This is such a disturbing story.

Those readers in Israel (approximately 40% of my regular readers) may have heard about the woman who was beaten on a bus to Jerusalem. Now the beating sounds incredibly ugly if true. It does have the ring of truth given the corroboration of someone with no bias that we know of. The real question I have is,  where was everyone on the bus? Why did nobody say this is wrong even if we think she belongs in the back? I hope that the answer isn’t that those who didn’t beat the woman were supporters of those who did. If that is the answer than the whole society has a serious flaw. However I think their inaction can be traced to their basic philosophy.

First of all you have a philosophy that since we are intrinsically superior to the goyim (a category which includes Jews not as religious as you) we shouldn have as little involvement with them as possible. This idea has positive consequences such as Hatzalah, but it inculcates them with the value that if you see a Jew assault somebody the police should not be involved in the matter. So everybody on the bus felt helpless to act because they didn’t know who would support them if they tried to protect her. So the people who thought it was wrong wouldn’t call the police had no alternative and rationalized by blaming the woman for not moving like she should have.

In addition the schooling loves to talk about how sincere Muslims are in their religion if they are willing to blow themselves up for it. This may be true, these people may be extremely sincere, but the message it sends is, “Why aren’t we more like them?, Why aren’t we willing to kill ourselves to protect the Torah?” So society starts accepting violence for the sake of heaven and the Torah’s story of Pinhas is taught as the rule not the exception.

For example, you hear about children stoning cars passing through on Shabbat and the leaders always say that we don’t support that activity. But coursing under it is, “Did you know that they’re violating Shabbat when they throw these rocks.” So the violence is not rejected only the means. The impression given is that to save our way of life violence is a positive thing.

I hope this story isn’t true, but even if it isn’t the things I said still hold waiting for the next story to be published.

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