On one hand, we find ourselves in a situation where after being brutally attacked, we need to retaliate, according to the principle, “If someone comes to kill you, rise up and kill him first.” That is, since we have been struck, we need to defend ourselves and fight back. This is part of our correction.
We have been in a situation of providing for Gazans, and yet it has proven itself to be a flammable and explosive mixture we keep by our side. Such a setup is unacceptable anywhere in the world. The time has thus come to deal with this territory, otherwise in the future, we will have to deal with it on a larger scale.
However, it is just one front against us, and we see nations all around us wishing for our destruction, from Hezbollah in the north, to the Houthis in Yemen, and of course, Iran. So while we defend ourselves in the current state out of necessity, we need to remember that there is ultimately only one action we can do to resolve these many tensions: We, the people of Israel, need peace, unity and understanding among ourselves. We will then cease the tensions not only with our neighbors, but in general, all problems and crises will then disappear from the world.
I regularly discuss the need for the people of Israel’s unity because I trust that it is how we can bring ourselves and the world to a better state.
The core of the terrible pressures Israel face from its neighbors is due to the fact that we do not give the world what we need to give.
What do we need to give the world? We need to provide a shining example of unity.
If we engage in acts of hatred among each other, such as the protests and demonstrations we busied ourselves with all year long until the tragic attacks on October 7, then our internal divisiveness will reflect back to us from other people and nations. In other words, our internal hatred, which flared up before the war, led to this war we are now in and to the way our enemies behave with us.
In principle, our enemies are not enemies. We enable their attitudes and actions toward us through our attitudes toward each other.
We thus need to convince ourselves that we need to reach a common love for each other. Then, there will be calm: no more people or nations will want to rise up against us.
Peace with our neighbors and with the world at large depends on how we, the several million Jews who live here, can construct ourselves into a unified society that blossoms with relations of mutual consideration, love, support and encouragement. The Torah discusses our mission as such, and I have been certain of it for decades.
It is written that “no calamity comes to the world but for Israel” (Yevamot 63). The attacks on October 7 were the worst we have endured since the Holocaust, and if we fail to learn to live with a united spirit dwelling among us—thereby also serving this unified spirit to the world—then we can expect even worse attacks and wars in the future.