In 1879, a German publicist and political agitator by the name of Wilhelm Marr was credited with coining the term “Anti-Semitism”. That is not the first time the term was used, but it soon became popular. Adolf Hitler used the term extensively in a 1919 letter to Herr Adolf Gemlich where he explained that the Jews must be removed from Germany. Some historians see this letter as a pre-cursor to the Holocaust.
Before the words “Anti Semite” were used to refer to just the Jews, it had other origins. Originally, a Semite was a descendant of Shem, one of three sons of Noah. This is significant, because technically, both Ishmael (father of the 12 Arab nations), and Jacob (also called Israel, father of the 12 Tribes of Israel), are Semites. All of Shem’s descendants are Semite, including Abraham. Both the Jews and the Arabs call Abraham their father.
I find that to be very ironic. Semites that hate Semites.
Moses, 7:33 – “And unto thy brethren have I said, and also given commandment, that they should love one another, and that they should choose me, their Father; but behold, they are without affection, and they hate their own blood;”
At the time of Enoch, the Lord said that the children of men hated their own blood . . . or their own families. This was before the flood. This is one of the reasons for that cleansing of the earth by water. The next time will be by fire.
Consider this latter-day prophecy: “And the love of men shall wax cold, and iniquity shall abound.” – Doctrine and Covenants, 45:27
Is there any doubt that we live in a day when love is dying, and becoming cold?
Who are these whom we should love? The 12 Tribes of Israel have been scattered across the earth. Many of the nations of Europe and Asia and Africa have had the blood of these tribes intermingled with their own. So, in a very real sense, this means that most of us share some common ancestry with Shem. We are family. If you are not Mormon, this may not make a lot of sense to you . . . but I know from what tribe most of my ancestry comes from. I am of the House of Ephraim, the tribe of Joseph. Perhaps it seems a bit strange for me to make such a claim. I understand. Maybe we can talk about genealogy and Patriarchal Blessings at another time.
So . . . what does this all mean to me?
I have a deep sense of kinship with my Jewish brothers and sisters. It disgusts me that there seems to be a growing feeling of Anti-Semitism in the world. Didn’t we say, soon after World War II, that we would never let such an abominable desolation of a people happen again? Have we forgotten so soon? I wasn’t born until 20 years after the war. And yet, I feel like I am a part of the outcome of that great conflict because the memories of images and stories from that time period horrify me. I feel like I was there. Perhaps I was . . . perhaps I watched over my grandparents during those difficult years, helping them to be safe so that I might get my turn on earth.
Why do I feel such a strong bond with the Jews? I can’t even explain it. It’s as strong as anything I feel for my own flesh and blood. I have an almost overpowering desire to join with them in their fight for peace and freedom from oppression. When I hear Benjamin Netanyahu speak, it thrills my soul to hear him defend his people and his country. Maybe it’s because the Mormons, as a people, were treated almost as poorly as the Jews. Harassed, driven from state to state, even murdered. Not to the extent of the Holocaust, but very disturbing, nonetheless.
Semites . . . yes, even the Arab peoples are my brothers. I wish no harm for them. But when you are part of a family, you have got to act like part of the family. And if you decide that you don’t want to be family anymore . . .
Like an older brother on the playground, I am seeing my little brother take some pretty serious abuse by the bullies who hate him. And that gets my blood boiling. It makes me want to fight. You mess with my family, you mess with me.
We have got to STOP this growing feeling of Anti-Semitism in the world. Stand up for Israel. Stand up for the Jews. They are our brothers.
Won’t you join me?
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If this post makes sense to you, share it with a friend. Perhaps they would like to understand why they feel a kinship with Israel.