Cometh Sabbath, Cometh Rest

So goes the Jewish proverb about the Sabbath. But as we enter Shabbat, we cannot help but think of the restlessness that is the lot of the three Israeli soldiers held in captivity by Hezbollah and Hamas, two in Lebanon we hope and one in Gaza. They are not likely resting this sabbath, nor are their families.

As I took a pre-sabbath jog around a very peaceful Jerusalem this afternoon, I thought about the ironies of the peacefulness that Shabbat brings and the hostilities raging in the North of Israel and Hezbollah continues to rain deadly katyusha rockets on civilians there. 3 days after the un-provoked cross border attack that ended in 7 Israeli soldiers dead and two hostages, there seems to be no end in sight. Maybe that is a good thing, as this Israeli government will finally get serious about punishing terrorists who cross our borders.

I am also struck however, by two other contrasts. One, mentioned by l and one, inadvertantly pointed out by a colleague of mine.

Michael Oren points to the fact that Israels two-front war is being waged in exactly the two places that Israel withdrew from unilaterally (will provide link after shabbat), Gaza and Lebanon (one even resulted in a UN demarcated and affirmed border (Lebanon)). The additional irony stems from Israel’s attack on Lebanon’s infratsructure. My friend pointed out that this may boomerang on Israel. I thought to myself, why is Israel aattacking infranstructure and then it dawned on me. In addition to trying to prevent Hezbollah from smuggling the two captive soldiers to Iran, Israel is trying to make the attack painful without directly attacking civilians, as is always Israel’s approach. in contrast, Hezbollah wantonly rains Katyusha’s on Israel’s civilian population.

As the sun sets here, we pray for the release of the soldiers and a very peaceful shabbat.

[Originally published on 14th July 2006 by MIchael Eisenberg]