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Choose Life

July 3rd, 2014 Posted by Susan's Musings 7 comments

When a Jewish baby boy is brought into the covenant of Abraham on the eighth day of his life, parents are blessed by those present, “May you merit to bring him to Torah, to the wedding canopy and to good deeds.”

On Tuesday, three sets of Israeli parents brought their teenage sons to the cemetery. Kidnapped on their way home from school, these boys were murdered by those who raise their children with different expectations.

For centuries, the Middle East has threatened the civilized world and confounded successive American administrations. The crux of the difficulty is this: those who revere life cannot live in harmony with those who revere death.

An oft-repeated falsehood of intellectuals who scoff at the tooth fairy but are unaware that they too believe in fantasies, is that those joined in the sisterhood of motherhood share universal values. If only this were true. The mothers of Eyal Yifrah, Naftali Frenkel and Gilad Sha’ar raised their sons with prayers for peace on their lips. The mothers of their murderers live in a culture where children’s television shows—the equivalent of Sesame Street or Dora the Explorer—portray Jews as vermin needing extermination. In this culture, mothers and teachers lead toddlers in death chants.

The families of the murdered boys belong to a Jewish culture whose hospitals welcome Moslem children and adults, healing them with care and attention. The families of the murderers belong to an Islamic culture that distributes candies and cakes to celebrate the murder of Jewish children.

The adulation of violence and murder doesn’t target only Jews, of course. America suffered the twisted morality on 9/11. Christians in many countries feel it daily. The inter-tribal fighting in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere claims thousands of Moslems as well. When evil is loosed, borders disappear and no one is safe.

Focusing on how Israeli or western societies can improve is a worthy endeavor, but it is also a red herring. The worship of brutality, elevating hatred to a virtue, is independent of anything that good people do.

May the Almighty avenge the blood of Yigal, Gilad and Naftali. May the All-Present comfort the families among the mourners of Zion and Israel.

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For help understanding how good people start down a slippery slope that ends up with them supporting cruel and dangerous cultures you might want to go back to the origins of socialism – The Tower of Babel. 

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7 comments

Matt says:

“May the Almighty avenge the blood of Yigal, Gilad and Naftali.”
I am certainly sympathetic to that. But aren’t there bigger issues here?
The freakish society that produces monsters capable of such things has a lot of supporters in the West – the Left. They say that Israel turns the Palestinians into monsters. And the Left is heavily supported by Jews. Not all Jews, but most Jews.
The Left supports monsters and has taken over the West. So not only does God have to deal with the monsters surrounding Israel, he also has to deal with monster supporters that have taken over the West.
When it comes time to avenge the blood of Yigal, Gilad and Naftali, I’m thinking that it is not just the monsters who should be worried. Their supporters should be too.

You are absolutely right, Matt. My husband wrote a book, America’s Real War, about the misguided tendencies of Many in the Jewish community and as America moves away from her foundations there is much about which to be worried.

Marilyn says:

Thank you for your Musings, Susan Lapin.

Thank you, Marilyn. And thank you for taking the time to comment.

tz says:

Sometimes when you have known someone for a while, they say something so unusual that you must wonder if you have anything at all in common.
When I heard of the deaths of the three Israeli, my prayer was that those who did the murder and any accomplices would be found, arrested, tried under due process, and pay the penalty of their guilt. If I remember, your husband pointed out non-Jews are required as part of the Noahic covenant to establish courts for justice and not just seek revenge.
Apparently I am held to a higher standard than those who follow the Torah. Perhaps it is Divine Providence that juxtaposes an answer where your husband suggests to a woman she may be using emotion over reason and to give it a month. But reason – or at least rationalization, can be slave to emotion. Perhaps the post is entirely emotional. Yet I see no call for justice.
I also remember no end of examples like Trayvon Martin v.s. George Zimmerman – there were calls for something which was called justice for the “murder” of Trayvon. That could have turned into a riot and war. Regardless of the truth or evidence.
The title bothers me. “Choose Life”. How many abortion clinics are within an hour of your home? How many kill more than 3 innocent children every day? How much outrage have you ever had over that? The USA has coexisted with the “Culture of Death” for a generation – Abortion and Euthanasia. Perhaps everyone has learned to live with it and you are wrong about life and death being able to coexist. But if not, why do daily deaths 10 miles away don’t raise even one thought, but 3 10,000 miles away are an outrage? I really don’t understand. Are 50 million not sufficient?
In order to murder a baby in its mother’s womb, you must dehumanize it. It must be turned into an animal, a “piece of tissue”. What words are you using to describe or allude to the humanity of a billion Muslims?
Even if they are enemies, you can only destroy their humanity by renouncing your own. Some amorphous organization – “Hamas” – didn’t kill them, several individual human beings did acts of extreme evil. There is no justice in killing an animal even if the animal has killed a human. If this is war, then it is not a crime – they are casualties. If it is a crime, then it is not war, and killing dozens if not hundreds of those not directly responsible is itself a crime. Which is it?
If you wish war, then say so. If you think every Muslim should be dead – and please do say if you include all the Muslims in Puget Sound, so it can be clear – say so in those words. In words you could say to one you meet on the street and explain why you want them dead. Or do you? Is this all generality? Ambiguity? What exactly?
Your husband points out that actions are important. What actions do you wish to take and are prepared to take based on your words above? Peace, war, something else?

TZ – I hope I’m understanding your comments correctly. Re abortion – both my husband and I have spoken out and do speak out against it and do feel that it leads to a lessening of respect for all life. I don’t see why it is part of this any more than the abduction of the Nigerian school girls or a bombing in India. The fact that there are many tragedies doesn’t mean you can’t talk about any of them if you don’t mention all of them.
What would I like to see happen? I’d like to see western money being withheld as long as state sponsored indoctrination of children continues via TV shows; as long as state-sponsored adulation of murderers continues via the renaming of streets to honor them and as long as the state pays money to the families of murderers to reward them. I think that would be a start. I think a cultural change is needed in the same way as the Catholic Church has changed since the atrocities of the Inquisition. That has to happen internally, but until it occurs (on a broader level; I do think it is occurring in small patches) I think we need to be willing to speak about the evil of the present culture.

TZ, I was rushing out when I replied so I’d like to add another point. You write, “my prayer was that those who did the murder and any accomplices would be found, arrested, tried under due process, and pay the penalty of their guilt.” That was the point of my piece. They won’t be tried by the Palestinian authorities because to them, they are heroes. If the gov’t would do so, it would most probably be brought down and the heads might be murdered as well.
If I didn’t understand you correctly, let me know.

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