Beck warns, exhorts, encourages diverse audience at Chabad fundraiser
June 19, 2012 | Joanne Hill - Correspondent
Glenn Beck weeps as he shows the audience his “most treasured possession”: one of the last letters of protection signed by Raoul Wallenberg. The original letter was a Christmas gift to Beck from his wife.
TORONTO – American media personality Glenn Beck brought warnings, exhortations and encouragement to a diverse and attentive audience last week at the fifth annual fundraising gala for Uptown Chabad.
“All I’m trying to do is understand the world,” said Beck, “and tell the truth and to warn of history repeating itself.... There is no such thing as neutral anymore. The question is: what do we do? Our world is coming apart.”
The popular radio talk show host and best-selling author received two standing ovations in the packed auditorium of the Elgin & Winter Garden Theatre. He wore a lapel pin featuring entwined Canadian and Israeli flags.
Despite the differences between Americans and Canadians, he said, “we have a lot in common: we have a world in trouble. The signs are always the same.... I believe the Jewish people are always the canary in the coal mine and how a world or a society treats the Jew says a lot. It happens the same way time and time again.”
Beck brought with him a few historical books and documents from his personal collection to help illustrate the ways in which different societies have taken the wrong path.
“I brought a few things with me because it’s not just about the Jewish people: it’s man’s inhumanity to man. The Jewish people are just the first: they’re the easy ones. [But] we’re a people. I’m not a Christian, you’re not a Jew: we’re brothers, we’re people.”
Beck said he was an “uneducated clown” at the time of the Sept. 11, 2011 terrorist attacks against the United States. A subsequent trip to Israel opened his eyes about the different approaches to life between Israelis and Palestinians and the ways in which Palestinians are manipulated to hate Israelis, he said. The first time he spoke about his newfound perspective on his radio show, Beck said, a Palestinian man called the station and threatened to behead him. It was Beck’s “first real death threat” and he and his family were forced to lived in another state for a month. “My world has never been the same.”
The late Lubavitcher Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson “had it right,” said Beck. “G-d is not asleep; the Lord is not neutral in the affairs of man. It is for the rest of the world, not to run to the defence [of Israel] but to at least stand and say the Jew has a right to live and Israel has a right to exist.”
Christian allies, who were well-represented in the audience thanks to event co-sponsors Canada Christian College and International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, Canada, applauded loudly when Beck said that more and more Christians were recognizing the importance of standing with Israel and the Jewish people.
“I couldn’t have said this two years, three years or four years ago, but the Christian world is waking up and they are standing. I see so many Christians that are now standing, not to baptize anybody, not to do anything, just to stand with a brother because it’s the right thing to do.”
Humanity is on the brink of another large-scale struggle of good against evil, Beck warned. He read aloud Rudyard Kipling’s poem, The Gods of the Copybook Headings, about the danger that socialism poses to individual rights and freedoms.
In closing, Beck urged audience members to be the type of leaders spoken of by Rabbi Schneerson.
“Leaders lift other people up; leaders encourage people to be better than they are...empower others; be a leader in your own community. We’re about to win.... We will get it right.”
The event was hosted by Rabbi Moshe and Rebbetzin Yehudis Steiner of Uptown Chabad. Allan and Patricia Friedland were honoured for the contributions they and their parents have made to the Jewish community and a special tribute was made to the late Michelle Mamann-Gozlan. Comedian and actor Reuven Russell had the crowd laughing while they waited for Beck to take the stage.