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This week I’ve had three seemingly unrelated scenarios drifting through my mind. The first is the recent tragic story of the teenager in Las Vegas who was killed by an angry mob for coming to the rescue of his smaller friend. The second scenario is an ancient Biblical one that I was discussing with the study group I facilitate; we discussed the nature of Sodom and its destruction. And the third scenario was any one of the pro-Palestinian protests roaming through a city’s streets. Let me share how they are related, and how they bode danger for the future.
In the first story, we learn how events played out for a young man who tried to help a friend:
Jonathan Lewis, a 17-year-old student at Rancho High School, died last Tuesday — less than two weeks after he was savagely beaten by a mob of 15 kids, his father, also named Jonathan Lewis, confirmed to 8 News Now on Thursday.
‘One of his smaller friends had something stolen by this group of 15, and they threw the small boy in the trash can, and our son confronted them and he was attacked,’ according to a GoFundMe page set up by his family.
Alarming footage from the Nov. 1 attack — only blocks from Lewis’ high school — shows the teen confronting one of the alleged bullies before throwing a punch.
Seconds later, the mob of violent kids swarmed Lewis and began hitting and kicking the outnumbered teen repeatedly in the head as he lay defenseless on the ground.
A pathetic act of harassment suddenly changed into an angry murderous mob when its power was challenged. That not one person in the mob tried to stop the blows is telling. The mob dictated the actions and the results.
When we turn to the biblical story of Sodom, you might recall that Abraham tried to convince G-d not to destroy the city, because there might be innocent people who lived there. After an ardent exchange, G-d could assure Abraham that there was not one person who should be saved. Everyone had been corrupted. Later in the story, when a mob accosted Lot at his home and wanted to attack his guests, G-d’s decision was validated. Lot was barely able to stop the mob, and shortly thereafter Sodom was destroyed. Justice was realized.
In the last scenario, I point to the mobs in the streets that have been attacking Jews and defending the cause of the Palestinians, including Hamas. The mobs have been driven by lies about conditions in Israel, the history of the area, and they ignore any information that will contradict their intention to liberate the Palestinians (who don’t need liberating) and punishing Israel (for simply wanting to live in safety and security). The willingness of these protestors to accept the lies of their leaders; the determination to destroy not only Israelis, but Jews anywhere; the passion that dominates every protest, cannot be quelled.
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All of these scenarios describe more than a simple lawlessness. They reflect a complete abandonment of any moral code. These activities are tribal, primitive and violent. They suggest that the potential of acting on our hatred and anger is available to any of us, and we are free to punish anyone who tries to stop us. Truth is irrelevant; the facts play no role in our pursuing these mindless acts of destruction. And we have mobs of people who are willing to join in, to shout vicious and immoral diatribes. The rewards for these people are a sense of invincibility, endless power and the freedom to act out their basest desires.
In the first scenario described above, several boys have been arrested, but will they be charged as adults if they are underage?
In the second scenario, we know that destroying Sodom was successful, but it didn’t stop the enslavement of the Hebrews in Egypt or destroy the potential for evil.
In the third scenario, we watch the protests continue all over the world. Every Jew is guilty—of being a Jew.
Evil reigns and is relentless. Will the protestors do their work mostly peacefully? Or will their obsession deepen, demand another more violent outlet than chanting in the streets?
In this protest last night, police were punched and pepper sprayed.