Sunday, January 12, 2014

Arik Sharon's Dues to Israel's Left, Now Dead, He's Their Patron Saint

Somehow I just can't use that is it goyish  phrase "rest in peace" about the late Arik Sharon.

Dry Bones

The victims of his last and lasting policy, Disengagement, haven't found their peace having lost their pieces of Land.  Not even the dead who had been buried in the Gush Katif Cemetery are truly at peace, since they had been moved as part of Disengagement.

There's a mishna,  a Jewish concept that since, besides the Kohanim and Leviim who weren't allocated Land, we don't know our Biblical tribe there's a sort of spiritual antenna that is wired to connect us to the part of the Land of Israel where we should live.  When I look around and think about my Shiloh neighbors, all of us of various backgrounds, countries and even original religions, this makes so much sense.  Somehow, we all feel at home here in Shiloh.  Gush Katif and Northern Samaria, the targets of Sharon's Disengagement plan were the same if not more so. Many of the Jewish people living in Gush Katif had wandered long complicated routes until finding their special home.  That's where they had been meant to live and Sharon's Disengagement Policy more than disoriented them.  For some it has been impossible to get back on track and find peace.  People aren't like a GPS that can easily recalculate directions.  Read David Bedein's article written four year after the expulsion.

Israel's media, which has no problem being sympathetic to the African law-breakers illegally invading our small country has shown no sympathy to their Jewish brethren struggling to make new lives because of Arik Sharon.  The media which couldn't stand Sharon during his fighting for Jewish rights in the Land of Israel suddenly adored him.  And now that he is finally dead, they are declaring him "the most popular Prime Minister in Israeli History."  That's what I heard on the news last night.

The editors, announcers, movers and shakers who decide what we are supposed to hear and think are praising Sharon as Israel's greatest leader.  And you can see how happy Sharon is finally being adored by the people he wanted to impress.  In the obituary reports there was little of the serious and daring lion of a man who did what needed to be done ignoring not only the media but his superiors.

Such irony!  The Arik Sharon at his greatest was considered a pariah, but at his worst he became an idol.

Sharon, like the current Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, wasn't a religious man. For the State of Israel this is a dangerous thing.  We are not an ordinary country; our policies must be based on G-d's plans for us. For our politicians, the media is the yetzer haraa, the Evil Inclination, the test of true leadership.  Pleasing the media instead of pleasing G-d is a failure of Biblical proportions.

What is next for us?  I keep wondering if the Land will agree to hold Sharon's body, or will there be an earthquake to expel him...

ברוך דין האמת
Baruch Dayan Ha'emet
Blessed is the True Judge


NormanF said...

I heard some of the other posters its not our place to judge human actions. I do beg to differ for the reasons I will set forth here.

The Bible judges people and does not spare them. Even King David, by all accounts considered the model of the righteous man, committed a terrible sin.

But G-d spares his life because He showed humility and repented. The same is recorded of King Hezekiah on his deathbed where the Prophet Isaiah informs him G-d not only healed him but extended his time on the throne.

Why wasn't Ariel Sharon allowed to do teshuva? Because he showed no mercy to living Jews and he desecrated even the graves of the dead! There are limits to what G-d puts up with from a man. He was struck as your husband Yisrael has noted on the 10th of Shevat and he died exactly 8 years later to the very day.

At the height of his power, he was brought low in the worst possible way a human being can be brought low. But instead of drawing the lessons for his fate, Israel wants to forget them. This is very bad for the Jewish people and the country.

We are nothing without faith! We live and die by the breath G-d gave us and our lives are in His hands. Our freedom of will depends on the use we make of it. Which brings me back to my opening point.

As human beings we have every right to judge a person's actions. I have no right and no place to forgive Sharon for his sins against other people. And neither do you nor any one else. The only people who could forgive him are those whom he had injured.

He could have begged them for forgiveness after having done what he did. He failed and suffered horribly as a result. We must take great care to treat those around us with respect and when we do a wrong to them - be quick to make amends to them, lest we anger Heaven.

