by Y. Wurzel
How to Cope with Suicidal Frogs
One of the most fundamental traits of all earthly creatures
is the survival instinct. Every creature yearns to survive
and devotes its full attention to the battle for existence it
is forced to wage against all perils that pose a threat to
its well-being. All living creatures have this trait in
common: animals, beasts, birds, creatures that creep on the
earth, and of course humans.
Palestinian suicide bombers are a notable exception. They are
willing to sacrifice their lives with an easiness that defies
human understanding. People who look perfectly normal behave
in the least normal manner conceivable. They knowingly -- and
even with unconcealed joy -- strap on the explosives belt and
set off to blow themselves to bits, as if making their way to
a family simchah.
A survey of the long history of war worldwide reveals no
other people that has sent its sound-minded sons to commit
suicide -- if the notion of a sound mind can be applied to
suicide bombers. In fact, throughout the generations, the
nations of the world strove to defend their warriors, lives
as far as they could, investing great resources into ways of
reducing casualties as much as possible. Weapons experts
around the world have been busy for years and years doing
research and experiments designed solely to invent new
methods and devices and to perfect protective measures for
combat soldiers in order to provide them with the most
sophisticated survival tools possible.
Some people used to delude themselves into thinking that
suicide attacks by Palestinians were a peripheral phenomenon.
According to their assessments, the suicide bomber had very
little ability to cause real harm because he was part of a
small band of terrorists suffering from a certain degree of
retardation, making it relatively easy to brainwash the
members to keep them from realizing the real significance of
committing suicide. According to this assessment, terrorist
attacks were supposed to end as soon as the short list of
volunteers was depleted.
Today, however, the whole world knows that not only is the
list of potential suicide attackers not limited, but it is
growing from day to day. Completely normal people without
mental problems or impaired intelligence contact terrorist
organizations on their own initiative to try to win the
"privilege" of being placed at the top of the list of suicide
bombers. These terrorists are not necessarily ignorant or
primitive; they hail from every layer of Palestinian society
including the rank-and-file, young people with an academic
education, family men with respectable professions and
regular income. The female terrorist who carried out the
attack at the restaurant in Haifa was neither insane nor
ignorant, and was not even driven to despair by financial
distress. A lawyer by profession, she was an intelligent
woman who successfully passed through the academic track. The
woman who blew herself up at the Erez crossing last week was
a 22-year-old mother of two children.
Indeed there is no more salient case of abnormal conduct by
an entire people than this frightful phenomenon of suicide
attacks and the entire religious- nationalist cult branching
out from it. The human mind cannot comprehend such abnormal
behavior. After every "successful" suicide attack, friends
and acquaintances of the attackers who just blew themselves
to smithereens go out into the streets to celebrate by
shooting into the air and shouting in exultation. Their
"spiritual" leaders shower the suicide bombers and their
families with praise. Bereaved mothers receive the news of
their own offspring's suicide by bursting out in displays of
joy. Such behavior defies explanation.
To make some sense of the enigma, remarks made by a prominent
darshan in Eretz Yisroel should be kept in mind. He
described at length the great astonishment prevailing in
Egypt when a new breed of frogs was suddenly discovered --
suicidal frogs. Instead of acting like all other frogs in the
world and like every other creature that fears fire, the
frogs in Egypt altered their nature and jumped fearlessly
into everything, including ovens. Anybody who contemplates
this wonder immediately comes to the singular conclusion that
this is no mere coincidence, but etzba Elokim.
Pharaoh, too, would have realized this had HaKodosh Boruch
Hu not hardened his heart to prevent him from reaching
the obvious conclusion.
Had a frog expert appeared on the scene and offered the
Egyptians a normal solution, such as to close off the frogs'
access with a fence, all of Egypt would have mocked him. When
so many frogs suddenly pop up out of nowhere and jump into
various places normal frogs are afraid to go near, it becomes
clear that this abnormal phenomenon cannot be solved with a
simple solution, such as setting up buffer zones and high
fences. Had someone proposed confronting the problem through
"focused preventative measures" they would have had him
committed to a locked facility. How is it possible to strike
fear in the hearts of frogs that do not know what fear is?
How is it possible to use conventional means to deal with a
phenomenon that is highly unconventional? How is it possible
to think such an unnatural thing is a coincidence?
When an entire people loses the drive for self-preservation
ingrained in every creature we must examine our ways in
search of the reason why this evil has befallen us. Of course
we must also employ every possible means of physical
hishtadlus as well, to reduce the danger as much as
possible; this is not the right forum for critiquing steps
the government has taken as part of its hishtadlus,
but even these efforts are merely ways of handling the
manifestations of the problem without addressing the root
cause -- like building a first-aid clinic next to a rickety
bridge to treat the people who fall off it.
When we see how all of the frogs suddenly start to go crazy
it is incumbent upon us to realize He Who created the frogs
and brought them to Egypt and commanded them to become
suicidal frogs, He alone can change everything from one
extreme to the other in an instant.
In our present state, when so many dear Jews are asking,
"Mei'ayin yovo ezri?" this is the right time to start
spreading the news: "Ezri mei'im Hashem, oseih Shomayim
All of the various declarations and remarks that the solution
will be reached when the Palestinians sustain terrible blows
or after a political solution appears on the horizon or after
Arafat is expelled from the Mukta'ah, etc. -- these are all
haveil havolim. We are not suffering because the
Palestinians have lost their humanity, rather the
Palestinians lost their humanity because we have to
Only He Who turned the Palestinian terrorists into an enemy
capable of acting in such an abnormal way can bring them back
to what they should be. Heavenly salvation is the solution to
all of the problems and crises, and it will arrive,
besiyata deShmaya, in the blink of an eye. All we have
to do is strive to be worthy of it.
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