Peace Begins Within
Hundreds of rockets, fatalities, injuries, homes severely damaged, and entire cities shut down. Palestinians in the West Bank, and Israeli Arabs throughout the country, are beating and stoning Jewish civilians, attacking police officers, attempting to shoot and car-ram soldiers, and to lynch people in their cars. This is what Israel looks like today. We can complain about the biased and antisemitic reports that the press is showing, or that the Biden administration enables such things to happen and even tacitly supports them, but they aren’t the problem; they are the symptom. If at such a critical time, we allow ourselves to engage in infantile bickering and “I told you so” type arguments, then we are the ones encouraging the violence; we are the enablers.
How can we solve our security problems when we put sticks in each other’s wheels? Our own division is our haters’ fuel. If we want to be in a different place tomorrow, we have to start going there today. But when everyone points a blaming finger at others and says, “Only I know the way,” then clearly no one knows the way and nothing will improve.
The clash between Jews and Arabs is as old as our efforts to reestablish the Jewish state toward the end of the 19th century. But their level of activity against us depends on us, not on them. When we are united, they are quieter; when we are divided, they rise up with murderous intent.
If we want them to change, they need our positive influence. They need to feel that there is love within us, then they, and the whole world with them, will run to us. But when there is hatred among us, and hatred is what we project, then hatred is what we will get from them.
The book Kol Mevaser writes in this regard: “This is the mutual guarantee on which Moses worked so hard before his death: to unite the children of Israel. All of Israel are each other’s guarantors [responsible for one another], meaning that when all are together, they see only good.” Likewise, the book Binah LeItim asserts, “The foundation of the wickedness of evil Haman … is what he had begun to argue, ‘There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed,’ etc. He cast his filth saying that that nation deserves to be destroyed since separation rules among them, they are all full of strife and quarrel, and their hearts are far from one another. However, He put the healing before the blow [took preventing measures] … by hastening Israel to unite and … be one, as one man, and this is what saved them, as in the verse, ‘Go, gather together all the Jews.’”
Accordingly, when we unite, we will see the world changing its attitude toward us for the better. Moreover, we will see that our hopes for peace and for a good future are in our hands, and all we need to do is learn how to activate our secret power: internal unity. Indeed, peace begins within.