This week, the Meir Harel Hesder Yeshiva in Modi'in held a memorial for the late Lt. Gen. Amnon Lipkin Shahak on the fifth anniversary of his death. Amnon was a partner in the establishment of the Yeshiva in Modi'in. The Yeshiva holds a memorial service every year according to the Hebrew date of his passing away.
Rabbi Eliezer Shenvald, (Retired Col.), Rosh Yeshiva, spoke at the memorial.
Everyone had his "own" Amnon z'l, whom they met and who was in contact with them in security and in civilian life. "My" Amnon in the meetings between us was a man of love, even if we did not agree on many things, but there was love for the people of Israel and everyone in it.
We are in the heart of the Parshiot Yosef. The brothers hated Yosef "for his dreams and his words," wanted to kill him, even though he begged for his life, and in the end they only threw him into a pit full of snakes and scorpions. And then sold him as a slave. But Yosef did not return hatred to them. He extinguished their hatred with love.
When they came to him – The Viceroy - He recognized them as his brothers, even though they did not see him as a brother, and they did not know him as a brother. He could repay them evil but he gave them mercy and love.
This week, the tenth of Tevet, will begin the series of fasts because of the destruction of the First Temple. It was the beginning of the siege of the First Temple. These fast days were intensified following the destruction of the Second Temple, which was destroyed because of free hatred. Harav Kook wrote: "If we are destroyed and the world is destroyed with us because of free hatred, we will rebuild with free love."
Years ago, I was told that Amnon had another name I did not know - Yosef.
And he had a Yosef's kind of love. It was not that he did not have a firm opinion. There is a difference between pluralism and tolerance. Pluralism is a worldview that believes that there is no truth. And every opinion is legitimate. And if so, your opinion is not the absolute truth. And then you will not be able to fight it, either, and go with it to the end. Tolerance is a statement that I have the truth and I go along with it, but I accept the existence of those who do not think like me. Amnon was a Tolerant out of love for the Jewish people.