‘Not enough evidence to convict suspected Jewish terrorist Pearlman’ – Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News

Chaim Pearlman in court Wednesday.

via ‘Not enough evidence to convict suspected Jewish terrorist Pearlman’ – Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News.

Helping Jews move beyond the Holocaust to the Rule of Law

You see this face? This is the face of an angel. I see the face of an angel. This is what I spent most of my life thinking of and dreaming of as the face of an angel. His name means ‘life’ and I grew up feeling that he was preserving the ‘life’ the soul of our people. That is what we were doing in Kollel, the learning halls of perpetual study. I grew up worshiping the Ben Toah, the student of Torah, a young person of study, humility, gentleness, that has  been a prototype of ideal Jewish life going back thousands of years. He has early ancestors in generations of youth going  back to the great cities of Babylon, let alone all the major cities of Europe, West and East. He is embedded in my ideal self. I see him and I see calm, insight, thoughtfulness, intelligence, I see the character of Danny in the Potok’s The Chosen, and Motel the Tailor, of Fiddler on the Roof, all wrapped into one, gentle, learned, thoughtful, sensitive.

So how does this face of an angel become a racist and a murderer? Easy, bad teachers, bad philosophies. You can’t tell me he has had a harder life than 2000 years of pious young men in Eastern Europe and elsewhere. But for me losing him, turning against him, insisting that there actually be the rule of law in Israel so a man like this can stay behind bars the rest of his life, be deprived of life, the way that he deprived so many others, this is hard for me emotionally–and for millions of Jews who refuse to enforce the rule of law in Israel and Palestine. So I ask my readers to understand that the death of Potok’s Danny and Sholom Aleichem’s Motel is a hard death for us. The Nazis killed their bodies but this man has killed the soul of that Jewish archetype. We need to evolve a new set of archetypes of piety and decency, and it is not easy to face this.

© Marc Gopin