Ethics

For the week ending 5 April 2003 / 3 Nisan 5763

Lions and Lambs

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
Is it proper for a nation to wage war against the government of another nation which it sees as a threat to its security?
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

Question: Is it proper for a nation to wage war against the government of another nation which it sees as a threat to its security?

Answer: This question is the one being raised at all of the demonstrations throughout the world as a result of the American-led coalition invasion of Iraq. The answer is obvious from the perspective of Torah law which commands us to take preemptive action against one who intends to slay us.

Those who ignore this Divine wisdom are also ignoring the lessons of history.

World War Two, with all of its agony, could have been averted if the European nations threatened by Nazi Germany would have made a realistic appraisal of that threat and demonstrated determination rather than appeasement. Seeking "peace in our time" the appeasers allowed Hitler to annex Austria and to swallow up Czechoslovakia. The rest is a tragic chapter in history which may be summed up in a little parable:

A retired diplomat from the appeasement school was appointed director of a biblical zoo. Utilizing his skills and experience he succeeded in drawing tremendous crowds to visit the zoo. The main attraction was a cage occupied by a lion and a lamb, illustrating the prophetic vision of peace. An old friend who was so overwhelmed by this scene asked the director how he managed to have the "lion and the lamb lie down together", a feat reserved by the prophet for the end of days.

"Simple," answered the great appeaser. "Every day another lamb!"

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