Our turning point

October the 7th has made us all reflect on our existence as in other similar situations lived and endured since our beginnings with Abraham, our father. It always has been and will be about our Jewish identity. Yet, this time in a more transcendental way, after getting full awareness of what it is. We cannot afford the luxury of ignoring or downplaying history, so that we have to repeat it over and over again. After the Holocaust, we stated categorically and definitively “Never again”. Yet, it has happened again and again in one way or another.

This time, what happened on October the 7th has transcended our identity and our borders. It is the moment of truth for humankind who have to choose between human solidarity and savage abjection, love and hate, good and evil. Needless to say, the Jewish identity is all about goodness, and we know it. This is the only purpose of our existence in this world, to be good and to teach goodness along with its ethical and moral values and principles.

Yes, the war between good and evil has been endless and relentless but it should not extend forever. Jewish prophecy is fundamental to make humankind understand, accept and assimilate that goodness will prevail, and must prevail if the nations of the world also believe that the only purpose of life is that. We still want to believe that the majority of human beings love goodness and want to live in, by and for it.
This common purpose has an also common objective, which is to eradicate evil in all its ways, forms and expressions. It is the only way to make goodness prevail, for goodness does not cohabit or compromise with negative, abject and destructive ways.

The silence of righteous Muslim leaders is disappointing.

This is the time of truth for the sake of the truth. It is the time of calling things by what they are. Human savagery and depravity are not means for ideological pursuits. Palestinians, as well as other Muslim and Christian minorities among the Islamic world, are segregated and discriminated against among Muslim nations. Look at Syria where its dictator has murdered hundreds of thousands, and no “human rights” organizations have denounced such “genocide”. Where are their Muslim defenders? Who condemned the slaughtering of almost one hundred thousands of Chechens for their uprising in the Russian Federation in 1999, where the city of Grozny was totally destroyed? Or the Chinese treatment of Muslims? Why do Turkey, Jordan, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria and the rest of the Islamic republics not let Palestinians live in their territories? Why do the Palestinians call themselves like that if they are not from Palestine, a name created by the Roman empire to alienate the native inhabitants of the land of Israel. Why do they not recognize themselves by the names of their clans and families such as Younis, Alewi, Cure, etc.

These and other truths must be revealed and must be called by what they are. Israel is at war, and in a war there are no “cease fires”. Ask the Americans, the Germans, the British, the French, the Japanese, and every other nation that has been involved in a war. Yet, people do not learn from history and we, the Jewish people are not the exception.

The original point of this commentary was the Jewish identity, not the Palestinian issue.

In this transcendental time that began October the 7th, our main focus and reflection must be on the Jewish identity and the Jewish nature of the State of Israel. Now more than ever before since the foundation of our modern Israel, we must have a Constitution based on the Written and Oral Torah that defines our Jewish character as individual Jews and as a Nation, with a civil, legal and judicial system that reflects such character.

The thousands of non observant Jewish soldiers putting on tefillin, carrying Torah scrolls with them in the plattons and immersing in mikvah are becoming more and more aware of their spiritual and human essence. Not to mention the continuous and countless miracles they live and witness every day in the battle field. Secular Israelis are returning to their Jewish identity they were not fully aware. This trend must continue in these transcendental times.

Those who believe that constitutionally instituting the Jewish character of the State of Israel will “put in danger the country’s democracy” have to take time to read Jewish history. They have to learn that what they call “democracy” has always existed in our midst, since our beginnings. No dictators.

Only good and bad kings, good and bad priests, good and bad judges. Nothing more. So “liberal” that in the times we celebrate in Hanukkah, the priests had to take over the control of the Nation because most ordinary people rejected their Judaism to be like the Greeks! Does it sound familiar? Such fallacy of stoning, hanging and burning apostates is what today’s liberals among us want to feed in the ignorant minds among the secular Israelis. Fear mongers who divide their fellow Israelis and weaken our Nation before our countless and endless enemies.

However, we all know that we have to have common ground on the basic, uncompromised fundamentals of Judaism that are Shabbat, kashrut and family purity.

After the prompt release of all our captives in Gaza and the complete eradication of Hamas and all the declared enemies of Israel, we must sit in the togetherness that we are enjoying in these tragic moments, and to embrace all and every thing that we cherish as the best in us. Those things that made us our God’s chosen, which are the loving kindness and truth that defined the identity and character of our forefathers and matriarchs. The things that make us the unique Nation we are. Let’s come together united in the love that keeps us eternal, and make Israel prevail over our enemies.

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.