The Enemy Is Dead, Long Live The Enemy

At New Year Jewish people ask for god to keep their enemies constrained – they ask for it three times. They do so knowing that love of life is a high principle in Judaism and not just one’s own and one’s family’s life, nor just one’s community but all life, human and animal. No life should be sacrificed without long consideration and due regard to the fact that when a person dies the universe ends for that person (Jewish people hope for resurrection but do not believe in heaven)

And who can strike us down faster and with more fury than our enemies? Who wishes to kill us more than our enemies? The human experience of war is continuous for thousands of years, it is how we have made the countries we live within, it defines our relationships in the world even today, and it is the root of many racial jokes and traditions within all countries.

The history of slaughter is one of the unifying experiences amongst peoples. And this slaughter brings untold pain, sadness and poverty in its wake. Two weeks  ago an enemy of America and the West was killed in Pakistan. His story is the same as millions of stories before him.

When will humanity ever have the chance to tell a different story. When will we cease to exalt in the death of our enemies and weep because it could have been so much better, so much more worthy of living, if we could out-think our past.

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May 2011
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