Esor Ben-Sorek

The Lessons from Our Torah…. Not From the Koran

I am not shouting any hallelujahs for a “temporary ceasefire” between the Muslims in Gaza and the Jews in Israel. We have seen ceasefires before and all have failed. Ma nishtana? Why is this ceasefire different from all other ceasefires? Unbeliever that I am, I am beginning to count the hours, not days, until another siren is heard blaring along our border in the south.

And the winner of this recent eleven day mini-war is Joe Biden, the Democratic American president, who laid his cards on the table to Netanyahu, encouraged by Democratic members of Congress like the Jew Sanders and the Muslim Tlaib.

I have now taken bets with my neighbors. They say that the ceasefire will hold for at least one week. I say that it may hold for forty-eight hours. (How much do I have to pay if I lose the bet?)

The recent eleven days of death and destruction have a basis in our Torah’s account of the battle between two brothers, Jacob and Esau, the sons of our patriarch Isaac and grandsons of Abraham, founding father of the Jewish and Islamic faiths.

Wikipedia both asked and answered questions. It told the story of the twin brothers which has revealed three lessons for life.

1) Actions have consequences.
2) What you sow is what you will reap,
3) Deception leads to Dejection.

Years after Esau and Jacob are separated, Jacob in fear of being killed by his brother’s anger at the theft of Isaac’s blessing by Jacob who took advantage of a blind father, the two brothers finally meet. It is a touching moment.

Wikipedia describes the emotional re-union of the two brothers. “Esau ran to greet his brother, embraced him, kissed him. And he cried”. The “evil” brother was forgiving of his twin brother.

Esau had hope that the two brothers could continue their journey in life together.

We cannot pick our brothers and sisters and we must do all that is possible to demonstrate our feelings in justice, compassion, understanding and love.

Could any Torah story be more appropriate than the current battle between the sons of Esau and the sons of Jacob?

Surely no one can expect that Hamas Muslims and Israeli Jews will run to greet one another. Neither will they ever embrace nor kiss nor cry.

The crying has been done by their children who have buried their murdered dead. Shrapnel and remnants of missiles and bombs adorn their graves.

But the three lessons mark the tragedy in the lives of the twin brothers. For the first, violence begat more violence. For the second, you will get from one as you have given to one. And the third lesson remains to be seen. If we are deceived by false promises of ceasefire, further promises may be dejected. We are witness to false promises made and broken. Ma nishtana? What else is new?

What will President Biden say or do when the ceasefire fails? What will Sanders, Tlaib and their rotten ilk propose to the Congress? How will their stories of the Israeli “bad boys” affect decisions needed to be made by the Congress of the United States of America in regard to policies on Israel? I propose a nice vacation for Sanders and Tlaib in the bright Gaza sunshine. Nothing more alluring for them. Reality await them.

Esau’s embrace of Jacob was the kiss of death. It was not genuine love nor forgiveness because it simply could not be. Esau was a man of war whereas his twin brother Jacob, was a shepherd who longed for peace and tranquility. Never the twain can meet.

The Muslim Koran emphasizes faith. The Jewish Torah emphasizes love and family unity.

Although I am not a gambling man, the odds are open. How long will the ceasefire last? How many dead bodies will wait to be buried? We did not win the war in Gaza and they did not win their war against us. Once upon a time Egypt was in control of the Gaza Strip. Let Egypt control Gaza again and we will have peace on our borders.

Remove all illegal weapons of destruction and murder from our own Arabs Israelis to prevent an uprising leading to a massacre against us. The Bible was 100% correct…. “shalom, shalom v’ain shalom” they cry “peace, peace, ” but there is no peace. And maybe there will never be any.

Hopefully your answers will be better than mine. Time to spin the wheel and pray that it stops on the right place. Our right place. The place for Israel’s prayed-for survival. Our survival. Not theirs!

About the Author
Esor Ben-Sorek is a retired professor of Hebrew, Biblical literature & history of Israel. Conversant in 8 languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French, German, Spanish, Polish & Dutch. Very proud of being an Israeli citizen. A follower of Trumpeldor & Jabotinsky & Begin.
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