Lee Diamond

Lee Diamond: Jewish Self-Destruction, Mezzuah Land & A Mench

Lee Diamond: Jewish Self-Destruction, Mezzuah Land & A Mench


Jewish Self-Destruction

The second Temple was destroyed due to baseless



Not because of Roman hatred

Not because of anti semitism

Not because of a powerful enemy


Rather our own nation consuming itself !


And the 3rd Temple ?

Contemporary Israel?


The right vilifies

The left vilifies


Yet the contemporary

Temple is on fire


Our external enemies delight


We are our own worst enemies

—In fighting

Haredim and liberals

at the Kotel

The wall is wailing again


Israel and the diaspora

No longer

One people

Accusations and separation

Israel and Babylon

And never the twain shall meet


Israel and Palestine

No partner!

No partner!

Another wall!


And our kids must

defend and


These buttressed towers

That we build

To defend our

Own stubborn





Our Enemies didn’t destroy


The first and second monarchy!

Nor did the HOLY ONE


We Did!

Mezzuah Land


On apartment doors

On high rise buildings

On schools and classrooms

And restaurants and

On hotel rooms

On movie theaters


My guess is that there

Are more mezuzot in israel

Than anywhere else

and Anytime else in Jewish history.


It’s a reminder

To remember

Who we are

What we stand for

Where we come from

Where we are going


It suggests how to remember

How to walk the walk

Talk the talk

So that these words

Are before us at all times


It’s so easy to forget

It’s so easy to seek

another identity


In fact it’s a burden

To bear the weight

Of Jewish uniqueness

When surrounded by a world

more enticing

And less demanding

Than the Mezuzah world


Yet the Mezuzah world

Reminds us of the results

Of forgetting our essence

Especially in the non Mezuzah



Wrap yourself in its strings

Tie your mind and body

To its message


Israelis Of all ages

Young and old

Secular and religious

With comfort

Kiss this reminder

Not as a charm

But to remember

Who and what we are

And why we are.


A Mench


Some consider this to be

the least of characteristics

A minimum for a person to be!

This  school of thought

would say

“At least be a mensch”

i.e. —it’s the basis of all

Personality characteristics


A mensch : a decent person

A mensch: a good guy or good gal

A mensch: honest, decent and basic.


But others see a Mensch

As The top of the ladder

The maximum tHat one can achieve

A person achieves “menschlchkeit”

Only after a life of struggle


We are never  born as Menshen

We achieve it!


A mensch is a person

With an open heart

A mensch is a person who listens

To another

A mensch feels another’s

Joy or pain

A mensch laughs at your jokes

And isn’t thinking of his own


A mensch is whole

And secure in His/Herself

And builds another

Never seeking power

But always seeking

Soul sharing


Jacob Ben Isaac

was not a mensch

He was perverse as a youth

He failed ; he was clumsy;

He fought to get ahead of all

He failed

He ran

He even ran far away


Only when he climbed the ladder

Only when he saw angels

Climbing and falling

But  climbing again and again

Did he learn to become

A mensch


When he learned to become

A Mensch

Jacob  became





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