L’chaim! – To Life!

Artwork by Elhanan ben-Avraham

In the Jewish world the glass of wine or other brewed or distilled beverage is lifted to the hearty toast of “L’chaim!” (to Life!). It is the echo of the very message we have been commissioned to carry throughout the ages of our generations from Mount Sinai. “Choose life!” it is written in our ancient Torah, a timeless message viable even to this day.

There is another widespread culture born some 2800 years after Sinai, which utterly forbids the imbibing, or even touching, of any kind of brewed, distilled, or fermented beverage.  That religious culture was born in the 7th century AD- some 600 years after Jesus and the New Testament, introduced by one admittedly illiterate Muhammad- presumably for other illiterates, claiming to have come to replace the Jews and the Christians with his new religion. Some 600 years earlier, it is recorded in the New Testament that Jesus the Jew not only turned water into wine, but instituted the cup of wine (and bread) as the very symbol of the New Covenant, symbolizing his own blood that would be poured out for the forgiveness of the sins of many. “Wine maketh glad the heart of man” it is written in the Book of Psalms.

But the new culture in the neighborhood almost immediately began spreading its message by the edge of the fearful sword, spilling the blood of many onto the earth of those who refused to receive the Islamic message. And unto this day that Culture of Death likewise spreads its unfortunate gospel. One of the infamous leaders of the ultra Islamist organization Hamas stated, as proof that they shall prevail, “The Jews love life, but we love death,” as they groom their many children to the highest form of Islamic worship, which is to die as a martyr for the sake of Allah’s cause- the Jihad- with the promise of a heavenly brothel. “Allah loves those who fight in His way in ranks as if they were a firm and compact wall.” – (61:4)

The very foundation stone upon which the Torah, the Prophets, and the New Covenant rests is one Hebrew word: the command “v’ahavta” (you shall love)*. The message carried in the pages of the Muslim holy text, the Quran, is not love (rarely appearing in its pages), but fear. Fear is the driving force that fuels its constant struggle against the Jews and the Christians and any other pagan non-believers (not to forget the wars between Shite and Sunni Muslims). An example is that of the courageous Muslim leader Anwar Sadat who made peace with Israel and returned to Egypt to be assassinated by the Muslim Brotherhood. Or that seat of the expansionist and violent Islamic Revolution, Iran, seeking to dominate the Middle East- and beyond- with its many proxy tentacles. But former President Obama assured us that “Islam is a religion of peace.”

Anything built atop a false foundation is also false, even if it is artfully constructed. And any challenge to its weak foundation, such as the mere existence of the Jewish state, is cause for anger, and met with rage, much of which we are witnessing in the raging streets by perennially disgruntled Muslims around the world today.

*“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart…

and you shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

(Deuteronomy 6:5; Leviticus 19:18; Matthew 22:27-40)

“I have come to give them life, and life more abundant”

– Yeshua of Nazareth