web analytics
August 4, 2015 / 19 Av, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Peace is Not a Product, and Another Story…


happy guru

There is a Chassidic adage that whereas God transforms the spiritual into the physical, the people of Israel transform the physical into the spiritual.

There are those that think that peace can be made “physical” by signing on the dotted line. But peace is a gift from above, which ultimately manifests in the gift of the coming of Mashiach. It is not something that can be made physical in a peace accord, especially when concessions against the Torah are expected.

Pertaining to the loftiness of peace, Harav Yitzchak Ginsburgh said the following shortly after President Obama’s 2009 speech in Cairo:

“All peoples on earth have a vision and dream of peace. The Torah says that peace is the greatest objective of our life here, of our mission that God has sent us here to bring love and understanding and peace between all peoples. But in order to achieve peace, we need to understand what peace really means and how we can approach it and realize and fulfill it…”

Compassionate Crackers?

In order to better appreciate and relate to the Chassidic adage at the beginning some more, I thought to tell another story.

A few months back, I noticed an avodah zarah image printed on the inner flap of a package of crackers. As there was no other printing done near it, it was obvious that it was some clandestine approach of the owner to promote their wayward beliefs. I sent a harsh letter saying that the image should be removed immediately, and if it were up to me, the kosher certification should be removed unless she proceeded to do so.

Fully acknowledging that her intention indeed was to “slip this image in,” she wrote back:

“Thank you for taking the time to write to us. I am of course glad to hear that you have been enjoying our products and sorry to hear that you find the image on our package offensive. For us, the … symbol … is a representation of love, mercy and compassion, not an idol to be worshipped. I believe that the kosher symbol on our box is a representation as well–of what and how our food is made…”

And my response back:

“When an object is considered a representation of universal concepts, there are two options. For instance, when ‘happiness’ is used in marketing for Coca-Cola products, or the term ‘purity’ is used on Poland Spring bottles, no one actually thinks that these concepts are contained within the container. The marketing and branding is symbolic, it serves to remind people or these universal ideals that we can all relate to. The problem occurs when a product becomes an end in-and-of-itself. When people do mistakenly think that this product contains these concepts. In the fullest sense, this is exactly what it means to make an idol … something completely forbidden according to Jewish faith.

Whereas [a kosher] symbol simply relates people back to an organization called [name of kosher agency], the notion of kosher certification, their website, etc… the depiction of that image does nothing but foster reliance on that image.

Just as one doesn’t need a Coke to be happy, or a Poland Spring bottle to be pure, ‘love, mercy and compassion’ do not reside within this idol … the intention of this idol is to connote otherwise. People do mistakenly think that ‘love, mercy and compassion’ would be more difficulty attained without making reference to this image.

That is why the image should be removed.”

Thinking into this event again, it seemed her attempt was not only to promote this image, but to relate these three spiritual concepts to both the image and the product she was selling. But the truth is, both attempts are not correct. The image is nothingness, and her crackers are just crackers, and with the proper ingredients, they are easily made by anyone.

About the Author: Yonatan Gordon is a student of Harav Yitzchak Ginsburgh, and publishes his writings on InwardNews.com, a new site he co-founded.


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.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “Peace is Not a Product, and Another Story…”

  1. Lisa Kamins says:

    thank you Yonatan Gordon for stating the reality of this issue so well

  2. Lisa Kamins says:

    thank you Yonatan Gordon for stating the reality of this issue so well

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Bibi conf call
Bibi: ‘Keep or Cheat,’ This Deal Will Give Iran the Bomb
Latest Indepth Stories
President  Barack Obama.

How and when is it appropriate for pulpit rabbis to comment publicly on the Iran issue?

David Menachem Gordon

David was many things: Brother, son, grandson, nephew, uncle, cousin, talmid, comrade, AND a WARRIOR

Graffiti at Duma home that was torched in Samara.

Some Israelis seem to have forgotten no one has yet tracked down the murderers of Ali Bawabsheh.

On-The-Bookshelf-logo

Aside from my own 485-page tome on the subject, Red Army, I think Jamie Glazov did an excellent job at framing things in United in Hate: The Left’s Romance with Tyranny and Terror.

“Isn’t it enough that the whole world hates us? WHy do we have to hate each other?”

Who said Kerry won no concessions from Iran? He secured pistachios and Beluga caviar for America!

In 2015, Israel’s fertility rate (3+ births per woman) is higher than all Arab countries except 3

The New Israel Fund, as usual, condemns the State of Israel rather than condemning a horrible act.

I sought a Muslim group that claims to preach a peaceful and accepting posture of Islam, Ahmadiyya

While Orthodox men are encouraged to achieve and celebrated for it, Orthodox women too often are not

Jonathan remember, as long as you’re denied your right to come home to Israel you’re still in prison

Reports of a dead baby, a devastated family, and indications of a gloating attacker.

“The fear of being exposed publicly is the only thing that will stop people,” observed Seewald.

“Yesha” and Binyamin Regional Council leaders said the attack “is not the path of Jews in Judea and Samaria.”

The occasion? The rarely performed mitzvah of pidyon peter chamor: Redemption of a firstborn donkey.

American leftists have a pathological self-inflicted blindness to the dangers of political Islam

More Articles from Yonatan Gordon
game-figure-598036_1280-810x540

Combating Amalek doesn’t mean all who disagree with you is evil-rather whom to follow and to oppose

Skateboard king at Chabad-Lubavitch Yeshiva in Jerusalem

I envision a Kiruv approach perceiving a world filled with Godliness instead of issues to be avoided

Whereas we didn’t expect much from HarperCollins, we need to expect more from ourselves.

What does it mean “to fight as a Jew”? Fighting with the power of voice, the “voice of Jacob.”

San Francisco schools transformed by power of daily meditation,successfully reducing school violence

Pop culture teaches “thought creates reality;” Chassidut: “Divinity’s a given,reality’s a novelty”

“Deliberance” means to be inspired by “hearing the great shofar blast” ushering the Redemption

There is no difficulty today recognizing the “doubled and redoubled” darkness of the world.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/peace-is-not-a-product-and-another-story/2014/01/06/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: