Sunday, January 7, 2018

Just one single human life

The entire humankind once consisted of just one single individual.

That individual was a non-binary transgender hermaphrodite, but also 100% male and also 100% female (depending on perspective, each being valid from that particular point of view.) [1]

That individual was not Jewish, nor of any other religious or cultural persuasion, nor was he/she/they atheist, agnostic, animist or theist.

The individual was transracial, and was neither liberal nor conservative. The person didn't believe in socialism or capitalism, or any ism for that matter.

This individual was as dark as the darkest-skinned person on earth, and as fair-skinned as the lightest-skinned person on earth. In fact, he/she was both the darkest-skinned AND the fairest-skinned person to have ever lived! He/she had both the curliest hair AND the straightest hair of anyone who had ever lived.

The individual was the oddest-looking and most-out-of-the-box creative person to have ever lived, but was also the most conforming, run-of-the-mill & average person who had ever lived.

This individual had the lowest IQ ever, but also the highest. More brilliant than the most intellectually-sophisticated human ever, but also as foolish as the least intelligent member of the species. He/she was actually the smartest AND dumbest person who had ever lived! The strongest AND the weakest. The healthiest and least-healthy. The most physically-fit and the least-fit. The fattest and the skinniest. The most-beautiful and the ugliest human who had ever lived.

The individual was illiterate and non-verbal with no one to communicate with, perhaps like someone who is on the spectrum.

The individual was an immigrant, forced to flee his/her place of origin [2], but also a native. He/she was both a stranger and a local, a settler and also indigenous. The establishment and the newcomer.

The person was neither heterosexual nor homosexual. The person happened to be sexually-deviant (by today's standards) [3] whose children all practiced incest [4], but was also a believer in monogamous marriage in the traditional Biblical sense! [5]

Needless to say, the individual was immodest and uncouth, didn’t keep any societal norms, wasn’t on social-media, and certainly didn’t wear fancy or dignified clothes. In fact, he/she/they didn’t wear ANY clothes. [6] The person was amoral, by today’s standards, [7] but was also pious, and at times, even self-righteously indignant and holier-than-thou! [8]

This individual was simply human, no more and no less, who suffered from fear, shame, guilt, dishonesty, denial, and was inclined to blame others for his/her own weaknesses, just like all humans who would ever live thereafter. [9]

This individual was one day old, but also a mature adult. He/she was both the youngest AND the oldest human who had ever lived!

I know this all sounds contradictory, but it was true! Or at least the Bible says so. [10]


So that no one ever come along and claim that any one particular human being's life or dignity doesn't matter.

So that no one ever dare suggest that a human being who is a one-day-old infant, or a hoary senior, or female or male or both or neither, conforming or non-conforming for whatever reason, or homosexual or heterosexual or nonsexual, or of any particular religion or culture or lack thereof, or of any level of intelligence or literacy or lack thereof, or of any level of cognitive ability or disability, or of any ethnic, political, or national background, etc. etc., so that NO ONE EVER dare suggest that this person's life doesn't matter.

That one person's life, even if that one person is ____________ (fill in blank with the human quality you find most abhorrent or least appealing), has infinite value, as much as that of all of humanity. No more and no less than the totality of all of humankind.

Save or sustain that one life, and it's as if you have saved or sustained ALL of humanity. [11]

Treat that person with compassion and dignity, and it's as though you have shown compassion and dignity to the entire world.

The way you regard that one individual is a reflection of how you regard all seven billion of us. [12]

It's a reflection of how you regard the entire Cosmos.

Look into that individual's eyes. It's a reflection of the entire universe. [13]

[1] Genesis1:27: “And God created the “Adam” in His image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” Rashi: “’Male and female He created them?’ Yet further (2:21) Scripture states: ‘And He took one of his sides, etc.’ The Midrash Aggadah (Gen. Rabbah 8:1, Ber. 61a, Eruvin 18a) explains that He originally created (Adam) with two faces, and afterwards, He divided him.” The Midrash cited by Rashi describes the original human as being androgynous, male from one side and female from the other, connected by their backsides. The “removal of the side” (typically mistranslated as “rib”) in 2:21 refers to separating the single androgynous human into two distinct individuals, who can someday reunite face to face in the act of intimate union. Of course, Rashi concedes that this isn’t necessarily the literal meaning of the text, but midrashic symbolism. Nevertheless, in traditional Judaism, there are many midrashim that are in fact accepted at face value. This is one that particularly resonates with me. See also ibid 5:2. Please note that there is no neuter gender in Biblical Hebrew, so “He created him” doesn’t mean that masculine qualities are necessarily ascribed to G-d, nor does it mean that the “Adam” is being defined as exclusively male, according to the midrash at least.

