|Tyrant Turned to Toy by Divine Power|
Since then, I have been moved by the way some Christians seek to love their enemies. I see that idea as radical, visionary and subversive; not accepting the dynamic of conflict and hate but rather insisting on a spiritual approach grounded in love. This is not a comparison between Judaism and Christianity or their histories, I am well aware of the blood shed by Christian crusaders. I also think the fact that Jews were powerless for 2000 years is a factor. This is an honest exploration of my own tradition and familiar stories to discover ideas about the response to enemies I had not noticed before. I have discovered some legalistic elements, but most exciting was a radical and subversive aspect to what could seem to be callous harshness.
As a Yeshiva student, I was sitting in the library late one night with a book while some of my fellow student has broken the lock to the kitchen and were frying shnitzels when they should have been in bed. The head of the Yeshiva, a bit of an absent-minded professor type, came screaming up the street in his orange Honda, vrrroommmrrmrmm. He throws the door open to the building and screams at the top of his lungs, “Ahh Chutzpehhhhh!” All the guilty young scholars are by now safely in their beds, their lights out, while the Shnitzels continue to fry as if being cooked by ghosts. The authority figure- my Yeshiva head, runs up and down the stairs through the building like a ball in one of those old pinball machines. He finds no one, until he discovers me in the library. He gave me what sounded like a very harsh long angry lecture about how I was destroying the whole school. I put on a very sad puppy-dog face, nodded my head and was not in the least bit offended by the whole comic spectacle.
Another approach is also difficult. The “clever”/legalistic option which is seen in the Jews either borrowing (or asking) their Egyptian neighbours for “silver and gold objects and garments”, just before they left