Avi Rath
Photo: Yisrael Bardugo
Violence in syria
Photo: EPA
Smiling face of a baby killer
Photo: Hagai Aharon

Jewish moral superiority

Op-ed: Brutal killings in Libya, Syria and Egypt a sharp contrast from Jewish values

The nature of a nation is measured, among other things, but its conduct in times of anger. When our sages applied this wisdom to individuals, they meant that anger brings out the dark forces latent within a person. Fury may often be accompanied by lack of control, and then we discover the truth about the individual in question.


I’m still under the impression of the images of the lynching of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya. Don’t get me wrong: I am not teary-eyed and my heart is not broken over Gaddafi’s demise. Every dog has its day, even the one who lived like a king and dubbed himself as Africa’s king of kings. Yet the point is the very lynching in and of itself, which was accompanied by loss of control and hysterical shouts by the masses: “Allahu Akbar.”


When I also think of the sights from Cairo’s Tahrir Square, including the gang rape of a Western journalist, and when I add to this the images from Syria, where Assad is mercilessly butchering his own people, as well as the image of that scumbag who perpetrated the lynch in Ramallah waving his blood-stained hands, as well as the scumbags who butchered the Fogel family, including a three-month-old baby, and the sights of burned buses and restaurants – one cannot but fully realize what our sages meant when they spoke of realities revealed in times of anger.



Upon entering the land and ahead of the people of Israel’s first battle, God issued two grave warnings to our leader, Joshua: First, remember those who helped us and refrain from being ungrateful. The second warning was to avoid looting. Indeed, God warned Joshua not to exploit the atmosphere of war to embark on a moral disintegration beyond the required red lines, even at a time of anger and war.


Baby killers cheered

War is a situation that may bring dark forces out of man and society. Wars in the ancient and modern world have been accompanied by rape, looting and other disgraceful phenomena. This is precisely what God warned Joshua against – in war too, one must preserve one’s humanity and gratitude, and avoid looting.


Above all stood the notion that was to accompany Joshua, the people and the army throughout that period, serving as a lighthouse and amoral compass and anchor: “Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”


The people passed the test of gratitude, but failed the looting test, and paid a heavy price for it. Indeed, this is the moral level that was required of Joshua’s troops. This level turned into a high moral bar for all Jewish fighters over the generations.


Given that the moral and inner world of those who face the Jews, as revealed in the lynches and at the squares, is so remote and shows such grim realities in respect to human life and its sanctity, one wonders: If they are capable of mercilessly massacring their own people and brutally butchering their former leader in front of the cameras, and if their role models are the scumbags with blood on their hands, what would be the fate of those who fall into their hands and are not members of their people? What will happen to those who are not members of their faith?


The answer is clear, and the images of the Fogel family and thousands of others in restaurants and on buses prove it.


War is not only physical and military; it is also and maybe mostly moral. Today, our war pits a people that sanctifies life to the point of paying huge prices in order to return one boy back home against a culture that cheers baby killers at the squares.



פרסום ראשון: 11.08.11, 00:05
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