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The Alex McFarland Show-90-Standing Against Anti-Semitism with guests Jenny Kasier and Rabbi Eli Sneiderman Part 1

Alex McFarland Show / Alex McFarland
The Truth Network Radio
December 28, 2023 12:00 am

The Alex McFarland Show-90-Standing Against Anti-Semitism with guests Jenny Kasier and Rabbi Eli Sneiderman Part 1

Alex McFarland Show / Alex McFarland

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December 28, 2023 12:00 am

On this week's episode of the Alex McFarland Show, Alex has special guests, Jenny Kasier and Rabbi Eli Sneiderman to discuss standing against anti-semitism. The Jewish people have been subjected to unjustified and inexplicable persecution. We all need to rise to the challenge to speak against anti-semitism and to have the courage to ensure our future, our well-being and our liberty. 

Scriptures:  

Genesis 12

Psalm 122:6

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The spiritual condition of America, politics, culture, and current events, analyzed through the lens of scripture. Welcome to the Alex McFarland Show. October 7, 2023 will be remembered as a very historic day, and we are living in historic times enough anyway, but the Hamas attack on Israel has been very prominent in the news since the moment most of us woke up on October 7.

And along with that significant enough story has been the story, surprisingly, really heartbreakingly, of antisemitism throughout the world. Hi, Alex McFarland here, and welcome to the program. We have a very special program today.

This is the first of a two-part program. And folks, let me say, as we talk about the issue of antisemitism, and as in just a moment, I will bring to the microphone two colleagues and one longtime friend, one brand new friend. But let me just say this, folks. I've made a few impassioned pleas over the years in doing events, publishing, broadcasting. We've called on people to be a champion for family, and we've done a lot of seminars and events, and we've called on people to pray for America. But this morning, I beg that you will hear perhaps the most impassioned plea that I could ever make to anyone who hears this, because it's a plea that if we could rise to the challenge and respond to it, it would really ensure the future and the liberty and the well-being of all of us. And I'm making the call, and we'll hear from more perspective in just a moment from my two guests, but I'm making the call that you as an individual, whether you be a housewife or just a citizen, especially if you're a pastor or spiritual leader, a person in a position of influence, a teacher perhaps, maybe you serve on a board or you're an elected official, maybe you're in higher education, as I have been for much of my adult life. But I'm calling on everyone who hears these two broadcasts to be willing to be on record and categorically speak against anti-Semitism, because the persecution of the Jewish people and wave after wave of Jewish persecution has come about over the centuries.

You can't deny it, folks. Whenever I speak at university, secular universities, sometimes people ask me, they'll say, why do you believe in God? Or why do you believe in the spiritual realm?

Why do you believe that there's something beyond this physical world? And I very often say, well, there are a lot of reasons. But even as Mark Twain said a century and a half ago, everything in this world is mortal but the Jews. He said that the Jews, and this was, of course, decades before May 14th, 1948 and the reconstitution of the state of Israel.

But even Mark Twain, who himself was not a religious person, said that the trajectory of the Jewish people throughout history and just the inexplicable animus against Jewish people, the persecution, so it is in our own day, folks, a very small percentage of the human population, and yet the Jewish people have been subjected to an absolutely unjustified and apart from spiritual considerations, inexplicable amount of persecution. And here, October 7 to the present moment, now hear me, folks, unjustified, unprovoked attack, terrorist attack, and surprise, surprise, so much of the world is blaming the victim. Well, we're going to talk about this, and again, the call to show solidarity and stand with Israel and the Jewish people. With me, I have two guests to help us weigh in on this, one of whom has been a friend and a colleague for a number of years, Jenny Kaiser. She is a film producer. She's a very creative person who's been in journalism and marketing, and her story is fascinating in itself.

She's the president-elect of the Greensboro Jewish Federation in Greensboro, North Carolina. Jenny, first of all, I want to thank you for making time for this, and thank you for the work you do. Welcome to our program. Thank you, Alex. I'm glad to be here.

Well, and I look forward to hearing your insights. And also with me from Greensboro, North Carolina, from the Jewish Federation is Rabbi Ellie Snyderman, who's for many years a rabbi at the University of Delaware, now with the Jewish Federation of Greensboro, North Carolina. But welcome, Rabbi Snyderman. Thank you, Alex. I'm happy to be here.

