"And Aaron was silent ..."

Leviticus 10:3 — because the horror was beyond what words could convey

The above video, making its way around social media here, was filmed in Huwara, the village in which Israeli Jews set Palestinian homes ablaze after the murder of two Israelis earlier in the day. You can hear, very clearly, the words of the Kaddish as a group of Jews gathers to watch the flames, and at the same time, to pray, to recite the words

“Magnified and sanctified be the name of God ….”

Our politics make no difference. Our religious preferences make no difference. Our competing takes on history make no difference.

Yes, it was a horrible day, and yes, innocent Jewish blood was horrifyingly spilled once again with the murder in cold blood of two Israeli brothers. Yes, that has to stop.

Still, to this we are descending? If this is what some of us are becoming, there’s really nothing to say, just as in Aaron’s case — except perhaps to quote the prophet Isaiah (1:14-15) and to weep.

חָדְשֵׁיכֶם וּמוֹעֲדֵיכֶם שָׂנְאָה נַפְשִׁי הָיוּ עָלַי לָטֹרַח נִלְאֵיתִי נְשֹׂא
וּבְפָרִשְׂכֶם כַּפֵּיכֶם אַעְלִים עֵינַי מִכֶּם גַּם כִּי תַרְבּוּ תְפִלָּה אֵינֶנִּי שֹׁמֵעַ יְדֵיכֶם דָּמִים מָלֵאוּ

Your new moons and your appointed times I utterly despise. They have become a burden to me, I cannot bear them.1

And when you spread your palms, I avert My eyes from you. Though you abundantly pray, I do not listen. Your hands are full of blood.


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1

Taken from Robert Alter’s translation of the Hebrew Bible.