May 1, 2011

The Death of Evil: Osama bin Laden

I can't help it. I'm compelled to write something. Anything.

Osama bin Laden has been killed by U.S. troops. 

I know what you're thinking -- yes, we know, Chaviva. It's been everywhere. You'd have to be living in a bunker in Pakistan not to know (d'oh). But I have a few things to say about this.

First, I'm happy. I'm celebrating. But I'm not celebrating the death of Osama bin Laden. No, despite the Purim story, it seems wrong to me. We're not meant to celebrate death. We're meant to celebrate justice, freedom, and the removal of fear of a deadly hand reaching out and destroying the world. Osama bin Laden wasn't a Muslim leader, as President Obama said. He was an enemy of Muslims. He was a mass murderer of Muslims. He was a murderer of everyone that got in his way. He was pure evil. We should all celebrate the freedom from that evil. 

Secondly, it's so weird to think that 10 years ago, I was back in Nebraska, dreaming of someday living in New York City and going to NYU. I wanted to be a New Yorker. During 9/11, that feeling never waned. And now, here I am, footsteps from New York, spending almost every day of the week in the Big Apple, and I am more than excited to be a part of a burgeoning city 10 years after the destruction of so many lives. The heart of the United States is a big, red, juicy apple. 

Thirdly, my view on the aftermath of all of this is that there will be some serious infighting among Al-Qaeda leaders, resulting in an implosion of sorts in the leadership, and it will have a demoralizing impact on the lower factions of Al-Qaeda. We'll see if that happens. 

Fourthly, nights like this, I really miss being a copy editor. Can you imagine sitting at the copy desk of a major daily at this hour? Ripping apart the front page, updating the article every five seconds, writing the most amazing headline on the planet? The rush of that feeling ... man I miss that. And with Obama glowing as he was, well, all I can think is ... this event is going to alter the news up until the 2012 election, for better or worse. We'll see how this goes, but I know he's proud of himself. 

With that, friends, celebrate our freedom from evil. 

"Your enemies shall perish;
all the wicked shall disintegrate.
I have seen the downfall of my foes;
I have seen the doom of my attackers."
~ Psalm 92

May we all know nothing but peace. 


Amanda said...

Yishar kochech. Nicely put.

Noájida said...

It's great to rejoice with justice, but I have sort of other feeling,
Like he wasn't the person who should governmets and justice be after to.

I think governmets like Iran's,cuba's are by far, the real sponsors and responsables for a lot of bas things in this world. Many also live among us, evil, like good, in his pure essence, are not easy to find.

Thanks for your post

Jewish Business said...

Osma's life was a Chillul Hashem and his death is a kiddush Hashem. We never like to see the wicked prosper and with his death, the destruction of the Egyptian government and the confusion in Syria. And may I say the disintegration of the reform movement ( )I pray these are signs that Moshiach is finally on his way.

PamBG said...

You have a generous heart. Thank you.

Shades of Grey said...

As usual, your perspective is unique, enlightening and informative. Your words are never "just another post" on a particular subject, and I'm certainly glad that you shared your personal reflections with the rest of us.

Chaviva Gordon-Bennett said...

Wow, thank you guys so much for your kind words. I felt like I needed to say something. Not because it's what bloggers do, but because I've always felt something about 9/11.

Anonymous said...

I maintain the position that the repentance of the wicked is preferable to their death.

Shmuel haKatan in Pirkei Avot quotes Sefer Mishlei 24:17 (?), which states: "Do not rejoice when your enemy falls"

Also, the Talmud Bavli in Masechet Berakhot teaches about Rabbi Meir that he was praying that some troublemakers in his neighborhood die. However, his wife Beruriah came (and kicked him?) and said to him that such a prayer is nonsense - it would be preferable for him to daven for the death of their sins instead.

I also recall having learned another piece of Gemara that talks about how Hashem rebuked the angels who sung praise upon the drowning of the Egyptians during the Israelites' crossing of the Sea of Reeds.

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