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Why I Love New York - Part III

Why The Jews Are the Chosen People

     

 

I can see that this chapter will be, at least initially, one of the most controversial chapters because people will only quote certain single remarks and spin it to make it look as though I am anti-Semitic. Nothing could be further from the truth, so I implore you to read this in its entirety, and fully understand what God requests I explain to you.

Why are the Jews the Chosen People? Those who criticize them and claim all the stereotypes of Jews as truth are right in some ways. The problem is, they don't understand the truth, and few Jews understand and express the truth in their being... anymore. Particularly the leaders. You might say they're preoccupied.

There's a tangled web of truth and misconceptions that create and perpetuate the myths surrounding what it means to be the Chosen People - a concept that is so simple that I hope it will make us all laugh at ourselves.

If you were Jewish and one of the Chosen People cited in the Bible - can you imagine how easy it would be to take yourself a little too seriously? And, how other people would would be jealous of or angry at such a seeningly arrogant claim? Even if they believed it was true. Maybe even more if they did believe it was true. Can you imagine their expectations? And their fear?

I have  a sister, whom I love very much and who loves me very much, and with whom I go through this thing every few years where I don't meet her expectations, or act in a judgmental way, and her reaction is always to find ways to say hurtful things about me to other people in order to diminish me in their eyes, and I respond by hurting her in order to get her to stop by forcing her to deny her love for me - to make her dislike me in order to get her to forget me. (Of course, now that I recognize the pattern, I have a choice not to allow it to happen anymore).

This same sister actually says that when I was a young boy, I was a Holy terror. Funny, I don't remember it that way. I actually only remember 1 incident where I did something to hurt her when I was young. With 4 sisters with boyfriends, I sort of looked at their boyfriends as older brothers, and this one guy really liked one of my favorite sports, basketball.

When he got there to pick her up, she didn't want to hang around while he played basketball with me, so, when they were on the way out the door to go out on the date, she reached into a cupboard to grab something, and I slammed the cupboard door on her hand. I truly regretted doing it. I felt horrible about it. But, of course, being human, I maintained that she was the one who caused the situation. But I knew I had done something wrong. We all know the truth about ourselves, really.

I can honestly say that from that day on, I was afraid of my own temper. So, I suppressed it until I was about 35 years old. At that time, I told a close friend that I'd had a breakthrough in my personality by recognizing that I had a temper, and that it was harmful, both to have it and suppress it.

He turned to me and laughed, and said, "Actually, Chuck, a temper is a good thing, because it's the thing that informs you of the borders and boundaries you must set in order to protect yourself, but the real challenge was to learn to manage it so that it causes you to take constructive steps to resolve differences, instead of harming others in order to control the outcome of the situation. You have to make them want to get along with you and respect your boundaries. And, now that you know that, you have to be the one to take the first steps, instead of expecting everyone else to simply comply with your wishes."

That was lot to take in. I'm sure I looked puzzled at the time.  Doug just sort of laughed a little more under his breath. And, understand, I've seen him lose him temper plenty of times, though he always found a way to turn it around into a constructive outcome. In certain circles, he's known as the "Gentle Bear".

Yet, I believe to this day, that a great deal of my anger has been justified. When I was 19, because of the abuse that occurred in my home life after my father's death, I would tell people who showed a real interest in knowing and understanding me that I had seen more bad things in my life than most people would see in their entire lives. And, I wouldn't really say much more than that, because it was painful for me to explain, and I knew they would never understand the depth of the pain I felt because of it.

But I knew it made them wonder. Because most people back then knew me as a quiet, nice, understanding and compassionate person who was always available to hear their stories of pain and help them resolve their troubles - and who rarely asked anyone else to help   me with mine.

Imagine the dichotomy of being, by day, always the class president or member of the student council, volunteering for many things to help other people, always trying to be the best, most integruous person I  could be toward other people and institutions, only to go home every night for some 8 or 9 years, knowing that every night would be filled with drunken arguments, parents threatening each other with guns, being constantly verbally abused, and on many occasions, having my life threatened.

