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Thursday, May 13, 2004

Sacrificing Children

Rabbi Berel Wein has a good article titled Sacrificing Children:

The idea that a suicide bomber is a legitimate weapon is an old one. In the Bible itself we read of Shimshon pulling down the temple of the Philistines upon him and them while stating: "May I at least take the Philistines with me in my death." There is discussion in the commentators whether this act is to be viewed as one of heroism or desperation. In general terms, it never served as a model for Jewish behavior even in extreme situations, though from the story of Chanuka to the Holocaust and even the Israeli wars we have examples of Jews who willingly sacrificed their own lives, though usually to save others and not purely as a weapon against the foe. But sacrificing one's own children to appease the gods or to be used as a suicide weapon to kill the supposed enemy was something unthinkable in the traditional Jewish society. Children were and are too valuable a commodity to be squandered in such a fashion. It is this misguided view of life and its worth that makes it so difficult to come to terms with the Palestinians - their mothers are too proud of having sacrificed their children on Arafat's perfidious altar. Any sort of meaningful settlement with the Palestinians is dependent on a fundamental change in this attitude regarding children and sacrificing them for causes. So far, the sounds coming from the imams and the mosques regarding this issue are not too encouraging.

Read the whole thing.