Rosh Hodesh of the Tenth Month-Hanukkah 5771
Recently, a number of my friends were sending around a video of a woman with a guitar singing Havdallah, the berakhoth (blessings) said, or sung, at the conclusion of Shabbath. She gives an introduction to Havdallah first, suggesting that as we separated Shabbath from the rest of the week, we should remember to separate ourselves from several other things:
To separate ourselves from hatred, indifference, and violence,...and to promote peace, caring, fairness, and love.
Sounds like good stuff, doesn't? I'm confused, though. So, I decided to respond.
For any number of reasons, I am not posting the video in question on my blog. If you really MUST view it, then click here. Just make sure you leave a comment.
Here is my response:
Here is the text of birkhath Havdallah:
המבדיל בין קודש לחול, בין אור לחושך, בין ישראל לגוים (לעמים*), ובין יום השביעי לששת ימי המעשה
...who distinguishes between Holy and profane, between light and dark, between Yisra'el and the other nations, and between the Seventh Day and the six days of work...
Separation from hatred? Too vague. True, we are not to hate fellow kosher Jews. We are not to hate tinoq shenishba. Yet, we are not supposed to stand idly by, while such Jews do great harm to Am Yisra'el, both physically and spiritually. Furthermore, we are supposed to hate our enemies. We our supposed to hate evil, and evil doers. We are supposed to hate avodah zarah. And, according to Rav Avraham Yitzhaq Kook ztz”l, we must hate the evil within those Jews who do not know Torah, before we can make attempts to bring them back.**
So, which hatred is this woman talking about? Hatred which is forbidden? Or all hatred,...hatred according to her? Is it OK to hate Jews who live in Yitzhar, Havath Gil'ad, Hevron, and Havath Ma'on?
Indifference? Indifference toward whom? Hungry Jews in Israel? Jews expelled from their homes and land in Yehudah, Shomron, & Azza? Then, I would certainly agree. Unfortunately, my guess, and it's only a guess, is that she's referring to indifference to the "suffering" of our Arab enemies.
Violence? First off, we see from the examples of Hamas that violence works. And, what do you know? Violence has its place in Torah, too. Violence is what our Arab enemies understand. There are, after all, Yisma'el. Just check out each time Yishma'elim are mentioned in Tana"kh or by HaZa"L, and you will see that they are thieving, marauding, and murdering. And, let us not forget rape. As HaZa"L points out, ...אין זנות כזנות ישמעאל... "There is no promiscuity, like the promiscuity of Yishma'el."
Rather than go on and on about each line of her introduction to Havdallah, I will give you my alternative, one which is in line with Torah:
As we separate Shabbath from the six days of work, Holy from profane, light from dark, and ourselves from goyim, let us...
Separate ourselves from non-Jewish values.
Separate ourselves from galuth (diapora).
Separate ourselves from galuth mentality.
Separate ourselves from gaivah (pride).
Separate ourselves from Yishma'el (Arabs).
Separate ourselves from Esau (The West/Christians).
Separate ourselves from denial of Torah sheb'al Peh (Oral Torah).
Separate ourselves from distortions of Torah.
Separate ourselves from attempts to pass off Western concepts as Torah.
Separate ourselves from feminism.
Separate ourselves from sham conversions.
Separate ourselves from “reformed,” “reconstructed,” “renewed,” or “conned and served” excuses for what Judaism really is.
...and in honor of Hanukkah...
Let us Separate ourselves from all additional forms of Hellenism and Hellenist Jewish influences!
**From Kitvei HaRav Kook, rescued from the genizah of Yeshivath Merkaz HaRav Kook by Rav Y. Shapira.