This is going to be the two-hundredth post (another mouthful) to my blog. Again, another little milestone, and this time I would like to dedicate it to my adopted home, United States of America.
All my well-learned and well-versed friends can scoff at what I am about to say and proclaim me an ignoramus and a heretic; so be it. But there are some eerie similarities between USA and my people (meaning the Jews). Twenty one years ago (heck, I am getting old), when I first started studying Judaism in a hot and dusty little Italian town of Ladispoli, my first teacher, may he rest in peace, brought to our attention the glaring difference between USA and all the countries south of our border.
The first settlers to what is now my home came here mainly to worship Heavenly Father in the best manner they saw fit; the rest just came for easy riches. The ones who came here to serve Him prospered, became an independent country, prospered even more, and eventually became the super-power and the world's richest country. All ones who came for the riches did not prosper and ended up in the "third world countries" category.
Before the Pilgrims, there was only one precedent in history where people settled in a specific place in order to serve G-d and prospered beyond belief. That was when the descendents of Jacob came to the Holy Land. True, Jews followed a direct order from G-d conveyed by the greatest profit that ever lived, and English Protestants followed nothing more than the calling in their hearts, but there is nothing else in history even closely approaching this! When else did a group of people come to settle in a new place so that they can properly worship Him?
Both Jews and Americans are hated practically by everyone else in the world; they are called Little Satan and Big Satan respectively by the leaders of the most brutal and murderous cult in the history of the world (yes, I mean the members of the religion of peace).
Another interesting lesson, this time from my seminary arsenal: when we were discussing the lamentable tendency of the ancients towards idol worship, our teacher delivered a fascinating statement - Christianity is idol worship for us, but not for the rest of the world. That concept was smoldering for a while in the back of my mind till I had a chance to acquaint myself in certain fashion with American Christians.
Only American Christian politician would go to Israel to express solidarity even if the so-called President is openly anti-Israel and anti-Jews. Only an American Christian journalist would post her New Year’s resolution with number one being "to pray for Israel". Only an American Christian would write an open letter to PM Netanyahu telling him that he is not alone and that millions of Americans are praying for peace in undivided Jerusalem.
"Nation under G-d", "all men...are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights" - these are the words on which this country was build. I remember reading a comment of an Aussie blogger, asking an American blogger as to the meaning of Thanksgiving - "is it like a special family get-together? and if so, why so close to X-mus?" Only in America do we have a special holiday where we have a family get-together in order to give thanks to the Creator for all the blessings bestowed on us (very Jewish concept).
And one of the biggest historic ironies and episodes of poetic justice, in my eyes, was when Ferdinand and Isabella, may they burn for eternity, gave their blessings to the expedition of Christopher Columbus while they were busy expelling the Jews.
These ramblings bring me to this year's Independence Day. The celebratory spirit was pretty thin in my heart - from the fact that I no longer lived in the house with wonderful firework observation roof to the disgusting shenanigans of the malignant narcissists in the White House and Capitol - what was there to celebrate?
But there is always hope, the power of prayer, and the kindness of The Heavenly Father. G-d bless America!