Clarity comes with the dawn and in the hours before dawn. In truth, there is evil in this world. In many forms. With many agendas. Worse, in some ways, are those who partner with evil. Even worse, in some ways, are those who are silent in the face of evil. Being silent, encourages those who partner with evil. Being a partner, encourages those who are evil. It’s a recurring theme in my life – to fight, to out, those in all of those categories.
Right now, all those – the silent ones, the partners and the evil ones help build a world we don’t want to live in, that we don’t want our children to fall victim to. And yet.
In the Mishna, Hillel declares, “In a place where there are no men, strive to be a man.” Sexist though the wording can be, I have always taken comfort in his word, in the command to “be a man.”
Ultimately, what it means is that you must not be silent. For in being silent, you aid those who partner with evil.
And, what it means is that you must not partner with evil – even for the best of intentions. For in being a partner, you aid those who are evil…and that can never be right. In modern terms, this means – no, the end doesn’t justify the means. More, rarely does good come from helping those with ulterior motives and denying those motives is insane and evil in its own way.
What it means is don’t be evil. And yet…
And, what we find is that in nearly every aspect of our lives, there is this endless struggle between silence and evil and those caught or who chose to be in the middle. Each day, you make a choice. Hillel phrased it well.
Tomorrow, we go to the polls to vote for the path Israel will take in the next few years. Among the candidates are those who I believe to be evil, those to who I believe partner with evil and those who are silent or have been silent.
No, silence has never been the friend of the Jewish people. And yet, it is tiring to stand alone. Sadly, I know because I have…many times.
There are those who say we are living in the end of times. There is truth to that. Sadly, some use that truth to follow evil rather than honor that which we are commanded to do. And yet, until those who have the power to fight the evil and the knowledge to do so choose to lead the fight…the rest of us don’t stand a chance.
So today and tomorrow, Israel will make a choice. And we will live with that choice because we have no option. That choice will lead us on the path to a better tomorrow…or as has happened so many times in the past, cause us even more precious time following the wrong path.
Finally, I’ve made my decision. And no, it has not been easy and I’m still not completely at peace with it. In some ways, I choose silence, knowing that this is wrong. In some ways, I choose the more silent path, knowing that alone, I can’t and won’t fight. Because in every fight, Israel has always taught its soldiers not just to move forward, but how to get out safely, how to retreat to fight harder another day. What we have always valued is life.
And I am saved, at least, by that last parts. At least, I am not partnering with evil; I am not evil. Always remember, the enemies of our people are not only at our borders; they are within our borders and worse, aided by some of our people.
And yet, the day will come when the fight will come to all of us. And those who partner with evil will be the ones who must make a choice. Evil will always remain evil; the silent will either begin to speak or become partners in evil. It is the partners of evil who must choose.
So, have i confused you enough? That’s okay. Ultimately, I’m not speaking about one issue. I’m not speaking only about the elections. Clarity comes before the dawn…and the dawn is coming soon.