Thank you Rev. Wright

by Rabbi Philip Lefkowitz

Most Americans were appalled by the anti-Semitic and anti-American statements which were central to the recent celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March in Washington. My fellow Chicagoans, the ever verbose Reverends Farrakhan and Wright were, as ever, true to form. Farrakhan, despite his diminishing health returns, spoke for two hours spewing his virulent form of anti-Americanism, anti-Semitism, and anti-white racism. Yet amidst this otherwise despicable event, a veritable miracle occurred. The Rev. Wright, who in his comments, is usually the Rev. Wrong, for all his vile bigotry inadvertently said something right. Said the “good” Reverand:

“The same issue is being fought today and has been fought since 1948, and historians are carried back to the 19th century… when the original people, the Palestinians – and please remember, Jesus was a Palestinian – the Palestinian people had the Europeans come and take their country.”

I gather Rev. Wright attaches no merit to the review of none other than Mark Twain who actually visited the holy land in the 19th century, no doubt because Twain is one of those white devils he constantly rails against. Mark Twain wrote, “... A desolate country whose soil is rich enough, but is given over wholly to weeds... a silent mournful expanse... a desolation... we never saw a human being on the whole route... hardly a tree or shrub anywhere. Even the olive tree and the cactus, those fast friends of a worthless soil, had almost deserted the country.” (The Innocents Abroad, p. 361-362)

“Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it” Proverbs 22:6

As Wright’s biography reminds us,

“Wright was born and raised in a racially mixed section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania called Germantown. His parents are The Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Sr. (1909-2001), a Baptist minister who pastored Grace Baptist Church in Germantown, Philadelphia, from 1938 to 1980 and Dr. Mary Elizabeth Henderson Wright, a school teacher who was the first black person to teach an academic subject at Roosevelt Junior High. She went on to be the first black person to teach at Germantown High and Girls High, where she became the school’s first black vice principal.” Raised in a committed Christian home, Rev. Wright seems to be still aware of some Jewish history and felt compelled to state amidst his otherwise anti-Semitic tirade – “and please remember, Jesus was a Palestinian.”

Yes, Jesus was a Palestinian, as were all his fellow Jews living under the heel of Roman authority were Palestinians. I’m sure they did not like this truth. The Romans had renamed the Jewish homeland Palaestina, named after the notorious enemies of the Jewish people, the Philistines, to further shame the ever rebellious Jewish people. Rev. Wright, raised in his father’s Baptist Church, well-knows from his own childhood that to claim Jesus as the Messiah, of whom the Prophets of the Old Testament wrote, he would have to be understood to be a Jew, a descendent of the house of David. In his attempt to deprecate the Jewish State as founded by “European” usurpers stealing the land from the claimed Palestinians of today, the Wright instead validated the right of the Jewish people to that land as they, the Jews, as he clearly stated were residents of that land for thousands of years.

It appears that Wright has followed in the path of another individual who desired to denigrate, to curse the Jewish people – Bilaam Harasha. Yet with the intervention of G‑d, Bilaam instead blessed the Jewish nation, his blessing recited by Jews in every generation as they enter their respective synagogues – “How goodly are your tents o Jacob, your Tabernacles o Israel.” Numbers 24:5

Today when daily we watch the horrors that are taking place in the streets of our beloved Israel to its Jewish citizenry, it is somewhat encouraging to note that a true Sonai Yisrael, an anti-Semite in the person of Jeremiah Wright, cannot help himself from validating the claim of the Jewish people to the land of Israel. Once again, the Shomer Yisrael is reminding us of his omnipresence. As Mark Twain put it:

The Egyptian, the Babylonian, and the Persian rose, filled the planet with sound and splendor, then faded to dream-stuff and passed away; the Greek and the Roman followed; and made a vast noise, and they are gone; other people have sprung up and held their torch high for a time, but it burned out, and they sit in twilight now, or have vanished. The Jew saw them all, beat them all, and is now what he always was, exhibiting no decadence, no infirmities of age, no weakening of his parts, no slowing of his energies, no dulling of his alert and aggressive mind. All things are mortal but the Jew; all other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality?

We all know the answer to the question posed by Mark Twain. “Indeed, He who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.” Psalm 121:4.