Monday, June 20, 2005


How great are the words of Hillel who said "Be like the students of Aharon - Love shalom, and chase after shalom..." The question that comes to mind is what is this peace that Hillel talked about and does it apply to everyone in every situation.

Is it worthwhile to go the extra mile and maybe behave a little irrational in your pursuit of peace in every situation? What about the current political situation in Israel? Is the government correct, according to Hillel that they are actively chasing after peace?

Obviously not.

Hillel is talking about a case where the 2 sides are both interested in peace. Aharon was the great diplomat. He said to both sides, the other guy wants to make peace, and therefore neither side felt they were losing face by going and apologizing. In the case of the Palestinians, there is one side that is saying, we will be happy to take the pieces, and then we will have a war that we can win. Aharon would never have attempted peace in that situation.

So what we have here is a case of Jews who feel the need to do good. They don't know what good is, because they do not understand the beauty of Torah. So they want to do things that make them feel good, such as helping the whales, being kind to animals, and trying to make the Palestinian lives better. The gemara discusses this and says, "He who is kind to the cruel will end up being cruel to the kind" And so we have it, with the liberal masses feeling the need to do good are being cruel to those that pioneered and protected the borders for so long.

In other words, it is very important to go the extra mile when there are 2 sides that are genuinely interested in bettering their situation. On the other hand, it is just as important to retain the upper hand in a conflict where at least one of the sides, if not both, have no real desire to live in harmony.

My unscheduled trip to Jerusalem was very productive. I got a new backpack from Steve and davened at the kotel. Golda got a new CD and a cute little dooby for her second hole and a cornbeef sandwich. (a dooby is a bear for those non heebers)

I got together with my brother and sister-in-law for drinks, didn't see my sister, she was busy with the crocodile knife, got to see a friend and got a cute wall-hanging present for his new baby.

Most importantly of all, I had a delicious Aish Tanor from Masov.


Rolling hills of green said...

the true mark of a worthwhile trip!
I love the dooby.

docyaak said...

dooby dooby doo...

BarbaraFromCalifornia said...

You raise a complicated question with no easy answer.

Like you, I believe in the right of the Jews to be in Israel and defend the Jewish state. In fact, my son, whose name is Aaron, has been in Israel for a few weeks now, so that he can experience first hand what this means to us. No matter what I tell him, it is not the same as going to the Jewish state and seeing what goes on there.

I have some 'extreme' views when it comes to Israel, and believe that as Jews we should do whatever is necesssary to protect and defend ourselves, absolutely!

Thank you for visiting my blog, and spreading some shalom.

rockofgalilee said...

barbara, if your son is interested in spending a shabbat in the galil with a friendly orthodox family, we'd be happy to have him here.

2R said...

While I was busy the knife guy and did not get to see you, just knowing that you were in the city brought some peace of mind. I think it's worth it to got the extra mile when both sides are in it for the same side.

BarbaraFromCalifornia said...

This is so nice of your to offer, thank you so much! He is 22, and traveling a bit, but if he is there for Shabbath, I will tell him, thank you so much.

I could go on and on about Israel and my beliefs about its right to defend itself...Although I am a fairly liberal thinker, when it comes to Israel, I am to the right of the right, as my husband would say.

This experience has opened the eyes of my son, I know he feels differently now about the situation, and can see why I am so passionate about the Jewish State.

rockofgalilee said...


It's hard to really get a feeling for this place until you are here. My aunt was very left wing on Israeli matters until she was just recently here for the first time. Our right wing propoganda spewing tour guide took us to the Golan and showed us where they were shooting at the settlements from and that it was only used as a military area before. She has completely changed her mind and can't imagine how anyone can consider giving away the Heights.

We have guests up here all the time, mostly students from jlem who got know us or got our name from somewhere. We live in one of the most beautiful areas of the country. Let me know if he's interested and I'll give you my contact information.