Sunday, July 06, 2014

 
 "The following story illustrates my point: In 1947, before the declaration of Israel’s statehood, an incident took place at exactly the same spot as this one, the corner of Jaffa and Ben Yehuda streets. A group of kids just out of school encountered two Arabs, “one young, the other old” and treated them with “distinct crudeness”, including “coarse provocation” and bodily injury. An eye witness to the incident was Rabbi Zvi Yehuda Kook, the spiritual leader of national Zionism in general and the settler movement in particular. He saw what happened and later published a scathing letter to the principal of the school these kids attended. He specified that “not everyone was complicit in the deed … some [of the kids] protested against it”, but the letter was severe and sharply-worded.
“I was pained and ashamed … The reality of the incident upset and offended me and forces me to alert you to the need to pay special and intense attention to prevent such incidents in future. From a moral aspect instructed in the Torah and from the practical aspect of good social and national politics. We need to educate for  peaceful manners and neighbourly relationship”. There is a double message being made, simultaneously moral and political. We should not learn everything the Rabbi had to teach but this letter should be taught in school, in the subject of civics."

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