The news to which many of us awoke was nothing short of horrifying. Jews who came to the synagogue to worship in Jerusalem were murdered in cold blood as they prayed. All four men were killed simply because they were Jews.
Ours is a tradition that teaches the value of each and every life. Because of that, each death- particularly of an innocent person- is tragic. When the innocent murdered are members of our extended Jewish family, it becomes personal.
Our tradition teaches, “all members of the community of Israel are responsible for one another.” No matter how we may differ in our political views or religious observance, we are connected. And when one of us suffers, we all suffer. Today we all suffer. Today we all grieve.
Let us be clear. This was cold-blooded murder. It was not a crime perpetrated by crazed killers, but was an intentional act of evil. It is a simple as that.
Let us also be clear that this terrorist attack was not about the territories, nor was it about the Temple Mount. Rather, this attack reflects peoples’ inability to let Jews live, and worship, in peace.
I am troubled by the overall international silence about this morning’s horror. And I cannot help but wonder: where is the worldwide outcry and condemnation of this act?
My friend and colleague Rabbi Menachem Creditor wrote earlier today in the Times of Israel:
…I cringe as I type these next words but dare not ignore reality: Where is the outrage of the Palestinian leadership at Jewish (and Druze and Muslim and Christian) Israeli deaths? Where are the Palestinian statements condemning violence? The immortal words of Prime Minister Golda Meir ring in my ears:
Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate ours.
I want Palestinian children to live. I want my children to live. This awful cycle of violence will only change when Palestinian leadership teaches Palestinians that every child deserves life, that “martyr” is just another word for “dead,” and that Jewish blood matters as much as Arab blood.
Read the post.
Anti-Semitism – in Europe, in the U.S., in Australia, on our college campuses, and in Israel – is real.
The time has come for us to care as much about the suffering of our own people as we do the suffering of others. We must demand that the world offer up the same level of outcry when Jews are murdered as they do when criticizing Israeli policies with which they do not agree.
In the current environment, it is more important than ever that we support Israel and to do everything possible to help make sure the U.S.-Israel relationship is strong.
It is also more important than ever that we not give up:
On the struggle for peace between Jews and Arabs;
On maintaining our own moral standards;
On taking pride in the miracle of Zionism and Israel
We are taught
“Those who sow with tears shall reap with joy.” (Ps. 126:5)
Today we sow in tears over the tragedy in Jerusalem. As we do, let us also turn those tears into renewed commitment.
Rabbi Daniel M Cohen