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 The Jews cannot agree among themselves regarding propriety of place and behavior at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Muslims and Jews cannot agree about security measures necessary on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, let alone agree about    the ownership and control of the area itself. On the surface, one may be led to believe that these are arguments about turf and territory, conflicting power and control. But in reality theses issues have a far deeper and much more fundamental base.

They are arguments and disagreements about historical truths and the narratives derived from them. The Muslim world in our time has denied all of Jewish history. They deny that the Jewish people even exist. Their narrative is that today’s Jews are Khazars or Tartars or Gypsies and that the remnants of the ancient Hebrews who once lived in the Middle East have long disappeared.
They deny there ever was a Temple on the Temple Mount. Abbas write a doctoral dissertation in effect denying the Holocaust. And they deny the right of the Jews to establish a national homeland in the predominantly Moslem Middle East. Historical fact has been changed and perverted to fit a predetermined faith narrative that encourages violence, hatred and willful and meaningless terror.
The issue of control over security on the Temple Mount is about the Muslim narrative of history, theirs and ours. They simply cannot afford to give in on any issue, no matter how slight and inconsequential it may appear to be for doing so will indicate that their historical narrative is badly flawed and dangerously false. And so the struggle continues lurching from one incident to the next one.
A similar analogy can be drawn regarding the disputes ongoing regarding the Western Wall. Both the Reform and Conservative movements in Jewish society were founded on the premise that traditional Jewish life, behavior and values were not sustainable in the modern era. Because of this fundamental belief, Judaism was completely changed as a way of life. Basic  belief in the words of the Torah was fist reinterpreted, then the text itself was edited and finally the whole holy book was in fact discarded.
Reform jettisoned Hebrew, Zion and Jerusalem, but was forced to rethink those matters and reverse their position after the Holocaust showed them that Berlin was not to be its new Jerusalem. Ravaged by intermarriage and a birthrate that is unsustainable for future growth or even maintenance, it now fights for survival through lawsuits and false publicity while continuing to decline in numbers and relevance.
Any Jew can find a place to pray that will accommodate them at the Western Wall. It is simply sad that so few Reform and even Conservative Jews choose to do so. The historical truth is that traditional Jewish life in Israel and even in the Diaspora has not disappeared. On the contrary, it has grown stronger and gained many new adherents. The basic premise of these movements, that traditional Jewish life could not survive in the modern world, has been disproved. The false historical narrative has lost all meaning.
The historical narrative of Eastern European Jewry was severely affected by the Holocaust. After this most tragic of all events, an historical narrative has been reconstructed. But it is basically a fanciful one and greatly flawed. It attempts to remake the past world to coincide with the norms and societal mores of a present, far different world.
By ignoring what are, in fact, historical truths, these consequences are harmful to Jewish society. Our educational methods and societal norms suffer because we are trying to make a world that never existed. And in striving to do so, we have lost the sense of contentment and normalcy, in spite of poverty and persecution, which was the hallmark of Jewish life for centuries.
In attempting to reach the impossible we have often neglected the opportunity to achieve what is necessary and possible for our time and situation. We have much to learn from our past history. But if it is a false and distorted one, it becomes a negative instead of a positive for us. Pretending that all was always perfect and that our present problems are because of current and recent villains is an illusion that costs us dearly. We should never fear historical truth and accuracy. It will always prove us right.
Berel Wein

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