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October 20, 2014 / 26 Tishri, 5775
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Dare We Be Silent on Syria?

MIDEAST ISRAEL SYRIA

Photo Credit: Dima Vazinovich / Flash90

Rabbi Chanina the deputy [High] Priest said: Pray for the welfare of the government (lit., monarchy), for if not for its fear, a person would swallow his fellow live. Pirkei Avos, Chapter 3, Mishna 2

Syria presents a fascinatingly real, morbid ethical question, similar to the questions of Darfur and Rowanda.

At first glance, Syria is no more than a civil war; the reality is that it is turning into a brutal massacre of innocents – by all sides.

People are gunned down in their homes, hearts are ripped out of corpses and eaten, at least one, if not all sides are using poison gas.

It’s easy to say, “Let them kill each other, it keeps them busy and not fighting with us.”

And there’s truth to that statement.

It’s their civil war, and they need to figure out how to divide their country, or live together, and sometimes war is the only way.

It’s also true that if they are busy entangled with destroying each other, it sets them back from being in a position or having the capacity to attack us in the foreseeable future.

On the other hand, more than 120,000 people have been killed. Children have been massacred.

Rabbi Chanina was right, that without a working, healthy government – even one that is a brutal dictatorship, chaos, anarchy and even (literal) cannibalism follows.

As Jews, who have been under the threat and execution of Arab terror and war for so long by these very same neighbors, it’s easy to sit back and say they are getting what they deserve in Syria, Egypt, and wherever else is next.

More importantly, as we learned in the first Lebanon war, getting involved in the Arab’s civil war will drag us into places we don’t want to go, and we’ll end up having to pay a price we’d didn’t need to pay.

On the other hand, when mass murder of innocents (not combatants) is happening at our doorstep, don’t we have some obligation to try to prevent that?

True, Israel has been (quietly) helping many of the Syrian injured. Perhaps, that’s enough, but perhaps it’s not.

I don’t have an answer to this question, but it needs to be asked.

About the Author: JoeSettler blogs at The Muqata.blogspot.com and occasionally on his own blog at JoeSettler.blogspot.com.


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13 Responses to “Dare We Be Silent on Syria?”

  1. It is simply not our concern, we will ultimately have to fight whoever remains from their intemperate conduct towards one another; in the end they are all Jew & Christian haters intent upon our destruction…even at their own peril. When we conquered this land, this land of Israel given to us by G-d we were directed to destroy the Cannanites, there was no 'mercy' shown…even their dogs and cattle were destroyed in the cleansing. We were not savages in this, we were conquers…let us remain so today and shun the pleas for involvement in the affairs of Israel's enemy.

  2. The question of Intervention in Syria is to a large extent a political and practical one. However, at bottom, it is a moral issue, as was Darfur and Rwanda.

  3. What a wondrous verse is Exodus 14:14: The Lord shall fight for you, and yes shall hold your peace.
    The Hebrew ending is “V’atem tach’rishun” – you will keep silent.

  4. Martha Miriam says:

    I don't know; seems like our enemies are fighting our enemies.. how can you take sides? Who you gonna help? Any help you give (arms, $) can and will be used against us in the end.

  5. Yes this is a civil war sunnies against shiites, hezbollah against al qaeda, etc, etc:, is Israel wanfs to survive keep in silence, also the US and France should keep out from syraian affairs, let them kill each other.

  6. IRAN IS THE REAL CANCER. SYRIA IS ONLY THE SYMPTON. Rabbi DR. BERNHARD Rosenberg.

  7. IRAN IS THE REAL CANCER. SYRIA IS ONLY THE SYMPTON. Rabbi DR. BERNHARD Rosenberg.

  8. Yechiel Baum says:

    Estaban – AMEN! May your word ne heard by Hashem this New Year to rejoice even more.

  9. Witness the true face of Islam. It is a crime against Humanity. Let the Evil consume itself.

  10. Myra Spicker says:

    So what, then, do you propose?

  11. Basel Amro says:

    You have no idea what are you talking about! And you have no humanity at all!!!!!!

  12. TO THOSE THAT VOTED FOR PRESIDENT OBAMA, THIS IS WHAT YOU GET.

    ATTACK IRAN NOT SYRIA. CAN ISRAEL RELY ON OBAMA? RABBI DR. BERNHARD ROSENBERG, FORMERLY CHAIRMAN RABBIS FOR ROMNEY. I WARNED YOU.

  13. BernhardRosenberg says:

    TO THOSE THAT VOTED FOR PRESIDENT OBAMA, THIS IS WHAT YOU GET
           ATTACK IRAN NOT SYRIA. CAN ISRAEL RELY ON OBAMA?   RABBI DR. BERNHARD ROSENBERG, FORMERLY CHAIRMAN RABBIS FOR ROMNEY. I WARNED YOU.
     President Obama made a statement about not allowing Syria to go past a red line. I am not judging whether Syria should be bombed or not, but I am saying that when the president of the United States speaks the credibility of the country is at stake. We are the laughing stock of the world as our President daily changes his mind. To those who voted for President Obama, this is a man who cannot make up his mind. He has now thrown the issue to congress, which he said he would not do. Iran is the cancer, Syria is the symptom.  RABBI DR. BERNHARD ROSENBERG

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