web analytics
November 28, 2014 / 6 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



Home » Judaism » Parsha »

Accomplice To Evil


The-Shmuz

The sons of Yaakov came upon the corpses of the city that had defiled their sister.” – Bereishis 34:27

 

Shechem, the son of Chamor, set his sights on Dina. He carefully laid a trap to entice her out of her tent, and then kidnapped and defiled her. When Yaakov and his sons heard what had been done, “they were extremely distressed . . . [and said] ‘So shall not be done!’ ”

Shechem became infatuated with Dina, and came to ask for her hand in marriage. “Name your price and I will pay it,” he said to Yaakov. The brothers of Dina answered Shechem, “To marry into our family, a person must have a bris milah.” Shechem and Chamor agreed, and they convinced the people of their town to be circumcised as well. On the third day of their milah, Reuven and Shimon took up their swords and killed out every male in the city.

After they were finished, the pasuk says “the sons of Yaakov came upon the corpses of the city that had defiled their sister.” The Sforno is bothered by the expression “the city that defiled their sister.” After all, it was Shechem alone who committed the act, not the city.

The Sforno answers by explaining that in that society, forcibly taking a woman was not considered abhorrent. If it had not been socially acceptable, Shechem never would have done it. Therefore, it is considered as if they were all participants.

The problem is that the Sforno doesn’t seem to have answered his question. Granted, the entire town may have been responsible for creating the social atmosphere that accepted such conduct, but all they did was to give Shechem the opportunity to act as he wished. They didn’t join him in the act. They didn’t aid him. They didn’t tempt him to do it. The most we can blame them for is giving the opportunity to Shechem to do as he chose. If so, how can the pasuk say the city defiled Dina?

A Cog in the Wheel of a Killing Machine

On April 14, 1944, the deportation of Hungarian Jewry began. Within 56 days, almost 500,000 men, women and children were transported to Auschwitz.

Imagine you were a German train switch operator at a station near Auschwitz. You came of age at a time when Hitler had been long accepted as the Fuehrer. From your youth you were indoctrinated with the belief that the fatherland was the glory of all true Germans, and that Hitler alone was the savior of the new Germany.

It would be hard for you to deny your knowledge of where this human cargo was headed, as the air was heavy with the smell of burning flesh. But you never killed anyone. In fact, you may not even have completely bought into the racial theory thing. Your job was just to keep those trains rolling. So you aren’t guilty of murder. Are you?

At the Nuremberg Trials, the Nazis defended themselves with the mantra, “We were only following orders.” Each participant denied his guilt by claiming he was just a cog in the wheel: not a murderer himself, not a decision-maker – just a lackey. Yet, even the secular world didn’t accept this because being a cog in the wheel of a killing machine makes you a part of a machine that kills. As such, you are a killer.

The Sforno is teaching us that even if a person is not an active participant in an act, he can be considered responsible for its happening. In a normal society, basic human rights are a given. If the society has failed to keep safeguards in place, then that society has failed in its most basic responsibilities. Every member of that group is therefore held accountable for that failure.

In the case of Dina, the townspeople made it possible for Shechem to do what he did. Without their easing the standards, it never would have happened. Once they lowered the accepted behavior, they paved the way for him, so they are held responsible for what he did.

Accessories to Terror

This concept is especially relevant in our times when the murder of innocent people has become an accepted manner of protesting for one’s political rights. Inflicting terror on men, women, and children is almost part of the political process – because it advances my cause.

And who is to blame? Certainly in a society that fosters such beliefs, every member of the society is guilty. When a mass murderer has succeeded in his wanton killing, and his hometown comes out en masse to celebrate, that town is a participant in the murder. If a culture encourages the brutal torture of civilians by teaching it as an expression of religion, then every member of that group shares responsibility for the outcome. If Palestinian Authority TV programming regularly shows messages of hatred that promote murder and self-mutilation, then the anchors, the actors, the scriptwriters, the camera men, and all of the support staff are part of the crime.

However, the guilt doesn’t end there.

The first and primary role of government is the protection of its people. That is self-evident – unless the population is Jewish. In that case, self-preservation isn’t a given, it is deemed amoral.

While it is unclear who empowered the media to be the judge and jury on issues of morality, judge they do. Their bias is clear in every report of the so-called peace process and “liberation” attempts.

