We shouldn’t be surprised that while we are approaching the conclusion of Operation Guardian of the Walls in the south, a new front is gradually being opened in the north. We may not like it, and Hezbollah and Hamas are indeed terrorist organizations, but the whole world stands behind them. They enjoy the nations’ support not because they are fighting for the Palestinians, but because they are fighting against Israel, which the whole world hates. We can change how the world feels about us, but to do that, we must change how we feel about each other.
Whenever we hate each other, we summon enemies against us. This has always been the case with the people of Israel. When the Talmud describes the reasons that caused the downfall of the First Temple, for example, it writes that the Jews would “eat and drink with one another,” but they were so spiteful that they would “stab each other with the daggers in their tongues” (Yoma 9b).
If you go on any social media platform in Hebrew, any news outlet, or read any newspaper, you will find just that: daggers in people’s tongues, freely stabbing their dissenters for the “crime” of disputing them. Since we are repeating the conduct of the past, we are bringing on ourselves the cataclysms of the past.
However, things don’t have to be this way. The opposite trajectory works just as well: When we care for one another, we win the favor of the world. Describing how the nations felt about Jews while they were united, around the end of the 3rd century BCE, the book Sifrey Devarim (Item 354) elaborates on the three pilgrimages, which were festive marches to Jerusalem to celebrate and congregate three times a year. According to the book, gentiles would “go up to Jerusalem and see Israel … and say, ‘It is becoming to cling only to this nation.’”
Even infamous antisemites, such as Henry Ford, lamented that the Jews no longer set an example of a role model society, from which they would like to learn, if they only had the right example. In his virulent composition, The International Jew: The World’s Foremost Problem, Ford asserts, “Modern reformers, who are constructing model social systems on paper, would do well to look into the social system under which the early Jews were organized.”
There is a clear synchrony between the way we relate to one another and the way the nations relate to us. Currently, we could not relate to one another worse. Accordingly, the nations cannot stand us and side with our enemies, however immoral they themselves may be.
If we want peace, we must make peace with one another. If we want the love of the world, we must love one another. This has always been the case with the Jewish people, and until we accept it and change our relation to each other, missiles will continue to rain down on our people.