The Sephardic Community of Fair Lawn, New Jersey

Anti-Semitism rears its head!

In the parshiyot which we are reading now in Sefer Shemot, we read about what occurred with Paroah. This is the first time that we see anti-semitism beginning. Paroah goes against those people who specifically helped save Mitzrayim.
Just a couple of parshiyot ago we read about how Paroah praised and recognized the greatness of Yaakov Avinu, Yosef and his brothers. He recognized that they were the ones who saved his country and made it so prosperous and strong. And then he just turned it around.
The anti-Semitism and the things that were done in Egypt during that time were worse than what happened during the holocaust. The babies were killed in horrible manners, murdering them for their blood, stuffing them alive in the stone walls… They worked the men and women in terribly cruel and unnatural ways.

ויקם מלך חדש על מצרים אשר לא ידע את יוסף

Some say that this was really a new king and others say that he made himself as if he no longer knew them. If if was the same Paroah who just changed his laws, it’s very difficult to understand how he changed so radically. Even if he truly was a new king, how could he possibly claim not to know the recent history that occurred there in Mitzrayim? Yosef ruled mitzrayim for 80 years! The first 40 years he was under Paroah’s leadership, but the second 40 he did it all on his own. How could that be forgotten so quickly? One has to be extremely “intelligent” to find a way to forget all of that! How did Paroah rationalize that? How did he lie to himself and to others about it?
This piece of history is something that continues to occur throughout the years. So often we find that our enemies chose to lie about things that happen. How can they lie about history and about things that can be easily proven otherwise? But we continue to see this reality even today on a daily basis both in regards to the State of Israel and also in how we’re related to as a nation.
The Arabs and the UN and others are often involved in just these types of lies. They can find the terrorists to be the victims and we turn into the “terrorists” who aren’t allowing people to live peacefully. Paroah, too, saw the Jews as a threat who can fight him from inside his own country. Jews throughout history have never done such a thing. They do their utmost to live quietly and help their host country. Why would Paroah say this about them?
We can see clearly that what we experience now is not something new to history. It has repeated itself many time. Good PR is not what is going to help us now as they can lie about everything with no shame.
We have to recognize that it all comes from Hashem and that He is the one to turn to. Just as Hashem took us out of Mitzrayim, so, too, He will take us out of this galut which we are in.

Shabbat Shalom!
Rabbi Matityahu Nadav

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