The Middle East is destroying itself through the old law of retaliation. The Romans called it Lex Talionis, the Hebrews called it, “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.” It doesn’t work.
Through this outmoded law, my enemy and I descend into each others lie. Israeli and Palestinian, Sunni and Shi’a, spiral in a dance of never-ending violence, based on the delusion that one’s act of revenge is a form of justice, while the enemy’s is a crime.
But a Palestinian Jew named Issa once offered a new law. He said, “You have heard, an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, but I say to you, do not resist the evil one ... love your enemy.” Our minds are still terrified by his teaching, inventing a thousand logical reasons to reject it; for his words reverberate at such a high frequency of spiritual energy, they have never yet taken root in the human heart.
But they will.