In the wake of an arson attack on a mosque in the Upper Galilee village of Tuba Zangaria overnight Monday, October 2, 2011, Shalom Hartman Institute President Donniel Hartman issued this statement:
Jewish sovereignty and the power that it has produced have been a blessing and a curse that have dramatically changed the Jewish people.
The blessing is that we now have the opportunity to defend ourselves. The curse is the elements within us that have become heady with this power and that do not distinguish between the ability to use it and the right to use it.
Read a Hebrew version of Donniel Hartman’s statement.
Read a commentary on the mosque burning from Rabbi Dr. Ariel Picard, Educational Director of the Institute’s Be’eri program.
There are people who are walking around today, saying proudly: "We showed them; we have retaliated for our dead." Most of us, however, are walking around with our heads bowed in shame.
Sovereignty cannot usurp the Jewish value which measures heroism in our ability to overcome our desires. If the gift of sovereignty is seen only as a means to enable us to satisfy our desire to be “like all the nations," then we have failed as a state, as a people, and as a religion.
Jewish sovereignty must respect not only every person, but every religion, and a sacred place for part of the population must be sacred to us all.
Today’s actions came with a heavy "price tag" for all of our citizens – not just those that are Muslim. These actions have hurt our identity and our aspirations. We have sinned.
You care about Israel, peoplehood, and vibrant, ethical Jewish communities. We do too.