The Real Iron Dome

July 17th, 2014 Posted by Susan's Musings 11 comments

I was going to explain why I didn’t post a Musing last week, but instead feel the need to spill out some of what is in my heart on a completely different topic. Like many others, I love this drawing.

Israel's Iron Dome cropped (Medium)
If you haven’t heard of the Iron Dome, it, along with the broad availability of bomb shelters, is the physical explanation for why there have been more Gazan casualties than Israeli ones in the past few weeks. For years, Israel allocated human and financial resources to protecting its civilians and cities from rocket attack. In contrast, the rulers in Gaza deliberately place their civilians in dangerous situations, especially women and children. Then they aggressively target Israel’s women and children, provoking an Israeli response.  They then relish the photo ops that allow them to manipulate public opinion. The publicity is worth more to them than their people’s lives. (As Dennis Prager says, “Imagine that during World War II, the Western press had converged on German hospitals and apartment buildings and repeatedly announced the huge disparity between German civilian deaths and British civilian deaths. More than 10 times the number of German civilians were killed as were British — but did that have anything at all to do with the morality of the British war against Germany?”)

With family members and my people under fire, I am immensely grateful for the Iron Dome and for God who gave wisdom to its builders. Yet, as the above drawing indicates, I know that the Iron Dome is worthless without God’s Hand.

At the same time, the wording under the drawing troubles me. You see, when the Jewish people are vulnerable, it is because we have violated our contract with God. We say in our prayers, “Because of our sins we have been exiled from our land…,” not, “Because of the Babylonians and the Greeks and the Romans we have been exiled from our land…”   This doesn’t absolve the enemies of the Jewish people from responsibility for their actions. Each nation and individual makes their own choices and must face the consequences. However, we cannot take God’s protection for granted – it is dependent on His people’s actions.  If He is sheltering us, no one can harm us; if He removes His shield, nothing can save us.

In this sense, God’s protection works on a national level. Righteous people and sinners are both caught up in unfolding events. The difficulty lies in pinpointing what causes God to judge us so harshly.

It is easy for me to be certain that God does not smile on a Gay Pride parade in Tel Aviv. Surely, He cries as abortions take place in His land. It is easy for me to know that He is appalled at those individuals who profess to be ultra-religious, yet suffer child molestation or financial chicanery in their midst. Surely, He is revolted by dissension and fighting among those who meticulously observe his Shabbat and kosher dietary laws. What I do not know is if one of these things brings down more judgment more than any other does.

 It is even harder for me to accept my own responsibility for misbehavior. How disturbed is God at my breezing through prayer without paying attention to what I am saying and to Whom I am speaking? Maybe He is more bothered by my rushing through the supermarket and forgetting to say a kind word to the cashier or by my not greeting my husband with enough affection.  Perhaps something altogether different is what I personally need to correct, let alone what we as a nation must change. We have no Moses today to articulate God’s Word to us. There is no one holy or wise enough to say, “God will remove His protection if…”

 We are left with each one of us needing to try harder on as many fronts as we can while simultaneously pleading with God to have mercy on His (often clueless) children. We can and must be grateful to the Almighty for the incredible low number of casualties in Israel so far (and Moslems and Christians in Israel share in that miracle) while recognizing that no technology can work unless God’s guiding Hand is behind it.
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11 comments

Judy says:

Thank you for the reminder, Susan, that without God nothing works and the importance of minding my ways. Blessings.

James says:

What speaks to me is your prayer ‘“Because of our sins we have been exiled from our land…,” not, “Because of the Babylonians and the Greeks and the Romans we have been exiled from our land…”’ This lesson the Hebrews in diaspora have seemingly learned over and over again. In your Musing one senses the imperative to subject all of our own actions to scrutiny, to ascertain whether our smallest automatic, unconsidered action conforms to God’s will for our life. A wise and noble impulse founded upon fear of the Lord!
Perhaps it is high time the enemies of Israel ‘manned up’ to such self-scrutiny, for example: “Because of our reckless and irrational hatred of Israel we are losing our lands, our prosperity, our livelihoods and our very lives.”

