“And G-d saw that the light was good and G-d separated between the light and the dark” (Genesis 1:4).
On Hoshana Rabba eve, I participated in a panel on prophecy. The panel included a representative of the extreme Left Meretz party, a well-known rabbinical personality, an ultra-Orthodox rabbi, and a pleasant rabbi/MK. It soon became apparent that the other members of the panel disagreed with me – not just on the regular issues, but on the essential question of if it is possible to know what is good.
“Who knows what is good?” the rabbinical personality asked, concluding that we must learn to include and understand our neighbors, to live with them, and to learn from them. He sounded a lot like the Women Wage Peace organization. In other words, he uttered words that meant nothing, designed to be inclusive and loving, avoiding questions like sovereignty, justice, and good and bad.
From this fluff, peace is supposed to emerge. For after all, there is no good or bad; it is all just a question of creating a positive atmosphere. Once we do so, a dialogue will take place and everything will come together. The MK on the panel even took an additional step: “Peace is already here,” he announced. “The terrorists who murder us do so for personal reasons. The IDF takes care of them and everything is more or less fine.”
I also like and desire a positive atmosphere and dialogue, but at that point I unfortunately lost my patience. “Since its inception, the Oslo peace process has cost the lives of six times the number of Israelis than in the comparable period of time prior to the Accords,” I said. “We have 20 times more wounded and this ‘peace’ has cost every Israeli family 700,000 NIS.”
“In other words,” I continued, “your peace is killing us! I also want to hug all my neighbors and talk about love all day. But our irrefutable experience shows that Women Wage Peace, who I am sure have only good intentions, are actually Women Wage Grief. Because they will create an atmosphere that will push for more surrender and more terror.”
“See, I have given before you today life and good and death and evil,” I quoted from Deuteronomy. “Are you willing to agree with me at least on this point?” I asked the Meretz representative. “That life is good and death is evil?”
“I am sure that you have good intentions, but if your path has brought us much more death for the past 20 years, then you are doing something very bad, not something good.”
Thanks to this panel, I noticed this year that in the very first verses of the Torah, with the first creation of light, the concept “good” appears – and with it, the concept of “separation.” Yes, my friends, there is good and there is evil, there is light and there is darkness.
It is not always easy to distinguish between them. Usually it is difficult and complicated. But the difficulty does not absolve us in any way from the responsibility to clarify what is good and what is bad and to strive all the while towards the good – even if we will never achieve it completely.
Ideologies that forgo this struggle for good from the outset are ideologies that assume that if we forgo our search for the light switch, the light will turn on by itself. Darkness loves those types of ideologies. The murdered Jews who have paid with their lives for the Oslo Accords can no longer explain this, and those who will be murdered when the peace process is renewed do not understand and join Women Wage Peace.