September 17, 2012

From: Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia
To: My Jewish Friends

My Dear Jewish Friends,

“Science books are letters from G-d telling how He runs His universe,” remarked Toyohiko Kawaga, a Japanese Christian pacifist. Well then, how about reflecting upon the world’s most famous scientist, Albert Einstein, who once wrote a “Letter To An Arab” in the year 1934, wherein, he proposed a formation of “A Privy Council” to be formed from each group, that is, Jews and Arabs to consist of the following:

A doctor, elected by the Medical Association.
A lawyer, elected by the lawyers.
A working men’s representative, elected by the trade union.
An ecclesiastic, elected by the ecclesiastics.

In his letter, Albert Einstein suggested that these eight people are to meet once a week to conscientiously explore the best way to enhance the welfare of the whole population of the country (Palestine). Not only this, a speech delivered at the Savoy Hotel in London on October 29, 1930, Albert Einstein reminded “The Jewish Community” about remaining faithful to the moral traditions in the following words:

“It is our duty to remain faithful to the moral traditions which have
enabled us to survive for thousands of years despite the heavy
storms that have broken over our heads. In the service of life
sacrifice becomes grace.”

The Hebrew word “Hesed” translated as “Grace” or “Loving Kindness” is considered as an act of kindness done purely out of love. One only wonders, “Why has the act of “Hesed” vanished from the international relations among the nations of Middle East?” “The High Cost of Holy Land” was the banner in the magazine “Science & Spirit” which published a thoughtful article in July/August 2008 issue. The article Einstein and the Middle Pathwas written by Professor Vic Mansfield who died soon after writing the essay. Professor Mansfield reminds the readers to ponder over Emptiness and Quantum Nonlocalityas follows:

“I have long been struck by the extraordinarily precise resonance
between Middle Way emptiness and quantum nonlocality, the most
important finding at the conceptual foundation of modern physics.
If we can understand the deep connection between emptiness and
modern physics then, since emptiness leads to compassion, we
might find that physics directly points toward love. Since physics
shapes our modern worldview and thereby influences our actions,
gaining a greater appreciation for these connections encourages
universal compassion.”

Quite frankly, being a textile salesman, I dare not indulge in the nitty-gritty of scientific explanation pertaining to “Quantum Mechanics,” but the point I want to get across is that in the very midst of expressing my thoughts, I want to remind all of my Jewish friends about the fondness between the two giant scientists of the 20th century, Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr who were once engaged in the most thrilling discussions in the history of modern science. Today, in the Middle East, all the “Political Science” experts are in the state of disarray. Albert Einstein’s two famous phrases, “G-d does not roll the dice, and “The Lord is subtle but not malicious” must be taken to hearts. Recent demonstrations in the Middle East on account of a reprehensible video defaming the Prophet of Islam, and not to mention the on-going rhetoric of nuclear engagement between Israel and Iran can never be the plan of G-d. The truth of the matter is, G-d is always in need of “Human Grace” and never “Human Destruction.

My dear friends, what is amiss here is GEMILUT HASADIM aptly defined by Warren Zev Harvey, Professor of Jewish Thoughts at the Hebrew University as “heroic ethics: an ethics that begins not with my rights, but with the other’s needs; not with the other’s power to coerce, but with my power to love.” It is truly unfortunate that the spirited debate of “Einstein versus Bohr” is nowhere to be seen since the tragic Six-Day War, except for a brief period of time when late President Anwar el-Sadat who took a lead role in setting a record of a first visit by an Arab leader to Israel only to be assassinated by his own people after Egypt established its diplomatic relations with Israel.

Abba Ebban, the former foreign minister of Israel and one of the brilliant orators of the 20th century, said that “History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives. May I humbly ask, “What are the remaining alternatives?” Leaders of Israel and Arab countries have mostly distrusted one another during the negotiating process, thereby, leaving a few concerned Americans like Henry Clifford, Chairman for Peace in Israel/Palestine to invest $ 25,000 of his own personal funds to advertise about the Shrinking Palestine State in order to educate fellow Americans. For the sake of revisiting history, it will surely be worthwhile to listen to the two versions of “YouTube.” One consisting of Abba Eban’s voice in a tape recorder, and the other, billboards on Metro North train stations in the Westchester County which includes four maps of Israel showing the shrinking lands of the Palestine people.

