KOSHER DELIGHT - YOUR JEWISH ONLINE MAGAZINE!
Peace for Peace
By Rabbi Shea Hecht
Contrary to what you read in the
media, since its founding in 1948, the State of Israel has tried
every which way to make peace with her neighbors. And still
gives much more than it gets when it comes to peace.
For the longest time I've been
saying that when it comes to the Middle East the only way is
"Peace for Peace." Nothing else will work. Not land for peace,
not prisoner releases for peace or any other concessions for
This week the reminder that 'peace for peace is the only peace
that will work' hit closer to home than usual for me.
My rabbinic responsibilities found me traveling to Israel with a
friend this week.
I for one feel, that a trip to Israel and a visit to Jerusalem
is like coming home; it's my city and my people. Going there is
like visiting relatives.
When one makes a trip to Israel the security issue looms big. It
is something of concern to both the travelers and their
families. A trip to Israel usually elicits blessings for success
and safety. And so it was when I took my trip.
The plane landed, we took a taxi to Jerusalem, checked into our
hotel, went out on the balcony to enjoy the beautiful Jerusalem
weather. That's when we heard the sirens.
We went out to the street to find out what was going on and
there were police checkpoints all over the place.
Back in the lobby of the hotel there were 40-50 people standing
and watching the news on TV.
It wasn't much of a welcome to the holy city of Jerusalem to
learn that a shooting took place just a few blocks away in a
sacred place of Torah study; eight young students were killed
and many more injured. They were slaughtered in cold blood by
someone who lives in East Jerusalem - someone who shares the
city with them; by a man who made money off the boys by driving
them to school; and that he used that time to case the
institution whose security he breached.
When our plane landed and the taxi took us to Jerusalem I
couldn't get over all the growth. It was great to see the
accomplishments and expansions since I last visited. All the
positive things I saw just intensified the shock that I got when
I learned that eight young lives were snuffed out. Will our
neighbors ever let us live in peace?
Israel tries to set up security to protect her citizens.
They put up a wall; obviously the walls are not high enough
The make roadblocks; clearly the roadblocks are not strict
They have document checks; evidently the documents are not
After a troubled Shabbos, I traveled on a short domestic flight
from Ben Gurion airport to the city of Eilat.
The woman in security, after asking
me a whole slew of question - though she saw my religious garb
and hat, yarmulke and tzizis - still made me write some words in
Hebrew because I chose to communicate with her in English
instead of Hebrew.
This made me realize, once again how the Israelis are on top of
the security situation. They take their safety seriously; still
it's not enough.
How can we trust those living inside and outside our land and
who are bent on annihilating us? They say it; they act it; they
hit us every chance they get.
Public Security Minister Avi Dichter said Saturday night that
Israel should create laws allowing for the expulsion of
terrorists' families, even if they have Israeli citizenship.
I've heard it been said that
perhaps we should consider expulsion of all Palestinian families
since we can never be sure who will be the next to kill us. They
say that the UN created Jordan to be a Palestinian state; let
them use it.
One has to agree that there is logic to these radical solutions.
My time spent in Israel drove home once again that the only way
for Israel to be safe is with peace for peace. The Muslim
occupants in Israel have a long way to go before they can be
allowed sit down at a peace table.
There can be an end to all of this
violence. It is called peace for peace.
Rabbi Shea Hecht's website:
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