web analytics
March 5, 2015 / 14 Adar , 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Not The Jewish Way


Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Those of you who have heard me speak or who read my columns and books know that whenever I opine on a subject I try to base what I say or write on our Torah and the teachings of our sages. There are so many things taking place so rapidly in front of our eyes that before we can absorb one event, another one unfolds. This rapid succession is so overwhelming that it allows us no time to think.

Nevertheless, all global and personal events, major or minor, are orchestrated by Hashem. “All that befalls us in the world, the good as well as the bad, are tests…” (Mesilas Yesharim). Consequently, there is always a Jewish way of viewing things. There is a huge difference between seeing events through secular eyes and through Torah eyes.

Consider, for example, the overwhelming jubilation that reigned throughout the United States when the news of Osama bin Laden’s death was announced. Undoubtedly, he was the incarnation of satanic evil, and every freedom-loving person has cause to be grateful he is no longer alive.

There is, however, a vast difference between being grateful he is no longer among us and actively celebrating his death.

Before we proceed, I wish to make it quite clear that not for a moment do I compare the reaction in our country to the vile, obscene frolicking in Muslim cities and villages when Jews are killed – as we saw in the wake of the recent carnage in Itamar where the savage killing by Muslim terrorists of members of the Fogel family was followed by frenzied dancing and carnivals in Arab areas. Children were given candy. The insane rejoicing knew no bounds.

Such a response – celebrating the barbaric murder of a father, mother, children and an infant, making the killers “holy martyrs” – can only emanate from savages, yet no one raises a voice.

Consider what would have happened if the reverse had occurred. If Israelis had perpetrated such a barbaric act, the entire world would have descended on the Jewish state in fury. The UN would have been called into special session. Sanctions would have been enacted. Every Internet site, every newspaper, would have declared their abhorrence.

But when Muslims perpetrate such satanic acts, when they celebrate Jewish blood being spilled, there is hardly a murmur.

The elation we witness in our United States over the death of bin Laden is a far cry from the savage rejoicing in Arab countries when terrorists slaughter innocent men, women and children. Nevertheless, as tempered as our celebration is, it behooves us to ask, Should this be our reaction? Is it right to rejoice in someone’s murder even if he be evil?

We, the Jewish people, who from the genesis of our history have always been targeted for annihilation, have tragically had much experience in dealing with this question. While we have encountered persecution and pogroms and Inquisitions and Holocausts in every generation, we have also seen our killers crumble before our very eyes, but- and this is a big but – we have never danced or rejoiced in reaction to their deaths. Rather, we humbly thanked G-d for having saved us and asked Him to help us continue our mission of kindling the light of Torah in a dark world. I do not speak theoretically. As a survivor of the Holocaust, I witnessed this with my own eyes.

Just recently we celebrated the festival of Pesach, which marks the birth of our nation, our exodus from Egyptian bondage. At the Seder table, when we recall the ten plagues that destroyed that tyrannical nation, do we dance? Do we clap our hands? Do we exult? None of that. Instead, we take a full cup of wine and with the mention of each plague we spill out a drop, for our cup can never be full when we witness the destruction of others -even if those others were our oppressors and killers.

This teaching is reinforced throughout our holy writ. In Psalm 104, King David, the psalmist, the sweet singer of Israel, proclaimed: “Let sin be erased and the wicked will be no more” – meaning, we beseech the Almighty to obliterate evil deeds, not human beings.

When we wish to utter the most horrific curse at those who are totally evil, we do not ask that they be savagely slaughtered. We do not pray for bloody carnage. Rather, we say, “Y’mach shmo” – May his name be obliterated may his evil mission be wiped out.

Perhaps this can be summed up through a powerful story involving Bruriah, the brilliant rebbetzin of Rabbi Meir. We are told they had a miserable neighbor who gave them no end of trouble and grief. One day Bruriah overheard her husband praying, asking G-d to remove the neighbor from this planet.

Upon hearing her husband’s words, Bruriah said, “Rabbi Meir, instead of praying that our neighbor be removed, why don’t you pray that G-d remove his malicious ways. And if you do that, not only will you have peace from him, but we will gain a good neighbor.”

Just think about it and you will realize with awe that it is only G-d who could have taught us that.

Finally, there is yet another consideration of which we, the Jewish people, are keenly aware: “Vayokom melech chodosh” – and a new king arose over Egypt,” which teaches us that there is always a new, malevolent person to replace the one who is gone, and this new one may be even worse than his predecessor. So while bin Ladin is gone, there will, sadly, be others to take his place. And thus it will be until Mashiach comes.

But we must not despair. We must remind ourselves of that which we proclaim on Seder night: “In every generation they arise to annihilate us, but the Holy One, blessed be He, is always there to save us.”

And so it shall be until Messiah comes speedily in our own day.

(To be continued)

About the Author:


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 “Not The Jewish Way”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
An Arab sheikh hands out flowers in a gesture of brotherhood and good will.
Haifa U Research Confirms, ‘Think Good & It Will Be Good!’
Latest Judaism Stories
Rabbi Sacks

The Sabbath is a full dress rehearsal for an ideal society that has not yet come to pass-but will

When Hashem told Moshe of the option to destroy the people and make him and his descendants into a great nation, Hashem was telling Moshe that it is up to him.

Mordechai on the King's horse, being led by Haman

Just like Moses and Aaron, Mordechai decides to ruin the party…

Daf-Yomi-logo

An Auto Accident
‘All Agree That They Are Exempt’
(Kesubbos 35a)

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)

Why would the exemption of women from donating the half shekel exempt them from davening Musaf?

This concept should be very relevant to us as we, too, should be happy beyond description.

The Holocaust was the latest attempt of Amalek to destroy the special bond that we enjoy with God.

One can drink up to the Talmud’s criterion to confuse Mordechai and Haman-but not beyond.

“The voice is the voice of Yaakov, but the hands are the hands of Esav” gives great insight to Purim

Purim is the battleground of extremes, Amalek and Yisrael, with Zoroastrian Persia in between.

One should not give the money before Purim morning or after sunset.

The mishloach manos of times gone by were sometimes simple and sometimes elaborate, but the main focus was on the preparation of the delicious food they contained.

Does Hashem ever go away and not pay attention to us?

In other words, the Torah is an expression of the Way that we must follow in order to live a divine-like life and to bond in the highest way possible with God or Being Itself.

More Articles from Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis
Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

I try to be observant, davening daily, but it hasn’t awakened my heart or my mind or changed my life

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

France allowed Islamists to flourish despite their loyalty to Islamic sharia law not French values

“Surely,” my family insisted, “there must be someone suitable for you. You can’t be so picky.”

Shouldn’t we Jews, having experienced the barbarism of many societies, speak support the NYPD?

They stammer “I’m not Orthodox,” as if that absolves them from the responsibility of calling to G-d

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

When art and evil are intermingled, evil is elevated and made acceptable.

In BB, he said “You, my children are the angels of Shabbos and the licht are your beautiful eyes.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/rebbetzins-viewpointrebbetzin-jungreis/not-the-jewish-way-2/2011/05/11/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: