Love during war

Our current war against Hamas and Hezbollah undoubtedly has brought us up together. This togetherness as the awareness that our Jewish identity is what has kept us united throughout the times. The more we reflect on this, the more we understand who we are among the multiple diversity of our identity. Twelve tribes seem just a number compared to the countless faces and creative expressions of being Jewish.

This is probably one of the reasons our God chose us in order to be His people, so to be “in His image and likeness.” Yet, our Sages coincide on something more essential, fundamental and transcendental that made us His chosen ones. Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch, one of the quintessential Jewish religious philosophical thinkers of contemporary times, indicates in his analysis of the Song of Songs by King Solomon that for two parts to have a pact, covenant, contract or agreement, both must have something in common. Something that both like about each other in order to function together. In our case of Israel and our God, such commonality is goodness.

God chose us because of our goodness and unrestricted potential to expand, enhance and exalt what is positive in human consciousness. Actually, that is the fundamental Jewish legacy in the short history of humankind.

This preamble is to remark and highlight the more-clear-than-ever fact that our ancient and current war is to make goodness prevail. That is why we are here in this world, the reason our God chose us. The more aware of this, the sooner we will win this war and the ones evil prepares in its futile stubbornness to suppress diversity, freedom and joy in life. Evil that fights to impose the totalitarian mentality of uniformity God swayed away when there was one humankind with one language in Babel under the dominion of Nimrod. the infamous founder of fascism.

It has been a long war ever since which now seems to be in the final stages with evil’s typically cowardly strikes like the one on October 7, 2023.

As we celebrate our togetherness, let’s not forget the evil within, the interior enemies depicted in the Torah as “the mixed multitude.” Those that are not only fully aware of their identity and pretend to impose on the rest their version of what is being Jewish. These are the most dangerous enemies, for they strengthen the foreign enemies who support those who want to destroy us.

In our togetherness, we must strengthen our goodness that moves us to love each other and care for each other. We must recognize and cherish the righteous goodness that defines who we are, and that will make us win our war against evil.

Recent government data reveals an increase of domestic violence, similar to the times during the Covid-19 pandemic. This is expected under these months when our nation is on hold in many ways while our soldiers fight relentlessly our enemies in neighboring Gaza and southern Lebanon.

For this reason, we have to support each other and love each other even more to increase our fortitude now when we need it the most. In our love and goodness we fully realize that the God of goodness is always with us, and fighting with us according to His plan for the final redemption.

Our love for each other must make us reach out to each other in our individual and national loneliness. Matchmaking, weddings and childbirths must increase to enforce our intrinsic love for life and happiness. For this, we have to individually focus on what is good in us, as what unites and brings us together. This is the transcendental time when we must remove what diminishes and weakens goodness in what we are. This is the time to love more and do more goodness, so that our God of goodness makes us prevail now and forever.

“Gather us back from among the [evil] nations, so we can thank Your sacred Name and rejoice and praise You [God of goodness]. Praise the LORD, the God of Israel, who lives from everlasting to everlasting! Let all the people say, ‘Amen!” (Psalms 106:47-48)

About the Author
Ariel Ben Avraham was born in Colombia (1958) from a family with Sephardic ancestry. He studied Cultural Anthropology in Bogota, and lived twenty years in Chicago working as a radio and television producer and writer. He emigrated to Israel in 2004, and for the last fourteen years has been studying the Chassidic mystic tradition, about which he writes and teaches. Based on his studies, he wrote his first book "God's Love" in 2009. He currently lives in Zefat.