Well, you know, it is good to have you both. Very honored to speak with you, Ms. Kaiser, and you, Rabbi Snyderman. Although my heart is heavy, because the subject at hand is not a pleasant one, and that's the subject of anti-Semitism. Jenny Kaiser, I'm going to throw to you first, why is this subject so important? And why would we encourage fellow citizens not just to kind of look the other way?

Why is this really something everybody should be willing to weigh in on? Yeah, that's a heavy question, and I'm going to try to do my best to answer it succinctly. Throughout history, what we have found is any violence and hatred against Jews is usually the start of violence and hatred among other people as well. And so to stop the violence and hatred to Jews stops it in its tracks, and we don't repeat history. And it's so important that we see the patterns in history, see what has happened in the past, see what's happening today, and then be able to say we're not going to let it happen again. We have a saying in Jewish culture throughout the entire Jewish people of never again, that we have been persecuted for thousands of years. And after World War II, after the Holocaust, or as we say the Shoah, we said this will never happen again. If we are attacked again, we will stand up and we will fight.

And that is what we are doing right now, is we are standing up and we are saying never again. And so on Saturday morning, October 7, the news was not even really beginning. And already there were protests, you know, pro-Hamas, pro-Palestinian, you know, animus against Israel. Did that surprise you, Jenny?

No, unfortunately not. I think that there's always people that want to stand up and stand against the Jews. It doesn't matter what we're doing or what we're saying. If we're saying anything or doing anything, they're going to say, no, you can't do that.

So no, unfortunately it didn't surprise me. What was pleasantly surprising are all of the inroads that we've made through interfaith work and intercultural work and really touching the lives of other people in our communities, that those people that we've interacted with and that we've befriended, they were the first people to say, I'm really sorry, Alex, you texted me that morning to say, I'm here with you. I love you. I'm sorry that this is happening. And that right there was so important to know that we were not alone, that in this chaos and in this vitriol that we were hearing from protesters, that our friends, our non-Jewish friends were really our friends. And we're really saying, I hear you and I feel for you.

Well, to God be the glory. We've got to take a brief break, folks. When we come back, we'll talk with Rabbi Eli Snyderman. We'll talk more about the scourge of antisemitism and what each of us can do, the right thing to do, to stand against it. Stay tuned. We'll be back after this brief break. Fox News and CNN call Alex McFarland a religion and culture expert.

Stay tuned for more of his teaching and commentary after this. In recent years, our nation has suffered greatly and we seem to be on a rapid moral decline. We've rejected God, morality, and we've almost completely lost our sense of patriotism. It's no wonder that many are asking the question, is this the end of America? Hi, Alex McFarland here, and I want to make you aware of my book, The Assault on America, How to Defend Our Nation Before It's Too Late.

You know, our nation has seen politicians that are corrupted by greed and they've got a vested interest in power, and many of our elected officials seem to care little about the country that they've been appointed to serve. Read my book, The Assault on America. We can stand up for our great nation and defend America before it's too late.

It's available everywhere. You can learn more on my own website, which is alexmcfarland.com. Read the book, The Assault on America, How to Defend Our Nation Before It's Too Late. He's been called trusted, truthful, and timely. Welcome back to The Alex McFarland Show. Welcome back to the program, folks. Alex McFarland here talking about, whether you realize it or not, I believe one of the most significant issues of our times, anti-Semitism. We're talking with Jenny Kaiser, but also Rabbi Ellie Snyderman. Again, Rabbi, thank you for making time for this and welcome to our program.

Thank you. You know, feel free to give us a little bit of your career background and trajectory, but how long would you say anti-Semitism has kind of been simmering, you know, even in America that, you know, a land of equality, supposedly, hopefully, but maybe unbeknownst to most people, anti-Semitism, it's always kind of been around. And tell us your thoughts about how pervasive it is, even though people prior to the current conflict in Israel, people may not have been aware of it.

