Regarding Acts of Kindness
wonderful website entitled Tradition of Kindness, with some minor changes;
comments are welcome]
To Shmuel, Shalom u'Vrakhah!
I received this 'Kindness' email from a friend of mine, and after reading your
terrible story and seeing the wonderful way you are responding to it, decided to subscribe.
I know from whence you speak: I raised my children to be tziyonim (Zionists) who also
love the Torah. Four of my five children, grown and almost-grown, are now living in Israel. My younger son is still in the army, having enlisted with his older brother for regular army service when they made Aliyah almost three years ago.
I have one daughter in a year-program at Hebrew University, planning on staying on in Israel for the rest of college, and our youngest daughter, now 17, who has been in the Na'aleh program for more than a year and a half. She is planning on G-d willing,
completing high school in Israel and going on to her army service, following in her brothers' footsteps.
I have to tell you, though, that I have mixed feelings about your project. My feelings of a deep, deep sadness over the loss of your wife Shoshaha, z"l and the loss of countless other Jews abroad and in Israel - some among my friends and relatives (May Hashem Avenge Their Blood!!!) - are mixed with rage.
Yes, rage at the injustice done to you and others - good people all - and rage at the apparent 'reign of evil' in the world. I believe wholeheartedly that we Jews need to do acts of and promote 'chesed chinam' (random acts of kindness) - the opposite of 'sin'at chinam' (baseless hatred). However, there are those - I hate to refer to them as 'people'; as far as I am concerned they are sub-human - who do not care nor will they respond in any positive way to what you are trying to do. They find plenty of excuses for 'baseless hatred' (of course, they think it is not 'baseless'; but nothing justifies targeting & blowing up innocent children).
In other words, the people who are good, will be affected by the kindness we are doing.
The evil ones will not be touched by it at all.
So, the way I feel (please see my Blog at http://www.lady-light.blogspot.com/) is that
along with this chesed or acts of loving-kindness which we do need to do, should come
a healthy dose of working to eliminate the evil from our midst; as the Torah actually tells
us to do: 'u-vi'arta ha-ra mi-kirbekha'.
To the rest of the world as well as to many Jews, this sounds harsh, and is not
"politically correct". But, after seeing the crimes against humanity perpetrated by the Arab "culture of death" year after year, with no significant all-out attack, unified front or condemnation/confrontation by the world at large, in my view, it is time to prevent those crimes from ever happening again and to stop the evil, once and for all.
We Jews are supposed to be 'ohr la-goyim', a light unto the nations. If no one else
will have the moral strength and courage to do this, who else but us?
As Hillel said, "Im ein ani li, mi li?" - if I am not for myself, who will be for me?
Who, indeed, except for ourselves...can we count on anyone else?
Please forgive my outrage in this letter; I have the same response every time I hear or read about incidents such as these.
I want to take this opportunity to thank you for doing this kindness project and for giving
me the oppotunity to join it! As per your wish, I am relating below a little 'act of kindness'
which someone I know does regularly in Israel, which I hope you will publish and send
to your subscribers.
May Shoshana's memory be for a blessing,
An Act of Kindness:
My new friend Norm B. in Israel lost his first wife to a terrorist shooting murder
approximately five years ago. She had only been in the country just nine months.
He was also wounded in the attack, but he never gave up.
He continues to learn Torah and encourages others to learn Torah, and he
established a program to do 'chesed' - acts of lovingkindness - for Israeli soldiers.
On a regular basis, at least once every two weeks , he and his friends make a great big Bar-B-Que at the old city in Jerusalem for about 250 soldiers at a time, and tells them stories of encouragement based on the Torah. It's such a treat for these chayalim (soldiers) to get a delicious kosher meal, (believe me, I know - my son told me about army food!) and at the same time, they are getting "idud", support and encouragement to help them realize what they are fighting for.
I am very honored to have been a guest in Norm's and his wife Yael's home this past November - December 2005. May they continue to go from strength to strength, and " שיזכו למצוות" - May they Merit Mitzvot!