Tuesday, May 16, 2006
Posted by Daniel Greenfield 9 Comments
It has become increasingly common in some circles to blame all of Israel's problems on the 'Erev Rav.' Any Israeli figure from Shimon Peres to the police officers at Amona are described as Erev Rav. Now it's entirely possible that we do indeed have the Erev Rav among us. Certainly many of those who have come to Israel, particularly from Russia, are not Jews. But at the same time the 'Erev Rav' is an easy way out to avoid dealing with the reality of the problems in the Jewish people.
Our Destroyers have all too often tended to come from us. Were Korach and the Meraglim Erev Rav? Were most of the kings of Yehuda and Yisrael Erev Rav, some of whom came out of the seed of David? Were the descendants of the Hasmonoim who allowed the Romans to take over? Was Josephus who betrayed his men and defected to the Romans and then composed a slanderous history of the Jews, even now being used in academic circles as legitimate, also Erev Rav? In the 20th century were the Yevsektsia and the Kapos, Erev Rav?
There may well be Erev Rav doing their destructive work among us, but that does not change the fact that they are most likely outnumbered by Jews doing the same thing. It was not only Russians at Amona. It is easier and more comfortable to deny that, to believe that Jews do not do such things to other Jews. Indeed the response of many Jews from isolated communities going on the internet and first encountering Jews for Palestine, Jews for Jesus and even Jews who think Hitler was right is to contend that they're not really Jews. And sometimes that is indeed the case. Other times though unfortunately these people are of Jewish origin. Ignoring that is to give way to a dangerous illusion of a seperation between them and us, to imagine that our children cannot become like them and that their behavior does not reflect on us.
Unfortunately Jewish history is a pattern, a pattern of exactly this kind of behavior we are seeing now. Looking back to the fall of Bais Sheini, we can see the very same events manifesting themselves over and over again. We can see the factions, the misplaced and misdirected fanaticism, the explosion of messianic beliefs and the utter disunity that gives way to a complete collapse. It can be seen but little is done about it. In that context 'Erev Rav' becomes a defense mechanism rather than a solution, a way to avoid acknowledging the problems within the Jewish people, rather than a way of dealing with them.