Yeah. So, you know, I think anti-Semitism has always been around. And you know, we have the ADL, the Anti-Defamation League, which kind of measures and documents acts of anti-Semitism in the United States. But I have to say, I was very surprised at October 7th, and I'm stunned and shocked by this current wave of anti-Semitism because, you know, in America, there is anti-Semitism, but it's always kind of been on the fringes. It's always, you know, since World War II, it's kind of always been like a fringe thing. Like, we had flyers, anti-Semitic flyers posted in Greensboro, but they came from Florida, they came from, you know, California, it was a very small group. And I was always like, you know, the anti-Semitism, it was there, and it was an annoyance.

It was more of a nuisance. And this is something totally different. This is kind of like shocking to me, because, you know, immediately after October 7th, when people really should be feeling sympathy and kind of horror at what happened in Israel, instead there were people like praising Hamas and marching for the Palestinians. Like, there was no shame, no shame at all. You know, like for myself, I see violence, and I'm hurt. And every time I want to talk about what's going on, I feel like I have to say something about the, you know, the Palestinian families and children that have been being killed.

Like I can't even stop, start to say something about that. But here you had violence. You have to qualify. It was qualified. It was crazy. You know, so it's like, it was a direct attack of the victim, like you said, you know, it was a direct attack of the victim.

Yeah. Let's go back a little bit. And one thing, I think this is relevant to the conversation, but I personally am very interested in hearing this. No doubt both of you had grandparents or, you know, parents or grandparents that talked about the Holocaust. Tell us what it was like, or maybe coming of age as a child, when it begins to sink in that I'm a marked person. You know, we hear the word ethnic cleansing.

And listeners, I want you to really hit the record button in your heart, if you would. Because look, we've all had, you know, the hard knocks of life, but you've got to understand the Jewish people were singled out for extermination. Now Ellie or Jenny, talk about how as a child, maybe hearing from your grandparents, what was it like to realize, okay, every day I walk this earth, there's a target on my back. What's that like?

Wow, Ellie, if you don't mind, I think Rabbi, I'm going to tackle this one first. So I grew up in for time in Columbia, South Carolina. And we had a great, vibrant Jewish community. And I was seven years old, and I was wearing a Star of David that my aunt had brought back from Israel for me for a school picture. And it got tangled in my hair as we were walking to get the picture taken. And I asked my teacher if she could help untangle it for my hair. And instead, she ripped it off my neck. And I didn't know why. I didn't understand. Why would you rip a necklace off my neck?

Like why? I went home and I told my parents and of course, they were horrified. And that's when I learned really the first time about anti semitism about what the impact was.

From there, you know, lots of other things growing up. But my parents always said, this happened to our people, this happened to our family. And you always need to have a friend who is going to back you up, who would hide you. My husband's family was hidden for a period of time in Germany. And so I have a friend who had been one of my best friends for the past almost 30 years. And jokingly, in my 20s, I said this to her that my parents always said, find a non Jewish friend that in case of emergency would hide you.

October 8, she called me up. And she said, if this gets bad, I will hide you. And it's one of those moments where it's like, it wasn't just me. And it wasn't just my people that were feeling threatened. But that that threat was being seen by our friends and our allies. And you grow up and you hear these stories and you hear you wonder, what was it like? Why did people remain silent?

Why didn't they leave sooner? You smelled burning people next to concentration camps. Why didn't you realize this? And now I understand. And I think that that's a really sad state of humanity to be able to say now I understand. Rabbi Snyderman, yourself, family stories, the Holocaust, and the awareness that as a Jewish man, there's always the potential for persecution, if not martyrdom. What's that like, Rabbi Snyderman? I think it's a heavy burden to bear.

I would say my family, except for my grandparents, they were lost in the Holocaust and my family felt an intense gratitude for living in the United States. I think that's how it was expressed to us. It's like if we ever had any complaints against what was going on in the government or politics or something, my grandfather would always say, you know, you just should be grateful that we live here. You can't complain. You have the totally wrong attitude.

And that's something I was trying to wrap my head around. Why can't I complain like all my friends? Why can't I say something about the government and how things are running? You live here. You should be grateful because if not for America, we wouldn't be here. Right.

Yeah. I mean, prior to recent decades, America had been a sanctuary. Even those that were not politically conservative still understood the concept of equality. Our founding documents say that we're equal, we're made in God's image. Help people understand if you speak to this, if you would, Rabbi Snyderman, intellectually, there has been a turning of the tide. And it's like anti-Semitism is the one racism that gets a pass, isn't it?

