Shabbat morning. My 8-year-old’s best friends come to play as I sit and read the newspaper.
Suddenly…. “Oh my goodness, a tiny spider,” my son says.
“Where, where?” his buddies ask.
Slowly, they put on their thinking caps and devise a plan. “It’s tzaar baalei chayim (harm to living creatures),” one of them shouts.
“We have to save it,” says another.
“Don’t kill the spider,” adds my son and their focus immediately switches from Legos to life-saving.
I watch as they go get a paper towel, a sock, and a cup. One of them opens the door, as the others try ever so gently to move the spider in his way out.
“Careful, careful,” two of them insist. The spider has been gently put into the cup now and three of them walk slowly — protecting the spider’s new temporary home — as the other one stands guard the door.
Now they are outside. They search carefully for a “good place for the spider… so that he will live.” And, gently, they put him down, running back in so excited and proud of what they have done.
“Mummy, we saved him,” my 8-year-old informs me, glee all over his face. “He’s okay,” his friend adds, proudly running to tell me of what they have managed to do. “He’s going to live,” the third one says. All of them are beaming at the success of their project, the saving of a life of a tiny spider.
And then I think about what happened the other day with our “neighbors.” I am completely struck by the difference in mentality, attitude, and values of our Arab “brethren.” Life means everything to us; every living creature is soooooo worthy and has so much value. That’s what we teach… nay, that’s what we breathe. That’s what even our 8-year-olds just instinctively know.
And them. The Arab terrorists who value death. They love the thought of violent murders. Another life gone. Another family distraught. Another community in mourning. No matter how they can do it, when they can do it, or what measures they need to take, they educate their children into believing it is a value to attack, murder, maim.
Israeli 8-year-olds value the life of a spider. Arab terrorist 8-year-olds value the death of any living being they view as standing in their way.
The contrast is colossal.