the world drips with irony today

More than other days, that is.

On Yom HaShoah, we find out that Bin Laden has been killed. Earlier that evening, at our Yom HaShoah shul program, we heard witness from an incredible man who had survived Auschwitz with a sense of humor that most people could not even dream of, much less his incredible memory. And we came home and we puttered around and then we heard the news, which opened the floodgates of irony.

As stated on Muqata:

America assassinated a terrorist yesterday. One who wasn’t a ticking bomb at the time. The US has no problem admitting they sent the team in to kill, not capture the terrorist. A human shield (willing or not, is unknown) was killed in the process. And the terrorist’s body was dumped into the sea.

You can guarantee, that unlike in Israel, the soldiers who killed the human shield won’t be tried in a civil or military court for that, or even berated. You can guarantee that the politicians are not debating if Osama should have been captured instead of killed – even if he wasn’t a ticking bomb at the time. And you can guarantee that no one is complaining how the US treated the terrorist’s body.

But we have to be kidding ourselves if we feel safer today than we did yesterday before we knew it had happened. We have to be kidding ourselves if we don’t think that there will be any lack of candidates of fools to take his place. And we have to be kidding ourselves to think that this ushers in any kind of peace initiative, that these bad guys will put down their arms and say let’s join arms and hands and kumbaya away the night.

We have a right to celebrate the death of an evil man. On Rav Aviner’s website was posted his response to Arafat’s death, and this is part of what he said:

It is also true that when the angels wanted to sing and join with the song of the Children of Israel after the Splitting of the Red Sea, the Master of the Universe prevented them, saying: “My handiwork has drowned in the sea and you are singing a song?” (see Sanhedrin 39b and Megillah 10b). This is correct, and yet the Children of Israel did sing! How so? We are not angels. As the Admor of Pisetzna, Rav Kalman Kalonymus Shapira, wrote during the Holocaust (see “Aish Kodesh”): Was an angel ever hit? Was an angel ever murdered? Was an angel ever humiliated? We were! The angels did not suffer as we did in Egypt, so they could not sing. But we did suffer — suffered immensely — and therefore during the Exodus from Egypt “Moshe sang.” And Miriam and the women also went out with singing and dancing after the Splitting of Red Sea and the drowning of the Egyptians. And so, for Arafat, as for the Egyptians, we say, “and joy went through the camp” (Melachim 1 22:26) and we say “when the wicked perish, there is joy” (Mishlei 11:10).

May we be comforted by the building of Jerusalem.

I like that last line, in particular.

It adds to the irony of the day that Rav Shapiro, of course, was killed during the Holocaust, yet his words do live on.

So here’s an extra helping of irony. This suburb of Islamabad where Mr Osama had been holed up for at least a few months, living probably very comfortably, was founded by a British officer, Abbott.

Like much of the region, Abbottabad has long been a theater of sectarian and religious rivalry. Back in the mid-19th century a British officer named Maj. James Abbott brought peace to an area that saw violent confrontations between its Sikh and Muslim populations. Abbott’s contribution was recognized when the town was named after him.

And how do they treat the Sikhs today? And how do the Muslims treat anyone who is not them? And when will they notice the double-standard that the world keeps imposing upon us Jews?


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