by Dr. Haim Shine
The horrifying image of an arm wrapped in tefillin along with the kind of plastic hospital wristband worn by a new mother is one that will not be forgotten quickly. It is the kind of image that sears itself into the pages of Jewish history, and its effect will never diminish. It is as the verse says: "I saw thee wallowing in thy blood, I said unto thee: In thy blood, live" (Ezekiel 16:6). Death and birth are interwoven for forever.
Rabbi Moshe Twersky, who was murdered in the terror attack in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Nof on Tuesday, was the grandson of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, a revered thinker and a central figure in American Jewry. I met Rabbi Soloveitchik during my studies at Yeshiva University in New York. His attitude toward the state of Israel was complex, not always clear, but his take on the meaning of the state was impressive.
In the 1950s, Soloveitchik wrote a wonderful article titled "Kol Dodi Dofek" ("The Voice of My Beloved Knocks") -- a comprehensive analysis of the meaning of the Jewish existence. In his article, Soloveitchik explains that the conflict with the Arab entity is not a political conflict, nor is it directed only at Israel -- it is a plot to destroy the entire Jewish population, to "slay man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep" -- a well-known Amalekite plot of thousands of years. In the 20th century it was led by Hitler. Now, it is being led by Iran and Islamist radicals. Soloveitchik warns that the Jews cannot rely on the integrity of the liberal world to defend them -- the enlightened liberals did not raise a finger, knowing full well the Jews' fate in Europe during the Holocaust. "If, heaven forbid, yet a second spectacle of blood were to take place before their very eyes, it is likely that they would not even lose a night's sleep over it." This is true today as well -- Jewish blood is being spilled and the nations of the world are entirely uninterested.
Soloveitchik never dreamed that some 50 years later his grandson, who immigrated to Israel to live in Jerusalem and teach Torah there, would, along with others, pay with his life for the hatred, bloodshed and the insanity of vicious savages -- creatures who view the murder of Jews as a lofty religious obligation. A Jew reads a prayer and gives his soul to God while sanctifying his name, while the despicable killers yell "Allahu Akbar" ("God is great") and murder innocent people.
When will the Left finally understand that our conflict with our neighbors is religious and not diplomatic? This is a battle over the divine promise to Abraham that "Unto thy seed will I give this land" (Genesis 12: 7), versus the Islamic belief that the Jews, in their refusal to recognize the Prophet Muhammad, have lost their right to Israel, as it says in the Quran.
Therefore, a diplomatic resolution to the conflict is nothing more than a pipe dream. Hope is always important, but false hope can become an existential danger. The recent terror attacks in Jerusalem have proved, to whomever still needed proof, that the satanic verses and their human messengers do not distinguish between secular and observant Jews, between babies and adults, between Jews and non-Jews. When the angel of death raises his ax, there is no difference between one person's blood and another person's blood.
This is a battle we have to win. We don't have any other choice. Victory can only be achieved by combining tactical approaches, like security and patrols, and, more importantly, our ancient strategic weapon of a shared Jewish fate and the willingness to give our lives to protect the only homeland that the people of Israel have.
Dr. Haim Shine
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