My single most vivid memories of those times centered around how I, with a birth defect that caused my body to develop 7 years behind my real age, was a 5 foot 2 inch boy lying on my back, with a guy sitting on top of me who claimed to have been a sparring partner to heavy weight boxing champion Ken Norton in his early days - a logger with arms bigger around than any I'd ever seen -  with his fist clenched, demanding I answer his absurd questions, and telling me that if I dared answer them the wrong way, he would beat the hell out of me.

One time, he had a hammer in his hand. Finally, after a couple of these sessions, I just told him I wasn't going to say a word, and if he thought the right thing to do was kill me because of it, to just do it and  get it over with, because I wasn't going to play that game anymore. He did it a few more times, but I just lay there with my eyes closed, refusing to say a word.

And, then, I'd go to school the next day, and do my best to just be my best. Few people had a clue about what was going on. And, I said nothing, because, after all, we're not supposed to talk about such things. And, the Bible says "honor thy father and thy mother", as well as "there's a time to every purpose unto heaven". Those were the phrases that kept me physically and spiritually alive.

Now, my inclination is to tell you about a million and one other things in order to have you fully understand. Underneath it all is a basic human tendency to want people to feel sympathy, maybe compassion, and to provide some assistance that makes up for the indignities of the past.

But, in reality, I don't want anyone's sympathy. I simply want people to show respect, to treat me as an equal and to know that I mean them no harm, but at the same time, I won't allow them to "walk all over me". I just want people to allow me to be who I am, and not put me in the position to feel like I have to be aggressive and display my ability to harm them in order to force them to want to seek peaceful ways of resolving our differences. Like anyone, ultimately, I simply wish to be understood.

I came away from my teen years with the concept that I could never condone what had happened to me and my sister - the two of us were the only ones of 6 left at home when my step-father came into our lives. My older siblings, to this day, don't believe half of what we've mentioned to them about what went on.

Still, I understood that what my parents did had nothing to do with me, they were simply acting out the anger and frustration of their own pain. And, still, I was actually willing to kill my step-father in order to protect my sister. He did things that I warned him would cause me to kill him. We lived so far back in the hills, with no way to call for help when the worst of it happened, so defending us in that way would have been one of the few options available.

I didn't learn until 20 years later of the harm he had done to my sister. And, when I learned this, I felt like a failure. I actually believe this was the ultimate cause of the failure of my first marriage, because I no longer trusted myself to take the right actions, as tough as they might have been. [What comes to mind is the song "That Lonesome Road" by James Taylor]

My sister had run away from home many times, but never told me why. She blamed me for allowing it all to happen to her. She was classified as incorrigible by child protective services for running away so often. No one asked me a single question about any of it. I would have left in a New York Minute if anyone had asked.

You might think I just told you about my life. But, the Jews have a similar story of suppression and injustice. It's a little easier to conceptualize a story about a person than it is to embrace the story of a race or sect or nation.

When I was 19, I realized that these experiences had caused me to only see the negative things in my life and in the world - a purely defensive mechanism that in many ways likely served me well. My closest friends have described me as a cynical optimist.

While I remained available to talk to and help other people in a very positive way, I realized that few people actually wanted to listen to me. They viewed me as someone to talk to. And, I identified my own behavior to the negativity in the speaking of my parents, and how I realized I really didn't like listening to their opinions and interpretations of the world either. [Now playing on the stereo - John Lennon - "Working Class Hero"]

So, I invited my very best friends from Cabrillo College in Santa Cruz, California, to a party. They just thought it was a party. A couple of people asked me why the party, and I laughed as I told them it was my birthday party. They knew it wasn't my birthday. They shrugged their shoulders and just thought I was being Chuck - the one they didn't really understand but liked nonetheless. These people and I definitely operated like a family with each other. And the love was unconditional.

Here's what it was all about.  This is something the Jews should consider in their own lives, and in the nation of Israel.

I realized that, while my father was alive, I lived a "Leave It To Beaver" life. When my stepfather came along, life was hell. I realized that what I had to do was look at the past and cling to the things that I believed were good and right, and declare as void and irrelevant all of those things that I considered to be "bad programming".

