April 13, 2024
Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.
April 13, 2024
Search
Close this search box.

Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Daf Yomi and the Solution to Humanitarian And Military Crises in Gaza

Notwithstanding the United Nations Security Council vote of this past Monday, Shushan Purim, whose full or even partial compliance was still far from guaranteed as this issue went to press, there is pressure for the Israelis not only to stop fighting (without getting any hostages back at that time, let alone all of them, as required by the resolution), and not only to allow more humanitarian aid to reach the “civilians” in Gaza, but also to pay for that humanitarian aid, either directly or indirectly, even though many of these civilians voted for Hamas to take power, supported what happened on October 7, and continue to harbor hostages.

The Daf Yomi in the Gemara currently being studied (Baba Metzia 28) discusses what happens if a person finds lost property that works and eats, such as an animal that can be harnessed to pull a plough and thus brings in income. In this case, the finder should maintain the animal while trying to ascertain who lost it; however, if the lost and found property is an animal that just eats without producing any revenue, the animal should not be retained while the search for the owner continues, but should be sold—not even that it may be sold,but it should be sold. The reasoning, as per the Shitah Mekubetzet, cited by Rabbi Rosner in his Daf Yomi shiur, is “dracheha darchei noam,”the ways of God are ways of pleasantness. There is a limit to the “impositions” expected of a Good Samaritan – or of a good Gemara-following Jew—to care for any of God’s creatures, but only if they cannot care for themselves, or pay their own way, one way or another. (There are always enough people in this world in need of assistance who do not have rich relatives or Big Brothers in rich governments or international aid entities, and these people, who have nobody else to help them and no other government or U.N. assistance, should presumably get priority.)

So what is the relevance of this discussion in the Gemara to the poor, now-homeless Arabs in Gaza? In a sane and fair world, Israel might—or might not—be expected to cooperate even more than they already are in transporting humanitarian aid and assistance to civilians in Gaza while these civilians are in limbo like the lost and found animal referred to in the Gemara; but in a sane and fair world, Hamas-controlled Arabs in Gaza should not be harboring hostages; Hamas-controlled Gazans should not be attacking convoys bearing humanitarian aid; and Hamas itself should not be launching missiles against the Israelis (including, in effect, against fellow Arabs who find themselves in harm’s way and range). Arab civilians in Gaza should have been earning money invested in industry and farming from the millions of dollars sent to them for assistance over the years, and neighboring Arabs with unlimited petrodollars should be expected to provide assistance and refuge, and to reimburse the Israelis for their assistance to fellow Arabs. But in the world we live in, most of the “humanitarian” assistance sent to the Arabs in Gaza since the Israelis handed the region back to the Arabs about 20 years ago has been spent on destructive tunnels instead of constructive infrastructure that would have enablede the Gazans to support themselves and to have money left over to give the Israelis to help transport humanitarian aid.

Actually, the Israelis did leave very productive greenhouses behind, nearly 20 years ago, but the Gazans cut their respective noses to spite their faces by burning the greenhouses to the ground until they were charred and black, eliminating sources of support given to them on a silver platter, thoughts of repercussions not considered.

There is a simple solution to the problem. The world should insist on (1) capturing or “neutralizing,” or helping Israel to capture or “neutralize” the terrorists whose leaders stole much of the “humanitarian” aid over the past 20 years through to the present, and who converted it into destructive tunnels and weapons, (2) recovering the money skimmed off by their leaders now living in luxury in Qatar and elsewhere and stashed away in Swiss bank accounts or other locations and investments, and (3) providing the means and assistance for Gazans to work for their sustenance, with no more raw materials that can be utilized to construct tunnels and weapons.

Dracheha darchei noam. The ways of God are ways of pleasantness. If only the ways of more politicians, diplomats and other decision-makers throughout the world, let alone ordinary citizens, would follow the ways of God more closely.

The writer is an attorney who devoted some time, as a student, volunteering in a religious kibbutz near the Gaza border, and knows from experience how productive this area can be, notwithstanding the proximity of Jews to Arabs in the region.

Leave a Comment

Most Popular Articles