Although I started writing this while we were still in Israel, we returned on Sunday morning and I finished it up in the States. It’s hard to believe that a month of yomim tovim has passed. This marathon month of holidays, especially celebrated in Israel, sustains us spiritually until we can return.
The day after we arrived in Israel, I turned on my phone and saw that our friend and neighbor, Avi Ringelheim, was niftar. I couldn’t believe it; I thought I was reading wrong. And then just a few hours later, I read that Ari Fuld had been murdered. Again, I thought there must be a mistake. I read his blog and follow him on Facebook. How could this be?
And on the plane ride home, on Saturday night (which was already Sunday morning in Israel), I read about the murder of two Jewish employees at the Barkan Industrial Park by a fellow employee, a 17-year-old Arab terrorist.
If Hashem wanted to stir us out of our complacency just days before Yom Kippur and now when we get back to our regular routines, He did. Life is fleeting and uncertain. We can only live as best we can, according to Hashem’s ultimate plan.
But we also cannot be complacent about Arab terror. These terrorists must be killed, and their families exiled from Israel. Destroying their homes isn’t enough. There is no deterrent for people who believe in martyrdom and who get paid by the PA for committing murder. The idea of Arabs and Jews working together is a lofty ideal, but time and again we see it backfiring on us.
My son in Yerushalayim greets Arabs working in the neighborhood and brings them cold water to drink when they are working for hours in the heat. I commend him for that, but I always warn him — they are not your friends. Do not trust that your kindness will protect you. While there are good, honest, hardworking Arabs, we must always be vigilant about the ones who fall prey to brainwashing and promises of martyrdom, honor, and money.
HaMakom yinachem eschem b’soch sha’ar aveilei Tzion v’Yerushalayim. May Hashem comfort all of us and grant us a year of peace, health, and nachas from our families.
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