Lest we forget that it was none other than Albert Einstein who cautioned his reservations about the creation of a Jewish State in his address on the occasion of the “Third Seder” by the National Committee for Palestine, at the Commodore Hotel in New York City, April 17, 1938 as follows:

“Just one more word on the question of partition. I should much rather
see reasonable agreement with the Arabs on the basis of living together
in peace than the creation of a Jewish state. Apart from practical
consideration, my awareness of the essential nature of Judaism resists
the idea of a Jewish state with borders, an army, and a measure of
temporal power no matter how modest. I am afraid of the inner damage
Judaism will sustain – especially from the development of a narrow
nationalism within our own ranks, against which we have already had
to fight strongly, even without a Jewish state. We are no longer the Jews
of the Maccabee period. A return to a nation in the political sense of the
word would be equivalent to turning away from the spiritualization of
our community which we owe to the genius of our prophets. If external
necessity should after all compel us to assume this burden, let us bear
it with tact and patience.”

“Pride Of Our People, a book by David C. Gross in which he enlists the stores of one hundred outstanding Jewish men and women consists of one most heartfelt chapter titled “Science with a Human Touch. He describes the personal characteristic of Jacob Bronowski, a Polish-Jewish scientist and mathematician who made a stunning documentary titled “The Ascent Of Man,where he once stood behind the crematoria in Auschwitz and where the ashes from the ovens were flushed into the pond. Walking in the little pond with his shoes, he reveals his soul and appealed to humanity in these haunting words:

“It’s said that science will dehumanize people and turn them into
numbers. That’s false, tragically false. Look for yourself. This is
the concentration camp and crematorium at Auschwitz. This is
where people were turned into numbers. Into this pond were
flushed the ashes of some four million people. And that was not
done by gas. It was done by arrogance, it was done by dogma,
it was done by ignorance. When people believe that they have
absolute knowledge, with no test in reality, this is how they behave.
This is what men do when they aspire to the knowledge of g-ds.

Science is a very human form of knowledge. We are always at the
brink of the known; we always feel forward for what is to be hoped.
Every judgment in science stands on the edge of error and is personal.
Science is a tribute to what we can know although we are fallible. In
the end, the words were said by Oliver Cromwell: ‘I beseech you in
the bowels of Christ: Think it possible you may be mistaken.’

I owe it as a scientist to my friend Leo Szilard, I owe it as a human
being to the many members of my family who died here, to stand
here as a survivor and a witness. We have to cure ourselves of the
itch for absolute knowledge and power. We have to close the
distance between the push-button order and the human act. We
have to touch people.”

We humans are only fallible. Simply look at the actions of a handful of our fellow humans who in this great country of the world called America are busy promoting hatred with such slogans as, Islam is the Religion of Hate … Palestinians are Morally Sick. Those who remain concerned about the fate of the Holy Land must read the “Editor’s Note” in The Economist magazine dated March 6, 2012 under the title Masters Of Their Fate?” Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu remains seriously concerned with “Centrifuges” in Iran, whereas, the Mullahs and Ayatollahs have conveniently displaced “Compassion” from their hearts. Yes, we are living in a highly dangerous world as we humans have ignored the wisdom of our elders. The hateful rhetoric of some misguided Muslims have long dominated the internet news since September 11, 2001, resulting in “Moderate Muslims” getting a bad rap all across the world. One thing for sure, any wrong move on the part of Israel will create massive repercussions throughout the Islamic world. Diplomacy is the only pragmatic and intelligent way to resolve the sensitive issues.

“Hatred is cancer of intellect” so goes a quip. I say, let the “Sunlight Of Love” pierce into the hearts of those who are hell-bent in disturbing the peace process. There are enough able “Intellectuals” in the “Abrahamic Faith Community” who with the meeting of their minds can be resolute in seeking a permanent solution. A “Letter To The Arab Nations” is desired at this hour of a potential nuclear crisis and it has to be initiated by none other than Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu in all earnestness. For now, the Israels as well as the Arabs need to adhere to the earthly wisdom of Albert Einstein’s expressed in his rational and humane appeal A Message To Intellectuals which was never delivered to the “World Congress of Intellectuals for Peace” at Wroclav, Poland, but was released to the press on August 28, 1948.

Last but not least, I, Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia and my entire family wish and pray for good health, peace and happiness for to you and your beloved family on Rosh Hashanah. May the coming year bring “Peace & Security” to Israel. May the elder and wise leaders of the Arab countries recognize Israel’s right to exist. May Almighty G-d bestow wisdom upon the intellectual leaders of Israel to hastily negotiate with all the grace and humility in establishing “A Palestinian State.

Leshana tova tekatev v’techatem…

Compassionately yours,

Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia


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