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Hope vs Belief

By Zanna Linskaia

We are living in uncertain and turbulent time with the war in Ukraine, permanent terroristic attacks in Israel and all over the world, nature catastrophes, tragedies and people deaths... Yet, we are not losing our hope and belief for the better future at the end of this year and the coming 2023...

I just always wonder why with the spreading and increasing anti-Semitism everywhere in the last years, people are so happy to celebrate Christmas - the birthday of Jesus - the main Jew of mankind? Maybe, because Jews gave the idea of hope not only to themselves, but to the whole universe?

There are two words - so similar, yet, so different - Hope and Belief. Hope acknowledges a lack of evidence, while belief has something in reality. We can ask ourselves - do we believe in God? If, yes, why? By my personal thoughts, the belief without reason to believe is a mirage we create for ourselves. However, people want to get hope rather than belief.

I remember when the first time at the age of 5 or 6 years old I met my grandma Dvora. She returned from the Soviet Gulag after 15 years of prisons for being “a wife of enemy”. “Enemy” was my grandfather Josef Raikh, a prominent USSR trade attaché in Sweden, who was killed by Stalin’s regime in 1940 without any court and evidence. My grandma could only survived because of her belief in God and hope to see again her children.

From the Jewish history we know that the one of the most important moments between God and Moses was his question to God - Who he is? God replied: “Ehyeh asher Ehyeh” - I am the One or I am to be. The name of God belongs to the future tense which is not yet. The same is true of Jewish belief. Judaism is the only civilization whose golden age is in the future - the age of peace when “nation will not lift up sword against nation”. It is well known that Western civilization is the product of two cultures - ancient Greece and ancient Israel. The Greeks believed in fate, the Jews believed in freedom. While the Greeks gave the world the concept of tragedy, the Jews gave it idea of hope in the conversation of mankind. There is no surprise, that national anthem of Israel is “Hatikvah” - the Hope.


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