I realized I had a choice about the future, my future, and since I had been given such a bad example of how people could conduct themselves, and how people who loved each other so much could do so much harm to each other, that, if given a choice, I didn't want to be like them in particular ways.

You might find it interesting to know that one of the first things I realized was that, despite the hell my stepfather caused in our lives, he actually was the person who taught me to express love. I know that sounds strange, but when he was sober, he was really an incredibly sensitive and loving and giving person. I never knew anyone who hugged and showed his love so much - before I knew him. He had friends who truly loved him in many, many cities all over the country, and welcomed him with incredible generosity - when he was sober.

That party represented a landmark in my life. It was the point at  which I decided that everything I did and everything I was from that moment on was a choice for me, that I had the opportunity to "program" myself, and decide for myself what kind of person I would be for the rest of my life, and what traits I believed best expressed the kind of person I wanted to be.

In a way, that party represented a day to complete my own private ceremony of atonement. And, at that juncture at least, a rebirth.

I kept my eyes and ears open. I saw the benefits and negatives of many, many things in the world. It hasn't been easy, and I know that my development as a person will never end. Nobody's development should ever be considered complete.

The minute you think you know it all or have become perfect is the very moment that something will happen to prove to you that the job isn't done. It's a lifelong process that can be rewarding if you allow it to be. Or, you can decide to quit, and become angry and cynical and just plain numb and dead inside.

Which would you prefer? I didn't ask which was easier.

Everyone has the opportunity to declare a rebirth. It's a choice.  I request that you join me in the inquiry, the process of choosing, moment by moment, who you're going to be in the matter of who you are as a person, and the kind of world you wish to create and be a part of.

It isn't always easy, but it brings so much joy. I've had plenty of ups and downs, made mistakes, hurt people, hurt myself... and I always know when I'm right and wrong about things, whether I admit it to anyone or not.

Justice - knowing the difference between right or wrong and acting upon that knowledge - is in us when we're born, it's not something that needs to be taught. Even gorillas have it. To do something fundamentally wrong and then claim you didn't know it was wrong is one of the most dishonest and destructive lies that can be told.

We all know the truth about ourselves, no matter what justifications we give for our actions. The proof of our character is in what we do to correct our mistakes, and the choices we make to not repeat the same mistakes.

It has nothing to do with walking around feeling guilty or constrained. It has only to do with having freedom - derived from knowing that whatever we do, think or say, we have a choice, and we alone as individuals, making and acting out those choices, generate the world we live in. It's a rippling effect, known as chaos theory, or fractals. Look it up on the web. It's quite fascinating.

And, by the way, if you think I'm preaching at you, remember that God is causing me to write this stuff because the most important things I have to remember myself in the future, as I do the work I must do, are the things I've just shared with you.

[Jackson Browne - "Casino Nation"]

So, you might ask, what does all this have to do with New York, and the Jews being the Chosen People?

[I've taken a break. Now playing - The Beatles - "We Can Work It Out", Johnny Hates Jazz, "If I Could Turn Back the Clock", "La La Means I Love You" by the Delfonics", "Take Me To the Pilot" - Elton John, Manfred Mann - "For You"]

The biggest reason I took a break is because what I have to tell you next is contrary to things that even I have believed over the years, though I've had a few discussions about some of the points I'll bring up. I've always taken Revelations quite literally, and developed opinions and interpretations about certain things... so bare with me as I tell you these things. I have faith in what I am being told.

It's very much like how everybody thinks I have to fly from West to East without touching the ground, as the Bible says, in order to prove that I am the Son of Man. I've always wanted to fly, I've always believed I could if I felt like it, just to amuse myself, since, in essence, we are all nothing more than energy. Since it's theoretically possible, I'm actually going to try meditate and do certain things that, in theory, would allow me to do it.

But, the fact is, I'm afraid of heights. When I was about 4 years old, I was hanging upside down by my knees from the upper bunk of my bunk bed, and cracked my chin open. I still have the scar.  So, the idea of flying is scary to me, even though I think it will be a lot of fun, and that I will do it.

