When I read Todd Greenberg’s “Surrender” (BJN, 11/6/23) I was temporarily transported back to 1967’s “Summer of Love” in Haight-Ashbury. Unfortunately it’s now 2023 in the Middle East, and Israel has been attacked by the savage, 7th Century Islamic fundamentalist terrorist barbarians of Hamas. These people view the sort of pacifism expressed by Greenberg as a variety of infidel decadence and weakness. They view the proper response as beheading, torturing, and/or burning alive anyone expressing Goldberg’s sentiments. Given any chance they will do exactly that, just as they did it in Israel on 10/7.
The Torah does not require us to passively submit to being brutally murdered. In fact the Torah commands us that if someone comes to murder us, we should rise up and kill him first. It’s a quintessentially Jewish religious imperative, and it’s vital for our survival given the the enemies we face. Greenberg’s poem is a nice piece of elegiac nostalgia; I suggest that after we’re done reading it, we all sign up for appropriate training in self defense.
Daniel H. Trigoboff, Ph.D.
Williamsville, NY 14221