April 8, 2022 by Lazer Brody
Our sages have a concept of “zealous hate.” They say that the zealot is willing to have one of his own eyes gouged out, just as long as the person he hates has both of his eyes gouged out. The description sounds graphic and the concept is ghastly. I always thought of this as a figurative metaphor. But this morning, I learned once again that every word of our sages is precisely accurate.
This week, Arab terrorists have celebrated holy Ramadan month by killing Israelis in Beer Sheva, in Hadera, in Bnai Brak and in Tel Aviv. Just last night, they murdered two 27-year-old young men in downtown Tel-Aviv. 12 others were injured, several of whom are fighting for their lives. The terrorist managed to escape security forces all night long. But, before daybreak, he was caught hiding in a Jaffa Mosque. Security forces killed him in a shootout.
According to Muslim belief, the dead terrorist is a shahid, a martyr. Other terrorists and terrorist supporters are proud of him in accordance with their darkside belief that sanctions killing of innocent people.
The dead terrorist’s father is also a member of a terrorist organization. I can understand that he’s proud of his son’s actions. But now, his son is dead. Even though the son is a shahid, shouldn’t the father be shedding a tear? Shouldn’t he be mourning his own flesh and blood?
No, not at all. This morning, there’s a celebration going on in front of his house. The dead terrorist’s father is smiling and zealously chanting war cries to the frenzied crowd in Jenin. He was ever so willing to sacrifice one son, so that two Jews in Tel Aviv get murdered.
Our sages were precision-point accurate. That’s zealous hate. The readiness to lose one eye as long as your enemy loses two.
Zealous hate is the epitome of cruelty, when a father who loses a son rejoices instead of mourns. As long as this zealous hate continues, there can be no peace.
King Solomon in Proverbs 24:17 teaches, “Rejoice not when your enemy falls, and don’t be glad when he stumbles.” We don’t hate our enemies. That’s the difference between us and them. It’s also the difference between living by the Torah and living by the sword. The unbridgeable gap is between growing up on the teachings of King Solomon and growing up in the teachings of Arafat, Haniyeh and Nasrulla. So what’s the solution? Moshiach – the sooner the better, amen.