Still, I already did go from West to East without touching the ground. I took an airplane flight to the East Coast and felt comfortable that I had satisfied the requirement. Other people thought differently, and sent me back with a "no pass". [Alanis Morisette - "Ironic"]

Nonetheless, I'm going to learn to fly, because no matter how afraid I am, I actually want to do it. It's just going to take a huge "leap of faith", if you'll excuse the pun. And, I know people will consider it the litmus test as to the truth of who I say I am. [Genesis - Album: Genesis to Revelations - "The Lamb Lays Down on Broadway"] I want to know, too.

It's going to take an equal leap of faith for you to accept that the interpretation I'm going to give you is actually true. But, if you accept it, a lot of things will make sense to you. And it will make you very happy, at least in America, at first.

In Revelations, it talks about how the New Jerusalem has already been elevated, and that when Israel and the Palestinians resolve their differences, an earthquake will occur that causes a river to run and make the arid lands that they occupy like a virtual garden of Eden. I'll talk about that more.

There's a great deal of agreement, in examining the Bible and its prophecies, that when it refers to Egypt, in this current allegorical repetition of history it represents, that it's referring to America. America truly does have a divine role to play in the future of the world. As does the example set by a New Jerusalem, in an allegorical sense, New York. [Carly Simon - "Let the River Run"]. Though, New York is not THE New Jerusalem we all think of as spoken of in the Bible. See also A Word About Oracles and the New Jerusalem.

We were granted the "sole superpower status" in order to generate the future based on whether we would wisely lead the world - sourced by love and the generosity love provides - as opposed to continuing the mistake of using the gifts we've been given, like the Romans, to try to dominate the world instead of convincing the world that it's in our best interest to work things out and come to a just agreement about how we should all conduct ourselves in order that governments truly serve the people.

At this moment, we're failing, which, of course, is why I'm stepping forward.

The Jews - and Americans - became the "Chosen People" because God caused them to interact with each other in a way that we claim to operate, but don't.

I call this deceptive behavior something like simulated Biblical enactment.

It's like a company that does things to generate numerical statistics that make it seem as though it's doing everything right and generating the perfect Biblically mandated outcomes, but in fact, it's inauthenticity makes it the exact wrong thing to do.

It's like educating us to believe that we're having an economic recovery because the stock market is doing better, even though the citizens of the United States are doing worse. Still, you'll approve of the policies of this country because you're told the stock market is doing better. There are many other indicators that have assisted in fooling you on this.

It's all part of the massive deception that causes people who aren't actually paying attention to believe all the public lies about how the government of the United States is currently conducting itself in an appropriate manner with the war on terrorism, its economic policies and the path we're taking toward globalization. The list of deceptions is very long.

I've talked about how the use of force generates equal and opposite reactions. For example, we go after terrorists and claim they're cold-hearted, brutal people who hate freedom, when the truth is, we've harmed their countries and citizens for generations, and now, they're mad, and striking back. It doesn't make them right.

But, the fact is, they have an inalienable right to liberty as well, and we've been a factor in their denial of that right. You may not like what I've just said, but it's just the truth. [James Taylor - October Road - "Belfast to Boston"] And, George Bush is exascerbating the situation.

So, when you look at New York City, and consider that the Jews are the Chosen People, you'll begin to understand what they have that most cultures don't have. As well as a few things that have become exaggerated, by them and their critics.

Everybody always says, "We're not prejudiced, some of our best friends are Jews". Of course, we say the same things of every minority, and, even when it's true, nobody gives the statement it's due because "anybody could say that" to justify themselves in order to get you to hear a criticism.

Let's take a look at some of our stereotypes about Jews. Let's see. They're pushy, arrogant, selfish, rude, penny pinchers, wealthy, they're uptight, they don't let anything get by them when someone says anything the least bit critical of them, they think the world owes them something and they have a superior attitude. And let's face it, we're not going to indulge them because they think that just because they're the Chosen People, they think that if they can get control of the world, they'll just take advantage of us and abuse us, and, after all, why should they have all the advantages while we only get the leftovers?

That would be one way to look at it. There's even some truth to it, but very little. Some people will same the same things about me, and there will be some truth to it in its own way.

