Jewish state which it produced is something that must be kept “within the family”. Locking arms with those pledged to destroy the Jewish homeland is self-hatred of the worst sort and those who joined the Iranians in their anti-Semitic demonstration represented no-one but themselves, and they are nothing more than a sad reflection of Babylon, Bubble and Babble.

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