WHEN VIOLENCE FILLS THE LAND
by Miriam Ben-Yaacov,  March 25, 2004
Before G-D decided to destroy the earth in the day of Noah we are told: 
"The earth was corrupt before G-D, and the earth was filled with violence"  (Genesis 6:11).

We are told further in Psalms: 
"The L-rd tries the righteous:  but the wicked, and him who loves violence, his soul hates"  (Psalm 11:6).

In both cases the term for violence is the Hebrew word "hamas".  The corruption of the earth that caused G-D to destroy mankind in the Flood was "hamas", G-D hates -- yes, hates -- the soul of the wicked, violent ("hamas") man.

Today our Land is filled with violence by a people ironically called Hamas.  This violence has corrupted the Land to such an extent
that children are now being put through the fire of this violence.  The Palestinians strap bombs to their children and call them
martyrs of the cause.  Their hatred of us is greater than their love of their own children?!

But our children, too, have lived with this for so many years that we have teenagers now who know nothing but violence as everyday life.  It has been bad enough on the adults, but what is this doing to our children? -- instilling in them hopelessness and
fear and anger at "the other" that has typified Jewish experience of years of persecution.

Fear causes a person to look at his preservation in any way he can find, and, human nature being what it is, this usually means
his despair turns him away from faith in G-D.  This is precisely the way terror works -- as a tool to destroy faith.  It is plunging our world farther and farther into the darkness.  Is it any wonder that G-D HATES violence?!

Our dearest prayer is for peace -- real peace.  After all the failed strategies, we have to realize that the only true solution will
come from Heaven.  May we quickly come to the place in ourselves at which G-D will eradicate violence and all its lovers from
the Land of Israel.

Shabbat Shalom,
Miriam
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