Rabbi Hagai Lundin
Rabbi Hagai LundinCourtesy

A ceasefire is a deceptive concept. The mind knows that fighting needs to resume, but the emotional experience is one of relaxation. The media world, which is built on fantasies and emotions, broadcasts images of abducted children returning home, and slowly the thought creeps in: "Maybe we can continue with this pastorality a little more?", "maybe we can be satisfied with what has been achieved so far?" This kind of state of mind is the deep root of the disaster of the Black Sabbath. The illusion that the quiet is the permanent state; the delusion that you can ignore the monster waiting around the corner.

The equivalent Jewish expression for a ceasefire in this context is "to renew our strength, to recharge" - "those who long for the Lord will renew their strength" (Isaiah 40, 31) - recharging is the recognition that sometimes there is no choice but to gather forces for the next round. This is also true when working on self-improvement in the face of the evil inclination or physical atrophy. The permanent mental state is active vigilance, not passive sleepiness. The answer to the old leftist question, "will we forever devour the sword"? is that in some ways yes! As long as the world has not fully corrected itself – and we are not there yet – we must remain vigilant.

As ordinary civilians, we were not the ones to have decided whether and how the ceasefire will be conducted. What is left for us these days is to pray and train the muscle of vigilance in ourselves. We should not sit too much in front of the screens now and bask in the images of the release of the hostages accompanied by moving music. As a family evacuated from the city of Sderot, for example, we do not intend at this time to stretch out on the couch in our home because we do not have this option. We will continue to wait actively, each of us, wherever we are, because the fighting in Gaza with God’s help, will resume after renewing our strength, and woe to us if we do not.

The evil will pass

The good will prevail

With the help of God