Monday, January 09, 2006

RE: What Would You Do?

I will give my answer to my previous post with an explanation. Thank you Jewish Atheist and Stacey for your input.

I started this blog with the intention of expressing my rational, intellectual side. What I noticed, however, is that my emotions seem to have control of my fingers as I type. It occurs to me that this is the only avenue available to me to freely express my love for the Jewish people - my family. In person, among the people I know, my feelings may not be welcome, but in this virtual world, I can share my feelings freely, and people who are so inclined can share with me the pride, joy, grief, and sadness that I feel on a daily basis toward our Jewish brothers and sisters.

And so, on to the question. What would I do? I hate Mohammed Atta (may his evil name be erased). I am a good Jewish boy, squeamish about killing and violence, but I don't think that I would have a moment's hesitation in pulling that trigger.

I feel good about hating the evil Atta. No guilt, no soul-searching, no hand wringing. Do you know why I feel good about my hate? Because what we love and what we hate betrays our most basic values.
I hate evil. Not the christian evil. Not a dark unseen force in the world. I hate the evil that is the sum of a man's actions. A man is the cause of his own actions, and so evil actions make the evil man.
This evil man, used his G-d given intelligence, his divine capacity for understanding, in the service of egotistical maniacal hatred. He used it to destroy G-d's crowning achievement - men and women who use their abilities for good; who work and provide services for others; who take care of their families. He used it to destroy those who give charity, and who volunteer their time for others. He used it to destroy immigrants who work hard to send money to their families abroad. He used it to destroy the innocent lives of the citizens of this great country.

And don't think for a minute that his evil actions were separate from his hatred of the Jews. Jews attract the most evil of every generation. They hate our goodness, our compassion, our self-restraint, and most of all, they hate our absolute devotion to basic human values. The United States was attacked not because it provides a haven for us, but because it shares our values.

Mohammed Atta hated Jews so much, he could not stand the idea of a country as great and powerful as this that shares these values. He needed to destroy the greatest manifestation of goodness in this world, because the mere existence of goodness would expose his life as a lie.


Stacey said...

I am in complete agreement with what you have written, which is why I would have put the bullet through Atta, as well.

I want you to know that I think your insights and writing are good, both when they are intellectually-based and emotionally-based.

We share many views. Keep writing!

The Jewish Freak said...

Thank you for your words of chizuk. I don't know how many people would consider a hatred of evil to be a positive value.

P.S. You are now on the list of Fine Jews.

Stacey said...

You are now on the list of Fine Jews

Awesome, it feels damn good to be there...with you!

Gavriel said...

Right on, JF! The trick with hate is being able to access it while still keeping it within its boundaries. I'm hoping the rational side, when applied rigorously and with practice, can help there. As we know, there are a lot of cultures that have access to their hate, but don't have a system to keep it in check so it serves only its purpose.

Keep up the good work.

Jewish Atheist said...

I'm not sure I agree that hate is such a good thing. If I had to kill Atta, I'd try to do it dispassionately. I'd be killing him to save thousands of lives, not to assuage my hatred. If I could get him imprisoned rather than killed, I'd do that. Otherwise, what's to stop me from killing anybody I hate?

The Jewish Freak said...

Gavriel: Thank you for stopping by. When I find myself in Israel I hope I run into you.
Regarding your comment: Hate has never consumed the Jewish people because our hate (when we have it) stems from our values. Jews are not known for cruel, egotistical hatred, because we as a people do not value that type of hatred. We have no use for it.

The Jewish Freak said...

JA: I was afraid you would stop by and ask this question. It's a tough question and deserves a well-reasoned answer.

As I said in my post, what you hate results from what you value. If I value money over life, then I will hate (and kill) people who have more money than I do. If I value my infantile narccicism more than life, then I will kill people that insult me. But if I value life more than money or fame, I will give up these things gladly to save another.
I value property rights, so I hate those who steal. I value human life, so I hate those who take it callously.
What's to stop me from killing anyone I hate? (don't worry, I think the world is safe from this good Jewish boy) My hate stems from my values. It's not the hate of punishment or revenge, but of justice. I can not love life or people without hating those who take those things from us. I am not advocating vigilantism. Obviously, sans time machine this is a purely theoretical exercise. In the real world, I am content to let a competent legal system handle these things.

freethoughtmom said...

I understand your passion, and I'm glad you are writing even if you feel not rationally. :)

Remember, hate is really caused by fear. I learned this from a therapist NOT Yoda, so stop yur snickering!! What are you afraid of? What is Atta?

I have a lot of passion, too, and I'm also trying to figure out If I Could Change Something than What Would It Be.

I have a dear gay friend, I could describe him as tall, dark & handsome. He would paint his toenails pink and march in NYC. This wasn't that long ago, but it was before days of Queer Eye and benefits for gay partners. Because now gays don't have to be so in the closet (at least in parts of the country), he doesn't need to be painting his toenails any more.

The US was attacked because of our "foreign policy favoring Israel". Not values. Mohammaed Atta needed to speak, and when someone is not allowed to express a view, they become more militant & strident, in trying to get their message out. I had a great article on this that I'm furious I can't find now, so try this post by Donald Way concerning this specific case. (I'll guess you might not agree with everything he has to say.)

Yes, Jewish people are attacked, but maybe it's also because you guys just keep on ticking! Christianity has *wiped out* many folks (pagans, the gnostics, mithra worshippers, etc etc) for power, I'd argue. (btw, I appreciate the way you've been sharing Jewish teachings in my blog).

The hate of someone like Atta cannot be stopped by more hate. We have to get to the root cause and flush that into the open.

The Jewish Freak said...

Freethoughtmom: You have opened up a rather large can of worms. I will need to devote an entire post to your comment. Where will I find the time?...

freethoughtmom said...

I feel the same way (no time). I look forward to seeing what you have to say.

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Barbara said...

I have a question. I am not Jewish. My best friend is. She is loving in all ways, a hospice nurse, a loving friend to all. Recently, however, she has described such hatred for the Palastine people, even to go as far as to say all the people should be killed...even the children. I have been struck offguard. I am a believer that hate begets hate. Violence begets violence. I ask for guidence in a humble and loving way as I hate to see her consumed by hate.