Op-Ed: Homegrown Enemies of Jewish Life

Op-Ed: Homegrown Enemies of Jewish LifeThere are internal enemies that we must conquer so we can face the very real external threats. Remember Pogo’s line? Rabbi Wein tells us what and how.

There was once a fascinating commentary on life in the form of a comic strip called Pogo. One of its most telling captions to my memory was the paraphrasing of the famous line “We have met the enemy and they are ours” into “We have met the enemy and they are us!”

The time, energy and effort spent on fighting imagined enemies and illusory dangers in the Jewish world, including the observant Jewish world is fairly mind-boggling. This is unfortunately in line with much of Jewish history where identifying the real problems, the true enemies of Jewish existence and comfort was somehow secondary to quarrels about fabricated enemies and minor issues of differing ritual and custom.