Tuesday, November 27, 2012
To Be As Strong As An Ox
November 27, 2012
By Nurit Greenger
Now that the rockets stopped flying and their horrific sound ended, the dust, kind of settled, and the barrage of postulations and analysis articles have subsided, I would like to voice an opinion that has a different angle.
What has Israel done should have done and why.
This goes back to the wisdom of the book of books, the Bible and its interpretations.
The Midrash is a way of interpreting biblical stories that goes beyond simple distillation of religious, legal, or moral teachings. It fills in many gaps left in the biblical narrative regarding events and personalities that are only hinted at. The original purpose of Midrash was to resolve problems in the interpretation of difficult passages of the text of the Bible, using Rabbinic principles of hermeneutics and philology to align them with the religious and ethical values of religious teachers. This method of interpretation was eventually expanded "to provide scriptural pretexts to justify oral tradition."
The Midrash describes the Jewish people as God's "sheep" (Shir Hashirim Rabah 2:16), as an expression of their total dedication to God, like sheep that follow their shepherd unquestionably.
The Forefather Ya'akov (Jacob) exemplified this level of dedication. While he worked for Lavan to earn the right to marry he daughter Rachel, he remained loyal to God's command despite the spiritually alien environment where he lived. Thus, to hint to Ya'akov's dedication, God awarded him with wealth that came about through amassing sheep.
However, when Ya'akov returned to confront Eisav, he did not stress sheep as his most important acquisition, but rather oxen (32:6). Ya'akov was hinting, because I am dedicated to God like a quiet sheep, I therefore have God's might behind me, so I will be as strong as an ox against you!
This needs to teach Jews that, in observing Mitzvot we should be utterly humble towards God, like a sheep; but when fighting the forces in the outside world that oppose Judaism, we cannot stand by sheepishly and watch Jews be drawn away from their heritage and their heritage disrespected and desecrated. Rather, Jews must fight for and along Jewish values with the strength of an ox.
When I was young I often heard my mother tell me, eat well and you will be as strong as an ox. I guess that was a slight digression of the above Midrash interpretation.
In the past, when Israel went to war it acted with the strength of an ox. That practice of warfare ended with the 1973 Yom Kippur war. Perhaps until them Israelis were better Mitzvots' observers. Since that has changed and with the next operation or war Israel has been fighting like sheep that lost their shepherd. Last episode was the Operation Pillar of Cloud that just ended. As Martin Sherman wrote in his article "Tactical brilliance, strategic imbecility" - http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/Article.aspx?id=293139#disqus_thread… The ultimate test of this ceasefire agreement will be a test of blood - Things cannot get any more topsy-turvy crazy than that, can they?
That means Israel fights like a sheep with no shepherd, lacking the strength of an ox.
Time to take a heed and change direction as it is not only Hamas and Hezbollah Israel is facing; it is also Egypt that is morphing, in tectonic waves, into another Islamonazi, radical, extremist, jihadist like Iran, the Islamic Republic of Egypt. And war may be soon upon the Jewish state with Egypt that is equipped with USA airplanes and artillery and the hate of 80 million pharaohs!
This is the Midrash's last word, not mine!