THOUGHT OF THE WEEK – May 14, 2021
How do I stand up for what is right, or for what I believe in, when I risk alienating others—or for that matter, when I risk being ostracized, judged, ridiculed, or cut off?
The hardest thing for me is to maintain my integrity to my own values when it differs from the values of the world and my friends. Personally, my goal isn’t to convert anyone to my view—yet, I want to be respected for my views. I don’t want to be judged as unkind or non-empathetic, when all I’m doing is being me and sharing my beliefs.
What I’m speaking about is my home country: the land of my fellow Jews; the tiny country of Israel and its right to defend itself.
So many people have argued with me, asking me how I can be okay with violence when there are innocent people getting hurt. I want to be clear: I don’t condone violence for the sake of violence, yet I do firmly believe in protecting those that I love, and I live by the commandment in the Torah of, “If he is coming to kill you, get up and kill him first”.
Hamas has vowed to destroy the Jews, and will not be happy until every Jew is eradicated. To them, it’s not about land or peace, it’s about death to a people they hate. How can I ever trust someone, or a group of someones who has vowed to never make peace? I feel absolutely horrible about every single casualty—not only the Jewish casualties—yet unfortunately, sometimes people may get hurt when I am defending my loved ones, my community, and my people.
I don’t celebrate war or death. I don’t want a single enemy of mine or my people to die; all I wish for is peace. Yet, if they are going to come to kill me or those I love, I will defend and stand up with all the strength I have, for I am my brother’s keeper.
We are taught from the Torah to not celebrate the death of our enemies, even if their death is necessary. When the Egyptians were drowning at the crossing of the Red Sea, God commanded the Jewish people not to sing as long as his Egyptian children were drowning, as every human being is a child of God.
I’m open to feedback, and I’m open to hearing other’s opinions. Please share them with me kindly and respectfully, as I promise to always share mine with you kindly and respectfully, in turn.
This week, let’s choose to listen. We don’t have to always agree with one another, we just have to be kind and respectful.
Accountability, Community, Unconditional Love
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