THE BLOG
07/07/2014 09:44 am ET Updated Sep 06, 2014

Chosen

Another blow. More innocents slaughtered. Another bloody act in a land scorched by perpetual division. And another reminder that even the most seemingly justified acts can threaten to overwhelm all in a holocaust of dumb, deadly hatred.

And what do Jews do?

One thing they shouldn't do is act like all those who would visit misery upon them, not behave like those of lesser character, of lesser intellect, of lesser sense, to not regress into however justifiably violent a response to the unimaginably awful fate suffered by innocent children at the hands of animals. Because an eye for an eye, even in the worst circumstances, eventually leaves everyone blind.

The whole concept of being Chosen can be looked at differently from the accepted perception of Jews being special or anointed by God and therefore the focus of millennia of resentment from everyone relegated to being ignored by that same God, the way a bridge-and-tunnel reveler out for a good time is denied entrance to the VIP room at a club by a burly bouncer manning a velvet rope. Given the history of the Jews, the privileges a chosen people would purport to enjoy---if genocide and persecution could be deemed privilege---would refute any such designation.

Jews are no longer sheep. They have made the vow "never again" and have firmly established that promise as a central component in modern Jewishness. Enemies no longer engage Jews at their pleasure, they engage them at their peril. But given their biblical status along with their traditional approaches to education, family, spirituality and many other societal and cultural aspects they have sown disdain from those peoples less inclined to similar pursuits. Long ago out of a need to defend themselves, they necessarily became insular to preserve the finer aspects of their faith and in the mid 20th century, after their near-extinction, finally found the physical equivalent of the metaphysical advancements which had for so long contributed to their uniqueness and subsequent persecution. Hence, Israel is one of the most powerful nations on the planet.

But Jews should not be warriors. They need to be patient as they are powerful. They need to be wise as they are durable. They need to be compassionate as they are passionate. They have the highest humanity and all because of their understanding of what humans are capable of at their lowest.

Which is why they must renounce violent retribution in favor of peace. Violence no longer suits the Jewish cause, despite their historical justification. They are The Chosen People because they've been chosen to endure beyond what other peoples couldn't, chosen to show how to cope and survive differently from other living things, chosen to teach the lesson that humanity will continue only if it aims high, chooses life over death, embraces its fellows, does justly, loves mercy and walks humbly with God.

As long as angry, hurt people engage in retribution and revenge, violence, hatred and death of innocents will be perpetuated. Only a special, chosen people can understand what that means.

And how to stop it.