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Home > Secteur-English > General > War : Quite good questions instead of a fury of answers.

War : Quite good questions instead of a fury of answers.


For African Jews, as for Jews everywhere, conflicts and humanitarian crisis awaken a time of reflexion, of renewal of perspectives. Because we arebeing shown through these events that previous approaches, or dynamics, were already pregnant with these problems.
The situation in the Middle East obviously triggers very deep emotions for the Jewish community worldwide. The returning specter of name-calling, often injurious and calomnious, cannot leave us insensitive. This is where adults show their immaturity, regressing to the teen-age level of ganging up, retreating into the illusionary shelter of their home crew.
The mainstream media feasts on the rise of violence like sharks in a frenzy, too happy to smell the blood that will increase their audience, often resorting to sport-like reporting, counting the bruises, making sure the public is kept in a state of excitement, so their commercial sponsors are satisfied.
Social media becomes a tool in the battlefield of words, where like in ancient history, language sinks to the level of curses meant to scare and intimidate.
Old stories with updated tools, but old stories nonetheless.
The Torah, since its very inceptions, tells us these stories in a context where we can see the human frailty when it comes to the relationship between people and temporal power.
The power of Egypt, versus the workforce of the people enslaved under that power.
The narrative presented by the Torah seeks to open our eyes to the human dimension, what is gained and what gets lost, in the struggle between the power seekers, and the seekers of freedom and peace.
Our prophets denounced war, all our sages mocked it. All over the TaNaKh (the Hebrew Bible) they remind us that the politics of unjust power digress naturally into an ever growing violence, and that war is the ultimate proof of God’s disapproval of human behavior.
Judaism is the opposite of the philosophy of Sparta which glorified physical power and militarism. A true victory in Jewish terms is only the one that turns the heart, even the enemy’s heart, to the one reality of God, which in Abrahamic terms is about Love extended to all the living souls on the planet.
War is an absurdity. The profits made from it are a shame.
The State of Israel is unfortunately caught in the spiral of violence which was triggered by the fascists of pre World War 2 Europe. Israel was created as a refuge for the Jews who were targeted by these fascist forces.
The cruel irony of post WW2 is that the victims of European fascism were put in a situation of violent confrontation with the local Arab population, instead of being helped by the whole world to create a heaven of peace between peoples who could have easily shared friendship and prosperity.
Everytime this conlict lights up, the question of the possibility of creating this tolerant and cooperative haven in the Mid East arises.
As Africans, we naturally understand how the dynamics of war emerge from economical considerations. The religious commentaries, the political scenarios, the name calling, is like in Nigeria, Ethiopia, and many other places, just the same old tool : an excuse, very much like the ones teen-agers, or football hooligans use, to justify the unjustifiable. The Other is the reason for my behavior. Since the times of the Pharoas of Egypt, the Torah teaches that looking at God is to look first at ourselves. Poor people fighting each other for rich people’s pockets has always been the reality of war. Tzeddaka, righteousness, is the full spectrum awareness of this simple reality.

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