Monday, May 23, 2011

Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead

Okay, witches are supposed to be female, but see Rashi to "Mekhashefa lo tehayeh." And we usually don't rejoice at people dying, but in certain cases, e.g. Adolf Eichmann, we make an exception. And so we do here. Osama bin Laden, arch-terrorist, mastermind of the attacks on the American Marine barracks at Beirut, the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, the U.S.S. Cole, and of course the murder of some 3000 good Americans at the World Trade Center, is no longer among the living. In scenes reminiscent of the celebrations at the end of World War II, throngs gathered in Times Square, the site of the destroyed Twin Towers, the field in Western Pennsylvania where passengers brought down a hijacked plane before it could reach its target, and other places around the country, throngs gathered to celebrate.

Good riddance to bad rubbish - Crowds gather
at Times Square to celebrate the death of Osama
bin Laden at the hands of elite Navy SEALS

The treasure trove of intelligence captured in Osama's hideout (actually a veritable palace a stone's throw from a major Pakistani military facility) showed that Osama was no mere figurehead. Until the very end, he was actively involved in plotting attacks against us and our allies, with the aim of placing the entire world under a seventh-century Islamic caliphate. Nonetheless, our troubles with Islamic terrorism are far from over. There are "sleeper cells" that will activate and seek revenge. Haman al-Zawahiri, Osama's second in command, needs to swing from the gallows. Freedom-loving people the world over must still remain vigilant; we must get it right all the time, while the enemy need only get lucky once. And those on the front lines against terror should include more - much more - observant Jews in American uniforms; it is our country, our values and our freedom that are being defended.

I must now retire my running top with REBUILD on the front and the N.Y. Post wanted poster on the back. A few days after Osama's liquidation I ran the Wall Street Heart Run, passing the World Trade Center site, in a new shirt featuring Osama's bullet-riddled mug on the back. One fellow runner told me I was giving witches a bad name.

Macabre, bad taste, gloating over the violent death of another human being? Perhaps. But we are not burdened with Christian love-your-enemy nonsense. When the Egyptians drowned in the Reed Sea and the angels sang praise, God stopped them: My handiwork is drowning in the sea and you sing praise? It is instructive that He did not stop us, and Shirat Hayam remains part of the daily service. Men at war cannot be expected to behave like angels, and when an archfoe like Osama bin Laden bites the dust, we are unabashedly happy.

So shall all Your enemies perish, Lord


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