We are different
Today, Erev Shabbos Nachamu, my brother wrote the following, which I am taking the liberty of posting here:
Newspaper-reading Jews all over America have doubtless found it quite vexing that in the reporting of the evacuations carried out in Gaza over the past week, very little has been noted concerning the remarkable restraint shown not only by the “psychologically prepared” soldiers, but by the “fanatically religious, half-crazed, zealot settlers,” as described by the press.
Actually, the word “remarkable” hardly does this restraint justice. The word “incomparable” is much better suited.
To all those in the American media who have failed to perceive just how incomparable this restraint has been, I have just four words — The Branch Davidian Complex.
This is the closest American analogy to the events in Gaza in recent memory. For those with an interest in “Ancient History” there is “The Jonestown Massacre”, where followers of Reverand Jim Jones either voluntarily or involuntarily swallowed cyanide-laced Kool Aid, when faced with the break up of their little cult.
What you have in those two instances and I am sure in many more, is the Christian version of “fanatically religious, half-crazed, zealots.” As to the National Guardsman faced with the task of storming the Branch Davidian Complex and having to remove his fellow American, perhaps his Christian Brother, from the complex — how many tears did he shed in anticipation of this? And Janet Reno — how many tears did she shed? Just how “unarmed” were the Guardsmen?
Questions, questions — all unasked and certainly not openly answered by even our closest friends among “Acheinu B’nei Esav.”
And yet the explanation for the seemingly deliberate failure on the part of the collective world media to address these glaring differences, to openly discuss the incomparable restraint shown on both sides in the Gaza evacuations, should be obvious to any thinking Jew.
To begin with, the concept of “Kol Yisroel Areivim Zeh LaZeh” is simply not in their lexicon. They simply don’t have the words for what they see with their own eyes.
Secondly, and perhaps more to the point, in the Gentile’s heart of hearts, he is deeply aware of the absolute uniqueness of the Jew. He either does not feel the need to express what is patently obvious to him or, as is more likely the case, he cannot bring himself to state openly that which would reveal the emotional impoverishment of his own society.
There will yet come a time when he does so – “B’n’so Nes Harim Tir’u V’chishmoah Shofar Tira’u.
Two points my brother made to me in conversation:
1. The media here can hardly fathom this kind of mutual emotion between soldiers and civilians, this closeness between all the members of society.
2. At some level they really know and always knew that Jews are different. The very press that calls certain Jews “fanatics” and “extremists” knows that Jews aren’t really that way, with very rare exceptions. So when Israelis behave like civilized people, it isn’t a story, because it is just what they really expected all along.
Let this be a note of nechama in our sorrow.