(Forensic) Eyal Yifrach, Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Shaar (z”l)


Against all the grotesque political-moralists posturing on the left and the right, what constitutes and what does not constitute a despicable act, according to whom, and under what conditions? Why were these three boys murdered? Because they were Jewish? Because of the occupation? It’s hard to calibrate when it matters what came before and what comes next. There are two ways to look at this. One way is social-scientific; the other lens is human, more phenomenological. The politicos along with the journalists and social scientists will want to determine a causal nexus. While political contexts, rightly viewed, can frame such acts in order to give them to the understanding, sometimes it makes more sense simply to stop, and to look at each and every despicable act as such, simply, in isolation from any “intelligible cause.” It’s sometimes hard to believe what people do to each other, without cause and in the name of a cause, these days in Israel or Palestine, Syria or Iraq. Profoundly shaken, reading the news from across the Middle East, it’s enough to burn out your eyes.

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics. http://religion.syr.edu
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