I type these words having hours ago learned of the horrific attacks in Belgium. Reports indicate that more than thirty people have been murdered, and more than one-hundred-and-eighty people have been seriously injured.
One of my first thoughts is to think of someone who is dear to me who is in Europe visiting her son. She was afraid to send him, lest he be in the wrong place at the wrong time. And wouldn’t we all have similar thoughts and feelings, given the violent state of our world!
What wisdom is there at a time like this? How to put an end to the maniacal attacks against the freedom that we cherish?
Just minutes ago, I received an email from a parent who finds herself with the same dilemma as my friend. She writes: “So sad about the Belgium attacks and the state of the increased terrorism in our world…..(we) are struggling in our decision and sending (our daughter) to Israel this Summer….We are torn between keeping our daughter safe in a terrorist-torn world, where random acts of violence with stabbings have replaced random acts of kindness……The struggle with the safety issue is a real concern. Other contrasting ideas: courage, strength, and resiliency in the face of current world affairs-not projecting our fears (upon our children), a strong Jewish identity, and pride and support for the State of Israel….”
Yes, I too would be apprehensive. But I can say with all honesty that I would still send my own child to Israel or Europe in spite of the reluctance that we would all feel. Yes, this is a time for courage and strength in the face of evil. And this is a time to mourn for those innocent people and their loved ones who were random victims of a form of wickedness that must be wiped from the face of the earth.
Tomorrow night (as I write these words) is Purim: our holiday which commemorates the triumph of light over darkness, goodness over evil. The words of Anne Frank come to mind, especially on this painful day. “In the meantime, I must hold on to my ideals, as perhaps the day will come when I will be able to live them again.”
Please click here to read an article by Rabbi Nevarez regarding his recent experiences at this year’s AIPAC Policy Conference.