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Friday, October 07, 2005

Historical revisionism and a Piyut for Islam

Liberal Jews who seek to rewrite Jewish history and Anti-Zionists of the Haredi, flavor have one key myth, that Jews were well treated in the Arab world and that it was only the creation of Israel that spoiled this harmonious time.

In fact Jews living in Arab lands, like Jews living in Christian lands; were at times found usefull and other times mercilessly and brutally persecuted. So much so that Ibn Ezra saw Mohammed as the 'little horn' of Daniel. One of the piyutim in today's selichos (tomorrow for nusach sefard) Samach Daled is a flash of reality to particularly those Frum Jews who insist on the mythology of an Arab utopia in which Jews dwelled. And it is in some ways shockingly current though it dates back to the 13th century. A few selections follow...

"How can I come to you when those who serve other things will not permit me to serve you
They seek to divide me from you
But I have not forsaken your trust
How have I been exiled and go and wander through every road and district
And those who have made Moloch their king, rule over me

(note here that contrary to those who continually insist that Muslims also worship G-d, Rabbeinu Yitzchak ben Saadia is quite clear on what diety Muslims worship and it's one that involves human sacrifice)

For I have been delivered over to doers of evil and perversion
And they and their children shoot arrows at me
And I am like a sheep to the slaughter

(today it's rocks and bullets)

How broken is the kingship of the kingdom of your treasured people
and the rulership is extended for the rulers of evil people...
I have wept and shed tears from the yoke of Ishmael's children
And they mock me, Come and Hear
And I like a deaf man do not hear

How the Arabs have surrounded us and the sons of Ham cut us off
Who call a prophet a man who never prophesied
They build and assemble their armies and troops
And me, where shall I go?

How have my stars darkened and the planets turned back
And those who serve abominations (idol worshipers) have befouled my lands...
With all their strength and power they pain and grieve me
But I trust in your kindness and my heart will rejoice

How can the enemies of all that is pure reside in Zion...
And they are rich and princes raised up high...
How came they to dwell in my temples
and made themselves a dwelling there
From the top to the bottom
and from the bottom to the middle

Remember us and recall us with your salvation
from those who worship things that are not you
Hurl them out and swallow them up from your holy dwelling place
And I through your great kindness will at last enter your house"

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