An Eye-Opening Experience at an Israeli Men's Prison
A Muslim Arab fellow (we'll call him Achmed) worked with my son and Achmed was a bit apprehensive about working at a prison, even though it was a minimum security area (i.e., the prisoners aren't dangerous).
My son reassured Achmed that these prisoners were not violent criminals, that they were in prison for non-violent crimes, and he had nothing to fear.
There was a pause as Achmed tried to think of what these people could have possibly done that earned them a prison sentence for a NON-violent crime.
(In Achmed's world of the Palestinian Authority, white-collar criminals presumably can buy their way out of a prison sentence & sx offenders either aren't persecuted – because what they did isn't considered wrong in their society – or they manage to buy or intimidate their way out...or they're executed. It depends.)
Finally, Achmed asked my son if these non-violent prisoners have been locked up due to same-gender hanky-panky.
He couldn't think of anything else to fit the circumstances.
My son burst out laughing.
"We don't imprison people for that!" he said.
Achmed was shocked to hear that. He was even more shocked to learn that such activity isn't remotely illegal in the Medinah, let alone punishable in any way.
Insularity can be Fun!
And it is also a very telling one.
It is also intriguing how some Arabs living their entire lives in Israel remain clueless about the basics of Israeli society & laws, including basic halachah, and they never even learn Hebrew despite the similarities between Hebrew & Arabic, making it an easy language for Arabic-speakers to learn.
Even if they're more secular, they still live relatively insular lives.
And they PREFER living relatively insular lives.
They like their culture.
Here's a sharp story related to that...
Tsniut Saves from Death
One woman, the daughter of a Jewish mother & a Muslim father, was married off in her teens to a Muslim in the village of her paternal grandfather, who was also the local sheikh.
Yad L'Achim helped her escape & make a new life for herself.
She became totally frum & married a good Jewish man.
But remember: The Muslim world considers her Muslim. And her escape from her Muslim husband is a terrible dishonor to him and to their clan. (Not to mention, leaving Islam is itself an executable crime, technically speaking, even if it's not always enforced.)
Anyway, long after her teshuvah & Jewish marriage, she was walking down the street one day (maybe Geula, Yerushalayim?) and dressed in full tsniut-mode: long skirt & sleeves, hair fully covered with a nice scarf, etc.
Suddenly, an Arab man stepped out in front of her, blocking her way & glaring at her.
It was one of the cousins from her ex-husband's village.
She was terrified he might kill her on the spot.
(Though that sounds melodramatic, it was actually a realistic possibility, given his value system & his ability to hide or be hidden among the alleys & other fellows working there, OR if he was caught, he could always rely on Israel's revolving doors of "justice" for Yishmaelim.)
Instead, he just stood scowling at her & looking her over.
Finally, he said something like, "I really should kill you for what you did. But as long as you're going to keep the family honor by dressing modestly, I guess we can let you go."
Then he left.
She explained to us that due to their insular lifestyle, her Muslim family members really have no clue that Judaism commands modesty for Jewish women (and men too, actually).
The Arabs mostly see secular Jewish woman who give no thought to tsniut (dressing & behaving with dignity).
So when this Arab cousin saw that she dressed modestly & even covered her hair (like Muslim girls & women do), he could only assume that she was doing so out of respect for the values of the Arab side of her family.
Without knowing Jewish Law, he could only assume that her intentions were to "keep the "family honor."
(And yeah, it's weird because he was in a place like Geula where you see modest Jewish women everywhere. But for some reason, it just did not compute with him. He thought whatever he thought. And baruch Hashem for that! Otherwise, she may not have lived to tell the tale...)
A Combined Message from Galut Yishmael within Galut Edom
THIS is the Galut (Exile) that Hashem put us in.
Yes, Galut Yishmael applies more to Eretz Yisrael, but the Western countries (especially Europe) are also increasingly experiencing Galut Yishmael.
And look at how Yishmael is:
- They often keep their names. (There isn't even an Anglicized form of names, like Yassar needing to be called Jassar, like there is with Hebrew names. And I don't mean for ease of pronunciation, like "Mohammed" instead of "Mochammed." I mean, if you say Yechezkel instead of Ezekiel, no one will know who you mean. I haven't heard such an equivalent done with Muslim names.)
- They keep their style of dress (more or less).
- They keep their language (even when they could learn Hebrew so easily & it would help them so much to know Hebrew well).
- They cling to their beliefs without apology or appeasement. (They may fudge things a bit, like redefine the meaning of Jihad with a false watered-down definition, but mostly they simply insist that Sharia law is just & compassionate & better, and that they aren't all terrorists – which is mostly true – or that what you consider terrorism isn't actually terrorism, and that if you think badly about Sharia or the way individuals practice Sharia, then you are an Islamophobic racist bigot who is persecuting them, and you'd better shut up.)
- They have neither tolerance nor respect for atheism or polytheism.
And whether their values & laws are actually correct or not, they hold on to them unapologetically.
Having said all that, yes, they want a lift in their material lifestyle.
They want to enjoy the material comforts of the West. So they head West.
And while they're living on welfare in Europe or North America, they not only hold on to their own values, but unapologetically insist that others not only respect their values & beliefs, but even adopt them too.
(A British Jewish friend related how a Nigerian Muslim woman stood outside a British mall, boldly calling on everyone to dress more modestly. Let's see a religious Jewish woman try something like that! Even her fellow frum Jews would censure her and feel embarrassed by her.)
Look at how Yishmaelite weekend-schools in England have no problem teaching children how to cut off the hands of thieves without killing them – including detailed diagrams of the anatomy of the human arm, wrist, and hand to show how to carry out this procedure.
(And they also teach other stuff many Westerners find disturbing.)
And look at how British authorities minced around the whole thing!
Compare that to the British handling of frum schools for simply refusing to teach anti-Torah values.
In the Yishmaelite weekend-schools, you have the active instruction of how to carry out brutal punishments & executions for crimes (including acts that are not considered crimes by your average Brit).
And the Yishmaelites are unrepentant. You don't like it? Then YOU are the one who's wrong. That's their attitude. They don't go groveling or trying to smooth things over.
But for simply NOT teaching a secular value, the Jews get skewered?
Anything good & just in British law comes from Jewish Law.
Western countries originally based their laws on their religion, which derives any of its positive values from Judaism.
Yet it's against that same Judaism they turn.
(Interestingly, the Ofsted [The Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills] that minced around what to do with the Yishmaelite curriculum was the same Ofsted that downgraded a Jewish school for hosting separate classes for boys & girls. I didn't realize gender-segregated education was such a problem for British authorities. After all, Eton still doesn't accept girls & there are still no boys at the Cheltenham Ladies College. Am I missing something?)
Here's Part of the Message...
There are certainly exceptions to everything written above.
But in general, the attitude of Yishmael today is as described above.
And it's actually how we're supposed to be with OUR own pure Torah value system of TRUE justice & compassion, as defined by Hashem Himself.
- WE are supposed to insulate ourselves within our own holy Torah value system.
- WE are supposed to dress, speak, act, and look like Jews – and do so with quiet dignity & without apology or embarrassment.
- WE are supposed to dismiss the pop psychology & teach our children according to the purity & beauty of Torah Law.
Look at what Hashem is shoving in our face all the time.
There is definitely something He wants us to glean from Galut Yishmael. (Actually, there are a few things. This post addresses only part of the message.)
Will we get the message?
And even more importantly, will we be able to act on it?