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Shchem – Where Is Shimon? Where Is Levi?
"Shall he make of our sister a harlot?"
(Genesis 34: 31)
Some 3,500 years ago, an abomination was done to a Jew in Shchem. Dinah, daughter of Jacob, was raped by Shchem, the son of Chamor. Upon hearing of the obscenity, Dinah's brothers – Shimon and Levi – went into the town and slew every male.
Last month, an abomination was done to a Jew in Shchem. A Jewish soldier was murdered when an Arab dropped a huge rock on his head from a rooftop. Upon hearing of the obscenity, Dinah's brothers – Chief of Staff Dan Shomron and the general in charge of the Central command, Amram Mitzna – toured the scene of the murder, swore that the Arabs would pay "a high price" ( the exact words of Shomron were: "There is no doubt that we will react in this area in a way that will make it not worthwhile for local people to throw stones and the price will be heavy. Every reaction is possible. You will see this in the days to come") – and then proceeded to blow up the upper roof of the building from which the rock was dropped and brick up windows overlooking the alley.
As they did so, Arabs in adjacent buildings whistled and shouted, "Allahu Akhbar, Allah is great," and former Mayor Hafez Touquan said: "This has no deterrent effect whatsoever."
The shame of Israel, the Hillul Hashem – desecration of the Name – lies in the fact that today there is no Shimon, there is no Levi. There is only Dan Shomron who – as Chief of Staff, to our dishonor, and thus committed to crushing the intifada whose aim is to wipe out Israel – instead tells the news media that "the intifada cannot be defeated since it comes from nationalist roots." There is only Amram Mitzna, the disgrace of a soldier who, in the middle of the Lebanese war and following the Sabra and Satilla massacres of Arabs by Arabs, condemned the Israeli Defense Minister before a press conference in Beirut and then left his post and went home to his kibbutz, Ein Gav.
What a "high price" the Arabs of Shchem have paid. A roof, two houses blown up and windows bricked up and an area sealed – and the Arabs laughing and happily shouting Allah is great! "High price." What a fraud, what a lie. And how it typifies the entire government of deceit. They have no policy, they have no answers.
Where is Shimon? Where is Levi? Where is the Jewish knowledge that an abomination against a Jew has been done here and it must be dealt with in the only way that the Jew-haters understand? When Jacob heard of the act of Shimon and Levi he protested – not because it was immoral, as so many foolish Jews say, but – for practical reasons: He feared the retribution of the people of the land, saying, "You have brought trouble on me to make me odious among the inhabitants of the land … and I being few in number, they will gather themselves together against me, and slay me" (Genesis 34:30). No, not a moral argument, for there was nothing immoral about the act of Shimon and Levi. Jacob was simply afraid of the reaction of the gentiles around him.
And the reply of Shimon and Levi resounds throughout the ages: "Shall he make of our sister a harlot?" And Jacob is silent. There is no answer. For his sons are right . . .
Hillul Hashem! To defile a Jewess and treat her as a whore! Such a thing cannot be even if there is danger, because in the case of national Hillul Hashem, danger is set aside. And this was even when the Jews were a small minority in the midst of many gentiles. Even then, the demand to wipe out Hillul Hashem transcended danger. How much more so, when there is a State of Israel and an army that controls the city of Shchem! And how much greater is the Hillul Hashem that we bring on ourselves by our humiliating refusal to do that which we should – wipe out the terror by killing the murderers and driving out all the rest.
And the Or HaChaim in his commentary goes further: "To the contrary, there will be danger for them among the nations; when the latter will see that one low person ruled over Jacob and did as his pleasure, then the Jews would not be able to survive among the nations. And it is through this [the killing of the people of Shchem]that fear of the Jews will be on the nations and they will tremble before them."
Of course. It is only true punishment and a heavy hand of Jewish terror that is the way to terrify the nations who would otherwise wipe out Israel. It is the way of Shimon and Levi that not only leads to the natural terror of the gentile but also to G-d's approval: "And the terror of G-d was on the cities that were round about them and they did not pursue the sons of Jacob"(Genesis 35:5).
