Friday, April 1, 2022
The Israeli newspaper, Ha’aretz, lists the terror-toll from the month of March – nine attacks which have claimed eleven lives:
An East Jerusalem man stabs a 50-year-old civilian at the Hizma checkpoint, moderately wounding him.
An East Jerusalem man stabs a civilian in his 40’s in the neck, also at the Hizma checkpoint, moderately wounding him. The assailant is arrested.
An East Jerusalem man stabs a police officer in the Old City of Jerusalem, lightly wounding him, and is shot dead.
A resident of the Jalazone refugee camp stabs two officers, moderately wounding them, and is shot dead.
An East Jerusalem man stabs a 35-year-old civilian in Jerusalem, lightly wounding him. The assailant is shot and seriously wounded.
A resident of Hura in the Negev kills four people in a combined car ramming and stabbing attack in Be’er Sheva, and is shot dead.
Two Umm al-Fahm residents shoot and kill two Border Police members in Hadera, and are shot dead.
A Jenin resident kills five people in a shooting attack in Bnei Brak, and is shot dead.
A Palestinian man stabs an Israeli man with a screwdriver, seriously wounding him, on a bus near the West Bank settlement of Efrat. The assailant is shot dead by a civilian.
The dead are from all segments of society – Jew and Muslim, young and old, religious and secular. Israel is not spared from the convulsions that are rocking the world right now.
We decry the violence and terror being perpetrated on Israeli society. We mourn with the eleven families devastated by loss. We stand with those who have been injured and maimed.
Tomorrow, we read in parashat Tazria about those affected by tzara’at, an affliction of the skin sometimes translated as “leprosy.” In the case of one whose condition is deemed intractable by the priests, he is ordered to remove himself from the camp, engage in various mourning practices and then, when in the presence of others, to cry out “Impure! Impure!” A plain reading of this troubling passage would suggest that the poor victim of the disease must separate himself from the community in the hour of his most dire need, shaming himself by warning others of his impurity and possible contagion. The sages of the Talmud prefer to read this passage more benevolently. The one stricken “must announce his pain to the masses, and then the masses will pray for mercy on his behalf” (Niddah 66a). It is a crying out for a Mi sh’Beirach – a communication of grief and helplessness meant to evoke mercy and compassion.
As Israel cries out now, let her know that we are with her and our prayers are with her.
Shabbat shalom um’vorach – a peaceful and blessed Shabbat,
Shalom al Yisrael – peace be upon Israel.
Rabbi Sam Levine