Israel’s Unsung


Very often I claim my life to be quite interesting, full of happenings which do not allow me falling into depression, stagnation or simple boredom.

Now I look around and see that the current situation in Israel doesn’t allow one to fall asleep either. For sure, Israeli turbulences do not affect (nor afflict?) an extremely high percentage of the world population. Yet if looking closely on the topics and matters the trouble is about, one will not deny its significance.

Ideological, ethical, spiritual, social and national battles take place there every day anew. Israel is a country which never rests – even the Holy Day of Rest, the Shabbat, cannot be seen as a period of cease-fire, on the contrary, it’s the day where the ones throw stones, others add fuel to the fire (ironically, lightening fire is forbidden by the Torah!) by their statements, decrees, acts.

Let’s tell of one example.

Last Thursday, I guess – now it’s almost a week ago – radical Jewish settlers went out on rampage of special kind. Protesting the anyways weak settlement freeze imposed by the Israeli government on the Westbank area, they entered a mosque in a location called Yasuf and set fire in the room where holy scriptures were stored, obviously in the library. They left the site of crime signing their “act of sweet revenge” with Hebrew sprayings. (Domestic reports on it can be found at Jerusalem Post, and others.)

There can be for sure variuous ways of how to judge upon this. My point is clear: it’s an act of ignorance, blind hate and planned revenge on the ones in replacement of the others. I was distraught. Pure barbarism and nothing more. Niveauless struggle for everyone-has- already-forgot-what. If one intended to harm Israel’s internal and external image in a never-seen-before way and additionally to provide the accusants with as powerful evidences as possible, then I’d say he couldn’t have done it better to succeed on the largest scale.

At least within the country. I’m not sure whether the outer sphere noticed.

Yet, anyways, the issue was in the headlines for two or three days and then moved down.

And then something very significant happened.

The Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi of Israel, Yona Metzger, moved down (or up) to Yasuf for a solidarity visit  – with the mosque. Or with the village.

Or with the shaken Jewish values in that region.

Because this is not how Jews behave. This is not the Jewish law, the Jewish tradition, the Jewish ideal. Neither does this crime have anything to do with Jewishness or Israeliness. And one has to call it by its regular name – the mosque attack has been a crime. And the act is to be considered an act of terrorism. Just as a month ago a Jewish terrorist, the term I’d never thought it would be used once, was (finally!?) caught,  (be his name deleted), a serial murderer and ideological terrorist for several years. He has been convicted. The nation was shocked.

And then the Yasuf affair. Though the Torah forbids attacks or any harassment against inhabitants of the country, be they Jews or non-Jews, be their status strangers or citizens.

I was relieved by Rabbi Yonah Metzger’s statement. Even more than by the fierce condemnation the President Shimon Peres offered following the attack. I mean, he surely thought the same way as I did, yet it is is obligation, you understand. It has a completely different value than that of a Rabbi’s statement, a Rabbi who more or less is the Chief “Representative” of present Judaism (it’s a vague term, I know.).

As I mentioned before, I haven’t heard of many occasions when the Head of the Jewish religious institution made it to the Palestinian Muslims of the Westbank to consolate them over the loss of their mosque.

And another miracle of coexistance was a group of settlers, obviously more rational than radical ones. Forgive me that I don’t recall the name of the association. These Jews came and replaced the burnt remains of Qoranic scriptures with new ones. Just as the Halacha, the Jewish law, requires. The law of compensation of damaged good.

Have you heard about those unsung personalities of the last week? Weren’t this said in the news?And why not?

Don’t ask. Don’t say in return how many desecrations had been made by others on our holy places, throughout history. Don’t defend crime acts, don’t approve villains and barbars.If you don’t know how to respond, take it as a fact.

I don’t care how many thugs other nations have to deal with. May the whole world sink in chaos around, may murder and immorality become a necessary part of each civilized country’s constitution.

In our Torah, the teaching straight from G-d, it is said: “Run after justice with justice.” Tzedek, tzedek tirdof.

We have to stay pure and holy. It’s a condition and an aim.

Know that I won’t have rest until I know that morality is restored within our rows, that we do not desecrate G-d’s name in favour of our personal or politically-directed interests.  I know that my soul has its highest rejoice when I hear of unsung like the the ones mentioned above.

Wouldn’t you then agree with me that this is the real national, patriotic love? If not this, so what?



1 Comment

  1. philgeland said,

    December 21, 2009 at 3:51 am

    The link above is invalid. This is the real one:

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