Halamish, The IDF and the Value of Life

Some teachable moments are just too horrific to contemplate. After Shabbat, I was describing the murder of the Salomon family in Halamish to my 14-year-old daughter.

I could see the pain in her eyes as she tried to understand the hate that would drive a terrorist to slaughter a family in their own home. There really wasn’t much to say, but I did add that a heroic IDF soldier ran toward the screams from the attack and shot the attacker. I told her how heroic he was, likely saving 6 or 7 more people.

Almost as a postscript I mentioned that the IDF soldier’s goal was to stop the threat, and not kill the attacker. He shot to wound, not to kill and the terrorist survived and was moved to an Israeli hospital for treatment.

My daughter seemed puzzled at that; why worry about the life of a murder while he is actively trying to kill others?

It was then that I realized that this heroic IDF Soldier’s actions were not just a postscript. They are truly representative of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict as a whole.

The terrorist’s goal was to kill as many innocent people as he could and he expected to die when he was caught. Think about that. The value of his life was in the number of innocent people he could destroy. It is hard to contemplate that level of hatred and evil.

The IDF, on the other hand, is all about valuing and saving lives. Surely, no one could blame a soldier for killing a murderer in the midst of his murdering spree, but we are better than that. We love and respect life and we avoid taking it whenever possible. That IDF soldier valued that terrorist’s life more than the terrorist did himself!

That solider sent a message that should reverberate around the world about the real difference between good and evil. Even in the face of the murder of his neighbors, IDF soldiers value and protect life. We will never sink to the level of the terrorists.

Yes. I told my daughter that there is ample reason to remain steadfast and proud in her support and love for Israel and the IDF.

About the Author
Chaim Shapiro is the Director of the Office for Student Success at Touro College, a freelance writer, public speaker and social media consultant specializing in LinkedIn. Chaim was the Hillel Director at the University of California, Riverside between 1999-2003, fighting and advocating for Israel when the current anti-Israel campus campaign was in its infancy.
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