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The new sheriff in town

In an undisclosed village lived a Sheriff and a Druglord. The Sheriff was no ordinary sheriff. He was a popular, powerful, charismatic, intelligent and seemingly successful sheriff. He had one hundred deputies with the latest armaments and vehicles money could buy. However, this Sheriff had an arch-enemy, a nemesis: the Druglord. The Druglord was quite ordinary. He was brutal. He had a gang of around twenty ruffians. The Druglord and his men would regularly raid the village, steal, rape, pillage and kill. The Sheriff would send a few of his deputies to the Druglord’s compound, rough up some of his men, perhaps take one prisoner (at least for a while) and claim victory over the Druglord’s aggressions. 

The people of the village, though they suffered, appreciated the great Sheriff’s efforts. They lauded his intelligence and eloquence (for he was a much sought-after speaker and guest in other villages).  


Some of the people wondered why the Sheriff didn’t use his superior forces, weaponry and technology to just stop the Druglord once and for all. However, the wiser residents explained that it would be disproportionate to get rid of the Druglord completely. It would be immoral. There were innocents among the Druglord’s household, who while supportive of the Druglord, were never directly involved in any of his crimes. Why should they pay for the Druglord’s crimes? 

This situation continued, festered and expanded for years. The Sheriff’s forces and power grew. His deputies likewise became powerful and wealthy in their own right. And the crimes continued. The Sheriff would raid the compound when the crime rate soared. He would name the raids with dramatic titles and give them much publicity. He made sure he was always thought of as the people’s hero. For most people it worked. They didn’t know any better. They couldn’t imagine a different way to handle the Druglord than what their Sheriff had outlined. He was called balanced, thoughtful, correct. 

But that didn’t sit well with everyone. People noticed. People started to put two and two together. They realized that the Sheriff really could have shut down the Druglord whenever he wanted. He had the force. He had the power. So why? Why did he let the crimes continue, only to send a minimal force of deputies to raid the compound and thereby reduce the people’s tension and frustration? What was in it for him? What gain did he have from years and years of the Druglord’s crimes? 

And then they figured it out. Though the truth was too painful for most to bear, let alone believe. The Sheriff wanted the Druglord to stay in power. The Sheriff needed the Druglord to continue his crime spree (in moderation).  

The Sheriff needed the Druglord.  

It was quite simple. The Druglord was the source of the Sheriff’s power. As long as the Druglord was active, the people needed the Sheriff. It gave the Sheriff a reason to build up his army of deputies. If there was no crime, there would be no need for such a “tough” and powerful Sheriff. The Sheriff had a cause to speak about in all the other villages. The Sheriff was respected for his ongoing struggle, for his noble fight against the Druglord. There would be no need for this Sheriff with all of his power if it weren’t for the Druglord.  

That was the beginning of the struggle to oust the Sheriff. It wasn’t easy. The Sheriff had tremendous support among the people. His deputies and the wise people of the village would denigrate and disparage anyone who thought poorly of the Sheriff. 

But after a while, the tide turned. The crime was too much to bear. Too many sons killed. Too many daughters murdered. Too many fathers and mothers gunned down in their homes. All preventable. Preventable. All for what? To keep the Druglord alive so that the Sheriff and his cohorts can stay in power. That is worth the lives of our sons and daughters, our fathers and mothers? 

It was a bitter struggle. The Sheriff fought until the very end. But finally, enough people realized the truth. Enough people understood the charade, the macabre dance of death between the Sheriff and the Druglord which would continue for generations if it wasn’t forcibly stopped. 

The people finally elected a new Sheriff. The new Sheriff, using the weaponry, the force, the technology he inherited from the old Sheriff, and attacked the Druglord’s compound. He killed the Druglord and all of his gang members. He exiled the rest of the Druglord’s retinue. For the first time in decades, the village knew peace. 

We know who the Sheriff and the Druglord are. We even know who the new Sheriff can be. But we won’t be able to get a new Sheriff in town until we open our eyes to the painful truth, to the deception that the political establishment, the media, the international community have all been a part of. However, it is useless to blame any of them. They are all looking out for their own interests and their own agendas.  

We have let this happen. We have let this Sheriff and his deputies run the village for too long. We are to blame and nobody else. We, and only we, are the ones who need to change this. 

We need to know who we are. We need to know that this is our village. Our village. When we are clear about our identity, our unequivocal right to the land, who is right and who is wrong, who the enemy is, then we will be ready to elect a new Sheriff. Then the new Sheriff can clean up the mess – and quickly. Then we can see an end to the terror, the senseless murders, the unending hatred. 

It’s time to wake up from the fantasy world around us. It’s time to move on from politics as usual, because politics as usual is getting us killed and using our sons and daughters as cannon fodder. It’s time to finally chart a new course in our political reality. It is time to brave the fabricated “common knowledge” force-fed to us by all the media with their agendas. It is time to break free of the stranglehold of the powerful parties whose only interest is power. It is time to get behind a Sheriff that will take our village where it’s meant to go; that will clean up the corruption; the senseless and preventable murders. We will be laughed at. We will be told “you’re throwing away your vote.” Mud (and worse) will be thrown at the new potential Sheriff, because he threatens the entire establishment. But that’s what it takes. Our lives and our children’s lives depend on it. 

We need a new Sheriff in town. 

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Rabbi Ben-Tzion Spitz is the former Chief Rabbi of Uruguay. He is the author of over a dozen books on Torah themes, including a Biblical Fiction series. He is the publisher of a website dedicated to the exploration of classic Jewish texts, as well as TweetYomi, which publishes daily Torah tweets. Ben-Tzion is a graduate of Yeshiva University and received his Master’s in Mechanical Engineering from Columbia University.