Monday, May 2, 2011

Upon the Death of an Enemy

Powerful blog post by Rabbi Menachem Creditor: "Upon the Death of an Enemy."

Wonderfully expresses the many emotions people are feeling on the killing of Osama Bin Laden. Perhaps my favorite moment:

According to a Midrash, when the angels rejoiced at the victory of God and the deliverance of the Children of Israel at the Red Sea, they invited God to join their celebration. God declined, saying, "How can I rejoice when my children are drowning?" God's response, as intuited by our tradition, teaches us that the very people who enslaved and tortured us were still human beings when viewed through sacred eyes.

Here are a few Biblical verses and sayings I've seen on Facebook as well:

"Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when they stumble, do not let your heart rejoice"
(Proverbs 24:17)

"I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, says the Lord"
(Ezekiel 18:32)

I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked"
(Ezekiel 33:11)

"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven."
(Matthew 5:43-44)

The group "The Christian Left" sums it up:

"We rejoice when evil acts end; we do not rejoice when anyone falls."

1 comment: said...

Thanks, Kurt. This more or less sums up some of the ambivalence I've been feeling. -Karl