That's a hundred percent because there's an idea, you know, even though there's an idea that we're in a postmodern world, there's no binaries and everything's OK and you can do whatever you want nowadays. There's one thing that a certain perspective like a DEI or a certain progressive mentality separated the world into oppressors and oppressed. And if they deem you to be an oppressor, it doesn't matter what you do, whether it's true or not true, you're evil. You can't be a victim because you're evil. And someone who they deem to be oppressed can never do anything wrong because you know what, they they have the T-shirt that says oppressed, so it doesn't matter if it's true or not. So, you know, they had the the presidents of the universities were in a congressional hearing this week and I was just stunned. They could say that calling for the genocide of Jews is considered bullying and harassment. However, you know, if at those same campuses you don't use the proper pronoun for someone, you know, then it's that you can be called up on bullying and harassment.

So the you know, the contrast of having to be where language is considered violence to a certain people, but violence is considered language and other people is just is mind boggling. That's a brilliant observation. Forgive me for interjecting here, folks, Alex McFarland, if you're just tuning in, we're talking with Jenny Kaiser, Rabbi Ellie Snyderman, both of the Greensboro Jewish Federation.

We've got to take a break. Stay tuned. We're going to talk about what you can do, what you can do to make a wonderfully positive difference in standing against anti-Semitism.

Don't go away. Fox News and CNN call Alex McFarland a religion and culture expert. Stay tuned for more of his teaching and commentary after this. Over the last several decades, it's been my joy to travel the world talking with children, teens, adults, people of all ages about the questions they have related to God, the Bible, Christianity and how to know Jesus personally.

Hi, Alex McFarland. I want to make you aware of my book, The 21 Toughest Questions Your Kids Will Ask About Christianity. You know, we interviewed hundreds of children and parents and families to find out the questions that children and people of all ages are longing to find answers for. In the book, we've got practical, biblical, real-life answers that they have about how to be a Christian in this modern world.

My book, The 21 Toughest Questions Your Kids Will Ask, you can find it wherever you buy books or at resources.afa.net. He's been called trusted, truthful and timely. Welcome back to the Alex McFarland Show. Welcome back to the program.

Alex McFarland here. Let me encourage you, please, to listen to this again. This is part one of a two-part series on standing against antisemitism.

You can find this at alexmcfarland.com. My speaking schedule and the various things that we're doing. And I thank you for really taking this to heart and getting involved. And again, listeners, I beg of you, this is not one of those times to say somebody else needs to take a stand, somebody else needs to get involved.

This is a time for all of us to do the right thing. And I will say it's the God-honoring thing. In Genesis 12, God told Abraham, I will bless them that bless thee and curse those who curse thee. And regardless of your religious persuasion, I know I speak to lots and lots of Christians. But let me say, every human walking the planet, and believe me, folks, I teach a lot of units of history. Every human ever walking the planet today, and really every human that's ever lived, is indebted to the Jewish people.

And that would be a fascinating series of broadcasts in and of itself. But we're talking with Ginny Kaiser, Rabbi Ellie Snyderman. And Rabbi Snyderman, before the break, you alluded to something, critical theory, that really, this is an academic philosophy that really divides the entire world into either the oppressed or the oppressor. And you said something very profound, that if you're labeled the oppressor, you've got this t-shirt that the rest of the community has the right to persecute, cancel, alienate.

Way back in on that, if you would, and help people understand that in woke academia, I guess I would say, it's open season on the nation of Israel and Jewish people wherever they may be. This is a pervasive philosophy nowadays, isn't it? Yes.

It's sad to say, but yes, it is. You know, I think it has to do with agency. This idea in the Jewish religion, we say that people have free choice, like, why can't we see God?

Why can't we see miracles all the time? And that's the idea that people have the opportunity to do the right thing or the wrong thing. They shouldn't be compelled to act. And central to our faith system is this idea of free choice, that people have agency. And this kind of critical theory has taken away agency. It's like, you know, immediately after October 7th, the victims of rape and murder and horrible atrocities that you can't even speak about, they were the cause agents of what happened.

And it doesn't make any sense. It is just like, if you are the oppressor, if people in academia have deemed that you are an oppressor, then you can do no right. And if you are an oppressed, you can do no wrong. And it's a system that is morally flawed.

