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Who was Joshua Ben Nun?

I once accompanied Rabbi Tao to a graduation event of the Book of Joshua in one Talmud Torah, for second graders. I was very impressed by the knowledge of the material demonstrated by the students and also by the graduation event itself, but when we left I saw on Rabbi Tao's face that he was not at all satisfied, and on the contrary - it was obvious that he was very upset.

When I asked him to explain it, he told me "this is militarism, this is not the holiness of Israel but militarism". I did not understand his intention at all and asked: "What does it mean, these are the holy wars of Joshua Ben Nun, of the armies of Israel is pure violence? After all, it is supreme holiness!".

Rabbi Tao told me: "You do not understand how children are educated in the image of Joshua. You must take the students of your class, and first of all instill in them the greatness of Rabbi Aryeh Levin. Tell them warmly, with enlightened eyes and great enthusiasm about his smile to each person, his hospital visits Even to the lepers, about his prisoners' visits and concern for them, including horrific murderers and disgusting criminals; tell them that he also visited the Arab prisoners when the British asked him to do so; tell them about his great thoughts of kindness, about his wife's leg hurting when they went to the doctor together, about All the pains in the world that he actually went through, for all the abundance of good and tenderness that flowed from him without restraint.

Only after you are sure beyond a shadow of a doubt that their young heart has already melted from most of its heat, pleasantness and sweetness, take a sword in your hand, put it in Rabbi Aryeh's hand, put it at the head of the Israeli systems and take it to battle. Only in this way will the children have a shadow of a dark idea of ​​who Joshua ben Nun is. "

The Israeli army is not an army of fighters, of militarism to its name, it is not our army and it is not our nationality. In this we differ fundamentally from the armies of the peoples. When we were training in the reserve against shooting targets, they would bring us cardboard targets imported to the country from America. A Vietnamese figure has always lived up to these goals. This is how the US military would educate its fighters, they had to go through a series of education in which they were accustomed and learned to hate the Vietnamese to death. Soldiers were not allowed to pronounce this name explicitly, they had to use all sorts of derogatory names only.

When one is educated to such abysmal hatred, until one sees it burning in the eyes of the warrior, it is already very difficult to distinguish between the good Vietnamese and the bad Vietnamese. Every soldier is accustomed to the fact that as soon as he sees such a face in front of him he shoots immediately, without finding out and without asking questions. This was their only way to build his national resilience they were so required in the war. This is a chauvinistic nationalism - and we have no part in it!

Rabbi Zvi Yehuda once passed by a school, and saw students coming out of it and harassing passers-by, he tried to chase them and wake them up, but could not reach them. On the same day, he wrote a scathing letter to the school principal that this behavior was contrary to "Jewish doctrine and morality."

From "Tzur Hatzvam"

Rabbi Eli Horowitz


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