The governments and the people of Europa and the US are actually experiencing one of the most serious dilemmas of our time.
Do we defend what we believe in or what we have signed for?
We believe that even if in past years Ukraine has not been always the frontrunner of democracy and respect to human rights, it certainly has made very steady steps towards acceptance of those values.
We also believe (and by now, know!) that the Russian federation is rapidly moving away from even the small degree of freedom it had given to its own citizens. It is ready, under its current leader-dictator, to undertake murder of its own citizens, never mind of other people, in order to fulfil its own ambitions.
This should have perhaps led us to agree to protect Ukraine even by military force.
Now, we are not super pacifists. And if a member of the NATO alliance would have been attacked, we would have responded with force.
So – we are not responding, not because we are never ready to fight for our values, but because Ukraine is not a member of NATO.
But if Turkey, whose own democratic and human rights standards are currently questionable, would have been on the receiving end of Russian aggression, we would have been forced to respond militarily.
The moral question is. What is more cardinal in our values, a formal alliance or a humanitarian crisis of a struggling young democracy?
I do not claim to know the answer but am bothered by it.
Wishing a joyful month Adar II.!
Rabbi Chaim Michael Biberfeld