Sunday, October 2, 2011

Was Sisera's Mother Better Than The Arab Mothers of Today?

Last week at Pardes, Rabbi Reuven Grodner taught us about the Rosh Hashanna Prayers.  That included why it's customary to blow/hear 101 blasts of the shofar.  The actual Halachik (Jewish Law) requirement is thirty blasts of various lengths.  So if someone is bedridden and must hear the shofar at home, then thirty will suffice, and also if it's difficult to keep the children quiet and behaved, they only have to stay long enough to hear a set of thirty.

There is a custom to hear a hundred and one based on a line in the Song of Deborah:
Judges Chapter 5 שׁוֹפְטִים
כח בְּעַד {ר} הַחַלּוֹן נִשְׁקְפָה וַתְּיַבֵּב אֵם סִיסְרָא, בְּעַד הָאֶשְׁנָב: {ס} מַדּוּעַ, בֹּשֵׁשׁ רִכְבּוֹ {ר} לָבוֹא-- {ס} מַדּוּעַ אֶחֱרוּ, פַּעֲמֵי מַרְכְּבוֹתָיו. {ס} 28 Through the window she looked forth, and peered, the mother of Sisera, through the lattice: 'Why is his chariot so long in coming? Why tarry the wheels of his chariots?
Sisera was the leader of an ancient enemy of the Jews. Under the leadership of Deborah and Barak, he was defeated.  Deborah imagines his mother waiting at the window, crying, worrying that something may have happened to her beloved sonActually, he had been killed by Yael who had lured him into her tent, drugged him and executed him. 

Chazal, our Sages, say that Sisera's mother let out one hundred cries.  Cries sound very much like the sounds that come out of a shofar.  With the long תקיעה גדולה tiki'ah g'dola, we cry to G-d more than Sisera's mother.

Now, not to criticize the great Biblical D'vora, but was she projecting her own values and feelings?  She does voice the opinions of the other women, who she has comforting Sisera's mother by saying that he's probably too busy raping the Jewish women to rush home to mommy.  All I kept thinking of were the celebrations the Arabs hold after murderous terror attacks.  Mothers of terrorists are praised:
"Creating a supportive social environment for terrorists has been a critical factor in the Palestinian Authority's successful promotion of suicide terrorism. To this end, PA policy has been to honor terrorists as Shahids (Martyrs for Allah), and to teach Palestinian mothers to celebrate when their children die as terrorist Shahids. Categorizing these dead terrorists as Shahids grants them the highest honor a Muslim can achieve, and is therefore cause for a mother to celebrate, according to this PA teaching." (complete article)

To bring us back to the present, can we really have peace with such people?

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