Colors: Cyan Color

There are over two hundred Jews being held as hostages in Gaza. Each of those precious Jewish souls is of infinite value. Bringing them home is a halachic imperative and a stated objective of Israel’s operation in Gaza. But a decision may have to be made as to what happens when the goal of saving Jewish lives today can result in the sacrifice of other Jewish lives and endangering the Jewish people as a whole? A look back at our history and halachic sources will not give us answers but can provide insight.

 When Hamas soldiers broke through a fence and slaughtered thousands of innocent Israelis on that fateful day on October 7, many liberal Jews in America were shaken out of their reverie regarding the Jewish state. For years, the left-wing position on Israel was stuck in the 1990s: land for peace and pursuit of a two-state solution. Reality on the ground was irrelevant to these individuals and groups, and they kept pushing for something that has failed time and time again.

The leading voice of the Hamas Caucus in the House of Representative is Rashida Tlaib, Palestinian American from Michigan. Tlaib’s long history of Jew-hatred rivals that of Ilhan Omar, Linda Sarsour, Louis Farrakhan, and other notable Jew-haters in American politics. A recent report by Canary Mission uncovered that Tlaib doesn’t just support Hamas; Hamas supports Tlaib financially, which helped her get elected in 2018.

I feel like I am in the eye of the hurricane. Life in Jerusalem, in the aftermath of the Simchas Torah massacre, is seemingly quiet and back to normal. Yet the worst of the storm may still be ahead of us. Israel will soon have to decide if and when to launch a ground operation in Gaza. Moving into Gaza may well be necessary, but it will involve great risk and heavy losses. It should be undertaken after careful consideration of the dangers involved.

Despite the fact that the tragic events of Simchat Torah, October 7, introduced such pain and sorrow to the Jewish people, the outpouring of love, support, and action from Jews all over the world has been unparalleled. The Jewish people have responded, as Jews often do, with a question: “How?” - “How can I help?” “How can I make a difference?”

College campuses have outdone themselves in demonstrating fealty to the genocidal terrorist organization Hamas since they brutally slaughtered thousands of civilians in cold-blood and injured thousands more. All of the talk from student bodies of micro-aggression, safe spaces, and tolerance fell quickly aside when they openly call for the destruction of the lone Jewish state and the millions of Jews that live within it.  People are beginning to notice, and the pushback is beginning. It will take decades, however, to truly undo the damage.