2009-2010: A Reaction to Terrorism
Dear RGHDS Family,
We have been called upon yet again to show solidarity with our people and cry out for justice. Today, while we are mindful of the joy that Adar should bring, our hearts pour out in sadness because of the news from Jerusalem.
Eight students at a premiere Jewish school, the Merkaz haRav Yeshiva, were gunned down by a Palestinian terrorist. Eleven others were wounded, and bullets riddled the stacks of Talmud and sifrei kodesh (holy texts) in the main study hall. One of my teachers in Jerusalem, whose children attended and attend the school, described the scene as gory and gruesome - everyone is in mournful shock.
The terrorist ripped open the heart of our people. The yeshiva where the attack happened is a flagship religious, Zionist center. It is the school where children learn that they must live fully as Jews, so that our homeland can be a shining light among nations, secure for us and a ray of hope for the world.
Our hearts are with our family members who mourn. Our prayers of comfort are with the families whose children were killed. We request that G-d send refuah shlaymah, a complete recovery, to those who are injured.
This morning in school, we expressed our anger and frustration. Our middle school students expressed their grief, as we shared news with one another and asked 'how could people simply hate so much and murder children?' We shed tears thinking of the families in mourning. We expressed our shock and our continued dismay: how can the world do so little to condemn acts of terror and aggression towards Israel?
We will not live our lives in fear nor let hate be our guide. On all our behalves, middle school students agreed that the following actions should be taken as direct responses to the tragedy, in concert with Jews everywhere who commit to fixing a broken world:
- We commit to loving Israel more, in our hearts and through our actions;
- We commit to spreading peace in whatever ways we can, among all peoples and nations and in our own community, keeping ourselves from lashon hara and refraining from other behavior that drives wedges between and among people;
- We commit to learning Torah, Talmud or some other Jewish text in memory of: Yohai Lifshitz, 18, Yonatan Yitzhak Eldar, 16, Yonadav Haim Hirschfeld, 19, Kochav Hashahar, 15, Segev Peniel Avihail, 15, Avraham David Moses, 16, Roee Roth, 18, and Doron Meherete, 26;
- We commit to calling upon our legislators and lawmakers to condemn the acts of violence by Palestinian terrorists, terrorists world-wide and so-called government agencies and insist that they stop teaching hate in school textbooks; and
- We commit to praying for healing to those in need and for the safe return of captive Israeli soldiers - may they be returned safely.
May we find strength and be sources of blessing and comfort to each other, so that no one from our precious family will have died in vain. And may G-d cause peace to reign for us, over all Israel and the entire world.
Rabbi Scott Bolton