Thursday, October 23, 2008

Uneasy Silence

There was a silence in the City this morning...broken early enough in my neighborhood by the familiar sound of the police bullhorn as they stopped pedestrian and vehicular traffic so that expert sappers could examine, and perhaps detonate, the suspicious object in the bushes near the coffee shop. B'H, there was no danger, and traffic soon resumed. Yet, as I ascended the hills of Jerusalem to reflect on the days ahead and inquire of Heaven, there remained an unusual silence permeating the air. What was it? Were we just weary after 3 weeks of chagim (holidays) and somewhat sober about settling into our normal routine again? Were we a bit in awe of G-d because a day after the prayers for rain, (on Shmini Atzeret) our skies today were cloudy and gray? Had He indeed heard and heeded our prayers?

While all these things were possible, the silence was an uneasy one, as if we were waiting for something...but it was something that didn't feel good.

By early afternoon I knew why....In the Jerusalem suburb that I can see so clearly when I look out over the western hills, at almost exactly the time I was feeling this uneasiness, an arab terrorist attacked police and murdered an 86 year old man on a street in Gilo. In the hills where my ancestors lit rosh chodesh fires and camped for the chagim, and where my neighbors and friends live today in a return to our Land, a palestinian arab in his 20's re-enacted the ancient jealousy and hatred against Am Yisrael (the people of Israel), and carried out this evil act. A young mizrachi Jew (Yoav Mizrachi) pursued and subdued the killer after police shot the terrorist in the stomach. The koach (strength) and courage of the young Jew must be viewed as a shining light against the depravity of the other.

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