The Torah Solution For October 7!
This Shabbat, we read Parsha Vayishlach, where the Torah is very specific in teaching us how to respond to the murderers, rapists and kidnappers of October 7. Some 3,500 years ago, a Jewess was raped by the Midianite Shechem, son of Chamor. The Jewish reaction was swift and total. The girl in question was Dinah, Yaakov Avinu’s daughter and Shimon and Levi’s sister. The two brothers went to the town of the Midianites and killed every male there.
On October 7, 2023, a vile crime was committed against men, women, children and babies. They were slaughtered indiscriminately while the women and girls were systematically raped and humiliated in front of their husbands and children. Unborn babies were torn from their mother’s wombs and beheaded. Many were kidnapped and taken to Gaza, where the sadism continues.
Israel’s leaders were quick to announce their resolve to destroy Hamas ‘Root and Branch’. Unlike Shimon and Levi, the IDF was forced to wait for nearly a month after the attack from Gaza to satisfy American concerns. When we did go in, we launched an air offensive, and finally, after three weeks, the IDF ground campaign got underway. Israel executed every move with the Gazan civilians in mind. Resulting in more Jewish blood being spilt unnecessarily. Like Yaakov Avinu, the Israeli government were concerned that a comprehensive assault on Hamas would lead to international condemnation and, in particular, the United States. This concern was not based on moral grounds but rather on practical considerations.
Then came a ceasefire for one week in aid of securing the return of hostages. As of today, the truce has ended, and many hostages remain in captivity.
It’s hoped that the resumption of conflict will be carried out with an avenging sword against Gazans who dared attack Jews in their land. Raping and murder of the cruellest kind. If we, the Jewish people, fail to act in the spirit of Shimon and Levi, we will have desecrated the graves of those who will not see the sun rise over Israel again. If the blood of our brothers and sisters is not cheap, then we must insist our government respond like a Shimon and Levi.