Gil Mildar
As the song says, a Latin American with no money in his pocket.

Leviticus 19:16

When I read this phrase from Leviticus, “Do not stand idly by while your neighbor’s life is at stake,” during a Hebrew Culture class at the Brazilian Jewish School – CIB, at least 50 years ago, it was as if an explosion occurred in my head. At that moment, I truly understood what it meant to belong to the Jewish people and what my responsibility was. This realization was not just a revelation; it was a profound transformation, a sudden comprehension of the weight and importance of our actions and inactions. Today, more experienced and happy to have completed well over half of my life, I understand the actual dimension of what this rule represents. For religious Jews, it is the only valid reason to break the Sabbath, which shows how important this rule is. Therefore, it is difficult for me to understand why we have not yet made the salvation and rescue of our brothers the number one, two, and three priority of this war.

Therefore, I cannot comprehend why there are still discussions about the need for an agreement. Life, in its most pure and defenseless essence, cries out for protection and action, not debates or hesitations. The principle of safeguarding a life transcends religious or political arguments; it is a call to our shared humanity, a reminder that every moment of indecision can be too costly.

In this context, observing the current government, led by Netanyahu and his leaning toward the far right, is particularly frustrating. As someone deeply influenced by the teaching that we must intervene, act, and protect life above everything, witnessing the prevalence of political agendas over the invaluable value of human life is disheartening. Politics, in its noblest idealization, should be a means to achieve the greater good, to unite and protect. However, I see a tendency to forget the faces, stories, and dreams of those in danger in favor of power games and strategies to maintain the status quo.

As someone who was shaped by the idea that our first and foremost responsibility is toward human life, the current situation challenges me. It challenges me not to be silent and not to become complicit through inaction. The mission of bringing our kidnapped back home is not just fulfilling a religious or humanist duty; it is the essence of what makes us human.

Facing this, I commit myself again to this mission, reaffirming the vow I made that day in that class at CIB over fifty years ago. A vow never to be indifferent, to consistently place human life above any political or ideological consideration. Because, in the end, what matters, what defines us, is our capacity to love, to care, and to act.

About the Author
As a Brazilian, Jewish, and humanist writer, I embody a rich cultural blend that influences my worldview and actions. Six years ago, I made the significant decision to move to Israel, a journey that not only connects me to my ancestral roots but also positions me as an active participant in an ongoing dialogue between the past, present, and future. My Latin American heritage and life in Israel have instilled a deep commitment to diversity, inclusion, and justice. Through my writing, I delve into themes of authoritarianism, memory, and resistance, aiming not just to reflect on history but to actively contribute to the shaping of a more just and equitable future. My work is an invitation for reflection and action, aspiring to advance human dignity above all.
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