Question: It is possible to say that Israel is now in a “post-traumatic period” after the last military conflict in Gaza. In connection to this, I would want to understand what is happening with us, and what to expect later. How can we attain some kind of certainty, stability, and hope for a good future?
The war apparently ended and the nation returned to “normal life.” However, it is not understood what kind of a normal life it is possible to speak about at all. After all, the threat has not disappeared and the sensation is quite alarming. All that is left is to wait for the next round of violence and new missile bombardments.
Answer: Returning to normal life is like returning to your mother’s good, comfortable, and peaceful home. However, Israelis are returning to their normal life that is impossible to call normal, and during the latest conflict, additional traumas have been added to them.
It seems to me that the situation today is more stable than at the time of the military operations. At least, everything was clear then. They shoot; we shoot. Now, we are returning to a much more uncertain situation.
During the war, the Israeli society consolidated strongly. The newspapers behaved respectfully and didn’t upset the people with sensational articles. Everything was relaxed. The commotion quieted down because while facing a common threat, we didn’t continue with idle chatter. However, the moment that the military situation ended, everything immediately returned to the previous competition, to everyone’s struggle with their personal interests, to political quarrels.
So, the war ended, but life is felt as less stable than during the war. We hope that we are returning to a secure and normal life, yet this doesn’t exist. However, if the people of Israel will get together and attain some kind of unity, then it will succeed. Specifically then, we will reach stability and security. Many people remember warmly that sensation of unity that appears in times of danger. As long as the missiles fell on us, we felt that we needed each other. We had one desire, one concern. Even though we were frightened, we were together, and some kind of sweetness was felt in this. However, the moment the threat disappeared, we returned again to the previous separation and were ready to “devour” each other.
What gives hope is that, for the first time, people were sorry that we lost the unity that was attained and returned to the previous indifference, returned to building their profitable life at someone else’s expense.
This is not a post-traumatic situation from the last war. Rather, these are new traumas. However, this time, the situation finally began to become clear, and many people understood that the usual situation, when we are found without an external threat, is unacceptable.
The war let us feel what it means to be one people, consolidated, living with concern for each other and not in competition. It is understood that no one wants the reason for this unity to be war, but at least now we have discovered and felt what we are missing.
The problem is only in this: that this unity is attained only under the pressure of an external threat. Baal HaSulam compares our people to a sack of nuts that don’t want to connect and brush up against each other with their shells with a lot of noise, but the sack holds us together. At least from this, a feeling of mutual support with the neighbor, with acquaintances, with every person—every Israeli and citizen of this nation—appears with us.
The moment that the sack tears, all the nuts scatter in different directions, and, again, we have no feeling of belonging to one people. So, again and again, we require new external threats. We see that the higher power will not leave us in peace. We see this according to the anti-Semitism that has grown so much in the world.
I get letters with an identical question from Jewish acquaintances in South America, Texas, and Europe: “Where do you suggest that we go? What are we to do?” I am talking about South American and European Jews who were born in these nations, in these cultures. They are educated, they have good professions, and now they are forced to look where to hide, but there isn’t a place anywhere. They already are thinking, “Perhaps, there is another planet besides planet Earth?” This is how much they feel that there is no place for them anywhere.
I hope that faced with anti-Semitism like this, we will be forced to connect and unite, and then we will survive. If we will become linked more strongly, then we will succeed in everything, and we will win every struggle. No one can do anything to us. It is enough for the people of Israel to unite, and no one will pressure us anymore. The higher management works like this: that, if we yearn for unity, then the external threat and pressure will disappear immediately.
So, everything depends only upon our inner balance and connection, and all the economic, social and political problems and security depend only upon relationships between people, whether the people of Israel live in the land of Israel as a united people. This way, we tilt the entire world’s scale toward the side of merit or the side of condemnation.
From KabTV’s “A New Life” 9/2/14