Since Palestinians are steeped in the hatred from birth -and put their lives at risk if they do recognize it and speak up – their acquiescence in their own suffering is somewhat understandable, if not acceptable. There is no such excuse for the New York Times, CNN, some world leaders and way too many self-hating Jews.

Yvonne Milord says:

That was wonderful Susan! I so often need your and Rabbi Lapins perspective on these issues. My husband and I have listened to “Clash of Destiny” and now current events are filtered through this ancient truth. My prayers continue for Israel!

Thank you, Yvonne. I find that writing down my thoughts helps me clarify them – and the feedback often gives me added insight.

Jan says:

What most persons do not understand is that every action, good or evil, of every person makes a difference for the peoples (and their nations) as a whole. It can be the evil actions of the leadership of a people which eventually bring all of them to destruction or it can be the evil actions of the people which eventually bring all of them to destruction or it can be a combination of the two.
If the leadership is moral and does good, the people are then more likely to be moral and do good also. But, in the short term, the goodness of the people does not necessarily mean that they will be spared the consequences of their leaders’ evil doings.
So, when some (or many) Jews and Christians claim that either gay “marriage” or the practice of homosexuality is good and moral for those people who desire it, they are agreeing with evil (or consenting to evil) instead of agreeing with (or consenting to) God’s commandments and so their nations (and their own families) will all eventually have to suffer the terrible consequences meted out by God. Even though these punishments from God will eventually turn their hearts back to Him, it may take generations of people and more and more terrible consequences before this happens.
God Himself defined marriage as a life-long sacred union between a man and a woman and also that the practice of homosexuality is an abomination to Him and so men and women cannot change either of these laws to suit their own selfish desires without incurring the terrible consequences for their disobedience.

Jan, I agree with you that endorsing homosexual behavior is a huge problem of our time. This also isn’t a new problem. (have you heard our audio CD, The Gathering Storm: Decoding the Secrets of Noah [https://www.rabbidaniellapin.com/productprofile.php?id=13%5D?
My point is that I have no way of knowing how and what God is judging among the many things that we (individually and collectively) are doing wrong. I can only try to improve in ways that I can and yes, be outspoken and try to help make a public case to educate others where society is giving a wrong message.

Jim says:

How I wish the Lapin’s were my next-door neighbors! Your thoughts so often echo what has been roving back and forth in my mind. It would seem that the addition of the thinking of others, added to our own would produce some action that could change things in a positive manner. Please keep on expressing your thoughts. They are stimulating!
I have two thoughts about not knowing which actions God views as more important Perhaps that is deliberate on God’s part so that we do not neglect the lessor, since He has already thought them important enough to identify them. (Think, which child do you love the most?) And overall, it is our desire to truly know God for who He is that might be the most important thing we can do. (Think, if a person rally loves you, don’t you seem to overlook their faults?) I prefer to use “God’s example for humans” rather than the “human examples for God” I just did, but it will hopefully clarify what I tried to express.

I’m going to have to read this more slowly, Jim! But first I have to put my challah to cool, empty the dryer, test my roasting beets…Have a great weekend.

Jan says:

Susan,
Yes, I have the audio CD, The Gathering Storm: Decoding the Secrets of Noah. It is a fascinating and enlightening study. Thank you for your CD studies. I hope you will soon offer more of them on additional topics.
God is patient and merciful, desiring repentance of the people, but God is also just and so His wrath will be meted out to them if they do not repent. I picture in my mind God holding a balance scale with good deeds on one half and evil deeds on the other and when the weight of the evil deeds of a nation weigh down the weight of the good deeds of a nation so that there is no more room for evil on the scales, His justice (and consequent wrath) then comes into action for that nation and it will remain until His justice has been fully satisfied and the remaining people have repented.

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