I live in Israel, and most everyone I know there is busy trying to make sense of an insane situation. It’s not that anyone is surprised that violence has erupted once again in our tormented stretch of the earth. We’re also not surprised by the mind-boggling cruelty demonstrated by hate-fed teenage children, or their families’ praise of their odious actions.
From the dawn of our tribe to our current times, unity, mutual responsibility, and camaraderie have been paramount to our success. Throughout the ages, we have developed scientific and academic skills above and beyond all other nations. We have presented the world with monotheism, humanism, socialism, and numerous life-saving inventions and eye-opening discoveries. But while developing these things, we overlooked the one tenet that the world needs most today, and which is altogether absent on our planet: unity.
When I say unity, I do not mean unity against another — to defeat an adversary. This type of alliance has brought us to where we are, two world wars behind us and possibly en route to a third. The unity I am referring to is simply that: unity for the sake of unity.
Better yet, since we must have a reason for everything we do, let’s call it “unity for the sake of mastering it, and sharing it.”
Our tribe is fractured and divided beyond recognition. If we did not know better, we would probably never assume that Orthodox Jews and the Labor party liberals, for example, belong to the same faith — or that Jewish settlers and Meretz voters share the same origin. Even relations between Israel and the Diaspora are fraught with discord, and Israel itself is viewed by many as a dividing element among diaspora Jews.
However, we are still descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, whose legacy of mercy is embodied in the immortal words of Rabbi Akiva, “love your neighbor as yourself.” This is where our strength lies, in unity above all differences.
But I have to reiterate: This unity must not be in order to defeat anyone, but simply in order to overcome our own exploding egos and create a viable, sustainable social fabric where Jews can live side-by-side in peace and harmony among themselves and with their neighbors. Subsequently, our goal must be to share that unity with anyone who is interested in embracing it. This, in itself, can dissolve the global campaign to demonize Israel in the eyes of the world.
Our motto should be something like, “When the going gets tough, the good get going,” because this is all we need to do — lend a friendly hand to one another, no questions asked. As we have been told a million times before, this unity will unleash all the powers we need in order to resolve our problems: social, economic, and political — both internally and internationally.
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