Wednesday, March 2, 2011

THERE IS A GOOD REASON WHY THE NUMBER OF JEWS IN THE WORLD IS SMALL AND THEY ARE SPREAD THINLY ALL OVER THE WORLD. – PART III

…ARE THERE JEWS WHO ARE LIKE THE LEARNED RABBIS OF NATUREI KARTA OF AMERICA AND ENGLAND, AND THE ONE WHO CHOSE MALAYSIA AS HIS HOME FOR MORE THAN TWO DECADES LIVING PEACEFULLY AND IN FULL CONTENMENT AMONGST MUSLIMS?
By Mansor Puteh

           
I know personally and got to know better over the years, a Jew from Brooklyn who has lived in Malaysia for more than two decades. He describes himself as a ‘Fat Jew from Brooklyn’.

He greets everybody with ‘Next year in Jerusalem…’ and does not hide his Jewish identity and mixes around freely. He probably feels relaxed living in Malaysia than he is in any other country.

He has gone to Jerusalem and prayed before the Wailing Wall, but somehow I could not join him.

I have also been to the city I call Baitulmukaddis and loitered in the Walled City, mostly sticking the Muslim Quarter as the Jewish Quarter was closed. I did not have time to visit the Christian Quarter, but got to see the masjid and church sharing the same wall.

In Melaka where I was born and grew up at, we have a masjid, church and temples along the same street, which is unofficially called
Harmony Street
. But there are no masjid and church which are fused at one wall like that.

I was told that the Zionist excavators have been digging under the Masjid Al-Aqsa and Dome of the Rock to try any fragment so that they could claim the whole place as their own. So far they have not met with success.

If they really want to get better evidence of the early life of Jewish civilization, then they should go to Yemen and Saudi Arabia where there were many Jewish communities with a kingdom in Yemen.

Surely, with so much incontrovertible evidence they can never just go there to claim the land as their own.

But they think they can do it in Baitulmukaddis.

I had lived in Brooklyn for a few years myself including for shorter periods in Queens and Manhattan in New York City when I was a student in there, so the two of us has something in common.

And he is not about to go anywhere and will die in the country and be buried in the old but not neglected Jewish cemetery in Pulau Pinang.

That is a place he goes to annually on a pilgrimage and offering his prayers who have been there for many decades, taking a bus full of his staff who are all Muslims for the day trip, which I also had once joined them.

He studied at Yeshiva University in America no less and has been ordained as a Rabbi who sometimes wears his full regalia of a pious Jew even in the hot Malaysian sun, for everybody to see.

The Muslims in the country marvel at him but they do not seem to care with his antics.

In his factory, there are shrines of all the major religions including sacred texts from the Holy Koranic.

For his a true Jew and a humanist.

And he does not seem to be eager to leave the country for anything and makes trips out of it sparingly, sometimes returning to his native Brooklyn where he has many relatives and close friends there.

This Jew does not attract any negative attention wherever he goes, even when he wears his costumes in black and looks imposing because of his height, like all pious Hassidic Jew in Brooklyn and Israel would.

He has a son whom he pairs or matched with a Melayu-Muslim woman. They got married in Malaysia but now live in California. They return to visit him the past many years since they got married, but without bringing their bundle of joy for him to carry in his arms.

It is fated, he says.

But he is happy to have another son born in Malaysia with a Chinese woman.

This man has a factory where he employs more than two hundred Bangladeshi workers on contract and treats them very well, by offering them housing and food.

And he takes some of them on trips out of the city to go to Pulau Pinang or Penang where there is a Jewish cemetery with more than four hundred bodies laid in the ground.

He calls them his ‘My Second Home’, a relocation scheme for foreigners who have retired to live in warmer climes and in better surroundings.

But he did not indicate it if he also wishes to be buried in the same cemetery when he dies.

There was a synagogue in Pulau Pinang but it has been converted to a photo store, because the synagogue was not used for a long time, that the premises was bought over.

There are some small synagogues in Singapura, but they are not so well publicized, despite the country has an embassy of the Zionist state.

It is the only country in the Asean region to recognize the state and who had also tried to receive the visit of their president but was thwarted when demonstrators in Malaysia protested against it.

The Melayu-Muslim government of Malaysia did not see it fit to demolish this cemetery, although the local authorities changed the name of the road from Jew Road or Jalan Yahudi to Jalan Something else (Or Whatever Road).

And many of the Jews who used to live in Pulau Pinang had left the country to go to Australia mostly. Some of them return to Pulau Pinang to visit the place where they were born and used to live at.

But where are the films on the experiences of such Jews in the Arab and other Muslim countries?

There is no documentary on them.

This is an interesting story that can be turned into an interesting documentary. Yet, no one has bothered to do it.

The most interesting documentary must be on the Morocco Jews who had fled to the Zionist state of Israel, but who after a while felt disillusioned with the ‘Promised Land’ which did not give them bliss.

So some of them decided to pack up to return to Morocco where they could continue to live in peace.

Most of the Jews who left Arab and Muslim countries do not excel; they disappear in the crowd, whilst when they were living in those countries, they could become prominent and accepted by all.

Another interesting documentary that can and must be made is on the experience of the Jew from Brooklyn in Malaysia. The title, ‘A Jew from Brooklyn in Malaysia’.

Of course, he could leave the country anytime he wants and relocate his business and himself, but prospects of that happening are bleak as he is happy and contented where he has been for more than two decades.

He had in fact, relocated himself and his business from Hong Kong but he did not like it so much there.

He greets everybody with ‘Next year in Jerusalem’…


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