Our hearts ache as we have learned of the three young Israeli boys who were kidnapped earlier in the week. I think most of us would agree that this is a Palestinian terrorist action, and yet again we are reminded of the evil that exists in our world, and of the threats that the people of Israel face every day.
You may recall that we sent out a notice about the situation as did all Westchester congregations. It was entitled “Help the Kidnapped Israeli teens now!” The letter, written by the Israeli ambassador to Westchester, calls upon us to keep the three boys in our prayers, and to keep awareness of their plight in the media.
Hours after sending out this letter, I received a very provocative letter from one of our congregants. She wrote: “I cannot help but wonder about the girls in Nigeria….Do we as a Jewish community only support efforts to help other Jews?….” The kidnapping of anyone, but particularly children and teenagers, whether three or hundreds, is a crime against humanity……This email’s failure to acknowledge their plight seems wrong to me…..”
I think she makes a compelling point, as I know that we all agree that to be a Jew is not only to care about other Jews, but it is to care about all people. And especially when innocent children are the victims, I believe that we, as much as any people, feel a sense of outrage that the vicious “bullies” of our world would seize upon those who are least able to defend themselves. Clearly, both kidnapping episodes are outrageous and wicked, and even as we pray for the well-being and safe return of all the captives, we cannot let either of these episodes be relegated to the back pages of our newspapers.
Yes, all mothers and fathers cry the same color tears. And we cry with them when we think of our own children being subjected to such cruelty and inhumanity. They are all in our hearts and in our prayers.
Rabbi David Greenberg