Where is Samson when we need him?

Some things never change and it seems that only a daring loner can overcome the hesitation of the general staff.

Tzvi Fishman

OpEds One of the fires set by Arabs outside Neria Monday
One of the fires set by Arabs outside Neria Monday

At the appointed hour, the nation’s top security leaders gathered in the dark, clandestine room in Jerusalem. As usual, Alef began the discussion. You could hardly see his face in the darkness.

“Let me remind you all that for obvious reasons, there will be no mention of names, nor of places. Whatever is said here during this emergency meeting will not venture out beyond the walls of this room.”

“The walls have ears,” Gimmel noted, “And a bird in the sky will spread what it hears.”  Known to be a Torah scholar of sorts, he was fond of quoting wise teachings handed down generation from generation.

“I presume we are here to discuss what to do about the genius who has taken the law into his own hands and decided to wage war singlehanded against the enemy,” Daled said.

“What do our informers amongst the settlers have to say about his identity?” Alef inquired.

“He’s a lone wolf, that’s all we know,” Bet reported. “That’s why it is so hard to track him.”

“The situation is escalating on all fronts,” Alef stated bluntly. “The enemy attacks us at will. Every day, there are acts of terror, highway robberies, killings, and our fields are being set afire under our noses.”

“The land was filled with Hamas,” Gimmel quoted from the Torah (where the word, spelled somewhat differently, means iniquity)  

“There is no deterrence,” Alef admitted, “The people are becoming fed up with our quasi-leadership. I fear we may soon face a large-scale internal rebellion if we don’t act decisively now. ”

“Maybe instead of arresting the mysterious avenger, we should turn a blind eye and let him act on his own. His actions are the only thing keeping the enemy from declaring outright war against us,” Bet suggested.

“Have you lost your mind?” Daled asked. “How can we give a maniac like him a green light to go on with his rampage of murder?”

“It isn’t murder when you kill an enemy who has sworn to destroy you,” Bet countered. “Ever since he slaughtered half a village, it has been quiet in that part of the country.”

“Not every villager is an enemy,” Daled insisted.

“We have world opinion to consider,” Alef noted. “As long as the avenger is a madman acting alone, we can say we are doing our best to apprehend him. But if we send our armies against children who set fire to fields, the whole world will be against us.”

“The world is against us anyway,” Gimmel observed. “Esau and Ishmael have hated the Jews ever since the beginnings of time.”

“Do you want to turn that crazy fool into a national hero?” Daled asked.

“I want to save the country,” Gimmel replied. “It won’t be the first time zealousness saved the Jews. Against the Midianites, Pinchas also acted alone. Look in the Book of Numbers. Like today, then the enemy relied on unconventional warfare, sending their women to lead the Children of Israel astray. Pinchas acted alone and put out the fire, and Moshe did nothing to interfere.”  

“If every Pinchas starts doing what seems right in his eyes, it will bring us to anarchy,” Daled warned.

Meanwhile, while they were arguing, in a different part of the country near Gaza, Samson, the son of Manoach, lit a torch, careful not to burn his long and uncut hair. Lighting the long line of torches he had prepared, he tied them between the tails of the 300 foxes he had caught, pair by pair. After setting all of the torches on fire, he released the foxes into the fields of the enemy, the corn fields and olive groves – an eye for an eye, a field for a field. The report is to be found in Judges 15.

Deterrence returned to the Land.