I wrote this in response to an article in Times of Israel by Gabriel Weber who is a youth worker for LJY- Netzer the youth movement of Liberal Judaism. His article “Self Defense shouldn’t be fun” was a critique of Israeli soldiers who were happy rather than heartbroken at the death of our enemies.
Gabriel Webber is convinced that according to Judaism we should never hate our enemies and that he has the right and obligation to tell Jews not only how they should act but what they should think and how they should feel. This summer he was a youth leader teaching another group of kids the same.
This is not Judaism. It is rose colored delusional thinking of those who have redefined what was once Judaism into a soppy, naive, religion that would have us holding hands and singing Kumbaya and then our new national anthem which would be “All you need is love.” If this were our creed , we would be long gone.
Jewish leftists typically choose only what they believe is the “ethical part of Judaism” Gabriel Weber uses the custom of removing not drinking some wine on passover as described in the Talmud as a case in point. However, one out of context quote does not a Talmudic scholar make. The Talmud tells us we are not permitted to stand by while Jews die as Jews died in Protective edge because IDF’s in agreement with Gabriel Webber’s values. The IDF regularly aborts missions when Palestinian civilians are present. In protective edge ground soldiers requested cover for but did not get it because Palestinian prisoners were present.
Judaism teaches us about balance in life. There is a time for war and a time for peace, a time for love and also a time for hate. Wars are not won by people who are in a constant state of empathy with their enemies. Israel put this misplaced need for moral superiority first and gave up the element of surprise in Protective Edge by broadcasting what they were going to do to Palestinians in Gaza and by treating every Gazan not dressed as a terrorist as an innocent civilian, ignoring the reality of both collaborators and plain clothes terrorists.
War is the time to hate and to lust for the complete annihilation of an enemy that will destroy you. “Harden your heart”, God told Joshua before he went to war.
“Regarding he who comes to kill you, get there earlier and kill him.”
Judaism is not psychology. It teaches us there is good and evil and that irreparable evil must be completely destroyed
“ Blot our any memory of Amalek.” One does not accomplish this by sadness , self control and being regretful or heartbroken. The reason we do not go to war on a whim is because war is a horrible, revolting, disgusting thing. BUT when we do fight and when we do send our sons and daughters to fight we have no obligation to carry a burden of guilt and regret, That is a recipe for failure.
In such times empathy and love are for our soldiers, our kids, our injured. Those who killed them deserve painful deaths.
I pity any person who is heartbroken at the few Muslims killed in the current Intifada. Save your tears for the three month old baby, for the three Rabbis whose tefillin and siddurim were blood soaked, for the young woman killed at a bus station and for the deaths you do not know about because the Israeli press like Gabriel Webber is more focused on the bad things we are doing to our enemies. Thank our God that those who prayed at the synagogue in Jerusalem where Rabbis were killed, orthodox men uncontaminated by the western weakling mentality, did what any sane person should do after such an incident They bought guns
. Some years ago, two young Jewish boys Muslims stoned to two young boys to death in a cave near an Arab village. The press never reported it. Do you think what those “F***cking Muslims did does not P***ss me off. If I could manage to kill one of them, I would take pleasure in it.
Next week we will celebrate Chanukah. Had Gabriel Webber lived then , he would have blamed Matityahu and his sons for taking pleasure when they decimated the people who tried to turn our holiest place on earth into a pigsty.
Mr. Weber’s perspectives matches those of the so called Centrist/lefts in Israel who, despite all evidence to the contrary, will continue to believe fury against one’s enemies is never appropriate and that the only justified wars are in self defense.
There is a way to end the status quo of fighting the same war again and again. Rather than aiming for a few years of peace before the next war, destroying infrastructure, tunnels, ammunition, we must commit ourselves to win and I quite Mt Weber “:belligerently go get ‘em.” We have to be willing to fight offensive wars, to surprise the enemy, to kill= civilians, and let go of the moral obsessions and fear of being violent that thousands of years of statelessness have taught us.
The Passover custom of removing ten drops from our first cup of wine has nothing to do with attitudes Jews should have when going to fight wars. We do not SPILL wine as Gabriel Webber says. We remove ten drops from the first of four cups. How many drops are there in four cups? Nor much sadness for the Egyptians in the Haggadah. In the Haggadah the Jews were not fighting, they were watching Good’s miracle. A few pages later in the Haggadah we read about a contest between Rabbis about who could use the words in a phrase describing the plagues to justify the most harm to the Egyptians.
We will survive this challenge to Israel as we have survived all manner of horrors until now. As for self righteous, liberal Jews who know how all of us should behave, the sooner they assimilate, the sooner we will win our war and have our peace.