When Humanism Becomes Fundamentalism
The evening after the civil defense drill in the schools, I asked my son where the children from his Talmud Torah were supposed to go when the siren sounds. He answered: "The Chamber of the Holocaust."
I was taken aback. Then I realized that the partly subterranean chamber is no doubt the only sealable space on Mt. Zion. A good choice from a tactical point of view.
I am haunted, however, by the image of my son and his young classmates, wearing their juvenile-sized gasmasks during an Iraqi attack, sitting amidst the artifacts of the genocide of European Jewry.
And I realize that only the circumstances of time and place distinguish the evil of the Holocaust from the evil of the Arab jihad against us. Essentially there is no difference between Elie Wiesel's family and Daniel Pearl. They both walked unsuspectingly into the clutches of evil. If we don't learn from the tragedy of Daniel Pearl, will our humanistic fundamentalism be our final folly?
Sara Yoheved Rigler is the author of the new Battle Plans: How to Fight the Yetzer Hara (with Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller), as well as the bestsellers Holy Woman and Lights from Jerusalem. She is a graduate of Brandeis University. After fifteen years of practicing and teaching meditation and Eastern philosophy, she discovered "the world's most hidden religion: Torah Judaism." Since 1985, she has been practicing the spiritual path of Torah. She is a popular international lecturer on subjects of Jewish spirituality and also presents two highly-acclaimed workshops for women. She resides in the Old City of Jerusalem with her husband and children.