Tree of Life Synagogue
I would rather be writing about Christmas than having to write about the slaughter of Jews while they were celebrating Shabbat. But the terroristic attack on a Jewish synagogue in Pittsburgh necessitates a response.
Having been in the news media for so many years, you somehow insulate yourself against some of the terrible things which take place. But the slaughter of innocent people celebrating Shabbat at the Tree of Life Synagogue in the Squirrel Hill section of Pittsburgh, was more than my mind and emotions could handle. We have a group of people in our country who think that the Jewish people should not be in this country. I want to declare loudly and clearly that the Jewish people have as much right, and even more right to be here, than the rest of us. You may have never heard this before; but if it had not been for the Jewish Community in the American Colonies, we would not have won the Revolutionary War - the War for Independence.
The American troops were poorly armed and starving to death, and were on the verge of defeat at Valley Forge. The Continental Congress was out of money, and could not purchase arms and ammunition. It was a Jewish banker from Philadelphia named Haym Slomon who saved the day. He went to the Jews of American, and even sailed to Europe to put together a gift of millions of dollars for the cause. How much would millions of dollars back then, be today? Because of the efforts of this one Jewish man, and the Jewish Community in both the colonies and in Europe, the war was turned around and the British were defeated.
George Washington was so appreciative of the Jewish contribution that he had the engravers of the United States one dollar bill give a memorial to the Jewish people over the head of the American eagle on the back of the bill. You will find the 13 stars of the Mogen David, which is the Star of Israel. Around the star is the Cloudburst of the Shekinah Glory in the Tabernacle and later in the Temple in Jerusalem. Flip the bill upside down, and you will see the Jewish Menorah. Washington said that there must be a memorial to the Jewish people for the contributions they gave to birthing this nation.
But there is more! The government that our Founding Fathers established was completely different than any that had ever existed on the face of the earth. Where did they get the ideas for a representative type of democracy known as a republic? Where did the idea come from to have three separate but equal branches, none of which had any control over the others?
The Constitutional Convention was deadlocked. The delegates were talking about going home for an extended stay, and, perhaps coming back at some much later date to try again. At this point, Benjamin Franklin called the Convention to prayer. The prayer meeting/Bible study session lasted three days before they came to the conclusion that God had revealed something great to them from the Jewish Scriptures - what Christians call the Old Testament. The idea of three separate branches of government: the executive, the legislative, and the judicial came from the Jewish Prophet Isaiah (chapter 33). The idea or each branch being separate but equal came from the Jewish Prophet Jeremiah (chapter 17).
But there is still more. Virtually everything in the Constitution came directly out of the Jewish Scriptures:
* Consent of the governed (protecting the majority from
* Separation of powers
* Arms for self-defense
* The republican form of government (not a pure
* Uniform immigration laws
* The head of government (the president) a natural born
* Two or three witnesses required for conviction of a
* Capital punishment
* The Sundays excepted clause
* Judicial activism banned under the "exceptions clause"
* The free enterprise system
* Proper and improper forms of taxation
* Capital gains taxes
* Minimum wage
* Tax exemption for churches
And that is just the beginning. All of that was given to us by the Jewish people through their Scriptures.
Instead of hating the Jews, we as Americans should institute a day each year to celebrate the Jews for all they have done for our country. Everyone of us has benefitted and continues to benefit every day of our lives from what the Jewish Community has done and continues to do in this country
I really don't know how to end this, other than to say that my heart goes out to Jewish families who have suffered at the hands of bigots who have no knowledge of the contributions the Jewish Community has made to this country, and made to me personally (and that is a whole other story). To my Jewish friends, and all Jews in this country and around the world: Shalom upon Shalom
Click here to return to Editorials written by Ken Williams