April 16, 2024
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April 16, 2024
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The images of the gruesome attack on the Salomon family in Halamish are difficult for anyone to look at. Once again the heroes of Zaka are seen washing the floors, preserving blood and determined to bring the home back to its original look. Mrs. Salomon from her hospital bed at Shaare Zedek has already declared that she will “never go back to that house.” While her heart was being torn to pieces she insisted upon attending the triple funerals of her husband, son and daughter. In another vivid scenario we see a woman distributing candies and flowers to well wishers as she celebrates the greatness of her son “the hero” who committed these barbaric attacks. A 19-year-old monster killer who broke into the celebratory atmosphere of a Shalom Zachor to ravage the lives of a normal, peaceful family should have been killed on the spot, declared RavYitzhak Yosef, the Chief Sephardi Rabbi.

Today as we walked in Costco we walked directly past a lady pushing her shopping cart covered from head to toe in her burka and Nina mentioned immediately that she is afraid of people dressed like this. Their faces are not shown; their hands are covered up and only two very small slits are allowed for the eyes. It was a commonplace discussion in our home in Montreal as Mordechai had several students who were dressed this way in the psychology courses that he taught at Champlain College. We would joke about how they could send any of their friends to class to fill in for them because he had no way of knowing who his student really was.

After the past harrowing Shabbat, whose details we only fully became aware of after Havdalah, we are trying to maintain a reasonable amount of brotherly love for those who appear to live such very different lives from us. How do we know that the woman we saw today is not privately in her home celebrating the news from Halamish? How do we know if some of the many Muslims we see every day in practically every store that we visit, or sit next to at the library, or stand across from on the bus are not smiling and silently cheering for the depravity of the terrorist minds that seem to be more and more active. We used to think that we needed to teach our children that everyone is kind and nice and deserves to be respected. How do we teach that if we really do not believe it? If we ourselves are doubting these things how can we pass on the right attitudes to our children? We have not heard one word from any imam or member of the Muslim faith condemning this abominable behavior. Where are they? We want to think that there are many good people who follow the Muslim faith but why aren’t they crying and screaming together with us at this solemn, sad time? Many work in offices together with others from the Muslim faith. How many have heard from their co-workers about how sorry they are that these inhuman attacks are happening? How many have voiced embarrassment for their “brethren” who have chosen this path? Where are all of these people?

Maybe, in reality, many Muslims are as distressed as we are. Perhaps it just isn’t in their culture to demonstrate. Many years ago, when Jews were screaming and yelling at Russian diplomatic sites and wherever Russian diplomats gathered, it was always strange to us that Christians weren’t screaming—only Jews. Their people were suffering probably as much as the Jews in Russia, but it just wasn’t in their culture to protest publicly. When Christian churches are attacked and Coptic Christians are killed in Egypt and many other Arab countries, there is no public screaming and protesting—do Christians not care about other Christians? Of course they do—but as long as they are not directly involved they remain silent. Let us hope and pray that decent people of all faiths don’t just stand by any more—they must scream and yell and protest when barbaric deeds and practices take place. As people of all faiths and cultures we must all join together. If and when that happens, we will all be standing at the brink of Ymos Hamashiach.

 By Rabbi Mordechai and Nina Glick

 

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