Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Does it really matter whether a person dies or is murdered? After all, when a person is murdered, he definitely dies. So isn’t it all just semantics? Why should it matter so much how we say things?

And while we’re on the subject, must we specify the nationality of the person who stabs, or that of the person who “dies?”

Aren’t people, in the end, just people? Stabber, stabbed, why should it matter? Both are people. To identify them by race, color, or creed, wouldn’t that be divisive? And anyway, if both of them die in the attempt—that is to say, both are no longer alive—don’t their deaths simply cancel each other out in a kind of ugly justice?

Their mothers, being mothers, will miss them fiercely. There will be no difference between the mourning of Fatma and the mourning of Tzipora. Just names. They could be any two mothers, mourning sons. Dead sons. Men.

All these distinctions, isn’t it exactly these which come between war and peace, good and evil? That thin line between the two—the thing that divides humans into camps: white and black, Jew and Arab.

Think about it:

Some men flew airplanes into the Twin Towers and 2,996 people died

A woman drove a man to a pizzeria and 16 people died

A man was near a playground and a baby died

Two boys, playing hooky from school, visited a cave and died 

A man came in as a woman was cooking supper and as three children watched, she died 

A man came into a home during Shabbat dinner and three of the people there, died

A father and a baby in a car, died (stupid rock)

A man walked up to a passenger window and a girl's face burned

A man walked into a café and 12 people died

A man walked into a café and 8 people died

By Orrling (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
Moment Cafe 

Cafe Hillel Memorial

A man walked into a library where he and 8 students, died 

A man came through a girl’s bedroom window and she died 

 A mom and her three daughters drove past five men after a fun visit to Grandma and the youngest daughter, age two, fell into a coma. Two years later, she died

Two men walked into a home on a quiet Sabbath eve. They lived, but four people died. The men left and a baby cried. They came back and the baby died, too.

(h/t Dov Epstein for the concept)

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