What I'm concerned about is this latest form of anti-Semitism really challenges our shared culture of a moral sense of right and wrong. And let me say this. In my own experience, it was very eye opening to me. In the late 90s, I began to travel and speak. And just to give a little bit of context, in 25 years, it's been my privilege to speak at more than 200 American universities throughout—well, I've spoken in all 50 states, but in terms of colleges, easily 40 states. And I was very surprised in the aftermath of 9-11. I was speaking in California, Texas, Colorado, Nevada, all up and down the eastern seaboard.

Ivy League, public universities, 200 colleges. I was amazed how many students would come up, and these were usually Caucasian male students about 20, 21, who denied the existence of the Holocaust. And so many students would, I would say, dialogue, almost argue with me that the Holocaust never happened.

I couldn't believe it. But yet it's a reality. And here's my point. I think a lot of people are not terribly concerned today, because maybe in the back of their mind, they don't even think the Holocaust 75 years ago happened. Jenny, have you experienced this?

Yeah, I think that it's strange. Deborah Lipstadt famously had a lawsuit in the early 2000s against someone in England. And in England, unlike the United States, you are guilty until proven innocent.

And so she had to prove in a court of law in England that the Holocaust happened. And it's mind blowing. You hear people say, oh, it didn't happen. You're making it up. But then if you take a chance and you hear the stories of survivors, you realize it did happen.

This did happen. And it's something that we collectively as humanity need to remember and deal with. Now, you have been part of a project to acknowledge, commemorate women and the plight of women during the Holocaust.

Jenny, tell us about that, if you would. Yeah, so it's this amazing story. In the middle of the pandemic in 2020, one of my friends who's a local, internationally renowned artist and sculptor, decided I really want to make a monument to the women and the children of the Holocaust, both the survivors and those that have perished. And so she called me and she called a few other people, let's get this done. And we started the campaign. And in the middle of the process, we realized this would make a great documentary. So I brought my film crew in and we started documenting her creation of this monument and in the film, we interview three different Holocaust survivors that had very different experiences. One was hidden, two were hidden and one was actually in five different concentration camps. But it tells the story of people, actual human beings that lived through this, and then the plight of one woman to remember and to teach.

And that this isn't just about putting a sculpture in town square that says this happened, but to say this happened and what can we do about it and what can we learn from this so that it doesn't happen again. Right. Let me ask this, of those that experienced the Holocaust, how many Holocaust survivors are still living? Jenny, can you speak to that?

Yeah. So survivors die all the time and it's a shame and it's sad when anybody passes away. Currently there's about 150,000 Holocaust survivors in the entire world.

About 80,000 live here in the United States. And that's one of the things with the film is that I wanted people to realize that survivors are all around us, that you pass them and that you don't realize that they have this amazing story. We're almost out of time, but before we go in this segment, Jenny, can you give the website for the documentary that you've been working on?

Absolutely. So this is the site for all of the video content and if you want to learn more about the sculpture in Greensboro, it's womenoftheshoahjp.com. Well, we're out of time on this segment, folks, when we come back on the next broadcast. We're going to talk more with Rabbi Ellie Snyderman and Jenny Kaiser. In the meantime, pray for the peace of Jerusalem, Psalm 122, verse six, and have the courage to stand against antisemitism. Alex McFarland, thank you for listening.

We'll be back with part two of this on the next broadcast. Alex McFarland Ministries are made possible through the prayers and financial support of partners like you. For over 20 years, this ministry has been bringing individuals into a personal relationship with Christ and has been equipping people to stand strong for truth. Learn more and donate securely online at alexmcfarland.com. You may also reach us at Alex McFarland, PO Box 10231, Greensboro, North Carolina 27404, or by calling 1-877-YES-GOD1. Thanks for joining us. We'll see you again on the next edition of the Alex McFarland Show.

Do you have a desire to deepen your faith, better understand Christian apologetics, or to get a biblical perspective on current events? Well, I've tried to make it simple for you to do just that. On my website, alexmcfarland.com, there's a new section called Ask Alex Online. It's simple, it's clean, and you can read my answers to common questions about God, faith, and the Bible. So visit the website alexmcfarland.com and look for the section that says Ask Alex Online.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-02 02:20:37 / 2024-01-02 02:32:00 / 11

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