Colors: Green Color

Everybody in Israel is going crazy over the recent elections. Yes, the voting part is over…but who won? I realize that in most countries this is a ridiculous question, because by the end of the night either your guy won or your guy lost. However, here in Israel things are a bit more complicated. Gantz and his Blue and White party received two more Knesset seats than Bibi and his Likud party… so Gantz won, right? Well, no, because “winning” in Israel means that you are able to form a government of 61 Knesset members and Gantz only has 33. Therefore, Gantz needs to team up with a bunch of other parties and add their Knesset members to his total. Without going into all the boring details, and assuming that all the leftist/charedi bashers join his coalition, Gantz will have a grand total of just 52. That’s a far cry from 61.

Rashida Harbi Tlaib was born in 1976 and she is the first Palestinian-American elected to Congress. She is a Democrat (really??) and she represents the 13th district in the state of Michigan (which makes her an official “Michiganer!”). Her district includes the western half of Detroit and much of the Downriver area.

I need to make a confession. I understand the importance of remembering past events, but I have a problem sympathizing with things that happened 2,000 years ago. Yes, I read Megillas Eichah and cringe when the prophet talks about Jewish women eating their children in order to survive. I also spend many hours on the floor reading the kinos – mostly with the English translation – and try my best to take things seriously… but it’s hard. Don’t get me wrong; I fully appreciate the great rabbanim who insisted we cry over the tragic events of Tish’ah B’Av and I agree that a people who does not know, and does not identify with the past, will be doomed to repeat it… but let me be honest: It’s a very hard thing for me to do.

Every Torah class dealing with the Three Weeks and the Nine Days will focus on one thing: how to repair the sin’as chinam (baseless hatred) that brought about the destruction of the second Beis HaMikdash. Thousands of shiurim all around the world will be given on the importance of loving our fellow Jews and not talking lashon ha’ra. Rabbanim across the globe will stress – over and over again – that as soon as we stop spreading gossip and slander and take upon ourselves to only speak good about our brothers and sisters – that the Beis HaMikdash will immediately be rebuilt. While that sounds wonderful and very exciting, it is actually completely backwards.

I have been a Jewish activist for 45 years, and every time I speak to people about what must be done to bring true and lasting peace to the State of Israel, they always ask, “But what will the world say?” I must admit that this question has always bothered me. After all, isn’t our priority saving Jewish lives and property? Shouldn’t this be our only concern, regardless of what the world thinks, says, or how they vote in the UN? Of course it is! The IDF needs to worry about its soldiers and how to return them home safely. Obviously, if that can be done without harming civilians, then great; but in most cases, Hamas (which stands for: Hides Amongst Mosques And Schools) makes that impossible. Therefore, do we put our holy IDF soldiers in harm’s way to save a Gazan civilian? Absolutely not! Yes, the world will scream, protest, and call for inquiries when an Arab stubs his toe or gets a splinter. The media will give these protests tremendous coverage, far more than they deserve, and liberal Jews across the globe will – once again – be plagued by a horrific anxiety disease called Jewish OCD: “Opinion Compulsive Disorder.”