10 Tishrei 5781 / Monday, September 28, 2020 | Torah Reading: Ha'azinu
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Logic of the West    

Logic of the West

Time is crucial. Iran is recreating the Persian Empire. It has captured Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon. Once it consolidates, it will control most of the region…


My friend was talking to me about Barack Obama's efforts to achieve peace in the Middle East.


"Obama acted as if the Arabs were logical thinkers, motivated purely by practical self-interest."


She made a great point.


For the past 70 years, every leader of the West has focused their efforts on achieving peace based on the assumption that all parties involved are guided by their common sense. Logically:


  • Trading land that is not part of what's internationally recognized as Israel in return for stability is a sensible option.


  • Expecting the Arabs to embrace the chance to trade their oil for Israeli technology to forge a new regional economy that will bring a multi trillion-dollar prosperity to the entire Middle East is a rational assumption.


  • Thinking that the Jews would agree to stop building in certain areas in return for political support from both Europe and the United States sounds like a no-brainer.


  • Just as the Arabs accepted a Turkish empire in their midst for five centuries, and even British rule for decades, they won’t have a problem with a tiny Jewish state, the size of Kuwait, sitting quietly on the edge of the region.


What Obama didn't understand was the same thing that every Western leader hasn't figured out:


Both Jews and Arabs are not logical peoples.


An Arab will wait a thousand years to wear out an enemy so his great grandchildren can finish them off. Don't believe me? Ask Saladin. His forefathers used this very strategy to wait out the Crusaders until he was ready to drive them out.


There are certain situations in which a Jew would rather die than do the "sensible" thing. If a man put a knife to a Jew’s throat, God forbid, and said, "Go in that room and satisfy yourself with those three swimsuit models,” the Jew would choose to die. That's exactly what the Maccabees chose. In the face of living the Greek life of idolatry, human sacrifice, and homosexuality, they chose a suicide mission in the Name of Hashem: to fight the entire modernized army with a mere handful of untrained men.


The Middle East has never been guided by logic. It runs purely on passion.


This is why the logic of the West has never brought peace to this region for a single moment.


What does that mean for us?


It means there will be no man-made peace. Man's tool is his intellect, and he has been given free rein to use it to assert his vision for this region. Here, his intellect has always failed. The British failed. The Americans failed. The Russians failed. So did the Greeks, Romans, and the United Nations.


The only peace that will come to the cradle of civilization and the birthplace of religion is the peace that Hashem brings.


That peace won't come about through the help of others, like a king, president, or Prime Minister.


It won't come about through diplomacy, negotiation, or international pressure.


It will only come through hard work by each one of us. We will achieve peace when we serve Hashem with a full heart. Peace will come once we put the same energy into every mitzvah that we put into our next business.


It will come when we are more concerned about making our King happy, our wife happy, our children happy, then we are about making our boss, client, or investors happy.


Peace comes to Israel on G-d's terms. The wisest leader of Israel set forth a policy that guides every peace-seeking Jew to this day:


“When the Lord accepts a person's ways, He will cause even his enemies to make peace with him.” (Proverbs 16:7)


Time is crucial. Iran is recreating the Persian Empire. It has captured Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon. Once it consolidates, it will control most of the region. Jordan can be swallowed up in a second. Saudi Arabia will be next. Iran could conquer the entire Middle East, and then set its sights on Israel.


Every moment that we don't try to do one simple act, like learning an extra hour a day, speaking to Hashem in personal prayer, loving every Jew unconditionally, or taking on the laws or personal holiness, we put our fate and the fate of the world in mortal danger.


It is up to us to accept the rules of life and get passionate about taking sides. This is a Holy War, but G-d is on our side . . . it's up to us to be worthy of His taking up arms.



* * *

Dovber Halevi runs the website http://www.proudlycandid.com/. On it you can find 1,001 Reasons to Love Israel and the logistics behind How to Enjoy a Better Life in Israel.

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