[2] Ibid 3:23-24: “And the Lord God sent him out of the Garden of Eden, to till the soil, whence he had been taken. And He drove the man out…” Seems that Adam was evicted from the Garden and became an immigrant in the new soil he was banished to, but also indigenous to that soil, from “whence he had been taken.” So he/she was both expelled and repatriated.

[3] Ibid 2:23: “And man said, ‘This time (in reference to “Eve,” the first distinctly-female human), it is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.’” Rashi comments: “’This time’ teaches us that Adam came upon all the animals and the beasts [in search of a mate], but he was not satisfied until he found Eve.” — [from Yev. 63a]. “Came upon” is a euphemism for phallic penetration, both in Biblical and Mishnaic Hebrew. See Genesis 29:21, Rashi, and Mishna, Keritut 3:5-6, and countless other examples.

[4] See Leviticus 20:17. The verse prohibits the marriage of siblings and describes it as “חֶסֶד” in Hebrew (pronounced “hesed”, which usually translated as “kindness”). Rashi notes that on the literal level, חסד here means a disgraceful act, since חִסוּדָא means disgrace in Aramaic, as per Onkelos on Gen. 34:14. Rashi also cites the midrashic interpretation: “If you [object and] say, ‘But Cain married his sister!’ [the answer is:] the Omnipresent [in permitting this marriage,] performed an act of kindness (חֶסֶד), to build His world through him, as it is said: ‘the world is built on kindness (חֶסֶד).’” (Ps. 89:3). - [Torath Kohanim 20:116]

[5] Genesis 4:25.

[6] Ibid 2:25: “They were both naked…”

[7] Ibid: “…and they were not ashamed.” Rashi: “for they did not know the way of modesty, to distinguish between right and wrong… until eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.”

[8] Ibid 4:25, Rashi.

[9] Ibid 3:8-13. 
Adam and Eve hid, were afraid, ashamed and in denial. When confronted, Adam blamed Eve, who promptly blamed the Serpent.

[10] According to traditional Jewish thought. Whether you believe in this fantastic story or not (I do, unabashedly), it begs an explanation. Hence this article, as per the sources cited in footnote 11.

[11] Mishna, Sanhedrin 4:5, version of Rambam's Pirush Hamishnayos.

[12] This does not mean you necessarily need to agree with all choices that individual makes or doesn't make. It just means that you accord that individual the respect, dignity and compassion that the only human being on earth would deserve. You acknowledge the core value that this human being possesses, simply by virtue of being the one unique person whom the Divine Creator hand-fashioned in His own image, as if he/she were the only one.

[13] "Uni-verse" = "one turn." Perhaps it can be interpreted to mean: "turn back to one, i.e. our one common origin." Alternatively, perhaps it means “Returning to One.” The purpose of the universe (and its tikun) is to realize that we are all one.
(Thank you Joyce for etymological correction)

Monday, December 4, 2017

"Off the Derech?"

