November 2011 – Masada; My Recent Trip To Israel
By Dr. David M. Berman www.smellthetruth.com
As a person who has studied history, political world-view, world religions, and most importantly the bible, I found my recent trip to Israel to be quite moving. Perhaps it is acceptable to say that I have a perspective that is different than most. I was raised in a conservative Jewish family, went to Hebrew School, and Synagogue, and had my Bar Mitzvah at an orthodox Synagogue with an orthodox Rabbi. My early life was one filled with difficulty since I most often had to fight people who persecuted me because I am Jewish. I had to fight, watch my back, and was shunned by the “Christian” kids to the point where I had to stand alone at the bus stop since they would not stand with the Jew. On top of this there was the desecration of my Synagogue by these “Christians” painting swastikas on the windows and eggs thrown at the doors.
I endured this until my Father passed when I was 14. This event sent me into a tail spin, and there were no more Synagogues, no more practice of Judaism, and my life became quite a mess due to the loss of my Father. My mother certainly could not control me as I swerved out of control. The “Christian” kids continued to persecute me when they had the chance. I remember them slashing my tires when I got a car at 16 years old. I developed an intense hatred that is hard to describe. I thought that Christians are my enemy and history seemed to be a witness to that. The thought of being a Christian was absurd to me.
What does all this have to do with my trip to Israel? Stay with me; It was not until I was 18 years old that I began to be exposed to real Christians. I was quite shocked to learn that there was a difference between those who had the title “Christian” and those who actually were real believers. They did not treat me as the others. They did not persecute me in any way. This slowly changed my opinion and made me desire to understand more about history and just who it was who killed and persecuted my people. Since my heart was blinded with rage and hatred, I had not realized that my hatred made me look at all people who called themselves “Christian” and assume they were all actually Christian. What I discovered is that those who killed, stole from, and generally persecuted my people were not Christian since by definition a Christian is a follower of Christ. Since Christ never, in any way, taught his followers to kill anyone, or hurt anyone, or be unkind to anyone, clearly these so called Christians were in name only and undeniable misrepresentations of Jesus Christ. Not only did Jesus teach to care for others, he did so.
What does all this have to do with my recent trip to Israel? Over the last 27 years I have been studying history, world view, world religion, and theology. When I went to Israel I had the strangest emotions. At first my emotions were not what I expected. I felt numb. I felt nothing other than strange. I then began to feel awe as to where I was from a historical perspective. As I traveled to the Sea of Galilee, and the Jordan River, the intensity of history increased and I felt a surreal feeling as though it could not really be possible that I am in Israel. The intensity grew as I went to Masada and realized that I was standing on the ground of the last stand of my people after the temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD. I stood there reenacting in my mind the event that ended the Jew’s life in Israel and scattered us all over the world. After three years the Romans made it to the top to find that the remaining Jews had taken their own lives rather than surrender to the Romans. That was it, the resistance to Roman tyranny was over.
In 1948, God by his divine providence allowed Israel to be reborn as a nation. The Jews had been kicked around, removed from their property, threatened with forced conversion by so called Christians who were not Christians at all. My people endured hardship like few others have. Then the culmination of persecution rises up in the 20th century at the hands of one who can only be described as Satan incarnate. Hitler killed 6 million of my people. Slowly he took power. Slowly the persecution started until the horrors of the Nazi regime came to full force in death camps (As I write this my blood is boiling!). Finally in 1948 Israel, the promised homeland of the Jews is back in Jewish hands (at least part of it). After 60 years what does the world say? “It’s the Jew’s fault.” Jimmy Carter had the nerve to compare Israel with South African apartheid. The United Nations speaks against Israel, and the world continues to pressure Israel to give more and more to their declared enemies.
Attacked in 1967, the Jews fight back and not only win but take Jerusalem, and more. What did they do? They played nice with the Muslims and allowed them to keep their Mosque on the Temple Mount. In fact every time the Arabs make a deal for peace with Israel they go back on their word and continue terrorist attacks on Israel.
