We Jews permit ourselves degrees of intolerance towards each other that we would never exhibit toward others outside our community. The settings are numerous – theology, Halacha, denominations, politics and more.
But nowhere are the vehemence and the inability to actually listen to those with whom we disagree more pronounced than with regard to the State of Israel.
The great irony of our age is that arguments about how to safeguard the Jewish state are a significant part of what now threatens to destroy any semblance of unity among the Jewish people. It is therefore helpful to have periodic reminders of just how much is at stake in the survival and flourishing of this state.
This week affords just that opportunity, for we are just days shy of the 70th anniversary of the sinking of the SS Struma. Few people today remember the Struma or its story; the young among us cannot even imagine the Jewish existential condition that it reflected, a condition that the state has, thankfully, completely eradicated.