If you say “Good Yontiff” you’re wishing someone a happy holiday in Yiddish. The Jewish High Holy Days began on the evening of September 8 and continues through September 18. Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is the most important holiday period on the Jewish calendar. Rosh Hashanah celebrates the Jewish New Year and marks the start of the Ten Days of Repentance, which finishes at the end of Yom Kippur.
Rosh Hashanah is the time of judgment, when God reviews and judges the deeds of all humanity for the past year. The shofar (ram’s horn) is blown throughout services on Rosh Hashanah and on the first day bread crumbs are traditionally thrown into a flowing body of water, symbolizing the casting away of one’s sins. Rosh Hashanah meals include apples and honey, to usher in a “sweet new year.”
Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the year, the day that Jewish people are closest to God and to the quintessence of their own souls. It is the Day of Atonement. The day that
God forgives, purifies, and cleanses all past sins. Although it is the most solemn day of the year, Yom Kippur possess an undertone of joy. A joy that celebrates the spirituality of the day and expresses the confidence that God will accept one’s repentance, forgive one’s sins, and grant another year of life, health, and happiness. Yes, this is the most holy and sacred time for the Jewish people.
And that is why I find the timing of the cover story in the latest issue of Time magazine to be completely insensitive and hate-filled. If this story had been printed at any other time it would still have been anti-Semitic and frighteningly hostile to the state of Israel, but the fact that it comes during the High Holy Days is reprehensible. And yes, it was done on purpose.
The cover says it all: a large Star of David fills the cover and printed in the center of the star is the title of their cover story, “Why Israel Doesn’t Care About Peace.” A statement that, to begin with is ridiculously untrue, but more importantly shows the obvious bias of Time magazine (which shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who has been paying attention to the publication over the years).
The story’s basic premise, written by Karl Vick, is that Israelis don’t care about peace because they’re too busy living the good life. Yeah, that’s right, the good life. Living in fear of annihilation every single day, that’s the good life, right? The possibility of war at any time, terrorist attacks that might happen at the grocery store, meat market or night club, or even at a wedding – sure, that’s some good life. Living in a place where you’re surrounded by tens of millions of people who want to see you wiped off the face of the earth – now why would anyone want peace under those conditions?
Vick conveniently ignores the real facts of life for Israelis. Fact: Most Israeli homes and businesses come equipped with safe rooms or bomb shelters. Fact: Every Israeli owns a gas mask. Fact: The country exists under the encroaching shadows of Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in Gaza, and the prospect of a nuclear Iran. Just about everyone has a friend, sibling, child, or parent in the army. Just about everyone has been to the funeral of a fallen soldier or friend killed in a terrorist attack.
But none of this matters to Time magazine; they have been demonizing Israel for years. In an opinion piece for The Wall Street Journal staff writer Bret Stephens tells how it goes all the way back to May of 1977 when Menachem Begin was elected Israel’s prime minister. Stephens writes, “Time magazine set out to describe the man, beginning with the correct pronunciation of his last name: ‘Rhymes with Fagin,’ the editors explained, invoking the character from Oliver Twist. Modern Israeli leader; archetypical Jewish lowlife: Get it?” This was just one example of many anti-Israel slants.
Time magazine’s circulation is in the tank, and I would like to say that it couldn’t happen to a more deserving periodical. I would like to say that I would love to see the magazine fold, that I wish it nothing but bad luck. I would like to say those things, but I can’t. You see, this is the High Holy Days and I must not wish ill of anyone or anything. I must keep good thoughts in my heart. But God knows, sometimes it’s not easy.