When Howard Dean suggested that Israel should receive equal treatment in relation to the Palestinians, in terms of justice, Joe Lieberman got upset - as if the Jews should not be bound by the same values of justice that every other country and culture are subject to. Understand, I'm not criticizing Joe - I'm merely pointing out the unspoken fears people have about Jews, particularly in positionsof government.

I know none of this is politically correct. That's why I'm saying it. To force an honest discussion about what we really think about the Jews. Just as I suppose I should be saying Jewish people, even though you know exactly what I mean.

Because, you see, that facet of honest and open discussion is the exact reason why the Jews ARE the chosen people - all those things we say annoy us about them are the very things we all need to be doing. They were set up as being a model culture for the world because what was instilled in them was what we all consider to be so annoying is:

COMMUNICATION.

They don't beat around the bush. They speak their minds, they're direct and forthcoming, you rarely walk away from them not knowing exactly where you stand, and they don't hold it against you for interacting with them in a candid, authentic way. They don't hold human nature against you. And, they value such direct communication by holding to their word, once an agreement has been met - particularly when those they negotiate with keep to their word. It really isn't much more complicated than that.

And of course there are people who are not like what I just said, but that's a human issue, not a Jewish issue.

One time, I was at a supermarket, and I was owed a penny's change, and the check out person didn't give it to me. I looked at her and said "I think you owe me a penny." She got rude with me for forcing her to open the register and give it to me.

She said to me, "What's your problem, are you Jewish? I'll bet you're Jewish."

I said, "No, actually, I'm Southern Baptist, it's my penny, and I think I have the right to say what I do with my money."

I then proceeded to place it, as well as a couple more dollars, into a donation canister for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. That really ticked her off. But tell me, was I wrong? It may have seemed like a picky thing, but in principle, was I wrong?

This discussion isn't about money. It's about principle. It's about honest communication, not ignoring the feelings we have, the responsibilities we have and the rights we have. It's about a constant commitment to communicating until all the annoying little details are fleshed out and agreed to, instead of acting in a politically correct way that leaves important details to assumption - and how many times have you had an argument, or had things not work out because of too many assumptions?

You assume that if someone loves you, they'll act in a certain way. You assume that if people enter into a business transaction, that they'll always do certain things. You think that if people don't communicate with you in a particular way, that they're not communicating with you.

One of my father's favorite cliches was the one about how when we assume, it makes an ass out of you and me. Ass-U-Me.

That, in essence, is the incredibly simple, and most basic thing, that makes Jews the Chosen People. Chosen to provide an example of how people should interact with each other.

The other big reason is just as simple: because the religion itself is not based on idol worship or dogma, except for those kinds of things that truly serve the restoration of grace as a manifestation of the Holy Spirit. Atonement or reconciliation, telling all of the things you've done that have given you remorse to another person, is a very cleansing thing to do. It's part of what is celebrated in Yom Kippur and Rosh Hoshana.

There is a  simplicity to the Jewish Faith in its original form which is provided as a model for worship with unleavened bread. Unleavened bread symbolizes the word and worship of God in the Bible, by a church of people who have not compromised or dogmatized a religion in a way that alters the intent of God in His Commandments and the teaching of His prophets. A church of people ultimately includes the whole human race united in the basic beliefs of the Golden Rule, in the acceptance that by any name there is only one God, and that He gave His son in order to prove His love to us all, in order that we would show our appreciation for such a sacrifice by following a few simple rules, that, if obeyed, would guarantee a world that serves all beings.

Everything else that's good about their culture is derived from communication: sourced in love. Because, after all, if we communicate, and expect things to be a certain way but don't make sure we're all on the same page, it causes arguments, hard feelings, hate, violence and all the bad things we dislike about life. All the things that thwart love.

The Bible says that the greatest sickness with the potential to destroy mankind is hate.

If you don't like this sort of communication, the chances are that you've got something to hide, an ulterior motive, or are operating in a passive aggressive manner, have been successful with it, and don't want to give it up as a tool, regardless of your knowledge that you are using deception in order to manipulate people.

As a whole, it's always easier to blame your attitude, and the ill-will it generates, on people who would actually put you in the uncofortable position of being 100% candid and forthcoming.

