The tragic killing in the Barkan industrial zone, where Kim Levengrond Yehezkel and Ziv Hajbi were murdered, has left us with nothing except to embrace our grief. To embrace the lost children, the broken parents, the suffering siblings.
Along with the sorrow and pain, a dream has vanished. The bubble of coexistence between Jews and Arabs was shattered, and the illusion of life based on mutual respect and cooperation blew up in our faces. But was there ever coexistence between us to begin with?
True coexistence will occur only when the people of Israel are united. The Jewish people was created when Abraham gathered representatives from the various tribes and clans who lived in ancient Babylon, some 4,000 years ago. They were all strangers and very different from each other, but they preferred to maintain unity over the division.
Their efforts to connect with each other above all differences evoked a positive, powerful and connecting force from nature itself. It is only the discovery of this natural force that allowed the people of Israel to live in unity and coexistence. As Rav Kook writes: “the secret for the unity of the world lies within Israel.”
However, the unity was shattered and the people of Israel parted and dispersed throughout the world for two thousand years. Only when we reawaken the connecting force that lies between us will we rise above our egoistic nature and be able to live in coexistence – within our country, with our neighbors and with all the nations of the world.
Before we correct the human ego, we can sum up the talk of living in peace and coexistence as a naive aspiration and nothing more. Coexistence and connection between human beings requires the capacity to rise above the growing ego, not any temporary cooperation.
Human egoism will only grow and continue to complicate our lives. It is the natural course of human development. If we do not balance the ego, it will lead us to a bitter future. The horrific murder in Barkan is another eruption of the human ego, and unfortunately, will not be the last case.
The Barkan industrial zone will no longer be marketed as a symbol of peace in the chaos of the Samaria region. But if the people of Israel set the example of unity, Israel will become a symbol of peace within the chaos of the world. Then, we will not only live in coexistence, but in global coexistence. We will feel ourselves as one united people, and we will shine like a lighthouse to the world, fulfilling our duty to become a “light unto the nations.”
Featured in The Times of Israel