Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Table Talk -- Shelach 5767

Dr. Howard Klausner told me recently about a recent survey published in the Economist magazine of violent countries throughout the world. Of the 122 countries in the civilized (and not-so-civilized) world, which are the most violent? Number one, of course, is Iraq with its sectarian violence, terrorism and murder, followed by Sudan, world-renown for the massacres, violence and pillage of Darfur. What’s number three – the third most violent country in the world? Is it Iran, committed to supporting and funding world-wide terrorism and building a nuclear military arsenal? How about Syria, a nation currently massing troops on the Israeli border that has been only too happy to transport arms to Hizbullah in Lebanon? What about Lebanon, a hotbed for Islamic fanaticism, and current home to Hizbullah, other jihadist groups and a military skirmish that no one cares about? Nope, nope and nope. The third-most-violent country in the world, according to the Global Peace Index (you can look it up yourself at is none other than, you guessed it…Israel.
That’s right – Israel. Now, we can give all the justifications and explanations, but it really wouldn’t matter. The bottom line, especially with surveys, is that you can arrive at any answer you want, as long as you ask the right questions.
Just ask the מרגלים – the spies that Moshe sends to scout out the Land of Israel. To them, the Land is lush and beautiful and bountiful and wonderful – but it’s still worth nothing, because they already know the answer. They just have to ask the proper questions to arrive at their answer.

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