web analytics
April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



So What To Do? A Year After the Fogel Family Massacre

The funeral of the five Fogel family members murdered in their home in Itamar.

The funeral of the five Fogel family members murdered in their home in Itamar.
Photo Credit: Kobi Gideon / Flash90

Share Button

As fate would have it, we have always stood in the way of those striving for world power: Babylonians, Greeks, Romans, Christians, Nazis, and Communists. While this – serving as an obstacle on the way to world rule – may seem quite an honorable mission, it is also bound up with a lot of inconvenience. No one has failed to stumble over us, to sidestep the puzzle of the Jewish barrier. Neither can radical Islam do it. A. Toynbee, who hasted to declare us to be “a historical fossil” overlooked this mission of the House of Jacob, which has not yet lost its actuality. The sets are changing, the actors and their roles are not.

Judaism is a family, tribal business. “However divided Jews may be today in their religious (or non-religious and even anti-religious) ideology, however furiously they may argue with each other about the role of the Halacha in today’s life, all of them undoubtedly agree that the Jewish religious law does not apply to non-Jews. They disagree about to what degree (if at all) this law applies to Jews, but no one suggests that non-Jews must obey the commandments that the Torah prescribes ‘to children of Israel’ (R. Yoshpe, “What Is Jewish Philosophy”).

The local, familial character of the Jewish religion has always disheartened Jewish superintellectuals. Pasternak’s Gordon, who had a chip on his shoulder about his origins, verbalizes this grudge quite tangibly: “their national idea has forced them, century after century, to be a people and nothing but a people – and the extraordinary thing is that they have been chained to this deadening task all through the centuries when all the rest of the world has been delivered from it by a new force which had come out of their own midst… In whose interests is this voluntary martyrdom?… Why don’t the intellectual leaders of the Jewish people ever get beyond facile ‘Weltschmerz’ and ironic wisdom?”

It seems that we paid quite a price for this wisdom of ours. It is surprising that Pasternak failed to see that it was this tribal character which saved Judaism from the devil of the lust for universality. Our argument with Christianity is ages old. Hillel advised not to do onto one’s neighbor what you do not want to be done to yourself. This demand seems far more modest than the moral duties which the founder of Christianity made his followers shoulder. But it happens to be that not increasing the evil weighs more, on the world history scale, than forceful propagation of the good (including the universalizing of democracy). If the bandits who rule in Gaza found themselves next door to a Christian state and showered its towns with rockets, the whole Gaza Strip would be reduced to a pile of crushed stone. And again, everyone knows it, including those who deny it. The state of Israel’s practice exhibits our age-old debate with Christianity in a new light. Israel has managed to keep a human face in an inhuman situation.

The basis for this practice lies in an astonishing synthesis of liberalism and traditional Jewish mentality; Jabotinsky may have foreseen the possibility of such a synthesis. M. Aldanov, who hated the Jewish revolutionaries who crowded the political scene in the beginning of the 20th century, once made a vitriolic remark about them, calling them “Prometheuses from heder.” Aldanov’s sarcasm, in this case, dims the heart of the matter: while heder did have a deep impact on Ben Gurion and Israel’s other founding fathers, it apparently left no trace in the minds of Trotsky, Zinoviev and Uritsky, whose cosmopolitan activities evidently contradicted Judaism’s familial thought patterns.

The graft of democracy on the Christian stem has not entirely benefited it, for liberalism has choked and crushed religion in the West. As for Islam, this graft has never succeeded in any Islamic country. No, Islamic countries do not object to the benefits of civilization: Twitter and Facebook are filled with cannibal slogans and the atom bomb is undoubtedly the most important scientific achievement for radical Islam.

Controlling one’s hatred is a hard thing to do. The human soul has a predisposition to Manichaeism: it yearns to know where exactly in the world evil is – obviously, with the sole purpose of eradicating it (together with its bearers, to be sure). Judaism seems to have once and forever done away with the idea of evil’s independent existence; nevertheless, relapses of Manichaeism sometimes occur in unexpected areas, like, for example socialist ideology. Remember “Warszawianka”?

“Storm of hostile whirlwinds is howling above us, Dark evil forces oppress us today.” You can object to this, for does not the Bible teach us: “You who love the Lord, hate evil!” (Psalms 97:10). But pay attention: “evil”, not: “the evil ones,” a distinction that is even more difficult to grasp. Nevertheless, Talmudic Judaism insists on it.

Share Button

About the Author: Edward Bormashenko is Associate Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering & Biotechnology at the Ariel University Center of Samaria.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

No Responses to “So What To Do? A Year After the Fogel Family Massacre”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
FBI Wanted poster for Osama bin Laden
Pakistan Library Renamed to Honor bin Laden
Latest Indepth Stories
matza

If itis a mitzva to eat matza all Pesach, then why is there no berakha attached to it?

Masked Palestinian Authority Arabs hurl blocks at Israel Police during and after "worship" at Temple Mount mosque. (archive photo)

When we are united with unconditional love, no stone will be raised against us by our enemies.

Haredim riot after draft-dodger is arrested.

The reporter simply reports the news, but it is greater to be inspired to better the situation.

Bitton-041814

The Big Bang theory marked the scientific community’s first sense of the universe having a beginning.

Freeing convicted murderers returns the status of Jewish existence to something less than sanctified.

“The bigger they are the harder they fall” describes what God had in mind for Olmert.

We, soldiers of the IDF, who stand guard over the people and the land, fulfill the hopes of the millions of Jewish people across the generations who sought freedom.

How much is the human mind able to grasp of the Divine?

Jews have brought the baggage of the galut (exile) mentality to the modern state of Israel.

The Haggadah is an instruction manual on how to survive as strangers in strange lands.

It’s finally happened. New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan reported on her blog that “many readers…wrote to object to an [April 2] article…on the breakdown in peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians,” claiming “[they] found the headline misleading and the article itself lacking in context.” Ms. Sullivan provided one such letter, quoted the […]

Nor did it seem relevant that according to widely circulated media reports, Rev. Sharpton was caught on an FBI surveillance video discussing possible drug sales with an FBI agent.

Jewish soldiers in the Polish forces often encountered anti-Semitic prejudice.

When the state was established, gedolim went to Ben-Gurion and asked him not to draft women and, later, yeshiva bachrim.

More Articles from Prof. Edward Bormashenko
The funeral of the five Fogel family members murdered in their home in Itamar.

Notice that in every culture a cheated husband is a laughing-stock. This attitude to a cuckold shows not only a nasty cruelty towards weakness, but also a reasonable contempt to a voluntary blindness, a reluctance to see what is going on under one’s own nose.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/so-what-to-do-a-year-after-the-fogel-family-massacre/2012/06/18/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: