Sunday, February 27, 2005

What Would Moses Do?

The Israeli Government's plan to destroy settlements and make the Gaza Strip judenrein is in my mind a crime against the Jewish People as a whole and the brave Jews who built their homes there in particular. How is a Jew supposed to act when he sees such a great injustice being perpetrated?

It behooves up as People of The Book to open up The Book and see what is expected of us in such situations Exodus (2:11-17):
11 And it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown up, that he went out unto his brethren, and looked on their burdens; and he saw an Egyptian smiting a Hebrew, one of his brethren. 12 And he looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no man, he smote the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand. 13 And he went out the second day, and, behold, two men of the Hebrews were striving together; and he said to him that did the wrong: 'Wherefore smitest thou thy fellow?' 14 And he said: 'Who made thee a ruler and a judge over us? thinkest thou to kill me, as thou didst kill the Egyptian?' And Moses feared, and said: 'Surely the thing is known.' 15 Now when Pharaoh heard this thing, he sought to slay Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh, and dwelt in the land of Midian; and he sat down by a well. 16 Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters; and they came and drew water, and filled the troughs to water their father's flock. 17 And the shepherds came and drove them away; but Moses stood up and helped them, and watered their flock.

Moses, our teacher, did not sit idly by in the face of iniquity and let the wrongdoers do as they pleased. He got up and took action. I believe that we, as Moses' pupils, must also get up and act. We have to explain to every soldier and policeman the unlawfulness in the law that was passed, and his duty as a human in general and as a Jew in particular not to expel Jews from their home in the Land of Israel. We have to be willing to physically prevent the implementation of this law. This includes the possibility of being beaten by soldiers and/or policemen and sitting in jail. We have to risk our freedom in order to preserve our freedom.

It is well known that the commandments that the Jewish People were willing to die for are the ones that are still being practiced meticulously today (see Tractate Shabbat 130A). We say Shema Yisrael twice a day. Do we really mean it when we say "with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might"? When we say kedusha do we really intend what we are saying "nekadesh et shimcha baolam"? Are we students of Rabbi Akiva or are we Pappus Ben Yehuda's students ( see Tractate Brachot 61B)?

It is time for the silent majority in Israel to stand up to our corrupt government, just like the Ukrainian people stood up to their corrupt government. The mobsters in the Knesset are doing what they are doing only because they think that they can get away with it. They have to know that we will not sit silently in the face of their iniquity.


Batya said...

We can't give up. We have to keep working hard and remember things will get better. It's up to us, and not to dispair.

Bag Blog said...

It seems the next part of the story is also important. Moses spent the next40 years in the desert learning to be humble and hear God. Then he was able to come back and lead the people out of Egypt. There are lots of examples of how the people tried to rebel against Moses - to usurp his authority when they did not agree with his leadership, but God took care of that too. Other examples of humbleness and letting God lead are in the story of Saul and David. When Saul quit listening to God and started doing things his own way, he lost his insight to God. But even David was not to touch him (take him out). David waited on God to do that. Wait. Be patient. Hear God. Do not take vengence into your own hands.

Cosmic X said...

Dear Bag Blog: Thanks for your comment. I certainly will not take vengeance into my own hands.

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