Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Capture of Osama

The day when Osama Bin Laden was killed: the day when justice was ignored (again).
I can only imagine what some of you are thinking at this moment: “I knew this ger must be cuckoo... it was only matter of time until it came out.” I will say something different from ‘everyone’ else not the first time in my life. But please be patient and read this essay to its end before passing judgment on my sanity.
As was stated in my post about my convictions, I believe in the revealed word of the Creator, as deposited with His chosen nation, Yisroel.
Likewise, I believe that as the Jewish sages transferred it through the generations, it was the Creator’s will that nations, tribes, societies, and groups of people should establish courts of justice for themselves and between themselves. The Jewish people must be the highest example of such organized life, among whom lynching, anarchy, and rule of mob has no place.
This is the ideal which the nations of the world must emulate as they come to recognize G-d. According to our Neviim (prophets), the nations will come to recognize the wrongness of their ways and, together with Yisrael, all will serve the Giver of Live in unison.
Before it can happen, many generations must be educated. Generations of Jews must be educated in order to understand their special role in the Tikkun (restoration) of the world, and generations of Goyim (other nations) must be educated to learn justice according to the example and teachings of Jewish prophets and Sages.
It is impossible to evaluate where in that process we are situated today, but it can be said that this process of dual (Jewish and Gentile) education doesn’t ascend linearly. It rather resembles climbing up a sinusoid: up and down, up and down, but ever progressing.
Whoever is familiar with the writings and commentaries of Rav Hirsch may have been saddened by his nineteenth century optimism—predicting an imminent moral advancement of humanity—knowing what would happen little more than half of century later.
Rav Hirsh believed that the moral enlightenment of nations would permit the chosen nation to shine in her full glory. This in turn would inspire the rest of humanity to follow the example of the people of G-d, and that Geula (salvation)—the coming of Mashiach and the return of Jews to their land—would be the next stage of human history. This is how Rav Hirsch and other sages understood Prophetic predictions of the Bible describing the future of mankind.
Sixty years later, the ‘enlightened’ nation whose language Rav Hirsch so masterfully employed to teach Torah, attempted to erase Jews from history. It didn’t happen. Another nation inspired by the teachings of Jewish prophets was blessed and won this horrible war, a war which killed over fifty million human beings, including six million descendants of Yaakov.
It was Russians who entered Berlin and paid the greatest tribute of blood to win this war, but it was Americans who lead the allies in moral matters. America is a nation whose Constitution was written while its author was “keeping the Bible on his lap.” Indeed, Thomas Jefferson attended Unitarian services on regular basis, at a time when Unitarians were the most progressive religious movement in the civilized gentile world. America was built on justice, where an independent court system guaranteed even the greatest criminals, judgment, defense, and honorable death when it was the sentence of the court.
In 1946, a year after the allies defeated Nazi Germany, many captured officials of the most notorious regime in history were put to trial. People directly and indirectly involved in the death of over fifty million people were called to justice in order to make them and the rest of the humanity understand that there is justice and no one can escape the fate of the dictators and their accomplices. If they escape by dying before they are brought to trial, still the court of historians and thinkers will judge them as they deserved.
Nazi officers were brought to trial in court, and many of them were sentenced to death or life in prison. Among them Borman, Hess, Frank, and Goring, yimach shemom, were sentenced. One year later, Hoss and Goth, Y-SH, people directly involved in killing prisoners of the concentration camps they ran, were tried and sentenced to death by hanging by the Polish court.
I don’t want to go into the details of these trials, as some criticized them as a ‘fraud’ and ‘lynching party’ of the winners. Even if it was human (i.e. very limited) justice and even if justice was abused (e.g., Ribbentrop was accused of signing a pact with Molotov —which de facto was the last step before invading Poland and starting WW2—while Molotov was still member of Russian government, one of the victors), we may find countless examples of such abuses of justice. Nevertheless, it had at least the appearance of justice.
And even the appearance of justice—and I believe that the Nuremberg Trials were more than that—is better than Darwinian anarchy and the rule of unrestrained power. That’s what civilized government is supposed to protect and that’s what the nation pretending to be the leading democracy is supposed to represent. That is what the fathers of this country intended when they created a system of independent courts where a citizen can defend himself, and even a foreigner can seek the justice. I will not go here the ‘lawyer way,’ and I will not distinguish between the citizen and the foreigner as American law does in certain cases.
We guaranteed the right to a trial to much bigger murderers than Osama Bin Laden, and by these actions proved that the American nation stands above all the mass murderers, political criminals, and bloody dictators. In doing so, America, Humanity itself, climbed higher in the direction of real justice and away from dark ages of Darwinian anarchy where it was enough to have stronger muscles and a bigger club or gun.
The day when Osama Bin Laden was killed, justice was ignored, but as our prophets promised, the day when the G-dly justice will prevail is our goal and will happen. But much work must be done.
Matys Weiser

Below another expert from Rav Hirsch's "Collected Writings" on topic of Sfira.
I will post I-H small fragment of his works on this topic, every week until Hag HaShvios.
"Even when we still swung the sickle over our own plowed fields on our own national soil, we had to count the days and weeks from the festival of our freedom until the festival of our Torah, from Zman Harisayni to Zman Matan Torusaini. And we started counting at the first swing of the sickle, We had to take to heart the fact that our perfect salvation is to be found not in freedom and land, but rather in the Law—the Law of God. We had to remember too, that freedom and soil for us are rooted only in the Divine Law and have worth and meaning for us only through the Divine Law.

This was true when Judea was still a nation among the nations, and Jewish existence was sustained by possession of its own land. How much more poignant has this treasure become,—this Sefirah-counting which serves to elevate the Torah, the Divine Law, above all else—now that Israel had lost its land and soil! Since then, in ways which are visible even to the casual onlooker, this Divine Law has remained the only bond that ties the sons of Israel together in the greatest dispersion. It has remained the only ground, the only property upon which the sons of Israel stand. And it has proven itself as that benefit which has miraculously compensated its possessors for the loss of all other benefits. Indeed, every year that passed added new splendor to the aura of this Law, and caused those who embraced it to impress it ever more deeply upon their hearts as the unique treasure of life. Torah has ready a soothing balm for every new distress, a trans-figuration for every new joy. As time passed, and experiences accrued to the Jewish People on their long journey, new meanings for ancient text became illuminated. Israel would feel even more clearly with every step the difference in value between Torah on the one hand and land and freedom on the other. The land was lost and its freedom had wasted away, but Torah, the Divine Law, had remained. And Torah had become for the people the soil upon which the blossoms of an ever fresh youthfulness unfolded. Torah had become sword and lance, helmet and suit of armor, which to gain and preserve the proudest freedom amid all outer humiliation."

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