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There are three ways to deal with enemies: surrender, information pills fight, or make peace by neutralizing the root of their animosity.

The Ba’al Shem Tov told it as a story. Once a king called one of his officers and sent him on a secret mission, saying: I desire to test the loyalty of my subjects. Dress yourself as a king and go from state to state throughout my dominion; try your hardest to persuade and win over the people to rebel against me and accept you as king.

The officer followed the king’s orders to the best of his ability. The various states in the dominion of the king reacted in different ways. Some were persuaded that it is for their benefit to rebel against their king and to accept the new figure as king. Some fought the new figure, in loyalty to their king. But there was one state of wise men who possessed the insight to realize that it is all a hoax, and that this new “king” is no more than a servant of the true king, who was sent by him to test their loyalty. They revealed to the officer his true motivation and intentions, which he immediately acknowledged, thus neutralizing his apparent antagonism to the king and making peace with him.

Thus we learn that there are two levels of loyalty to the king, portrayed in this story by the two types of negative reaction to the officer. One is referred to by the prophet as “I [God, the King] love the youth [the youthful spirit] of Israel” (“??? ????? ??????”). The youth of Israel fight back against the temptation of evil (the deceptive king) to rebel against God, putting themselves in danger, ready to die for God, their King. The second is loyalty together with a deep, mature sense of wisdom, the insight necessary to reveal the hoax at the root of the plot and end the story in peace with a joyous lechai’im!

In our day there are some who confuse peace with surrender, who call surrender together with a “peace accord” making peace. Not only has the antagonism of the enemy not been neutralized but it even becomes enhanced in this false version of “peace” (which is no more than submission to evil out of lack of faith in God and the eternal truth of His Word, the Torah).

Israel needs a strong youth (a strong, courageous heart) directed by a mature, adult leadership (a wise, insightful head). The leadership that we are lacking is one that believes in God (and His Torah) and recognizes that all is from God, often intended to test us and thereby strengthen us, for our ultimate good and for the good of all mankind.

2 Responses to “The Heart and Mind of Dealing with Enemies”

  1. Yonah Alexandre Bronstein says:

    Great post; will help a lot in my inner battles. On the outer front however, would Moshe Feiglin be the answer?

  2. R. G. says:

    There are those who live their lives and fight against their enemies and gladly surrender to those who love them.
    There are others who sadly, surrender to their enemies and fight against those who love them.