Just sharing a post I made earlier today to a Facebook group called "Frum/OTD Dialogue."
(In case you didn't know, "OTD" stands for "Off the Derech." Derech means path in Hebrew referring to the "path" or way of traditional Jewish life. Frum is Yiddish for "religiously observant" in the Orthodox Jewish sense. "Off the Derech" is a modern expression meaning one who left traditional-Orthodox Jewish lifestyle and embraced a non-observant or less-observant one.)
New to this group. Thank you to my real-life friend ___________ for inviting me. Not sure if I fit into the “Off-the-derech” description, but not really “On-the-derech” either. I guess you could say I’m kind of on-and-off.
This got me thinking about the term “OTD.”
Just wondering. Why is it all or nothing? Do you have to be either “Off”-the-derech or “On” it? What about people who vacillate on-and-off?
I’m struggling to find my identity here. On one hand, I probably couldn’t be considered off-the-derech, because I usually wear a yarmulka and try to keep some major Jewish observances, albeit in a rather limited (and sometimes self-serving/lip-service/auto-pilot-kind-of) way.
Not sure I’d identify as ON-the-derech either, because self-serving/lip-service/auto-pilot observance isn’t really the derech I believe in. So I’m not really “on” my derech, although in some deep way, I wish I were.
Every so often, I get back “on” the derech, but sadly, I don’t stay “on” any task for very long. Before long, I’m off the beaten path again, veering off toward some other distraction in life, and quickly forget about having ever been on any derech in the first place.
Often I wistfully wish I’d have stayed “on” a derech, but other times I get complacent and feel resigned to my off-ness.
I guess you can call me kind of “off,” but not necessarily “off THE derech,” per se. Instead, I’m kind of “off” everything. On and off, that is.
I hope those self-revelations aren’t off-putting to you. Don’t mean to turn you off, and certainly didn’t mean to turn anyone on.
Maybe we need a new distinction: O&O – “On-and-Off” (the derech). I suspect that might include lots of other people too, many of whom might wear kippas/hats/sheitels and many of whom might not do so consistently or at all.
Furthermore, I don’t care for the “TD” part, i.e. “THE” derech. Why the definite article? Whose derech are we referring to here? If there are 17 million Jews, doesn’t that mean there are 17 million derechs?
Everyone has their own path in life. My path is not the same as your path. Even if both our paths happen to be bumpy, rocky and circuitous, it doesn’t mean we share the same path. Even if we both happen to be “off” (or “on”) any given path at any given time, or even if our paths intersect. Yes, our paths might bear similarities, but they are clearly not the same path. It’s that kind of boxed-in thinking (that anyone could possibly be “on” or “off” the same derech as anyone else) that I often find so objectionable about lots of “derechs” out there.
The only derech I feel we can ever truly share is derech eretz, mutual respect.
If I respect you and you respect me, then we share the “way of earth,” i.e. consonance, balance and harmony, just as we share planet earth.
On another note, don’t mean to insult anyone here, but I find the abbreviation “OTD” a little offensive, only because of its vocalized similarity to “OCD.” OCD is a real psychiatric condition, not something one chooses. “OTD” is a choice or a lifestyle, not a disorder. Why must we call it something that sounds like a medical diagnosis?
If someone is “off-the-derech” because of a psychiatric condition, then he isn’t “off” the derech, nor was he necessarily on the derech to begin with. Rather he is suffering with an ailment of the mind, psyche and body. Is mental illness a derech (or lack thereof)?
Speaking of OCD, there’s so much suffering in the world, whether or not modern psychology has a name for it. When someone articulates a religious, religiously apathetic, or anti-religious viewpoint due to his or her own personal suffering, is it really a religious or anti-religious statement? Or is it just an expression of human suffering? The same is true for actions, i.e. deeds of religious zeal or of anti-religious cynicism. If there is suffering involved, why do we get so caught up on the religious or anti-religious part? Is that part even relevant?
Moreover, surely every decent human being (all of us who cherish the universal derech of “derech eretz”) sees it as a priority to alleviate a fellow human being’s suffering, I would hope.
If someone is suffering, my first concern ought to be to alleviate that individual’s suffering, irrespective of which derech he or she is on or off. And surely I would never wish to inflict suffering on another human being, certainly not in order to prod him on to (or off of) any given derech.
Upon further reflection, that last statement is the official “derech” I claim to adhere to. But sadly, I don’t always live up to that ideal. When I think about the past, I’ve inflicted untold suffering on lots of innocent individuals, whether by neglect or with offensive words or demeanor. I surely regret those times I’ve veered off the universal derech of derech eretz. I truly wish I could stay on that derech consistently. If you have ever felt offended or wronged by me, I would appreciate a private message alerting me to that, thereby giving me a chance to make amends and get back on the derech.
This might sound like some religious-derech creed, but I firmly believe that someday we will all realize our true potentials and arrive at the end goals of our own personal derachim, both as individuals and collectively as a people.
In that sense, one can never actually be “off” the derech, because life is really just one trajectory toward fulling the ultimate purpose of one’s soul’s descent to earth. All the bumps and detours might seem like I’m “off,” but it’s really part of an awesome and inscrutable plan. The ultimate destination is the same. Some people have a short-long path, and others have a long-short path. A lapse or detour off my path just means that my path might be longer than I originally had imagined. Moveover, just like my path can take a sudden turn to what-appears-to-be "off" my original itinerary, it can also take a sudden turn back "on", or to where ever. My current location/direction on which ever path I'm on doesn't define me. When my path get difficult and I feel like I’m battling an up-hill climb, it helps to remember that it’s particularly because of all those challenges that I’m actually ascending. At the end of all the difficulties, I trust that my soul will appreciate the awesome ascent. All of our souls.
Just to conclude, I don’t believe that anyone is ever “off” any derech in the true sense.
Wishing you much success on your derech, and hope that you find much meaning, gratitude and fulfillment along the way.
Thank you for reading till the end.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The only truly-effective way to stop Islamic terror

Someone recently sent me a video entitled “Where are the Moderate Muslims?” by Hussein Aboubakr.[1]

The video makes the case that the Muslim world is dominated by “bad ideas and bad beliefs.” It argues that the only solution to Islamic terror is Islam reforming itself.

