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Killing each other to prove which side G-d is on

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MARTIN FRACK

There is actually very little difference in the objectives listed in the Hamas Charter to Hashem’s directives to the Jews in Exodus and Numbers.

Hashem declares: “ I have come down to deliver them out of the hands of the Egyptians and to bring them out of that land to a good and broad land…  to the place of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivittes, and the Jebusites. (Ex 3: 7-8)

What follows in the Torah is a lengthy detailed description of the events during the Jewish invasion of Canaan, the destruction of the cities of the tribes residing therein and the slaughter , ethnic cleansing and genocide visited on the unfortunate inhabitants, to say nothing of the theft of their properties.

A particularly gruesome aspect of the war against the Midianites includes Moses’ order to his commanders is to kill all the male children, and all the married women, but to keep for themselves all the virgin girls; an invitation to indulge in debauchery, no less.

“Now therefore, kill every male child among the inhabitants among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known a man by lying with him. But all the young girls who have not known man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves. (Numbers 31: 17-20)

And so the gruesome story goes on and on page after page.. Does this not remind you of something? Perhaps the description events which could have been recorded in the diary of an SS officer during the German invasion of Russia?

There is very little difference in such a diary and the relevant parts of the Torah narrative describing the Midianite massacre which ranks as the bloodiest of Moses’ legacy. Moses blames the Temple prostitutes for having sex with his men, which adversely affects their morality. Instead of punishing the healthy Jewish boys for understandably availing themselves of the plentiful opportunities for sex with willing young girls, he reacts by not remonstrating with his troop;, instead he orders the slaughter the entire Midianite nation, men women and children.

(I have a problem with the Torah as I read it. There is gross biblical error here; it was the Mohabite women who were so free with their sexual favours, but somehow the Midianites got the blame for it. But whether it was Mohab or Midian, it still comes out the same way, namely, the wholesale killing of everyone in Moses’ way.)

The Torah does not disclose the moral basis for Hashem’s directive to Moses to “ drive out all the Land’s inhabitants before you… Clear out the land and live in it, since it is to you I am giving the land to occupy…”  

The Torah does not disclose Hashem’s moral and legal right to donate the Land to the Jewish people.

I have yet to receive a meaningful rational answer to my question on the matter from a rabbi. The last one (I asked) gave the weak answer namely that the inhabitants were not very nice people; besides they drove us crazy with their sex practices. So for this we should kill them all including the children? I don’t think so.

The result is for thousands of years now Jews, Christians and Muslims have been fighting and killing each other to prove whose side G-d is on. Choni Davidowitz’s letter reminds me that there is actually little difference in the mindset of some Jews who urge us to follow the precepts described in Exodus and Numbers to “eliminate” those standing in our way, and Hamas’ infamous Charter warning of the coming obliteration of Israel and the genocide of the Jews. In fact the Charter makes Hitler’s Mein Kampf read like some liberal treatise. Some of its milder objectives include:

 

Article 7: “…the time will not come ie (Allah’s promise) until the Muslims will fight the Jews and kill them; until the Jews will hide behind rocks and trees which will cry: ‘O Muslims! there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him’!”

 

Article 13. “The so-called peaceful solutions and the international conferences to resolve the Palestine problem are all contrary to the beliefs of the Islamic Resistance Movement… there is no solution to the Palestine problem except by jihad.” The 36 Article Charter describes in bloody detail what Jjhad has in mind for those foolish enough to confront it.

Whether we like it or not, our Torah started it all. Perhaps we should pray to Hashem that it is high time he considers issuing a second edition of our wonderful Torah in which the aforesaid unfortunate provisions are edited out with retrospective effect, thereby saving countless lives.

Until then, of course, we Jews will simply have to continue to fight our enemies to the death. Here I agree with Choni, except I do not look to religious faith as he does for the answer to our problems.

According to anthropological scientists the brains of our species Homo Sapiens, developed to the stage about 100 000 years ago when they began to look for supernatural reasons ie religion, for the answer to the meaning of life and our fear of death.

If the second edition referred to is not forthcoming, we will probably have to wait for another 100 000 years for our brains to evolve further until the need for religions, which have bedevilled our species for so long, becomes a thing of the past.

 

Rouxville, Johannesburg

 

 

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