Responsibility

The residents of Gush Katif who reminded those soldiers and police that they'd have nightmares all their lives were doing the right thing. They were trying to get them to stop the dastardly, evil acts that will haunt them forever.

Batya Medad,

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While our precious country suffers massive trauma, the prime minister went on TV to tell the people to "hurt me" and not the soldiers.

Very noble.

The truth is that he may have given - okay, definitely gave - the order, but each soldier has a choice. Each soldier, each policeman - actually, each and every one of us - has the opportunity, the responsibility, to choose to do or not to do things.

We're approaching the Jewish month of Elul. Elul is the month before Rosh Hashanah. It is the time of the year bearing a heightened responsibility to make account with G-d for every single thing we have done.

Large sin or small, we must repent. Sins between ourselves and G-d, we must repent. And sins between us and our fellow man, we must repent, and those are the most difficult. G-d, prayers and more careful observance of mitzvot (commandments) cannot absolve us from the sins we commit against other people.

Ariel Sharon cannot, even if he's sincere, erase the sins the soldiers and police have committed against ordinary, peaceful, patriotic citizens. Each of those people, who followed orders, whether enthusiastically or with tears flowing, sinned. Yes, they did.

The residents of Gush Katif who reminded those soldiers and police that they'd have nightmares all their lives were doing the right thing. They were trying to get them to stop the dastardly, evil acts that will haunt them forever. And I have no problem saying that they should be haunted forever. They, each and every one of them, could stop and should stop. And it's still not too late.

No matter how noble Sharon attempts to be, it's of no real importance. Humans aren't robots, and we're not angels. There were angels in this world before there were people, but G-d knew that angels couldn't inherit the Torah. Angels are G-d's robots. They don't have free will. They are each programmed to do a specific task. It is no great accomplishment when not only are they incapable of being ornery, rebellious and negative, but there are neither mechanical nor chemical systems to break down.

Humans, on the other hand, are complex. Sometimes we are good and sometimes we are bad. And sometimes we are evil and do evil things. Disengagement is an evil thing. It was a great test for Israeli society, and it looks like Israeli society has failed the test.

Those of us who love all of Eretz Yisrael failed in that we haven't protected it from its enemies. And those who profess to love and respect human rights above the land have failed, when they trampled the human and civil rights of innocent civilians, just because of their lifestyle and values. And our politicians and media failed, because they tried to please foreign gods and ideals. And our military and police failed, because they obeyed the wrong orders.

I am not a prophet; I'm just a wife, mother and grandmother who teaches English and writes a little. I don't know what punishment G-d has in store for us. In the Bible, after ten of the twelve tribal leaders voted against immediately following Moshe into the Promised Land, our people had to wander an additional forty years as punishment. We weren't ready then and, if you read further in the Bible, it becomes clear that it took hundreds of years until we were ready to be a united people and anoint a king.

My guess is it that now we, too, will have to wait longer for the Geulah, Redemption. But maybe, maybe if we all would repent sincerely and quickly, every single one of us.... If only we would, each and every one of us, take full responsibility for our words and actions....

Rachem. Rachem.




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