We have been brought through Rome’s streets in chains while our Sanctuary in Jerusalem was burning in flames. We have been thrown in amphitheaters where hungry lions and spectators were waiting for our blood.
We have been burnt in autodafé, we have been called marranos, our candle lighting and prayers in our ancestors’ language were banned.
We have been sent away from Spain. We have been wandering around through countries looking for a new home.
We have been massacred in pogroms, our synagogues destroyed, our children enlisted in armies from which they never came back.
We have been deprived of our right to work, to own, to vote, to speak. We have been robbed of that dignity which every human being should enjoy by right when he was born. Our golden teeth were torn from our mouths and our arms were branded as if we were animals in the slaughterhouse.
We have been told for centuries ‘go back to your homeland’ and now that we are home they tell us ‘get away from there’.
We, Jews, are an indissoluble part of the historical fabric of our world.
The Jewish presence is the common denominator in most of the atlas.
In every place on the earth where we had arrived, we generated poets, matematicians, physicists, writers, polticians, scientists, doctors, inventors.
Even when we have been closed in ghettos we have never stopped writing, thinking, discussing, producing good.
We have never put our lives in standby, not even for a little while.
We did not cover our heads with ashes for thousands of years.
We have been sent away, we have been robbed, we have been deprived, massacred and killed.
We loaded up our destiny on our shoulders and our ancestors’ heritage in our hearts and we went to search for a new place where we could start breathing again.
There is neither time nor will to cry for yourself, if you have been taught that every instant on this earth is the biggest richness you own, and that life is the most precious gift you received when you were born.
And there is no space for resentment.
We went back without our parents, our brothers, our children and wives to Germany, Italy and France. We stood under the windows of our homes looking at strangers living in places which belonged to us before the war.
We rolled up our sleeves, uncovering numbers stamped with fire on our arms, and we started everything again from scratch.
Countries interested in migration waves should study the Jewish history and our integration model.
Every new place where we arrived we had our golden rule.
Never slide on your tears.
We have not waited for compassion from the countries that opened their borders for us. Since the first instant we tried to integrate ourselves in the social fabric of the place which was hosting us. And while thanking them, we donated our talents to development and advancement. Ours and theirs.
There are those who use desperation as a justification for murdering innocents.
And there are those who put aside desperation, closing it in the memory drawer, and try to climb back to the top, concentrating on the new opportunities.
Dear Pope Francis, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry and hundreds of world influencers who are seeking for a reason, for a motif, behind the transformation of individuals into lethal splinters.
Even if you found out the personal, tragic life of these killers (though in most cases they have a life at a standard perfectly alligned to the society where they live), even if it was really like this, nothing, NOTHING, can justify a blind violence against another human being. Nothing, nothing, can give the right to an individual to deprive another of his tomorrow.
Looking for justifications means only one thing: Preparing the soil for the next brutal act, G-d forbids.
There has never been a nation mistreated by history more than the Jewish one.
But everywhere the hate wind has transported us, we integrated, we learned the local language, repeating by heart Whitman, Eliot and Dickinson, we invented the parve cheesecake. Integration is something you have to want and work on every single day. We have never asked the place which hosted us to adapt itself to our rules.
“Dina demalchuta dina, the law of the place must become your law too,” says the Talmud.
The real integration, even for the most desperate people, can be realized. But it depends on the first instance, on values transmitted by religion, families and teachers of those who have just arrived.
And it depends on the will to become part of the society in a constructive and positive way.
Gheula Canarutto Nemni
wonderful piece of writing.
Thanks for writing such a brilliant piece. (I’ve shared it on facebook.) A thought: I wonder if Pope Francis is aware of the violence that Christians were responsible for in the past, with the Crusades, the Inquisition, etc. Would he think that too were the result of desperation and poverty? Or would he admit that it was a form of evil that had nothing to do with being downtrodden and everything to do with the abuse of power?
Excellent piece of writing!
I found this letter like a light in the sky fot those who think that the West is the one who is responsible for all the problems in the Arab word .
Also this letter is lesson of morality for all these big opotunist leaders that think to know more than others where the problem is coming from ,and the first thing they do when an act of terror occurs is to protect the the Muslim population , saying that the criminals are not real Muslims ,and that Islam is different of what the djihadist seam to practice .they really have no idea of what they are talking about .
The Muslims are suffering more in there countries not because of the West but because of there leaders that have no idea how to run a country in freedom and dignity.
These arabe countries have raised there population in the hatred of the Jews and westerners since the childhood for one reason , to only have a good grip to the power ,and the results we are getting them now.
The westerners know what it was going on in thes countries and still they continued to deal with then and close there eyes .
So what do you expect of a person that have been raised in hatred of Jews and westerners ,and migrates to a westerner country ?
Exactly what we are seeing in California in Paris and specialy in Israel.
By the way the Arabs are not the only ones who hate Jews ,they are helped by many nations that proclaim themselves democracies like France and Sweden.
Complimenti, non una parola fuoriposto e doverosa osservazione sul “Safari” di Papa Francesco. Anch’io quando ho letto le sue affermazioni ci ho visto una sorta di giustificazione del terrorismo, ma cos’altro poteva dire? La Chiesa da secoli si occupa di educazione, a loro dobbiamo molto come forza civilizzatrice e non se la prenda perché qualche millennio fa a Tito sfuggì la mano!