13 July 2017

Does The Shoe Fit?

19 Tamuz 5777

"Great Satan, Little Satan" - If The Shoe Fits

The Quds Day celebration in Iran held on the final Friday of Ramadan eerily echoed the early days of the Islamic Revolution with its chants of “Death to America! Death to Israel!”

In a speech given at the outbreak of the Islamic Revolution in Iran in 1979, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini referred to the United States as the “Great Satan” and to Israel as the “Little Satan.” This was no doubt partly in response to decades of interference by the Western powers in Iran’s internal affairs.

Perhaps the most egregious example of this took place in the early 1950s when the United States and Great Britain conspired to overthrow the Iranian Premier Mohammad Mossadeq. He was hugely popular with the Iranian people as he sought to nationalize the country’s industries, most notably the oil industry. Outside forces instigated a coup and overthrew Mossadeq. (In 1953, the American CIA admitted to its role in the matter.)

The Shah, who replaced him, was widely viewed by Iranians as a puppet of the West and not representative of the Iranian people or their interests. Increasing public dissatisfaction led to violent demonstrations and riots which in turn drove the Shah to flee Iran. He found refuge in the United States and the door was opened to the return of the formerly exiled Khomeini, a further tragedy for those Iranians who had no desire to live under an oppressive Islamic regime.

The world has witnessed this scenario being replayed all over the globe. The West calls it democracy-building, while its enemies call it imperialism. Consequently, the United States was generally despised and Israel, in its eagerness to embrace Western democracy and culture, was viewed as a direct threat to the Islamic world.

Part and parcel with this “democracy” came humanistic values with names like tolerance, pluralism, diversity and the “rights” of the individual, no matter how dangerous they may be to society as a whole. Countries which do not welcome a division of religion and state view such values as an existential danger to their chosen way of life. They view the symbols of Western culture as indicative of all that they find wrong with it, things like Coca Cola, McDonald’s, movies and MTV. All these things give America the well-deserved Hebrew appellation “Am-reika” – an empty nation promoting empty calories, empty values, and empty morals, superficiality with little real substance.

“Satanic” is the descriptor the Ayatollah chose to use. But, even if one would not go that far, one must still ask himself, looking from this perspective, whether Israel deserves the label “Little Satan” or Little America? Is Israel, as the Middle East’s only democracy, a conduit for the spread of liberal Western norms and values into the more conservative Arab world?

In the name of ”democracy,” the Holy Land now hosts Gay Pride parades attended by hundreds of thousands including tens of thousands of foreigners. This is a Western “norm,” but it is by no means a “norm” for the Middle East. In the name of “democracy,” Christian missionaries are running rampant across the country preying on the youth, lone soldiers, Holocaust survivors -- the most vulnerable elements of our society.

Is the Arab world justified when it implies by the moniker “Little Satan” that Israel is a local source of unwanted Western influence? Israel needs to seriously consider the possibility, for our own good.

Just look at how several U.S. Congressmen and the Trump Administration came out with statements either condemning or questioning our government’s decision on the matter of prayer arrangements at the Western Wall. “Egalitarianism” is another Western value that Israel is bidden to adopt and enforce. God forbid!

Israeli society is meant to exhibit the perfect balance between the oppression of Islam and the liberalism of the West. But, before that can happen, Israel must understand that it cannot be a “light to the nations” by hoisting Lady Liberty’s torch as a small U.S. outpost in the Middle East. It can only be accomplished when Israel understands and embraces her mission and her destiny to be a “light to the nations” by upholding the Torah in all its details. The world needs Israel to show both sides how it should be done.

Even if the shoe fits, that doesn’t mean we have to continue wearing it!


  1. Wow Devash . . . great articulated insight!
    May we be a contributing part of this light to the nations very soon; standing for the Torah ideology, free from influences from the other nations.
    Moshe Miller, Baltimore

  2. Thanks, Moshe. I'm so glad you agree. :-)

  3. Redemption is a gradual process. There can't be an halachik state in Israel until Mashiach is revealed and takes charge. I think the Lubavitcher rebbe Z''L told Bibi when he was ambassador to the UN that he will be the final Jewish leader to give the scepter to our righteous Mashiach. Beezrat Hashem it will be a peaceful transition from the State of Israel to the Kingdom of Israel. No need for a civil war. Once the davidic dynasty is restored, the only law of the land will be the Torah. Until then, we must defend our homeland in Israel which protects Jews from those who want to destroy us and allows Jews to keep the Torah and mitzvot freely, but most important we must speed up the final geulah and make it easier by MAKING MORE AND MORE BAALEI TESHUVA! That's the best way to take advantage of our time. If you don't know how to make baalei teshuva, you can send emails with scientific proofs, post shiurim on Facebook, talk to people you know about the purpose of life, invite random chilonim to your Shabbat dinner and support rabbis like Yosef Mizrachi (mainly but not exclusively with your maaser money). Rabbi Mizrachi don't use the money for his personal pocket, he only buys DVDs with them to give non-observant Jews. One dollar each CD (more than 30 hours of good Torah). So if you want to have a share in every mitzvah a baalei teshuva does, go to divineinformation.com and donate. There are other kiruv rabbis, but in my opinion he is the most efficient. I was born completely secular in Buenos Aires. I always had Jewish pride and love for Israel, but my family never kept anything. I grew up almost like a complete goi, fourth generation of atheists (what an "achievement"). I listened to several rabbis before, but I never felt the urge to change my lifestyle, until I found rabbi Mizrachi on Youtube. Since then, I keep all the basic mitzvot: Shabbat 100%, Kashrut, Tefilin, brachot before and after eating, holidays, don't shave with a razer, give maaser and tzedaka, shemah on the morning and evening (plus kriat shema al hamita with all the other prayers of the sidur before going to sleep), morning prayers (birkot hashachar), vidui, Amida on Shacharit, Mincha and Arvit, wear tzitzit and a discrete hat all the time, netilat and asher iatzar every time I go to the bathroom, don't waste seed, watch my eyes, I cut my nails and put shoes in the right halachik order, I read tikkun haklali every day, I study Torah every day, try to do kiruv both in my personal life and on the internet, etc.

    If you don't support kiruv with your time, efforts, contacts and/or money, what right do you have to talk about geulah? Help to bring our Jewish brothers and sisters back to their father in heaven. We want it, the Mashiach wants it and certainly Hakadosh Baruch Hu wants it.

    1. Weaning Jews off the foreign culture and preventing a deeper slide into assimilation is also part of the "process." The "religious" also have a lot of preparation to do before that day arrives.

    2. Without Sanhedrin and Beit Hamikdash, the Torah law can't be really applied in Eretz Israel. And those things will only happen after Mashiach is revealed.

    3. Anonymous, part of preparing for that eventuality is learning the laws and living by them as much as we are able. A person does not go from HS graduate to a medical license without many years of education and training in between. So it is with going from galut to geulah. This intervening time of "process" is the time to learn what is expected and align our will with the Creator's will.