I can't judge Sharon for His sins against G-d Himself. That's between him and His Maker. But I can judge Him harshly for taking people's homes and disturbing the rest of their dead! It crossed all the lines of human decency in this world.

I cannot forgive him any more than Simon Wiesenthal could forgive a dying Nazi soldier for what he did to Jews. Only the people harmed by one's actions have the right to decide if you deserve mercy from them.

It pained me to write this - we live in a time when its considered in bad form to judge people for their actions and we must avoid hurting their feelings. And in normal circumstances, I would be the first person in this world not to speak ill of the dead!

But with certain people, we can and do make an exception. We make it in the case of Ariel Sharon. His sins overshadowed a lifetime of valiant deeds. I would have liked to remember him as a good person. But he was the opposite of a good person and did not seek the forgiveness of those he hurt!

Let it be a lesson to the entire House Of Israel and as G-d judges us, may we judge others accordingly and also do what is right! That is the most important thing in the world.

Sharon failed in this and Israel's leaders should not seek to succumb to his miserable fate. Above all in life, it is as important to walk in the ways of G-d as it is to die when He has decreed that our time on earth is over. We all can and must be better than Ariel Sharon.

Eitan said...

I agree with you, Batya. I posted in a similar vein:

Batya said...

Norman, excellent points.
Eitan, I'll have to read your post, thanks.

Moriah said...

It's a very Christian idea, that of forgiving someone for committing crimes they are not effected by. I always thought what chutzpah when I would read an article about some murderer of rapist being forgiven by some xtian observer. Really galling and disgusting

Anonymous said...

Baruch Hashem Norman you are not G-d... Am Yisroel would have been wiped out a long time ago.
I did not say it is our place to forgive sharon that is up to Hashem, but nor is it our place to judge him. How we judge others is how Hashem will judge us.
And massive sin, even one as catastrophic and devastating as Gush Katif does not wipe out every miztvah a person has done. Hashem remembers and rewards even the good done by reshaim. i.e. Esav and his kavod for his father. I am not arguing for us to forgive him- that is not in our provence. What I am arguing is precisely that we dont get to judge him.
He was an extraordinary leader before his utter and sheer moral failure at the end of his life. Shaul Hamelech died on a battlefield and was unable to ever rectify the damage by his failure to wipe out amalek. The same amalek from the purim story. the same amalek that wiped out 6 million of our people. He by far caused greater and further reaching damage to am yisroel. Do you think Shaul Hamelech was never forgiven by Hashem?
Who are we to judge?
We can be furious at the travesty of justice caused by him - we can hate what he did. We can weep for our brothers and sisters from gush katif. we can fight to see it never happens again. We can hate that the same insanity that prevails today and seek to overthrow this government and replace it with true leaders i.e. Moshe Feiglin. But we do not get to judge another Jewish person - why dont we leave that to Hashem and not be so arrogant.
Oh and Moriah ... nobody is saying to forgive him, thats for Hashem to do, what I'm saying is there seems to be so many great tzaddikim that feel they are in a position to judge another yid and decide what fate Hashem has decided for him.
And we wonder why moshiach isnt here yet......

Batya said...

a, according to the laws of Teshuva, repentance, one can rather easily repent the sins between oneself and G-d, but to repent the sins between oneself and one's fellow man is much more difficult. That is why so many people say that the sum total of Arik Sharon's life was evil, bad or just a "disappointment."
Disengagement seriously and negatively affected thousands of Jews. Nothing in what Arik Sharon said after and nothing that his son have said about it show any sign of repentance or sorry for that policy.
Simple facts.

Shimona from the Palace said...

The unilateral withdrawal from Gaza was a terrible mistake, but it was just that - a mistake, which Sharon made with good intentions. He didn't do it to win the Nobel prize, he did it because he THOUGHT he was helping to save Jewish lives. If he had not been struck down by a stroke, he might well have come to realise that and repent. We can't know. Nor can we know if, somewhere in that Limbo Land in which he was trapped for 8 years, he was not repenting in his heart.

