Sunday, September 06, 2009

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Shock and Fury

by Reb Akiva at Mystical Paths

Today we read the news that the US is shocked (SHOCKED I TELL YA) that Israel has the nerve (NERVE I TELL YA) to allow Jews to build homes in parts of Israel. The US is ... "furious". I take a moment to interview a religious IDF recruit, reporting to the IDF Air Force next week...

Reb Akiva: What do you think of the US being furious with Israel for authorizing building of Jewish homes in areas the US disputes as part of Israel?

Recruit: The American's think they can fix everything and get upset, like the kings of old, when anyone 'defies' them. They don't want terrorism, they're fighting a war because of an attack in their country. And here they support the terrorists, give them guns and training, and tell the Jews to just take it? They operate without wisdom.

Reb Akiva: What do you think of PM Netanyahu's response?

Recruit:
I think he's starting to understand. He was PM before and made some mistakes. But this time I think he's a bit older and more experienced. I'd love for him to tell the US to blow off, but I understand that's not the way of politics. I feel he wants too, but needs more reassurance from the people that they'll stand with him.

Reb Akiva: What do you think of US President Obama?

Recruit: I think he's dangerous. He clearly has a large ego and huge goals, but is showing his lack of experience combined with ego and hubris. I'd say "before going to try to fix the world, try fixing your own country first", but clearly he can't handle even that.

Akiva: So how do you answer the Americans and the world that the Palestinians have been discriminated against by Israel since 1948 (or 1967 depending on who you ask)?

Recruit: I don't think they've been discriminated against. Israel doesn't go out of our way to kill civilians or kick people out of their homes. After the war of independence, Israel invited them back! As far as "occupied territory", to be occupied it has to have been part of a country. The Land of Israel has been part of NO country since the last Jewish republic was destroyed by the Romans almost 2,000 years ago.

However, they've been crying this message of discrimination for many years. And after so many years of it the world is just accepting it.

We're the ones who've been discriminated against! Every time we try to defend ourselves we're stopped and threatened by those "wise big powers", setting up the next war.

We give up so much because of them. The UN gives them whatever they want. What would the world & the US think of the UN setting up medical clinics, schools, and food distribution centers at Al Queida camps in Afghanistan?

Reb Akiva: You're a religious Jew who's entering the IDF. How do you reconcile being religious and being a soldier?

Recruit: This is a country of Jews. I'm going to defend my people, which is a tremendous mitzvah. As yidden, we have a responsibility to stand up and do something. If someone holds a gun to your head (G-d forbid), you can pray - and that's a good thing to do. But you can also shoot back.

I wish I could just daven some more, say the whole book of tehillim (psalms), and it would all be ok. But it's not so. In the (biblical) past when the Jewish people came from the midbar (desert) to conquer Eretz Yisroel (the Land of Israel) with Yehoshua (Joshua), they prayed. And then they went to war.

We learn from chassidus that to receive a bracha (blessing), there has to be a kayli (a vessel worthy of the blessing to capture it). I think there's a bracha, I really do. We have to make the kayli.

Hashem gave us a gift of a return of the Jewish people to Eretz Yisroel (the Land of Israel). Now we have to stand up and do our part, to protect it and to be worthy of it. Together, as one people, b'achut (with unity).

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