The unacceptable attacks by Hamas militants in Gaza against Israeli civilians and the appalling bombardment of Gaza City by the Israeli army are severe blows to humanity. There is no way to measure or compare the moral harm caused by intergenerational trauma. As I write this, we await an imminent ground invasion of Gaza – an attempt by Israel to root out Hamas by going house to house in the bombed desert that Gaza has become. It is certain that this invasion will cost the lives of countless Palestinian civilians, as well as those of young Israeli troops. And there is no coherent vision for how this decades-long conflict will end, but with total destruction.
This is madness.
War is madness.
As Martin Luther King Jr. preached in his sermon, “Loving Your Enemies,” in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1957:
. . . hatred for hatred's sake only intensifies the existence of hatred and evil in the universe. . . . The strong person is the one who can cut the chain of hatred, the chain of evil. . . and inject into the very structure of the universe this strong and powerful element of love.
With his words in mind, I offer this reflection from Zen Master Eihei Dogen. May his wisdom serve us.