Clarity in a Confused World
November 25, 2014
Dear Friend of The Fellowship,
It has been a time of tragedy and sorrow in Israel. Last week, a brazen and brutal attack by two Palestinian terrorists on a synagogue in Jerusalem left five people dead. The attackers, armed with guns, hatchets, and meat cleavers created a sickening scene of carnage in the house of worship before being killed by police. This of course comes as attacks on innocent Israeli civilians have been increasing, and the people of Israel – and particularly the people of Jerusalem – have been living in an ever-increasing state of fear and apprehension.
All of Israel mourned and condemned this senseless slaughter and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu called on heads of state to publicly express their revulsion for this despicable act. “I want to see condemnation, a deep and uncompromising condemnation of these murders of Israelis, of Jews …. When there are other acts of murder you express the same outrage and condemn them. But when I see a three-month-old baby being murdered, when I see these Jews at prayer in a synagogue, our holy place, just as a church is holy for Christians and a mosque is holy for Muslims, I expect to at least hear the same condemnation, in an uncompromising and unreserved tone.”
The Prime Minister spoke, as he so often does, with a voice of moral clarity to a world where moral confusion too often rules the day. The utter savagery of last week’s attack should offend and anger all people of conscience, whatever their faith, nationality, or ethnicity. If the world cannot condemn the slaughter of Jewish worshipers at a synagogue with the same force as it condemns hateful, genocidal acts elsewhere in the world, then the world has lost its way.
The psalmist wrote, “Too long have I lived among those who hate peace. I am for peace; but when I speak, they are for war” (Psalm 120:6-7). This is the situation Israel finds herself in today – longing for peace, and willing to make painful concessions to achieve it, but facing an enemy committed to hatred, terror, and bloodshed.
I ask you to pray for the bereaved loved ones of those killed in terror attacks in Jerusalem and throughout Israel, as well as for protection for Israelis and Jews around the world. And let us continue to cry out to God for the day when hateful, violent anti-Semitism is a thing of the past, and Israel’s dreams of peace will at last be realized.
With prayers for shalom, peace,
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
President and Founder, International Fellowship of Christians and Jews® of Canada