What does all this have to do with my recent trip to Israel? I am almost there. I went through the Judean desert, saw the Golan Heights, prayed at the Temple Mount, saw the place where Elijah called down fire from heaven, saw Qumran where the Dead Sea scrolls were found, visited the place where Christ was born, and much more. In Jerusalem I felt the conflict. In Nazareth I sensed the tension. Israel is not only surrounded by enemies, they have enemies living within their borders.
Israel has made some terrible mistakes. They have had a policy on appeasement and that has only weakened their security. Israel has in place many socialist policies one of which pays their enemies who live within Israel money for each child they have. They are in effect paying their enemies to reproduce. This is insanity.
Now to what this all has to do with my recent trip to Israel; you see I went there focused on seeing biblical sites only and I left with much more. I left with a greater understanding of how dire the situation is, and my visit only confirmed my support for Israel that I have written about in past articles.
What you must understand is that Israel is surrounded by Muslims. Muslims have an undeniable history of murder, rape, pillaging, and forcing people to convert by the sword. At this point you may ask the question; “Are you not doing to the Muslims what you did to the Christians by judging them without knowing the difference between real Muslims and Muslims in name only?” That’s a good question however there is a big difference. You see Jesus did not kill people, Mohamed did. Jesus did not teach forcing people to be Christian, Mohamed not only taught forced conversion, he practiced it. The tough truth is this; the real Muslims are the ones who follow the teachings and actions of their founder Mohamed. Islam is not a religion of peace because the Quran is not a book that teaches peace, and their founder did not teach or practice peace. That is the difference. Whereas people who called themselves “Christian” and did such evil things were not true Christians because Jesus did not teach them to persecute, Muslims who did and continue to do such things are doing exactly what Mohamed did and taught. So who are the real Muslims? Those who follow the evil teachings of Mohamed.
I am a man that hates war, but I hate tyranny more than war. I hate the site of people suffering but I hate despotism more. My people went to the slaughter without barely a fight because it happened so slowly and who could ever have imagined such horror would come. I will never go the way of my ancestors. I would rather fight with honor then ever live under tyranny. Islam desires tyranny and Israel better wake up and fight to purge their land of the enemies within who have sworn the destruction of the Jews. The great and wise Solomon said it best in the following passage:
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8”To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.”
I am a man of peace but I am not a pacifist. There is a time to fight. I would defend my family by all means necessary. It is my duty as a man to do so. Appeasement of evil only encourages more evil. Israel is the last stand for the Jews. It is Masada all over again; surrounded on every side by the enemy, behind walls to keep the enemy from committing suicide bombings. With almost the whole world against them they store provisions for war. All Israel wants is peace so that they may raise their families but that is unacceptable to Islam. Does anyone doubt that the Muslims would drive the Jews into the sea and slaughter them all if they could? No doubt they would.
You may think I only support Israel because I am a Jew. This is not true. I support Israel because I am a Jew, and I am an American who hates tyranny and believes in the right of people to be secure in their property and liberty. The time is now to say “NO MORE”…No more appeasement. If my people do not remember Masada and the Holocaust; they will suffer the same fate again because evil is always lurking and ready to destroy. Good people must stand against it at all costs.
Deuteronomy 20:1-4 “When thou goest out to battle against thine enemies, and seest horses, and chariots, and a people more than thou, be not afraid of them: for the LORD thy God is with thee, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. And it shall be, when ye are come nigh unto the battle, that the priest shall approach and speak unto the people, And shall say unto them, Hear, O Israel, ye approach this day unto battle against your enemies: let not your hearts faint, fear not, and do not tremble, neither be ye terrified because of them; For the LORD your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.”
Against all odds Israel became a nation again after two thousand years. Can anyone deny that God was with them as they fought against all the Muslims could throw at them? By God’s grace they won. This Jewish Christian Preacher stands with Israel and I will continue to do so. Islam is not only the enemy of Israel; Islam is the enemy of all freedom loving people. As an American, as a Jew, and a student of history I say Masada must never fall again. The Holocaust must never ever happen again!