It has been a most exciting week here in Shul as we joyously celebrated Purim. I can only imagine what a Shabbat it must be for those who celebrate Purim on Erev Shabbat in Yerushalayim Ir Hakodesh. I bet that's some Kabbalat Shabbat!
In the Purim story, we averted disaster and genocide. This is certainly a cause for celebration. However, this week Klal Yisrael did not completely avoid disaster. Earlier this week we lost two holy souls who were brutally murdered by a terrorist whose sole aim was to kill Jews. Staff Sgt. Gil Keidan HY"D, 19 years old, and Rabbi Achiad Ettinger HY"D, a father of twelve and a beloved Rav and Rosh Yeshiva, were murdered this week in cold blood. Their families did not enjoy Purim like we did because they were in the midst of Shiva observance.
These events, though unfortunately all too common, are very unsettling for me. I have been to too many of these Shiva homes where I have seen firsthand the devastation that is left in the wake of these attacks. However, after this particular
, I found myself even more upset. Let me explain why.
Last Shabbat I spoke about the horrific attack in New Zealand and what I think our reaction and response should be. I meant every word of it and we have seen many in our community who have reached out to the Islamic community in solidarity. Kudos to them for doing so. However, I have barely seen or heard a word of consolation or condemnation about what happened in Ariel. I remain stunned by the silence of those who were so quick to have their voices heard (and photo ops taken) when it came to New Zealand, yet have not uttered one syllable about what happened in Ariel. Stunned and amazed! If we condemn one act of terror, then we should have no problem condemning ANY act of terror!
Friends, I wish to see no bloodshed in the world. When it unfortunately does happen, it deeply hurts. When it is accompanied by silence and double standards, it hurts the most.
May Hashem grant comfort to ALL bereaved families whose loved ones were senselessly taken from them.