1) Wow! We actually got him!
2)...but Judaism tells me I can't celebrate an enemy's death
3) What exactly does this change in the grand scheme of things? Not a lot.
The second thought is absolutely true. It's why, on Passover, we have to take a drop of wine out of our cups for every plague we list off during the seder. It doesn't matter if only our suppressors were stricken down, our cups cannot be completely full while anyone is being killed. So as evil as Osama Bin Laden was I was wary of celebrating the victory. As you can see from the Huffington Post, I'm not the only one who felt this way.
And then I made the mistake of talking to my mother about all this over the phone within earshot of my son who was excitedly drawing a picture of the American Flag. He heard me speculate on how this would not in any way shape or form end terrorism or shorten the wars we're involved in and all the rest of it and he immediately started tearing up. "I was so excited," he said, his voice shaking. "I thought this meant something."
And that's when I realized that I was looking at this thing the wrong way.
As I sat him down an analogy popped into my head. "If someone kills your family," I said, "and the killer is caught ten years later and given the death penalty it doesn't bring back your family. It doesn't stop other murderers from killing people. But what it does is restore our faith in justice. It assures us that the rewards of evil are fleeting and the consequences severe and irreversible. That means a lot. Today there is a little less evil in the world and today marks a huge victory for Justice."
That is most definitely something worthy of true celebration.
As for the whole thing about celebrating the death of an enemy....
Well in the words of Mark Twain, "I have never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure."
Pretty much sums up what I'm feeling right now.
The Sophie Katz Mystery Series
So Much For My Happy Ending