Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Words, words

There is far too much weight given these days to using exactly the "right" form of words.  I suppose it is a hopeless case but I think we should instead just look at the basic meaning and think about that

Let me give an example of the difference that the "right" word can make these days.  I once said: "All Jews should get back to Israel.  They don't belong here".  Did I get condemned for that? Was I immediately fingered as an antisemite? Not at all.  How come?  Because I didn't actually say that.  I said it in Hebrew instead. What I said was: "I think all Jews should make Aliyah".  Both of those forms of words mean the same thing but one was phrased in a way that bore on a great Jewish controversy.

"Aliyah" literally mean "rising up"  -- rising up to Eretz Israel.  And many Jews acknowledge that as a holy duty and feel guilty and apologetic that they have chosen to live in the fleshpots of NYC instead.  So what I said was actually holy from a Jewish viewpoint. And some of my Jewish readers wrote to agree with me.

But isn't that crazy?  Why do we pay so much attention to superficialities? I may be wrong but I do genuinely believe that Israel, despite the attacks on it, is ultimately the safest place for Jewry -- but I was fortunate that I could put that thought in the "right" way.  If I had not been so able, I might have attracted much opprobrium for saying exactly the same thing.

So I hope that conservatives at least will sometimes look at and think about the underlying intention of an utterance and overlook or forgive less felicitous forms of expression.

FOOTNOTE:  My reason for thinking that all Jews should make Aliyah

The Ayatollahs have made clear that America is the great Satan.  Israel is only the little Satan.  And the 9/11 attacks were on NYC, not Israel.  So, if the Obama-enabled Ayatollahs are suicidal enough to unleash a nuclear strike, it will most likely be on NYC, not Jerusalem.  Jerusalem is, after all, holy to them too

Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).

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