No to violence, yes to respect

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Translated by Yehoshua Siskin

“Shalom Sivan, My name is David Sela, the brother of Michal Sela who was murdered by her husband last November. I feel that this tragedy not only shocked the country but could bring about change. At the present time, we invest a lot in education, in changing attitudes, in saving women from domestic violence who stay silent about it.

Today, the day after Lag B’Omer, is the birthday of Michal. Her lammed-gimmel birthday would have been today, her 33rd birthday. In counting the Omer, we are reminded again and again that the students of Rabbi Akiva passed away because they did not respect each other. Indeed, the most important thing is to see the other person, to give that person respect. During the seven days of mourning for MIchal, we heard many wonderful stories about Michal and about the respect she gave to others. For example, a social worker told us about a therapeutic course that was difficult from an emotional standpoint. There were two study groups with two instructors and in the third session of the course, Michal switched to the second group. When her friend asked her why she switched, she answered: ‘I am not able to study with the first instructor since she speaks a little cynically about her clients. I am not able to listen to a caregiver speak in such a way about her clients’. That was my sister. She showed respect for others, so different from the way her own life ended”.

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