We are in the throes of the Nine Days, with the most solemn day of Tish’ah B’Av almost upon us. These were the most tragic of times when we lost both Holy Temples, and the destruction of Jerusalem with the expulsion of the Jewish People.
When depicting the immensity of the tragedy to befall the Jewish People, our Scriptures often refer to the loss of children. Nothing is more sacred than children. The ultimate evil to befall us is when parents are complicit in the death of their own offspring.
“And you will eat the flesh of your sons and of your daughters,” we are warned in Vayikra (26:29).
“And you will eat the fruit of your womb…your daughters and sons which G-d has given you” (D’varim 28:53).
“My eyes fail with tears…while babes and sucklings swoon in the streets”’ (Eichah/Lamentations 2:11).
A few years ago, the world was horrified to witness the scene of famed singer Michael Jackson dangling a baby over a balcony. We are also horrified of the images of little Palestinian children posing with automatic weaponry, being trained early to become martyrs for their cause.
Who would ever think that nowadays we would see Jewish parents putting their babies in harm’s way, even if symbolically?
That’s exactly what happened a couple of days ago when Leftist protesters placed a baby on a blanket in front of two buses on a highway in Israel – just to prove their depraved point! It’s irrelevant whether the buses were with engines running and in traffic. The imagery is a nightmare.
How does this happen? How do Jewish parents do such a thing? The answer is because nothing is sacred to the Left. Nothing.
Abortion, Pride, anti-religion, anti-Judicial Reform, sexual identity, and transgender enforcement for children of all ages are representations of a lack of respect for normal human life.
As I emphasized in my article two weeks ago (“In a Word”), words from the Left are totally meaningless. So is life. That is why the Left can adore the Palestinians even as they are an anathema for everything the Left espouses – from feminism to LGBTQ. Israel can be called Apartheid – or this week, racist – by a progressive Democrat congresswoman. Nothing needs a rational basis.
There is an ugly alliance between the Left in Israel and the Left in the States. Unfortunately, the Left in Israel does not realize it. They both share a common belief system on every social matter. They part at supporting Israel (which unfortunately many Israeli Leftists do not, either).
What is happening in Israel today is not normal. The country is in an upheaval, and most don’t even know what the dispute is all about. But when you have deviancy rampant in Israel as it is today, the abnormal reigns. And if you point that out, you’re a hater.
Somehow, during the sad period in Jewish history that we are commemorating, we must find the means to drop our hatred and emphasize love. The problem is that both sides have the opposite understanding of what is hate and what is love.
But let’s do our share. The beginning is to show what Torah values are all about. Family, learning, chesed, and honesty. Maybe it will catch on one day. Maybe we will all be horrified at the sight of babies lying in front of buses.
“Bring us back to You, Hashem, and we shall return; renew our days as of old.” (concluding reading of Eichah)
Rabbi Yoel Schonfeld is the Rabbi Emeritus of the Young Israel of Kew Gardens Hills, President of the Coalition for Jewish Values, former President of the Vaad Harabonim of Queens, and the Rabbinic Consultant for the Queens Jewish Link.