“Until we tell the truth about Islam, the only solution to Islamic terror will never take place,” the speaker asserted.

Notwithstanding Mr. Aboubakr’s good intentions, I disagree with this message, or at least the way he communicated it in his closing statement.[2]

First of all, why single out Islam? Much of the world is dominated by “bad ideas and bad beliefs.” Perhaps there is a much higher prevalence of “bad ideas and beliefs” in the Islamic world, but by focusing on those and ignoring others, we aren’t doing justice to the cause. It appears that we’re only calling out the evils of some and not the evils of others, and suggests subjective bias. To accurately define ideas and beliefs as “bad,” it needs to be addressed with objectivity, especially if one hopes to effectively communicate the message to those who need to hear it most. He ought to have protested “bad ideas and beliefs” that exist everywhere, but with special emphasis on those that exist within the Muslim world, due the alarming statistics that he invoked.

Secondly, “Islam reforming itself” isn’t really a solution. People must reform themselves, both individually and collectively. Islam all along has only been a symptom of the problem, not the root cause. The root is the weakness of the human condition.

Lastly and most importantly, we don’t have to “tell the truth about Islam.” We need to tell the truth about absolute moral values and ethics, i.e. the seven universal principles that were enjoined on all the children of Noah. It’s not our place to try to find those truths within Islam, or Christianity, or any other religion, for that matter. We just need to teach the truth about life.

If a Muslim person wishes, he or she can go find those ideas in Islam, if those ideas do indeed exist. And if they don’t, then they are free to adapt or reinterpret their religious texts, whether through exegesis or eisegesis. They’re also free to simply ignore those indefensible/reprehensible aspects of their religion, or even to repudiate their religion altogether. But that’s none of our business, or is it even necessary for Islamic terror to stop. In fact, if we involve ourselves with that, it is counterproductive.

In other words, we need to teach fellow humans the universal laws of morality. We don’t need to enter into religious debate or encourage religious reform, or point out how flawed their religion is. There’s no reason for us to comment on their religion altogether. I need to teach humans about the sanctity of human life, for example, one of the Seven Laws. If someone counters, “But Allah said in the Quran such and such,” I don’t need to address the Quran at all. Instead, the correct response is: “Allah commanded all mankind not to murder for any reason. This commandment predates all other religious codes or books. Allah despises murder, and cherishes all human life, women and men, young and old, of all races, sizes and colors, irrespective of whether they even believe in Him and his prophets or not.” This is sacrosanct. It transcends religion, culture or social norms. It transcends human logic too, as we have no permission to rationalize and justify murder under any circumstances.

(That’s just one example, but it applies to all the Seven Mitzvot and their applications.)

When an Islamist commits an act of murder or mass murder, it is important to point out first and foremost that this is a fragile human being who committed this nefarious and depraved act. His motive is secondary. The fact that he was indoctrinated (by other fragile human beings) to embrace a false belief system that justifies or glorifies murder is only a symptom of the problem. If we confuse or conflate it as the main problem, we are missing the forest for the trees. It’s like blaming murder on lax gun laws, but then the murderer will drive a pick-up truck or use a machete. Shall we ban pick-up trucks?

(I agree with the presenter that politicians and media mislead people when they rush to assure everyone after a jihadist attack that the atrocity doesn’t represent the true nature of mainstream Islam. Radical Islamic beliefs need to be identified as the obvious motive. Agenda-driven white washing is deplorable and dishonest. However, we ought to be less concerned with motive and more concerned with the moral and ethical vacuum that allowed those depraved motives to fester in the first place.)

When will finally realize that the root problem isn’t the truck, or the gun, the knife, or even the incitement or indoctrination. The underlying problem is that this individual is bereft of absolute moral values and was never taught to appreciate the infinite and sacrosanct worth of human life. Had he been, then he would have soundly rejected anyone else’s attempts to incite or indoctrinate him. Instead, he would have endeavored to educate the misguided inciter. Surely he would have had no tolerance for any “bad ideas or bad beliefs” which the presenter deplores.