Every reporter who through his perverse version of social consciousness excuses away murder as a justified expression of “Arab anger and humiliation” becomes a willing accomplice to acts of terror. By creating a world order that condones the killing of Jews, they become accomplices to the very acts they are reporting. While they haven’t pulled the pin on 20 kilos of explosives, their words have created the social climate that encourages this, and as such, they are guilty.

Every media outlet whose bias and prejudices condemn Israel for defending itself makes it more acceptable for global terrorism to go on unchecked, allowing and encouraging more of the same.

The events we are suffering through, and the clear obstruction of truth that enables them, are but one last stage of our long and bitter exile. May Hashem speedily redeem us.

The new Shmuz book Stop Surviving and Start Living, is available in stores, at www.TheShmuz.com, or by calling 866-613-TORAH (8672).

About the Author: Rabbi Shafier is the founder of the Shmuz.com – The Shmuz is an engaging, motivating shiur that deals with real life issues. All of the Shmuzin are available free of charge at the www.theShmuz.com or on the Shmuz App for iphone or Android.


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.

No Responses to “Accomplice To Evil”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Soldiers start asking questions after Arab sniper narrowly misses killing Jewish motorist on Highway 60, south of Jerusalem.
PA Sniper Gunman Shoots at Jewish Driver on Highway 60 near Hebron
Latest Judaism Stories
Rapps-Rabbi-Joshua-logo

The Jew, from the perspective of the name Yaakov, is dependent on the non-Jewish world. This can be seen today in the relationship between the State of Israel and the United States

Lessons-Emunah-logo

Yet, ultimately, looking back, these “setbacks” turned out to be really for the patient’s best – for the good.

Business-Halacha-logo

In the afternoon, he reached into his pocket to check for the money, but it was empty. “The $50 bill must have fallen out,” Alex exclaimed. “It’s got to be in one of the rooms I was just at.”

Although the conversion ceremony involves more than circumcision and immersion, these are the two essential requirements, without which the conversion is ineffective.

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

Rashi in Shabbos 9b writes that the reason why the tefillah of Ma’ariv is a reshus is because it was instituted corresponding to the burning of the eimurim from the korbanos – which was performed at night.

It almost sounds as if Hashem is saying, “I have to keep Yaakov from getting too comfortable; otherwise he will forget Me. I can’t promise him sustenance because then he won’t need Me. He won’t write. He won’t call. He won’t love Me anymore.”

The Decree Of 1587
“Two Kabs Of Dinars Were Given…To King Yanai”
(Yevamos 61a)

Simply too many cases of prayers being answered to deny it makes a difference to our fate. It does.

Prayer is our language: Hakol kol Yaakov – the voice is the voice of Jacob – the voice of prayer.

Jacob cries, overcome by the knowledge that his great love for Rachel will end in unbearable pain.

There’s a perfect mirror between Jacob running away from Esav to when he reunites with his brother.

Yitzhak called you Esav and you answered him, then he called you Yaakov and you also answered him!”

Yitzchak thought the Jewish people needed dual leadership: Eisav the physical; Yaakov the spiritual

According to the Sefer Yetzirah, the nature of the month of Kislev is sleep.

More Articles from Rabbi Ben Tzion Shafier
The-Shmuz

It almost sounds as if Hashem is saying, “I have to keep Yaakov from getting too comfortable; otherwise he will forget Me. I can’t promise him sustenance because then he won’t need Me. He won’t write. He won’t call. He won’t love Me anymore.”

The-Shmuz

Why does Lavan’s speaking before his father show that he was wicked? Disrespectful, yes. Rude, certainly. But a rasha?

What happened was that Frank Jr. stopped being the little babe looking with love into his father’s eyes, and the relationship took on a very different nature.

Is it possible a man could be standing in a burning building, knowing this life is in danger, and be too lazy to move?

Avram’s father was not impressed with the cleverness of his son. In fact, he was so unimpressed that he took him to Nimrod the king, who pronounced him an enemy of the state and attempted to execute him.

Strict din demands perfection. There is no room for shortcomings and no place for excuses; you are responsible.

I, the one who is housed inside this body, am completely and utterly spiritual.

When Hashem formed man, He gave him the keys to Creation. As the Midrash tells us, Hashem said to Adam, “This is your world now. You are in charge of it; take care that you don’t destroy it.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/accomplice-to-evil/2011/12/07/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: