The Person Behind The Posts

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Another Way To Look At It

When I listen to people speak about the war, they usually speak in terms of what they think ought to be done to solve the problem.

Often the solutions proposed are military, diplomatic or political. The opinion I hear the most frequently regarding what Israel should do next is an unequivocal one.

"Level Gaza," people say. Carpet bomb the place.

Or I hear that we should retake Gaza, pay the remaining Gazans to leave, destroy Hamas and then move Jewish families back in. Other people believe that diplomacy is the solution. Or that more funding for Iron Dome will help. Another ceasefire. And on and on.

There is no shortage of pundits and armchair quarterbacks and even deeply connected Jews who are desperately trying to think of a solution that will get us out of this mess. Suggestions fill the brains and the speech of so many. And they all, every one of them, have the same common flaw. They are all an expression of the idea that the solution to this matzav, this situation, this war, lies in the power of human agency.

כֹּחִי וְעֹצֶם יָדִי - My strength and the might of my hand

It's a fundamental flaw in our perception.

A month ago, just after the bodies of Eyal, Gil-Ad and Naftali A"H were discovered, I wrote a post about what I understood was going on behind the scenes.

A month later, I see the worsening distress in my friends and neighbors. Another soldier gone, another world lost. Another news story that paints Israel as the immoral aggressor, callously gunning down innocent children and mercilessly destroying the homes of ordinary Gazans. Another antisemitic episode on the streets of Chicago, Miami, Paris. It hurts so much.

There is work for the Jewish people to do here. It's spiritual work. The terrorists have their job. Their job is to humble us. Their job is to get us to the stage of acknowledging that we have erred by putting our faith in human agency.

Sure, if we're faithful people, we sprinkle our speech with expressions of "God-willing" and "Im Yirtzeh Hashem". And that's at least a start. The embarrassing truth though, is that when you really go deep, for most of us, it's mostly just lip service. We're all still trying to figure out which strategy is the right next thing for us to do.

At this stage in history, just before the Final Redemption, we are compelled, we are being pushed to the wall by current events, to finally, finally, let go of our faith in the efficacy of human effort. We have to come to believe, in the deepest place in our souls, Ein Od Milvado. There is none other than God.

Not like a bumper sticker.

Like life support.

We have no choice. We are being compelled, by the force of Jewish history and by the impending redemption, to finally wake up, open our eyes and say, "I get it now God. There is only You."


Yehudit said...

I would like clarification, please. Are you saying that davening is our only option? Or that it should be done in addition to something? I ask, because my understanding of Judaism is that we *must* put in our hishtadlut. We must do more than just pray. What action item are you advocating?

Bat Aliyah said...


Thanks for asking so respectfully. No, I absolutely don't mean davening in our only option. I mean that, along with all our hishtadlut, we must have a fundamental shift in consciousness from kochi ve'otzem yadi to Ein Od Milvado/

Yael K. said...

I literally thought about this today.

Moshe said...

Totally agree. Also carpet bomb Gaza

Caryn said...

Not "another way". -There is no other way to look at it.

Ye'he Sh'mey Raba Mevorach said...

As long as there *IS* hishtadlut, I can agree with everything you are saying.

Anonymous said...

The Arabs in Gaza themselves already grasped that:

"'Our trust and our fate is only in the hands of God!' one woman cried."