Do you want to know the real difference between Israel and Hamas?  Once again, Hamas has underscored what all but the most oblivious have known for years: Hamas (an acronym in Arabic but a Hebrew word meaning ‘utter destruction’) is good only at destroying.  Frankly, I don’t expect anything else.  There are lots of theories floating about why they are so consumed with hate for anything Jewish but I think it’s really simple: they are consumed with hate for anything Jewish.  Does it really matter why?

And so, armed with this insatiable hate they have devised a very clever toy of destruction.  They make kites, attach little burning coals on them and drop them on fields so that they burn whatever is in the field.  The loss of agriculture is not going to significantly alter the food supply in Israel but the effect on the lives of those who invested in planting and cultivating has been tragic.  And the forests that Hamas burned grew beautifully in the place where nothing was supposed to grow.  Again, tragic.

Apparently, some of the money that was supposed to go to the Palestinian Authority which then sent it to Hamas is going to compensate the Israelis who lost fields.  So, the Israelis will still get paid for their fields and Hamas loses the money it was supposed to get from the PA.

But what about the trees?  Something inside me cries every time I see a damaged tree.  I don’t know why.  Maybe it is the Jewish mitzvah of ‘baal tashchit’ – make no unnecessary damage, don’t waste, and remember that resources are limited.

Yet, even with this destruction, we know that forests grow back on their own.  It is even better when people make the forests grow back, as well.  And this is why I am going to fully support buying a tree or two with the Jewish National Fund (www.jnf.org).  Remember those little blue boxes we had in religious school when we were kids?  I remember putting my tzedakah in that little pushke and wondering what tree it would buy in the budding land.  Now I will do it again not just with the same sense of hope but with an equal sense of defiance.  Hamas burns, Jews plant.

Join me and plant a tree in Israel today.  One day, maybe we can go to see where we planted it and see the land bloom again only this time with our help.  It will be an awesome day when I see that tree.  Plant one.  I will take a picture of yours, too!