Sunday, June 24, 2007

Halachic research


I received the following comment from Yaakov on my previous post, "Gaza Violence Commentary, Part II"

You write: "While a Jew is forbidden from celebrating in the demise and death of his enemies,..."

I have to differ with this statement. Talmud Bavli, Megillah 16a: Mordechai Kicks Haman (as Haman is helping him up onto the horse). Haman (who apparently knows Tanach) says: doesn't it say in Mishlei "בנפל איבך אל תשמח" - Do not rejoice at the fall of your enemy? Mordechai responds: this passuk refers to Jewish enemies, but regarding non-Jewish enemies (like Haman, PLO and Hamas) it says (Devarim 33:29) ואתה על במותימו תדרוך - and you will trample on their haughty ones.

Upon the downfall of enemies of the Jewish people who happen to be Jewish (such people exist, even today), upon their downfall we do not rejoice. But upon the downfall of our non-Jewish enemies, it is incumbent upon us to rejoice.

Well, I asked around, and turns out Ya'akov is right and I'm wrong. You are, in fact, allowed to celebrate the demise of national enemies. If one witnesses the demise of a personal enemy, one should refrain from rejoicing. It's better to daven that the personal enemy should do teshuvah (return/repentance) and make a mensch of himself.

And the news keeps coming out of Gaza, in whispers. While the rest of the world is getting used to the idea of a Gaza firmly under Hamas rule, it would seem that, while the fighting has ended, the killing has not. Hamas has been doing some weeding, rounding up boys from Fatach-allied clans, many around 14 years old or younger, hogtying them, and throwing them from high-rise buildings. Floods of former Fatach Jew-killers, now bleeding and begging Israel for medical assistance, are swarming around the Erez gates. Of course, Israel's ultra-left supreme court stepped in and ordered that they be treated at taxpayer expense. Meanwhile, Hamas is threatening to start a suicide bombing campaign in Yehuda and Shomron, not against Jews, but against their Fatach rivals. Hey Hamas guys, if you're reading this, I've got a message for you: Talk is cheap.

Anyway, been doing lots of touring and photographing, so stay tuned...

No comments: