Shalom Pollack: When I was a kid in Brooklyn, I was fortunate to live across the street from a softball field. The advantages are plain. However, there was one danger living so close to the action and that was that foul balls would often fly over the fence like incoming artillery rounds. We would alarmingly warn each other with 'heads up!!" I always thought it should be “heads down" but tradition is a tradition.
We would then chase the trophy as it bounced and rolled, sometimes into the sewer. I had quite a nice collection of foul-smelling balls in the garage.
I am reminded of these childhood memories and the "heads up" alarm as we are panicked by a different warning today; Allah hu Akbar"!
"Allah hu Akbar! (God is great !)
Yes, it is the holy month of Ramadan again and ..Allah hu Akbar! is all around us here in Israel.
On Fridays this month half the city shuts down and the police are on a war footing, ready for the holiness to make itself. Thus the huge police mobilization.
This Jerusalem day, Jews will be forbidden to visit the holiest place in the Jewish world, Temple Mount.
This is because Islam, the religion of love cannot be expected to refrain from harming Jews. Simple. Lost cause
Muslims work themselves up into a frenzy before the murder, rape, and pillage by exclaiming that God is great.
If Allah hu akbar is the core of Islam, then Shema Yisroel is the core of Judaism.
Shema Yisroel is a Jew's expression of faith, said three times a day and are his last words said on this earth.
It is not a call to murder and rape
Vive la difference.
However, this core expression is not said only in daily prayers and when returning one's soul.
The "Shema" and its assertion that God is our Lord and is one (and all powerful) is the opening prayer and exhortation for Jewish warriors before confronting our enemies. It has been used in ancient times and again as recently by commanders leading our troops into Gaza this summer.
"Shma Yisrael!" Hear O Israel! This is the way the mashuach milchama, the priest who was ordained as the one who led the Jews into battle, would begin his speech to the Jewish army, prepared to go into battle:
"Shma Yisrael! Hear O Israel! You are coming near this day to the battle against your enemies. Let your heart not be faint; do not be afraid, do not panic, and do not be broken before them. For the L-rd, your G-d is the One who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you." (Deuteronomy 20:3-4)
As the enemies of the Jewish people from time immemorial plan its destruction, they do battle with God. This has always been a sub-conscience or more likely a conscious choice.
It is then totally appropriate to recite the Shema when confronting evil. Indeed, God is great and He has miraculously kept His People despite all odds. and has thus preserved all of humanity
Allah hu akbar is the opposite. It takes God's pure name in vain. It is the tyrannical call of the slaver. All must submit (Islam means submission).
As that call rings ever louder from mosque loudspeakers around the world, the Shema prayer will have to begin to take its place to save humanity again.