It’s a Dog’s Life.
Fifa is a boxer whose sharpened canine instincts dictate that during these dark days when the siren goes off in Tel- Aviv he waits for the apartment door to be opened and then scampers down the stairs carefully avoiding bumping into anybody. He then waits patiently for his ‘parents’ in the bomb shelter.
Obviously, every Israeli has developed such a pavlovian response to this soul piercing sound. Equally obvious is that nobody should have to live every day with a sword at their necks both literally and figuratively.
The barbaric slaughter of October 7 will forever be seared into our collective hearts and minds for as the late Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks said, “To be Jew is to have a sense of memory.”
The invaders of that day that shall also live forever in infamy have been described as animals. That label gives the animal kingdom a bad name. There is no context for the barbaric butchering of innocent civilians in their homes. There can be no cause that justifies the indiscriminate shooting, burning, beheading, and raping of human beings regardless of age. There can be no excuse for capturing and holding hostage babies as well as the old and the infirm.
This pogrom does however provide context for what comes next. Whatever it is- it is not revenge, retaliation or retribution. It is a fight for reason, decency, and peace. It is the latest episode in the ongoing fight for the survival of our people and our faith and now it sadly takes place in our own homeland. It is the struggle to be free of the ominous shadows of terrorism that have hung over our people for too long. This is a battle for credibility from within and for deterrence from without. We did not choose to run out of choices.
Though it rarely if ever does the world should thank Israel for confronting the barbarians at the gate of all civilized societies. In that regard maybe we should learn a valuable lesson from our holy Torah- the giving of which was meant to be celebrated on October 7th in Israel. It states, “Justice, justice shall you pursue.” In a document in which there is not a redundant word or superfluous letter why would the word justice be repeated. Perhaps it is to teach us that man made earthly justice though often admirable is not enough. The seal of heavenly justice is required in addition to validate our lives as decent human beings. After all the Nazis justified their actions by saying they were following orders during the Holocaust. No doubt the Hamas foot soldiers would say the same but in no way is their abominable behavior consistent with G-d’s code of ethics and values that all the Abrahamic religions are meant to live by.
Although still reeling from the debilitating shock and profound grief the forces for good must prevail over those of evil for all our sakes- for those in Israel and for all the Jews in the diaspora.
Being in the latter perhaps it just too trite to say this while I lounge in my armchair thousands of miles away as the cream of our generation stand before their moment of truth. However, I truly believe that Israel is the guarantor for every Jew everywhere. Amidst the futile and frustrating search for meaning and for tangible ways to assist I do hope that our courageous soldiers on the front lines and in the hinterland know that we are proud of them and that indeed we are proud of the fact that we have an army at all. The last time that the stated objective was to annihilate all Jews we did not have our precious nation state of Israel and treasured Israel Defense Forces both of which we pray for daily.
It is because of these brave and selfless young men and women that soon Fifa will romp free in the local park in the sunshine with his owners. No more sirens- just peace and tranquility and light.
G-d bless Israel.
G-d bless the IDF.