My dear father, Fred Blumenthal (ZT”L), like many from his generation, used to read Reader’s Digest. I remember that there was a section called “Points to Ponder,” which I thought was a good title for things that can have a deeper and more profound meaning in our lives. So in this vein, I’d like to share a variety of thoughts that may give you pause to ponder as well.
The terrorist Iranian regime is a mutual threat to both Israel and the United States. They should not be afraid to defend humanity from Iran’s irrational hatred and hostility.
When I watched the video of the IDF in this blog, I felt great pride in the courage and incredible progress that Israel, the Jewish State, has continued to make in building up its security capabilities. Israel’s miraculous success is based on faith, along with creativity, determination, and audacity.
Simplistically, you can say that the Right is right! After almost 2,000 years of Jewish diaspora, pogroms, persecution, and the Holocaust, Jews can no longer, in good conscience, tolerate any existential threats. While Jews initially accepted the UN partition for a two-state solution, Arabs vehemently rejected it and went to war against the then-fledgling State of Israel. Moreover, despite the Arab loss, they continued to mount martial campaigns, intifadas, terrorism, and war against Israel, only to be repeatedly defeated. Each and every chance that Israel gave the Palestinians for mediation, negotiation, compromise, and peace was rejected and met with more cries of Jihad!
In short, the Left is right when it comes to caring about others and the ultimate goal that we all seek, which is genuine and lasting peace and the ability to live side by side as brothers and sisters in peace and prosperity. However, the Left got it all wrong when it comes to the reality on the ground in terms of the radical Islamic groups who want no peace, no negotiation, and no recognition of Israel, period. This is where the hope of the Left met the reality of the Right, and the Left lost all credibility, at least for the time being. Perhaps, just perhaps, reality will change and radical hearts will soften and give peace a fighting chance, allowing the Left to be right as well.
Ultimately, the litmus test is whether there is a human in that being. If there is that spark of G-d, that soul, that inner conscience weighing right and wrong, that fear and love of G-d and his creations driving decision-making, then there is still hope for that person as well as for mankind.
However, if we are dealing with those who are sadistic animals in human form, then we must be as soldiers of Hashem, taking a firm stand and decisive action, because true evil does not remain dormant for long.
Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called “The Real Unthinkable Option.”Listen, we are forever in a battle of good and evil in this world. We have to rise to the occasion to stand by our faith in G-d and ensure that good prevails. Easier said than done, because of course, fighting to defeat wrongdoing and evil is not only a battle that takes places within our own souls, but with those that have already sold their souls to the devil for money, power, honor, and every worldly gratification. So, the battles and wars ahead are scary indeed, but we have to choose the right side, silence our own inner conflict and turmoil, and put our fears aide.
When we are happy, we are able to graciously and generously give to others, and when we give to others, we are able to be happy! All the other pursuits in life such as wealth, ego, good looks, and so on are nothing but vanities (like King Solomon said in Ecclesiastes), and in the end lead to nothing but loss and suffering. However, giving and the happiness and positive spiritual energy it creates endures.
Over the course of our history, the Jewish people have grown from a passive and helpless people during 2,000 years of exile to become, once again, an assertive and strong nation in the Land of Israel as we once were in the days of Joshua, King David and the Maccabees.
In the end, we need to be as faithful as “Jacob” and as strong as “Israel.” As we learn in the Torah and from the rest of Jewish history: inside every Jacob, who just wants to serve G-d in peace as the “People of the Book,” there is also a determined, strong, and brave Israelite fighter and innovator who can stand up for his people and his faith.