We need to teach these Divinely-ordained principles to all mankind, not just to people of Muslim faiths. Plenty of Christians (and people of other religious or non-religious beliefs) need to learn these laws too. Everyone, young and old, irrespective of financial or social or racial status. Even people who are mentally or emotionally impaired or challenged need to learn these universal principles too (as their lives are infinitely valuable and meaningful as all others).  They apply to everyone. They apply equally to Hollywood, to Wall Street, to Main Street, in Rome or Ramallah, Mecca or Manhattan, churches, mosques and post offices, on land, sea or in the air.

And that is how we can truly create a solution to Islamic terror, neo-Nazi terror, and other forms of terror, murders, crimes, and all other societal ills. That is how we can bring healing and redemption to our fractured world. This is how we will bring Moshiach NOW!

[1] Produced by “Prager University.” Link:
[2] I interpret the presenter’s use of the word “Islam” as a name of a religion or religious identity. However, if “Islam” refers to society as it exists in predominantly-Islamic areas, then there is some merit to his message. But my critique is still relevant. We should not be attacking anyone else’s religion, but just teach truth. We can criticize behaviors, irrespective of religious or cultural motivation, and teach the correct behaviors.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Persecution of Jews in the Muslim World – a Historical Timeline

(Note: this is just a rough sketch, and is by no means complete. Please comment if you notice any events that should be added)

