Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Justice, love and forgiveness

Rabbi Schmuley Boteach has a very challenging comment on the senseless violence perpetrated by terror agents in Mumbai. He suggests that "forgiveness" is not the pure-and-simple right attitude regarding such actions. I'm not sure that his call for a stern attitude is best and most purely motivated by moral revulsion--although this sense deserves to be acknowledged. Retribution always must come from the positive sense of justice and by the ever-present need of civilized, peaceful society to protect itself from the acts of the truly evil and the merely lawless among us. I always have a right to sacrifice myself. I never have the right to tolerate conditions where the violent will violate the innocent. The Rabbi is correct in saying there is a need for the expression of just anger, and for a determined response; but all such expressions must be rightly motivated.

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