getzy markowitzBy Rabbi Getzy Markowitz
Everyone seems to be counting these days. Americans have just finished counting the first 100 days of the Obama Presidency. Jews are in the midst of counting the Omer days that connect Passover and Shavuot. And as they mark their 61st birthday, the Jewish state is learning that they cannot count on the Obama administration to defeat the greatest threat to its existence, and civilization as a whole.You can count the days since Iran’s president delivered his dark rant in Geneva last week, and already the world has returned to being a neutral Switzerland. While dozens of representatives of governments from across the world did indeed stand up to exit in protest of Achmedinejad’s incendiary sermon, only Israel seems to be willing to stand up against his intentions.

World attention is rightfully focused on fears of a swine flu pandemic. However, we cannot forget about the messianic fundamentalist regime that would happily annihilate millions and cause global mayhem, believing in the reward of a few dozen maidens.

On a beautiful morning in Israel last week, I unceremoniously hit the snooze button on my pre-vacation set alarm clock, only to be awakened by the ceremonial blasting of a siren which could be heard throughout the country. It was Holocaust Remembrance day, and for a few moments the country paused to reflect on the events which necessitated its establishment. This on the heels of a speech calling for Israel’s dismantlement.

As the tyrant spoke from Geneva, I was reminded of my first visit to the city as a Yeshivah student in the summer of 2001. My colleagues and I snapped photos of Geneva’s banking centers, but took our group shot in front of a large clock that was built into a lush landscape, which impressed us more than the institutions that housed fortunes. Eight years later the experience is beckoning.

One of the most important lessons for the Jew counting the Omer days, is that one must count his days. Time is precious, and passing: “Man frets over the loss of the dime, but ignores the fleeting of valuable time. While money draws some return, elapsed time can never return.” Accomplishment is not assessed by how much we spend in a day, but how we spend our day.

The world is busy fixing an ailing global market and economy, all while a very real and frightening time bomb is ticking. While Hitler was burning millions of Jews, the Swiss were stealing their money. A country renowned for its timepieces was the appropriate venue for an address that should have never been given. We need to stop the clock, before someone turns it back.

{Rabbi Getzy Newscenter}


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