Persecution of Jews in the Muslim World –
a Historical Timeline
Date:  Event:
624     After Jews of Medina refused to accept him as a prophet and rejected his new religion, Mohammad became openly hostile toward them. He instructed his henchmen to murder and decapitate a renowned Jewish poet and chief of the Banu Nadir (date farmers tribe), and ordered his followers, “Kill every Jew you can.”
          Muhammad expelled the Jewish tribe of Banu Qaynuqa.
625     Muhammad banished the Jewish tribe of Banu Nadir.
627     Muhammad orders 600-900 Jews of Banu Qurayza beheaded (except for the few who chose to convert to Islam), all women and children enslaved, and their properties confiscated.
632     Muhammad expels Jews from Northern Arabia. Since then, Jews have never been allowed to live in parts of Arabia.
634     Jews expelled from Khaybar.
661     Muslim caliph of Jerusalem confiscated Jewish property throughout the Land of Israel and distributed it to Arab settlers.
717     Jews persecuted under Umayyad Caliphate.
789     Increased persecution of Jews under Abbasid Caliphate. Jews subject to oppressive taxes and humiliating laws.
850     Muslim Arab rulers require Jews of Iraq to wear yellow patch.
945     Jews persecuted by fanatic Shiite Buwayhid dynasty.
987     Jews deported from Fez, Morocco.
1004   Arab Muslim leaders forcibly convert Jews in Eretz Yisrael. Synagogues burnt down. Jews of Egypt forced to wear “Jew Badge.”
1013   Berbers kill Jews during their conquest of Cordova.
1035   6,000 Jews massacred in Fez, Morocco.
1066   Jewish population of Granada massacred by Muslim Mob. Yosef Hanagid crucified. 4,000 Jews killed.
1148   Jews of Cordova attacked and forcibly converted by fanatical Islamic sect, Almohades. Many were forced to flee the country. Almohades kill 150 Jews in Sijilmasa and many more in Tiemcin and elsewhere in the Maghreb.
1061   Jews banned from Marrakesh.
1165   Forced Islamic conversion in Morocco.
1169   Jews violently persecuted in Yemen, forced to choose between Islamic conversion or martyrdom.
1198   Jews of North Africa were required to wear humiliating dress.
1244   Jews of Jerusalem massacred by Egyptian and Turks while trying to flee the Holy City.
1250   Jews of Tunisia required by their Muslim rulers to wear “Jew badge.” Jews persecuted in Egypt.
1275   Jews of Morocco attacked by fanatic mobs.
1291   Jews massacred in Persia. Jews of Acco killed and imprisoned by Sultan of Egypt .
1293   Forced Islamic conversions in Iraq.
1303   Forced Islamic conversion in Egypt. All Jews there required to wear yellow turbans.
1392   A Jew was burned alive in Damascus, and many others imprisoned and tortured, after local Jews were falsely accused of setting fire to a mosque.
1442   Jewish women raped in Sale, Morocco. Widespread robbery and plundering of Jews in Alcazarquivir.
1465   Entire Jewish community massacred in Fez, Morocco.
1493   Jews fleeing Spain were attacked and persecuted upon arriving in Morocco. As many as 20,000 Jews died there due to attacks and famine.
1502   Increased persecution of Jews in Persia under Safavid rule.
1517   Property of Jews in Tunisia destroyed by Turks. Jews required to wear a yellow patch on their headgear.
1518   Jews of Hebron massacred by Muslims. Jews were attacked, beaten and raped, and many were killed as their homes and businesses were looted and pillaged
1521   Jews of Jerusalem blamed by Muslim rulers for a severe drought, and were required to pay heavy fines.
1524   Jews of Cairo were threatened with massacre and forced to pay an exorbitant tax.
1535   Jews killed in Tunis, and many were captured and sold to slavery.
1625   Jews of Jerusalem oppressively taxed, imprisoned and tortured, by Ottoman Pasha.
1628   Jews forced to wear Jew badge in Persia.
1630   Increased persecution of Jews in Yemen.
1640   Many Jews forcibly converted to Islam in Persia.
1656   All Jews expelled from Isfahan. Many were forcibly converted to Islam.
1668   Jews expelled from parts of Morocco.
1670   Jews publicly burned in Marrakesh. Synagogues of the city were torn down. Many Jews expelled from the Berber region of Sus. Enormous taxes imposed on Jews.
1678   Jews expelled from Yemen, and synagogues destroyed. Most died of starvation or disease due to expulsion.
1741   Jews persecuted in Morocco.
1789   Jews massacred in Morocco.
1805   Jewish community of Algiers attacked and massacred by Turkish soldiers. 300-500 victims.
1828   Jews massacred and expelled from Baghdad.
1830   Jews of Tabriz were massacred. Jews of Shiraz forcibly converted to Islam.
1839   Jews of Meshed, Persia, attacked and killed, and the remainder forcibly converted to Islam, continued to observe Judaism secretly.
1840   Blood libel in Damascus. Many Jews arrested and tortured, including over sixty children (in order to extract confessions from their mothers). Two Jews died of torture, a number confessed, and one converted to Islam.
1844   Pogrom in Cairo.
1847   Pogroms in Dayr al-Qamar and Jerusalem.
1848   Pogrom in Damascus.
1850   Pogrom in Aleppo.
1857   A Jew was attacked and killed by Muslim mob in Tunisia for allegedly insulting Islam.
1860   Jews of Tetuan, Morocco, were massacred. Jews of Hamedan, accused of mocking Islam were fined. Some had their ears and noses cut off as punishment.
1862   Pogrom in Beirut
1866   Jews of Barforush were forcibly converted to Islam. 18 Jews of Barforush killed by Muslim mob. Two of them were burned alive. Pogrom in Kuzguncuk.
1864   Jews massacred in many North African cities, including Tunis and Tripoli (on Yom Kippur). Pogrom in Buyukdere.
