On 31 January, the Rohr Jewish Learning Institute (JLI) posted a video of a lecture by Rabbi Yossy Goldman of Johannesburg which he delivered at their acclaimed National Jewish Retreat in Atlanta in August 2021.
Why now? Because the theme of the talk was Antisemitism which has today reared its ugly head as never before since the Holocaust.
This topic is so close to home now that in a matter of days, the lecture has gone viral and has now surpassed the 120,000 mark of viewers on YouTube and is growing fast.
In “Why the Jews? The Truth About Antisemitism,” Rabbi Goldman addresses the question of whether there is actually a reason for antisemitism. Some say, there is. They argue that it is because Jews are the conscience of the world, and the world doesn’t like to have a conscience that would makes them feel guilty.
Others, like Rav Menachem Zemba, one of the greatest Polish rabbis in pre-war Europe who perished in the Warsaw Ghetto, argued otherwise. He quoted the great Talmudic sage, Rabbi Shimon ben Yochai, who said “it is a halacha that Esau hates Jacob.” It is a rule of life and there is no discernible, logical explanation as to why.
As to the question of what we can do about it, Goldman quoted a variety of sources from the Rebbe, to Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, to Israel’s first Prime Minister David Ben Gurion who famously said, “It doesn’t matter what the Goyim say. It matters what the Jews do!”
There are already some 1600 comments on YouTube.