Avenge, Don’t Revenge, the Deaths of Our Boys

The entire world was given a chance to express their solidarity with Israel in the face of the disparity it faces on a daily basis, where its citizens face physical threats on a daily basis from a constantly evolving list of enemies. This one case of three boys was a chance for anyone that wanted to do to stand up and say something fairly simple: Bring Back Their Boys. Even in the darkness that is the news these boys may have died soon after they disappeared, the reaction of certain diplomats at the United Nations, the split reaction of the Palestinian government and awkwardly celebratory reactions of thousands of Palestinians themselves demonstrated to the Jewish people they face a very formidable stupidity in this list of enemies which celebrates the exchange of death over the continuity of life.

Yes, it’s one case. It’s three boys in the scheme of hundreds of cases of disappearances and murder over the years, but it was a case that Israelis near unanimously decided was a special sort of outrage. No statement was made here today by the butchers on the Bank. There is no sympathy that can be extracted for any sort of nationalistic cause that celebrates a 16-year-old’s kidnapping by smiling and giving out candy.

A reminder to everyone who reads this: if you want vengeance, leave it to the IDF. Trust them. Embrace them like the citizens of Gush Etzion did during the search. Be in lock-step with them. Follow their lead. If you are called up, follow its command. Do not stoop to the level of hicks who murder hitchhikers. Do not give them the satisfaction of an emotional response. Allow the IDF to extract justice or wage war. If you want the death penalty, fight for it through the civil means the State of Israel has established. Push for legislation. Do not let your rage cut down a single olive tree, nor anything more intense. I suspect no one would try to match the evil that was perpetuated outside Hebron, but let’s not consider ourselves to be so arrogant that our own rage might justify retaliation.

The three kidnapped teens, from left to right: Naftali Fraenkel, Gil-ad Shaar and Eyal Yifrach (photo credit: Courtesy)

Retaliation should be measured and intelligent. Don’t fight hard, fight smart. Do not stoop to the level of Hamas that justifies kidnapping and murder. Don’t give them the satisfaction of weakening our resolve for a strategic, calculated and efficient counterattack. Let our army do the job. Support the IDF and be vigilant.

The Jewish people are better. They are not weak. They are not frightened. THEY ARE NOT TERRIFIED.

We, Together, Are An Army

I support the Israeli Defense Forces as our army against a force for murdering innocent people like the self-righteous Hamas. The Israeli Police now know they need to be better and more serious when they receive calls about kidnappings – not to be small-headed in their approach to crime. The State will now have to weigh an intelligent response.

Support making this country better. Do not let their deaths be in vain and let your desire for revenge overcome what this country needs right now. The Jewish people, the Israeli people have just been wronged. Do not give its enemies the satisfaction of a global outcry against revenge attacks. Do not stoop to their levels.

Many children will be named in the memory of Eyal, Gilad and Naftali, so it is now your jobs to ensure those future Sons of Israel are welcomed into a nation made richer and stronger by tragedy. Learn Torah in their memories. Say hello to someone you politically argue with every day and be friendly. Do not judge your fellow Israeli by size or material of yarmulke and certainly by whether or not he wears one. Do not judge your neighbor by whether or not she covers her hair while married. Make our society better, do not let it descend into the obvious darkness the murderers’ corner of the world has.

Know the Enemy; Don’t Be Like Them

Refuse the culture of revenge. Embrace a culture of justice. Reject an emotional, uncultivated response. Embrace wisdom and strategy. Reject a culture of death. Embrace a culture of life.

Study your enemy if you must but do not rush to engage him. Help our army that defends for us, which fights for us.

Some of you out there might be aware that only about 65 years ago were the Jewish people confronted with the reality they needed an army.  There was very little in terms of clear Jewish Law on how a Jewish army may conduct itself.  Among the few laws recorded before the founding of the State of Israel was the rule that a soldier whose fear of battle is too debilitating is not only permitted to not go out to war, but obligated to. While this is a reality in every army, it does not have to be the reality of the Israeli one.  Undisciplined emotion is what enables fear to take root in the human mind and undermine its spirit.  Fear can also be a great motivator, but only if channeled correctly.  There is a difference though between being afraid and being terrified.  In a moment such as this one, where the Israeli collective is so unified in its grief and rage, remember the service you will do your nation to channel your rage and your fear instead of allowing them to run rampant.  Do not let this crime corrupt you, as its intent was.  Don’t let this massacre deviate you from the Path of the Righteous.  Take satisfaction in knowing that any man or woman who celebrates this tragedy is now less of a human being and less in control of their own sense of logic: they have just shown the world they are lacking in humanity.  It is vital now to demonstrate to the world we march in the spirit of justice; that we don’t give in to our anger nor our hate nor our suffering.  We are better than the logic of a terrorist.  We are able to outmaneuver terrorism.  Our army will not be deterred nor our nation sucked into the gravitas of revenge.

We shall avenge the deaths of Eyal, Gilad and Naftali – but we won’t take revenge.  We don’t abduct 16-year-olds outside of their high schools or mosques, from their houses of God, then murder them in fields.  We don’t do that.  We have been through too much to stoop so low and to let our wisdom escape from us.  We have the real capability to destroy Hamas and others like them by fighting their fire with a very different fire.  We have a righteous anger, so allow it to burn like a torch, not like a wildfire.  Take your grief and channel it to make our country a better place. Say “NO” to terrorism by refusing to engage it on its terms. Fight back right.

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