1868   Pogrom in Eyub.
1870   Pogroms in Istanbul and Alexandria.
1871   Pogrom in Damanhur.
1872   Pogroms in Edirne and Izmir.
1873   Pogrom in Damanhur.
1874   Pogroms in Istanbul, Izmir and Beirut.
1875   Pogrom in Aleppo.
1877   Pogroms in Damanhur and Mansura.
1878   Jewish settlement in Petach Tikva attacked by Arabs.
1882   Jews attacked in Algiers and throughout Algeria in numerous anti-Jewish riots. Many Jews were killed, synagogues plundered, Torah scrolls desecrated. Pogrom in Alexandria.
1890   Pogroms in Damascus and Cairo.
1891   Pogrom in Damanhur.
1897   Jews attacked by anti-Jewish rioters in Mostaganem, Algeria.
1901   Pogroms in Cairo and Alexandria.
1902   Pogrom in Cairo
1903   Pogrom in Port Said.
1907   Thirty Jews were killed (and 250 women and children abducted) in Morocco. Porgrom in Alexandria.
1908   Pogrom in Port Said.
1910   The Jews of Shiraz were accused of ritually murdering a Muslim girl. Muslim dwellers of the city plundered the whole Jewish quarter, the first to start looting were the soldiers sent by the local governor to defend the Jews against the enraged mob. Twelve Jews, who tried to defend their property, were killed, and many others were injured.
1920   Jews attacked and killed by Arabs in northern Eretz Yisrael. Five Jews killed by Arab attacks in Jerusalem.
1921   Forty-seven Jews killed in Arab riots in Yaffo, and four Jews killed while defending Petach Tikva from an Arab attack.
1929   Many Jews killed in Arab Pogrom. Sixty-seven Jews (including women and young children) were massacred in Hebron, and the Jewish community destroyed.
1934   Twenty-five Jews killed (and many more wounded) in Constantine, Algeria, in attacks by local Muslim population.
1936   18 Jews killed in Arab riots in Tel Aviv. Over the next three years, Arab terror attacks claimed the lives of almost 500 Jews. Three Jews murdered in Iraq. Iraqi synagogues bombed.
1941   Jews massacred in Baghdad (Farhud). 200 were killed.
1947   Arabs begin attacking Jews in protest of United Nations vote to give Jews a partitioned are in Eretz Yisrael. 75 Jews of Aden killed in Arab anti-Jewish riots. Jews of Aleppo, Syria, attacked and all synagogues destroyed. 6,000 Jews fled the country. Jews persecuted and arrested in Iraq.
1948   Many Jews killed by Arab bombings and attacks in Jerusalem and elsewhere in Eretz Yisrael. A few hundred Jews were killed in the fighting with Arabs after the British withdrew.
          Armies of all the Arab countries surrounding Israel (i.e. Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq) invade, joined by Saudi Arabia and Yemen.
          20 Jews were killed in Arab attack in Cairo, and over 100 Jews killed in subsequent sporadic riots.
          A prominent Jew was publicly hanged in Basra to terrorize Jewish population.
          Hadassah convoy massacre.
1949   Sporadic Arab attacks on Jews in Eretz Yisroel continued for many years.
1950   Synagogues bombed in Iraq. Jews had been persecuted in Iraq for several years prior, were finally given permission to leave Iraq, but were not permitted to take any possessions. 110,000 Jews (almost the entire Jewish population of Iraq) left for Israel, leaving behind possessions worth $200 million.
1956   Increasing number of Jews in Eretz Yisrael killed by Arab infiltrators from across the border, many from Egypt. Egypt closes Suez canal to ships sailing to and from Israel. In response to Israeli military action to open the canal, the Egyptian government expelled almost 25,000 Egyptian Jews and confiscated their property, and sent approximately 1,000 more Jews to prisons and detention camps.
1964   Terrorist organizations P.L.O. and Al Fatah established with goal of carrying out murderous attacks against Jews in Eretz Yisrael.
1967   Increased terrorist attacks against Jews in Israel. Egypt and Syria arm, mobilize and deploy forces to border, Egypt closes Suez to Israel-bound ships, openly calls for annihilation of Israel and death of Jewish inhabitants. Nasser stated his goal to “throw Jews into the sea” and soak the soil with Jewish blood. Israel launches preemptive attack. 777 Jewish soldiers killed in conflict.
          Jordan occupied eastern Jerusalem and expelled all Jews from the Old City. 58 synagogues were desecrated or demolished in the Old City, resulting in the de-Judaization of Jerusalem. Jews were barred from the Western Wall, in defiance of UN armistice agreement. 38,000 Jewish graves in the ancient Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives were systematically destroyed, and Jews were not allowed to be buried there.
1969   Nine Jews publicly executed in Damascus. Egypt began war of attrition against Israel with daily shellings across the Suez Canal.
1970   Libya confiscates Jewish property. The P.L.O. begins hijacking planes.
          Avivim school bus massacre. 12 killed (9 victims were children), 25 wounded.
1972   Lod Airport massacre. 26 killed, 80 injured.
          Eleven Israeli athletes taken hostage and killed by Arab terrorists in the “Munich Massacre.”
1973   Egypt and Syria attacks Israel on Yom Kippur. 2,522 Jewish soldiers killed in the conflict. After their defeat, Arab nations threaten not to sell oil to countries that support the Jewish state. Israel becomes isolated (particularly in the United Nations).
1974   Four Syrian Jewish girls were abducted while trying to flee from Syria to Lebanon (and eventually to Israel). Their bodies were found raped, murdered and mutilated. Remains were found of two Jewish boys, victims of an earlier massacre. Syrian authorities deposited the bodies of all six in sacks before the homes of their parents in the Jewish ghetto in Damascus.
