Following a terror attack there are usually rhetoric and opinions galore. This week’s assault on a Har Nof synagogue leaving four worshipers and a policeman murdered was no exception. People can make the most extreme statements when they’re dealing with such horror and shock. To me, some of those statements made perfect sense, like the suggestion to ban all Muslims from the Temple Mount until the terror ceases. I also agree with the calls for CNN to dismiss the reporter who broke the story of the synagogue massacre with the headline, Police Shot, Killed Two Palestinians. And I fully support Rabbi Ronsky, former head rabbi of the IDF, when he states that when Jews are murdered while praying, it is important to unite and not divide.
There are other comments, though, that leave me troubled. Right after the butchery a witness on the street spoke to a reporter. He was quoted as saying, "This is a yeshiva community. Ninety percent don't serve in the army. We're not violent," I have no idea if he was misquoted or if his words were taken out of context. However, the implications of his words are an anathema to me.
Is he implying that those who serve in the army are violent? I totally reject that idea. Those who serve in the Israeli army do not love violence. They love life and put theirs on the line to defend their fellow Jews.
There are others who equate Arabs praying with aggression and Jews praying with passivism. I cannot comment on praying Arabs but Jews are not, and were never supposed to be, pacifists. We are not supposed to go to the slaughter like sheep. We are not supposed to turn our cheeks. We are supposed to defend ourselves.
There are many, many Israeli soldiers, my boys among them, who don their tefillin just like the worshippers in the Har Nof Synagogue don theirs, only they do so while wearing their army uniforms. When they come to the end of their daily, silent meditation they plead, again just like the worshippers in the Har Nof Synagogue, for HaShem to make peace for us and all Israel.