Shy Guy said...

Shimona, you're only fooling yourself. Repeat:

כל מה שידענו על שרון והעדפנו לשכוח, מאת זאב גלילי

Shy Guy said...

And again (but this time with the last paragraph, which INN censored):

“Ah, Ariel, Ariel!... Let the feasts come round, and I will cause Ariel to suffer…” (Isaiah 29:1-2), by Daniel Pinner

Enough with the whitewashing!

Batya said...

Shimona, sorry but you're completely wrong on that.
Disengagement = evil

Shy, Pinner's article is excellent.

Shimona from the Palace said...

@Shy Guy - I was as angry as you when Sharon betrayed his voters and pulled out of Gaza, but you surely aren't claiming you know what was going on in his heart all those years he was in a coma, are you?
I certainly am not - and I have the humility to admit when I don't know something.

Shy Guy said...

Who said anything about what Sharon's thoughts might have been during his coma?! I have no idea what they were. Neither do you, for that matter.

I responded to your huggable and loveable "good intentions" claim. That is desperate wishful thinking on your part.

Try reading both articles I linked to.

Shimona from the Palace said...

@Shy Guy: " Neither do you, for that matter."
No, I don't. As I admitted from the start.

I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree on this point - especially as we agree on the main point, namely, that it was wrong to withdraw from Gaza, as it would be wrong (even more wrong) to withdraw from any other part of Eretz Yisrael.

Shy Guy said...

Shimona, agree to disagree? You have brought nothing to validate your claim that Sharon had "good intentions" for Am Yisrael, other than your personal whim. So, is that what you're basing yourself upon?

Shimona from the Palace said...

@Shy Guy - I don't propose to argue with you about this. We neither of us can know for sure what Sharon's true intentions were, but that's no longer of any relevance, is it? He is, no doubt, at this moment, standing before the judgement seat of the only One who CAN read the hearts and minds of Man, so let's just leave it at that.

Shy Guy said...


Shimona from the Palace said...

@Shy Guy: "Jibber-jabber"?

And now that you've got that off your chest, you might like to take a look at what HaRav Avichai Rontzki, founder of the Itamar Yeshiva and former Chief Rabbi of Zahal has to say about how we judge Arik Sharon:

"עזר כנגדו

אמש, בשמחת שבע ברכות בהשתתפות קבוצת רבנים גדולה, דיברתי על מאמר התורה: "לא טוב היות האדם לבדו, אעשה לו עזר כנגדו".
עזר כנגדו? כיצד מי שכנגדך יכול להיות לך לעזר?
מסתבר שבאה התורה ללמדנו שהשלמות שכולנו מייחלים לה תהיה דווקא כשלצידנו יהיו אנשים שונים מאתנו, רק כך ניתן יהיה ללמוד ולהבין צדדים נוספים במציאות, שלבד, או עם אלא שדומים לנו, אי אפשר לקבל זאת.
לקח זה חיוני ליישמו אצל בני זוג, ואף בקהל הרבנים המגוון שלצערנו לא יושבים אלו עם אלו לדיון בסוגיות השעה, וכן בחברה הישראלית על רבדיה השונים.
טעות היא לדעתי להעריך את האדם על פי נקודה אחת במכלול אישיותו, גם כשהיא שלילית מאוד בעיניך. מן הסתם יש בו ערכים נוספים שיכולים להעשיר ולהשכיל אותך, ולהעניק לחייך ראייה רב מימדית.
אריק שרון, שהובל היום לקבורה, כלל באישיותו ערכים חיוביים רבים ולא נכון למדוד אותו רק על פי מעשהו האחרון, בהריסת יישובי גוש קטיף.
נלמד ונעריך את הטוב שבו, בצד ההתייחסות אל השלילי.