If you currently are hurting from losing loved ones, maybe skip this post
Nationalism is a form of egotism. Mourning ‘your own’ dead more than the deaths of foreigners or strangers is natural. But if we Jews are really so horrified by death itself, shouldn’t we mourn all the dead?
There was a first commemoration held among (mostly) Arab Israelis for their deaths and all the deaths among the IDF. In the health industry, Jews and Muslims in Israel are already working/being sick side-by-side. Now also in the commemoration business? We’re moving in the right direction!
BTW: The ideas that Jews should not marry out and keep a Jewish majority in the only Jewish country on earth have everything to do with continuing the Jewish People. We are so tiny, that if we would drop this, we would disappear. The continued separate existence of any Nation in the world seems mostly of sentimental value. But, if the Swiss and the Italians would fuse, they could eat real Italian pizza with real Swiss cheese and little would be lost. Yet, Jews are a Nation, the only one, founded on a calling. Our raison d’être does not come from a common and uniting language, geography, history, outwardly racial traits, or culture. Our life literally depends on our task to study, execute, and model Judaism and help all of humanity to live as G^dly creatures, and, in the end, foster world peace. So, when we reject intermarriage or endless amounts of foreign refugees, that is not racist at all. This in contrast with rich large Western countries. Their, ‘Jews will not replace us’ is pure xenophobia and Nazi speech.
Now, when we commemorate and elevate the memories of fallen soldiers, police, resistance fighters, and victims of terror and genocide, shouldn’t we also spent some time including those who were innocent but shot by security personal or the allies? They are innocent victims of terrorism too. I’m not sure, because it’s still different if you’re killed as part of genocide or as a innocent bystander to mass-murder. Just like it’s not the same when someone is murdered or dies from an illness. Though it’s both bitter.
BTW: But besides enormous gratitude for the fallen and endless empathy for the bereaved, let’s also have in mind all those soldiers and security personal who came out alive and well and whose loved ones feared for nothing so long and deeply. Their sacrifices shouldn’t be trivialized either.
And while we’re at it, would-be terrorists or Nazis, killed while (trying to) murder, can’t we mourn their senseless lives? They gave up their lives for what? For expressing a commitment to Jews’ hatred? How sad that is?!
Yes, it will enrage everyone. The Antisemites will be enraged that we think of the perpetrators as victims that wasted their lives for a vile philosophy. The close ones of the victims might be enraged that we can even think of the perpetrators as if they ever were human (but they were).
No, we shouldn’t equate the lives of the murdered and the murderers, the righteous and the wicked. We don’t need to forget or forgive. But perhaps, we could regret a life squandered, a missed chance at a good life. Their lives were wasted too. Just not by us. There is a crucial difference.
If our commemoration of victims of terror and anti-Semitism is not just a form of chauvinism but truly a stance against hatred and death culture too, then let’s also mourn lives lost to hatred on the other side of the stick.
So many, often young people set out to murder, died, got life in prison, or ruined their health by hating instead of loving. We may regret their fate because we don’t have their mindset. And let’s welcome those who came to regret a terrorist upbringing or training and help them speak up/out.
However. A very smart learned and wise friend of mine totally disagrees with the tendency of the above. She told me that Jews in general can be seen being so extra caring about all people because we first practice caring about ourselves. That’s where we train our empathy. That could be.
Surely, the other way around doesn’t work. Jews who especially care about all people but ourselves often don’t improve toward including themselves or other Jews in their warm hearts. Paradoxically, their lack of chauvinism seems to stem from being Jewish — an identity they deny almost totally.
But, having opposite viewpoints in mind has always been a Jewish option.
Happy Israeli Independence Day!