Ron Diller

Toda La’el

This is a story of good vs evil.

Biblical events from 3,000 years ago continue to resonate in our lives today. Despite the enduring global presence of antisemitism and hatred towards Jews, they steadfastly uphold a compassionate ethos, devoid of any intent to inflict harm upon others.

This commitment to peace and non-aggression is exemplified in the mission of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), which is not geared towards offensive actions but rather to safeguard and defend our homeland. This stands in stark contrast to the Arab mindset, which often views “an eye for an eye” as a call for vengeance and retribution. While many Arabs interpret this principle as a demand for justice, advocating for proportional punishment, Jews maintain a different perspective, emphasizing forgiveness and reconciliation over retaliatory harm.

An eye for an eye in Judaism is interpreted through the lens of monetary compensation, emphasizing justice, fairness, and the importance of reconciliation and forgiveness. The idea was that if someone caused harm to another, they were obligated to compensate the victim monetarily for their loss. This interpretation is supported by subsequent Rabbinic literature and legal discussions.

The Talmud and later Jewish legal authorities emphasized the importance of compassion, mercy, and forgiveness. They emphasized that monetary compensation, rather than literal retaliation, was the appropriate response to wrongdoing. The principle of “an eye for an eye” was seen as a guideline for establishing equitable restitution. Furthermore, in the Mishnah, it’s stated: “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth… means that monetary compensation is extracted.” (Bava Kama 8:1)

Jewish history has been signaled out with continuous wars and enemies who wish our annihilation. We have been blessed with the backing of Hashem who so far has stood in our corner for over 3,000 years.

Here are just few examples of how Hashem performed one miracle after another for the Jews:

  1. Exodus 17:8-16, the Amalekites attacked the Israelites shortly after they fled from Egypt. The battle takes place in Rephidim, and Joshua leads the Israelite forces against the Amalekites while Moses stands on a hill holding up his staff. Once Moses held up his hands, the Israelites prevailed, defeating the Amalekites.
  1. The most famous miraculous deliverance of the Jewish people is the Exodus from Egypt. Pharaoh, the ruler of Egypt, refused to let the Israelites go despite the many plagues sent by G-d. Finally, after the tenth plague—the death of the firstborn—Pharaoh relented. The Israelites escaped from slavery in Egypt when G-d parted the Red Sea, allowing them to cross on dry land. When Pharaoh’s army pursued them, the sea closed back up, drowning the Egyptian army.
  1. During the Maccabean Revolt in the 2nd century BCE, the Jewish people, led by Judah Maccabee and his brothers (12,000), rebelled against the oppressive rule of the Seleucid Empire, particularly King Antiochus IV Epiphanes (40,000). Antiochus imposed Hellenistic practices on the Jewish population and desecrated the Temple in Jerusalem. Against great odds, the Maccabees defeated their enemies, reclaimed, and rededicated the Temple. When they sought to relight the Temple’s menorah, they found only enough ritually pure oil to last for one day. However, the oil miraculously burned for eight days until new oil could be prepared.
  1. In the Book of Joshua, after the death of Moses, Joshua leads the Israelites into the Promised Land. When they arrived at the Jordan River, it was flooded making it impossible to cross. When the priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant stepped into the water, the flow of the river miraculously stopped, allowing the Israelites to cross on dry ground.
  1. In the Book of Joshua, the Israelites laid siege to the fortified city of Jericho. Following God’s instructions, they marched around the city once a day for six days, with priests blowing trumpets made of ram’s horns. On the seventh day, they marched around the city seven times, and after the priests sounded the trumpets, the walls of Jericho miraculously collapsed, and the Israelites conquered Jericho.
  1. In the Book of Isaiah (Isaiah 38:1-8), King Hezekiah of Judah became severely ill and was told by Isaiah that he’ll die. Hezekiah prays earnestly to G-d, and G-d granted him an additional 15-years of life. As a sign of this miraculous healing, G-d caused the shadow on the sundial to move backward ten steps.
  1. In the Book of Judges (Judges 6-7), Gideon is called by G-d to lead the Israelites in battle against the Midianites, who oppressed them for seven years. Gideon’s army was significantly smaller who ultimately, defeated the Midianites.
  1. The Six Day War in 1967, 20,000 Arabs died (Egypt, Syria, Jordan) amongst an army of 300,000. Between 780-1,000 IDF soldiers died in this war.
  1. In the 1973, Yom Kippur War against Syria and Egypt, Israel fought against 1.4 million soldiers. This does not include the help they had from other Arab countries like Iraq, Jordan, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Algeria, Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia. In total, 15,000 Arabs died. There were 2,656 Israelis who died in this war.
  1. Since August 2005 (Gaza pullout), Hamas and Islamic Jihad have fired over 35,500 rockets into Israel with only 30 fatalities (among Israelis) from the rockets. From October 7th through December 31, 2023, there have been 12,000 rockets shot down.

Despite the overwhelming tide of hatred and the persistent desire to harm Jews among Arabs, Israel demonstrates an extraordinary commitment to safeguarding the welfare of Gazans. Before the invasion of Gaza, the IDF took proactive measures by distributing 1.2 million leaflets, making 4 million phone calls, sending 6 million text messages, and establishing a safe passage corridor, all to notify residents in Northern Gaza to relocate southwards. Can you name another country in the world that, having endured the horrors of the Second Holocaust, would undertake such extensive efforts?

What is truly perplexing is that while many Arabs endorse the principles of Mein Kampf and express a desire for our demise (From the River to the Sea), Israel rises above this animosity by providing the Haniyeh family with top-tier medical treatment, even though Haniyeh’s son has proclaimed, “Israel is a cancerous tumor that must be removed and uprooted.” Let us not disregard the extensive history of atrocious, inhumane, and reprehensible acts of violence against Jews, as perpetrated by figures like Haniyeh.

Even as guns are aimed at our heads and rockets rain down on us, and terror becomes a daily reality from all our borders, Israel persists in offering medical treatment to figures like Haniyeh and other Arab leaders. How crazy is this?

Here are few examples of Israel’s kindness to the Palestinians who vow for our destruction:

  • When Haniyeh’s nieces gave birth to a premature baby in Soroka hospital, we allowed the baby to be hospitalized in the neonatal intensive care unit.
  • In October 2014, shortly after the end of Operation Protective Edge, one of Haniyeh’s daughters, then in her 20s, received emergency medical treatment at Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv.
  • In November 2013, Haniyeh’s young granddaughter, was hospitalized and in critical condition at Schneider Children’s Hospital due to a serious illness in her digestive tract who later died after returning to Gaza.
  • Haniyeh’s mother-in-law was treated in a Jerusalem hospital. The wife of Mahmoud Abbas was treated at Assuta Hospital in Tel Aviv.

What would the Amalek regimes of the Arab world do for Jews if the roles were reversed? Answer: NOTHING. In fact, they would likely exacerbate our plight, even aiding in provoking our demise, much like they are doing to our innocent hostages. Recently, a 34-year-old man died from starvation. Is this consistent with the teachings of the Quran?

About the Author
Ron Diller lives in Israel with his family of four children.