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Terror, Shabbat, and Consolation

בתמונה: שבעת הקורבנות
בתמונה: שבעת הקורבנות

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

There is a special rhythm we experience one day each week: the rhythm of Shabbat. It's a mixture of smells and tastes and quiet calm, something that is very Israeli and impossible to describe in words. The terrorist in Neve Yaakov murdered seven people, but it is important to make clear that the terrorist murdered seven people in Neve Yaakov on Shabbat -- between welcoming Shabbat at sundown, the evening meal, and gatherings of family and friends.

Even the world press spoke differently of this terrorist attack and explained what Shabbat is all about. Because the difference between the demonic lust for murder and the simple joy of being alive stands out in this instance, at this special time of the week, more than ever.

Yesterday at the close of Shabbat, 14-year-old Asher Natan Morali was laid to rest. He was murdered just after his family had finished the Shabbat evening meal and Asher, oldest child of eight, went outside to meet some friends. Also buried yesterday night were Natalie and Eli Mizrahi, who had been having the Shabbat meal with Eli's father. How tranquil that Shabbat family gathering had been before the couple rushed outside   to help the wounded and were murdered.

Four other precious victims -- Raphael Ben Eliyahu, Irina Korolova, Shaul Hai, and Ilya Sosansky --  who were murdered on the day of rest have yet to be brought to their final resting place.

The following Shabbat day was a source of consolation itself. On the morning after the terrorist attack, ancient words of comfort from the weekly haftarah, taken from the book of Jeremiah, were read in synagogues throughout the world:

"You fear not, O Jacob My servant, and be not dismayed, O Israel! for behold, I will redeem you from afar and your children from the land of their captivity, and Jacob shall return and be quiet and at ease, and there shall be none who disturb his rest."

Condolences to the families. May all the prophecies of consolation soon come true.


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