          Ma’alot massacre. Arab terrorists attacked an elementary school in Israel and took over 115 people hostage, including 105 children. After a two-day stand-off, the hostage-takers killed children with grenades and automatic weapons. Ultimately, 25 hostages, including 22 children, were killed and 68 more were injured.
          Kiryat Shmona massacre. Arab terrorist killed 18 (including 8 children) and injured 15.
1976   Arab terrorists hijack plane and take 100 Jews hostage.
1978   Coastal road massacre near Tel Aviv. 8 people were killed on bus. Victims include 13 children. Other people killed nearby. 71 wounded.
1982   Arabs bombard Jewish towns near Lebanese border and launch other terrorist attacks. Arab terrorists attack and murder Jews throughout the world.
1983   Blood libel accusation claimed publicly by Syrian government official. “The Matzah of Zion” published, and re-printed several times.
1989   Bus 405 suicide attack. 16 killed.
1991   Iraq fires 29 SCUD missiles at Israeli cities, damaging 4,000 buildings in 18 waves of attacks, but miraculously only kill one or two Israelis directly (not counting people who died of heart attacks during the terror of the SCUD attacks).
1993   Two suicide bombing attacks in Israel. 2 killed, 39 injured.
1994   Dizengoff Street bus bombing. Suicide bomber blows himself up in a bus during the morning rush hour in Tel Aviv. Killing 22 people and injuring 50 others. Numerous other suicide bombings throughout Israel, resulting in 16 deaths and 13 injuries.
1995   Beit Lid massacre. 21 killed, 69 injured. Three other bombing attacks, resulting in 18 more deaths.
1996   First Jerusalem bus 18 suicide bombing. 26 killed.
          Second Jerusalem bus 18 suicide bombing. 19 killed.
          Two more suicide bombing attacks, killing 14.
1997   Island of Peace massacre. Jordanian soldier opened fire on a large group of Israeli schoolgirls, killing seven.
          Three separate suicide bombing attacks in Israel, killing 24.
1998   Two suicide bombing attacks in Israel, killing 3 and wounding 20.
1999   Two suicide bombing attacks in Israel.
2000   Five suicide bombing attacks in Israel, killing 6 and wounding 4.
2001   Sbarro restaurant massacre. 15 killed (7 of whom were children),130 injured.
          Dolphinarium discotheque massacre. 21 killed, 100+ wounded.
          Forty suicide bombing attacks in Israel in total, killing 85 and wounding hundreds.
          Ramallah lynching.
2002   Egypt's government-sponsored television aired a miniseries based on the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which is widely accepted as fact and printed in school textbooks throughout the Arab and Islamic world.
          In Netanya, Israel, Arab terrorist murders 30 Jews and injures over 140 at a Passover seder. Some victims were Holocaust survivors.
          Bat Mitzvah massacre. 7 killed, 33 wounded.
          Yeshivat Beit Yisrael massacre. 11 killed (including 7 children and 2 infants).
          47 suicide bombing attacks in Israel in total. 236 killed and scores wounded.
          Hebrew University Massacre.
          Lyon car attack in France. Wave of increased attacks on Jews and Jewish targets in France.
2003   The blood libel was featured in a scene in a popular Syrian TV series.
          Tel-Aviv central bus station massacre. 23 killed, over 100 injured.
          23 suicide bombing attacks in Israel in total. 145 killed, scores wounded.
2004   17 suicide bombing attacks. 98 killed, dozens wounded.
2005   9 suicide bombing attacks in Israel. 33 killed. Scores wounded.
2006   Young Jewish man kidnapped, tortured and killed by Islamic radicals in France.
          Three suicide bombing attacks in Israel. 15 killed, 99 wounded.
2007   Three killed in a suicide bombing attack in Israel.
2008   Mercaz HaRav massacre. 8 killed, seven of whom were students.
          Two suicide bombing attacks in Israel. 1 killed, 22 wounded.
2011   Itamar attack. Both parents and three young children of one family stabbed to death in their home, one infant decapitated.
2012   Algerian terrorist attacked a Jewish day school in Toulouse, France, killing a teacher and three children, and wounding a teenager.
2014   Jerusalem synagogue massacre. Five killed. Three teenagers kidnapped and killed. An Islamic terrorist opened fire at the Jewish Museum of Brussels, Belgium, killing four people.
          Rocket attacks launched toward Israel from Gaza increased dramatically, killing numerous victims.
2015   Hypercacher Kosher Supermarket siege in Paris. At the height of pre-Shabbat shopping, Islamic terrorist took hostages and killed four Jews. Numerous other attacks on Jews throughout France.
          One suicide bombing attack in Israel.
2016   Tel Aviv shooting. Four killed.
          One suicide bombing attack in Israel, injuring 20.
2017   Jewish woman murdered by Islamic terrorists in France.
           Halamish stabbing attack – a father and two children stabbed to death in their home by Arab terrorist.
          According to recent figures, 1332 people have been killed in Israel by Arab terrorists since 2000, including 21 Israelis killed abroad in terror attacks directed specifically against Israeli targets. (Not included are 9 IDF soldiers killed during the ground operation against Hamas terror in Gaza 2008-2009, or any of the IDF soldiers killed in Operation Protective Edge 2014).