June 27, 2024
Left: Pogrom in Kiev, 1881, unknown author, public domain

The three Abrahamic faiths are more divided

by so-called common Abrahams, than England from

America by language, two of them misguided

enough to have created jihad and pogrom.


Ukraine, which once inflicted pogroms on the Jews,

now faces a disaster that was instigated by

co-religionists, although the country’s led now by

a Jew who once would have been pogromized, caused to die.


Although Ukraine and Russia have a common Christ,

this does not save their Christian citizens, and though

a Jew is trying to avert disaster, the Zeitgeist

appears to be extremely ghastly in this horror show.


No pogroms have in my own neighborhood occurred,

but some pro-Palestinian people yesterday,

just two days after midsummer, by hate were stirred

to demonstrate outside a shul where Jewish people pray.


In eight-six years of my long life I’ve never seen

a comparable demonic demonstration,

yet never before now have I as worried been

as I am now about the future of my nation.


But while I’m celebrating the anniversary

of my dear father’s Yahrzeit, I turn to Hashem,

the Referee who will ensure reversery

of the demonic goals I’m sure He will condemn.


Jon Levenson writes in an article in the Spring 2010 issue of the Jewish Review of Books “The Idea of Abrahamic Religions: A Qualified Dissent,” that the view that the three monotheistic religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, share a common Abraham is misguided. The interpretation of Abraham by the three religions is radically different. For Judaism Abraham is the founder of a family, for Christians he is a universal figure while for Islam he is the first Muslim. Each religion imposes its own view of Abraham on the biblical protagonist in a manner that contradicts the view of the other two.

My wife. Linda Hepner, sent this letter on 6/24/2 to the NYTimes:

My Jewish stomach churns at the horror the historian Professor Dekel-Chen must feel for his beloved son Sagui, may he return safely. I don’t know how I would react.

But if it looks like a pogrom, feels like a pogrom and smells like a pogrom, it may well be a pogrom.

If “From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be free” is chanted all over the English-speaking world, most supporters apparently going along with the ominous implication which in Arabic is usually “Palestine will be Muslim”, sounds like Hitler and Co’s mantra that Germany would be “Judenfrei” (free of Jews) with its chilling implications, then perhaps it does presage a holocaust. Then as now this was cheered or nodded at by enormous incipiently violent crowds.

Those that died as the result of Hitler’s wishes would be the first to sense the similarities and would be ultra wary of the dangers.

Gershon Hepner is a poet who has written over 25,000 poems on subjects ranging from music to literature, politics to Torah. He grew up in England and moved to Los Angeles in 1976. Using his varied interests and experiences, he has authored dozens of papers in medical and academic journals, and authored “Legal Friction: Law, Narrative, and Identity Politics in Biblical Israel.” He can be reached at gershonhepner@gmail.com.

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