[Stevie Wonder - "These Three Words"]

Remember all the times you got mad at your parents for making you own up to the truth? And, when all the embarrassment was over and you discovered that they still loved you, didn't it feel good to have the weight of the lie or indiscretion off your back? Remember how you thought your parents were nagging you because they were on some kind of control trip, or were just plain mean and didn't understand? That the problem was that THEY wouldn't listen? Just like in the movie Groundhog Day, it all depends on how you look at it.

Communication is a matter of principle. Which is why I get so frustrated with people who will not communicate with me directly - particularly because I believe that if they did, it would make many things easier. They'd be able to inform me of their expectations, and I could communicate mine.

Now let's flip the coin.

Imagine that if you were of the Chosen People, you might think that the world would have just opened its arms, done whatever they could to accomodate the Chosen People.

But the world has had to prove that they're only as significant in the equation as what they're  willing to offer to the whole of the team. They have to show that their opinions and wisdom are merely equal to all others. To be gracious enough to grant equal dignity to those who they believe have persecuted them. And to be the first to extend an olive branch, especially to their persecutors, in order to set the example for the healing of the humility and generosity of forgiveness and vision for the future.

Settling the problems of the world will not be accomplished through domination and threat of death. It can only be accomplished through reconciliation and just alliances.

Still, just as when spanking a child and delivering tough love, the residual pain and resentment, the feeling of being thwarted and misunderstood may often outweigh the love of the message delivered because of the knowledge of injustice and the incompletion of not being heard or perceived as intended.

Personally, I know that regardless of everything I've been through, despite all the reasons I have to be mad at the world, to think that many have been wrong in their treatment and evaluations of me, that I believe have something special to give to the world, and that based on my conduct each moment forward, that sooner or later certain people will learn to trust me. But it will never come unless I earn that distinction. And, only when my deeds reflect the words I speak regarding principle and action. [Genesis - "In the Air Tonight"]

That is my message to the Jewish people in the world. To everyone, actually. I could tell you a great number of things in order to "give you the answers" you need. But, like me, unless you truly search your souls for the answers to your own persecution and tribulations, you will never truly own them and take yourself on to correct those things which bring your grief, reclaim those things which bring you joy, and cause you to present yourself to the world in a responsible way that has people love you and greet you for the wonderful people you really are.

The next time you look in the mirror, remember to laugh for at least a moment or two. It'll do your heart some good. And, because of that rippling effect, you'll do the world some good as well.

God's instruction to the remnant of the Jews

Romans 2:17 - Behold, thou art called a Jew, and "restest in the law", and makest thy boast of God.

18 - And knowest his will, and approvest the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law;

19 - And art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness,

20 - An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law.

29 - But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letters; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

[Lenny White - "Betta"]

After 7 or 8 hours of writing, I have to admit that I'm just a bit silly. But, consider this my way of being your oracle. I'm not giving you what you want, I'm giving you what you need. I truly hope you'll see what there is to be gotten. Because, in order for everything to work out, if you truly are to live up to being the people chosen to provide an example to the world of how people can conduct themselves in a more effective and loving way, such that all people's needs are met and that all people are made whole through the possibilities of the love available through communication, I'll need your help.

To the people of New York - many of you are God's representatives of the dispersed remnant to America. That does not mean you are entitled or superior. It means you are responsible and accountable for the outcome.

Please join me in this inquiry and endeavor.

[Anita Baker - "Just Because"]

With that, I'd simply like to say that God's plan is a good plan. I believe that the wonders of it's possibilities can be accomplished, and I pray that what I have written will be read with the knowledge by all who read it that His will and glory are what are to be served. Nothing here was written to criticize, but to allow forgiveness, and empower us all to be everything that we can be - despite the suffering and anguish we may have experienced, and in celebration of the joy that has been provided to us all and which lies ahead.

Praise God for His infinite wisdom, and for the honor of being His servant. Let us be partners and seek fellowship in the fulfillment of His plan as the instructors we are all requested to be.

 

    


1965-2009 Charles Rehn Jr IV and Kingdom of God Communications, Inc. ™  All Rights Reserved   Fair Use Policy 
  

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