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August 31, 2014 / 5 Elul, 5774
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Can Jews Unite Even When There Is No Tragedy?

Why must we only come together when there is tragedy? Should I be happy that it took the kidnapping of three teenagers to get us there?
Mass prayers at the Kotel in Jerusalem on June 14, 2014, for the three Kidnapped Boys.

Mass prayers at the Kotel in Jerusalem on June 14, 2014, for the three Kidnapped Boys.
Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

With all the problems going on in Yiddishkeit today – and there are a lot of them – it is difficult to talk about any of them… as we wait for those 3 kidnapped teenagers to be rescued. Truthfully I have thought about little else since this happened last Friday.

My outrage was reflected yesterday when I fantasized about ridding Israel of all its enemies in one fell swoop. Of course as I also said yesterday, any attempt at a solution like that would be immoral. But I still feel that the west is not sufficiently enlightened about the real problem.

The way I see it Muslim Arabs comprise four different groupings.

• The first is the Radical Islamists that have declared a Jihad with a goal of ridding the Middle East of the Jew and establishing an Islamic Caliphate that would rule via strict Sharia Law. Toward that end, all means necessary must be used. Including mass murder and suicide.

• The second group are those that sympathize with them and support them but would not personally act on it.

• The third are more secular and though they would prefer we weren’t there – would make peace with us just so they could get on with their lives.

• The forth are those who are actually pro Israel.  There is of course some overlap. The lines are not that clearly drawn. But for the most part this is how I see them. The vast majority are comprised of the second and third groups…  with the third I believe being the larger of the two. I have always felt we could forge a peace with them (and of course with the fourth group-  and with the second group being forced to go along).

The first group of radicals is, however, the most significant one. Even though they are relatively small, they are the ones that prevent any kind of peace. They are the ones religiously  motivated to the point of killing and dying for their cause.

I don’t think the West sufficiently appreciates this. They continue to pursue terrorists instead of the real enemy, Radical Islam. I do think Israel realizes this. But the west needs to catch up. Until it does and starts to think the way Israel does, very little will change.

Radical Islam is an idea, not an organization. It is an idea that guides the kidnappers, Hamas, Hezbollah, the 9/11 terrorists, Al Qaida, Islamic Jihad, Iran’s Shia Musilms, and ISIS (the Sunni Radical Muslims in Iraq that have murdered in Nazi-like fashion 1700 Iraqi soldiers by forcing them to lie down into a ditch and shooting them all in the head …claiming a victory for God!) It doesn’t matter what a group calls itself. They are all bound by the religious tenets of Radical Islam.

This is the enemy, not terrorism. And it ought to be fought with all the vigor that the allies fought the Nazis in WWII.

The kidnapped teenagers are from Religious Zionist families – one or more of whom lives on the West Bank. Their Hashkafos are anathema to the Charedi right. They believe in the State of Israel and fly the flag, the right denies its legitimacy and spurns the flag. They believe in army service, the right vilifies it. I could go on. The differences are stark. But today all that is forgotten.

The Agudah has called for a mass gathering in all Yeshivos, Shuls and Batei Midrashim to pray for the safety and welfare of these young boys. Lakewood has issued a call for their students to pray and to dedicate their Torah study for the Zechus of these teens. There were Teffilos yesterday at Kikar Rabin. And yesterday at the Kotel, over 30,000 Jews from every sector of Judaism came together to pray. Was that a Kiddush HaShem? Surely it was. It was inspiring even. But why must we only come together when there is tragedy? Should I be happy that it took the kidnapping of three teenagers to get us there?

About the Author: Harry Maryles runs the blog "Emes Ve-Emunah" which focuses on current events and issues that effect the Jewish world in general and Orthodoxy in particular. It discuses Hashkafa and news events of the day - from a Centrist perspctive and a philosphy of Torah U'Mada. He can be reached at hmaryles@yahoo.com.


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3 Responses to “Can Jews Unite Even When There Is No Tragedy?”

  1. Kill all Philastines today,now.

  2. Run Guo says:

    Tragedy will come. If Jews not united

  3. Anonymous says:

    Let us to forget who we are, Jews are the children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Our ancestors sinned and were exiled from their lands for two thousand long and miserable years. We collectively went from massacre and torture to oppression and coercion. Now in His great kindness, G-d has decided to bring us back to our lands. Let us learn from the mistakes of those who preceded us. We must maintain our unity, our national purpose and our loyalty to our Creator. In this manner we can only succeed in redeeming our ancient lands.

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Binyamin and Chaya Maryles, uncle and aunt of Emes Ve-Emunah author Harry Maryles.
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