24 December 2015

A Word About the Wedding Video

13 Tevet 5776
Erev Shabbat Kodesh

It's almost comical to see the religiously clueless and Jewishly unaffiliated secular politicians rush at every available opportunity to pontificate on what's authentically "Jewish" and what's not. In the end they wind up condemning Torah Judaism as "extremist" and heaping praise on those whose practice of Judaism would not even be recognizable to the forefathers.

What a gift the inciters and abusers received today. Someone revealed a video from a recent wedding at which young "hill-top" types were seen to dance with weapons in their hands and holding aloft a baby picture of the child who died at Duma. Proof that there are still informers among us even after these thousands of years. 

Although it's not quite the smoking-gun they think they have, it's enough to cool off (Amalek-style) the legitimate protest movement against Shin Bet abuse of power just when it was gaining some momentum. Now, if you raise your voice in favor of these prisoners' human rights, you will be branded as one with their cause and one with their tactics. That will give most people a pause. And yes, to most people who aren't aware of this subculture, it can be shocking. But while it may offend sensibilities, it's not illegal and it has no bearing on the allegations of torture and limitless administrative detention without due process.

After a huge public announcement a few weeks ago that new evidence was about to be revealed, to date, we've seen absolutely nothing tying these young Jews to the Duma fire. Both the Security Minister and the Defense Minister have gone on public record admitting that they have no evidence. To continue to insist that they are the perpetrators, but after all these months, no evidence has been found indicates either that the guys are guiltless or they are a lot smarter than the Shin Bet and can outwit them with their hands tied behind them. They might want to rethink what message this sends to our real enemies.

There have been such dances at some Jewish celebrations for years - long before there was anything called a "price tag". The only difference is there was no baby picture in evidence. It's not something I would do and it's not something I would want to see my children or grandchildren involved in, but that's because we are different people. This sub-culture as I define it tends to be very pro-Kahane. It's been my experience from the fringes that the neshamot who gravitate to Kahane are either Levites and Cohanim who act from a zealousness for Hashem's Name and Honor or they are Shimonites who follow their tribal leader's penchant for quick temper without the pure righteous zealotry of Levi. They like to mix it up. Shock people. Be a bit violent. And they can be very, very imprudent.

You can't say their sentiments are not Jewish just because it doesn't comfortably fit the modern "acceptable" version of Judaism. It's not my way, but it's a way. And we know that Shimon suffered greatly for his impetuosity and when the tribes settled in the land, Shimon was surrounded by Yehudah no doubt to be a positive influence.

However...  all that said... this is nothing but a smokescreen to delegitimize those rightfully protesting Shin Bet abuses and to redirect the media focus from the wrongs of the Shin Bet to the sins of those "extremist Jews" who "can bring the State of Israel down" and overthrow this government. My, oh my. These are the ones who are 'protectin' us from Hamas and Hizballah and Iran and ISIS. If these wild and hairy youth can pull off such crimes with precision and leave no evidence behind, there's certainly no hope to destroy our greater and more powerful enemies.

As I said before, it sends a very strange message to our real enemies and I don't think the Shin Bet has taken that in yet. They really need to rethink their strategy and longer-term goals.

Don't be manipulated. Don't be frightened. Don't be deterred. Stay focused on doing whatever is necessary to ensure that no human being is tortured in any manner on the holy soil of Eretz Yisrael. Justice is a requirement for remaining on our land. When we can't do anything else, we can speak up and we can cry out to HKB"H. And we can wait as long as it takes for Moshe to come back down from the mountain.