Primitive Barbarism and Quitting Davening - My Dear Rabbi Zahavy Talmudic Advice Column in The Jewish Standard for January 2016
Dear Rabbi Zahavy,
I was horrified by the actions of some of my fellow Jews in Israel, who recently appeared on a video of a wedding celebration brandishing knives and celebrating the violent death of an Arab infant.
I see this as an example of primitive barbarism, which I find repugnant. Am I wrong to object to this behavior? Please help me know how to understand and to deal with this.
Shocked in Secaucus
I assure you that your moral outrage in this case is proper. We pride ourselves as Jews and as members of the civilized world on disdaining the barbarism of primitive societies and on aspiring always, even in times of war, to a high ethical standard.
True, many will argue that when our enemies engage in a wave of terror attacks on us, this creates a state of combat, and thereby it sanctions us to use concomitant fierceness in response.
You want to be clear, to know how ferocious we should to be in our responses, where to draw the line, and where to rise to a higher ethical ground.