What the pathetic and humiliating policy of Shomron and Mitzna and their employers – Rabin and Shamir and Arens – has done has been to lift terror from the Arabs and give them confidence and contempt for the Jews. By this deadly and terrible policy, so couched in gentilized and Hellenized concepts of "morality" that is, in fact, repulsive murder, we guarantee the future blood of Jews. Because there is no Shimon and Levi, the Arab is unafraid and he thus will murder more Jews tomorrow, secure in the knowledge that the pathetic kibbutznikim of the army and the Hellenized political leaders of Likud and Labor will speak loudly and then do nothing to crush the Arab. It is the Arab who threw the rock that murdered the soldier but it is Shamir and Arens and Rabin and Shomron and Mitzna who are the accomplices. Their Jewish hands are red and filthy with Jewish blood.
And finally, a comprehensive understanding of Shimon and Levi for those who claim that they sinned when they killed the people of Shchem and were therefore cursed by their father.
The fact is that their father (as mentioned above) never castigated them on moral grounds but only out of practical fear of the nations. The fact is that they replied to him and he was silent, accepting their cry that no gentile could make of their sister a harlot. The fact is that G-d did not punish them but, to the contrary brought terror on the gentiles around them.
And the fact is that when G-d commanded the tribes to choose special and distinctive flags that they would fly proudly as they camped and traveled in the desert, the Rabbis tell us (Bamidbar Rabbah 2): "Shimon [the tribe of Shimon] had a flag whose color was green and had drawn on it the city of Shchem."
The city of Shchem? This was the flag of Shimon as commanded by G-d? This was what the ALL Mighty wished Shimon to wave on high for all to see? No, hardly a sin, but rather, as in the commentary of the Maharzu: "Because of their bravery and self-sacrifice in Shchem. And even though Levi was with him Shimon was the older and the main one. And this [flag] is his praise for his zealousness against the abomination of immorality."
And Maimonides explains the actions of Shimon and Levi (Hilchot Mlachim 9:14), and his words are brought down in the Ramban (Breishit 34:13): "The sons of Noah are commanded to uphold laws . . . and because of this all the people of Shchem were worthy of death since Shchem stole [Dinah] and they saw it and knew of it and did not try him."
And the Ramban gives his own reason as follows: For the sons of Jacob, since the people of Shchem were wicked people and blood for them was as water, wished to avenge themselves on them with an avenging sword. And they killed the king and all his servants who were obedient to him."
In any event, since it is clear that Shimon and Levi not only did not sin but, indeed, followed G-d's law, why then did Jacob apparently, curse them when he said: "Instruments of violence are their swords. Let my soul not come into their council . . . for in their anger they slew men, and in their self-will they uprooted an ox" (Genesis 49:6)
The answer is that, again, their actions against the people of Shchem, who had acquiesced in the abomination against Dinah, were totally justified. And that is why Jacob, after first protesting and then hearing their reply, was silent and agreed. But later, after learning that the same two sons had also intended to kill Joseph, and Shimon threw him into a pit that was teeming with snakes and scorpions (see Breishit Rabbah 84, and Rashi on Genesis 49:6. Who explains the words "And in their self-will they uprooted an ox." As referring to Joseph who was symbolized as an ox in Deuteronomy 33:17. "The firstling of his herd grandeur is his, and his horns are like the horns of a wild ox"), he then realized that their motivation in all that they did was violence and anger for its own sake. That is why they sinned – not because of the act itself but because their motivation was violent anger and this was manifested even against their own brother. And so he cursed, not them but their anger and their self-will.
No, those who dare raise their hand in abomination against Israel, whether through rape of Dinah or murder of a soldier, have raised their hands against the people of G-d. Hence against the ALL Mighty Himself. It is a Hillul Hashem that demands vengeance and punishment. Shimon and Levi destroyed the desecrators, and forever did the flag of Shimon eternalize the act.
But there is no Shimon and Levi today. There is only Shomron and Mitzna and Shamir and Arens – small people, unworthy to carry the flag of Sanctification. Their pitiful reaction is worse than nothing. It adds to the humiliation, to the Hillul Hashem. It spits in the grave of the murdered soldier and guarantees that others will follow him
The casbah where the soldier was murdered should have been razed to the ground and all the inhabitants of the city told that blood is on their heads and to flee before the sword of Shimon and Levi returns. Out! Out of the land! Shall our sister be as a harlot? Shall our brother the soldier be as one whose blood is cheap? We need a Shimon and Levi today. We need a government in Israel that understands that this is precisely its role