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Toulouse and Us

Mar 19, 2012 at 12:47:19 PM

The world is recoiling from the horrific slaughter at a Jewish school in Toulouse, France that killed Rabbi Jonathan Sandler, his two sons, and a young girl.

Rabbi Sandler, age 30, was sent from Israel to strengthen the Jewish community in France. He was teaching at the same Ozar HaTorah School that he attended as a child.

We now know this was an anti-Semitic act. Which means this is a wake-up call for Jews worldwide.

Some mistakenly think that only the Jews of Israel are in danger ― from Hezbollah in the north, Hamas in the south, and Iran in the nuclear skies above.

Yet while Israel does indeed bear the brunt of anti-Semitism, the fact is that Ahmadinejad and his cohorts view all Jews as equally valid targets. As Hezbollah leader Sheikh Nasrallah so bluntly put it: "If the Jews all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide." (Lebanon Daily Star, October 23, 2002)

One chilling detail being reported is that 3-year-old Gabriel Sandler, gunned down at point blank range in Toulouse, was named after Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg, the Chabad emissary who was murdered by terrorists in Mumbai, India, in 2008.

Here in Israel, we are living under tremendous pressure as the threat of nuclear annihilation looms. Yet sometimes I get the feeling that Jews abroad still perceive the threat as "somewhere out there."

In truth, it is right in your backyard.

Rafah, the Iranian news site affiliated with Ahmadinejad, has threatened to "take the war beyond the borders of Iran, and beyond the borders of the region." Last month, Islamists hit Jewish targets in Georgia and India, plus two Iranian-perpetrated blasts in Bangkok, Thailand.

So what's the solution? Can we expect much in the way of international protection (an element which was sorely lacking during the Holocaust)? No, not if the United Nations is any indication. It is the U.N. Human Rights Council that originally scheduled a speech ― today, the very day of the Toulouse slaughter ― by Ismail al-Ashqar, the same senior Hamas official who described the killing of Osama Bin Laden as "state terrorism that America carries out against Muslims."

And in a speech just hours after the murders, Catherine Ashton, one of the highest-ranking European Union officials, juxtaposed "what happened in Toulouse" with "what is happening in Gaza..."

The world is descending into a new round of moral confusion and chaos. The sooner we realize one inalienable truth, the better off we will all be:

Every Jew, no matter where s/he is, cannot separate himself from Israel. We are all one, intrinsically bound for eternity.

Today, let us join together to mourn the murder of Rabbi Sandler and three young children.

And let us feel the pain of the bereaved widow who moved to France with the purest of intentions, and now returns to Israel to bury her husband and two sons.

And let us pledge to take the plight of every Jew fully to heart.

March 19, 2012

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Visitor Comments: 87

(59) Amy, March 23, 2012 5:14 AM

Souls and hearts, sorrow, prayer and peace...

Please G-d protect the souls of those 4 folks who were brutally killed, and the hearts of those whom they left behind. My sorrow for the innocent lives cut short (at the hand of a dreadful coward), and my prayers to the family members who now must forever suffer such agony. Peace, peace and peace.

(58) Ari Tzedek, March 22, 2012 5:05 PM

Yes a wake up call, but a bit different than the one you suggest.

I agree that this was a wake up call. But not exactly the one you're portraying. That Jews are the primary targets is obvious, but the world at large are targets as well. I know very few Jews that don't know that there are people waiting to kill us at the first opportunity. It's the rest of the world that has trouble accepting that they are targets, just because they don't believe the same things as those that resort to terror to prove they're right. What happened in France was the perfect example of this. This murderer targeted military personnel first. People that devoted their lives for the causes of freedom and justice. Then he targeted Jews. The cowardice of such people to target those who are helpless is just astounding. The murderers next target, (which he told the police), was going to be more people that dedicated their lives to justice. Perhaps what G-d is trying to wake the world up to is, that if you recognize the barbarism of the terrorists that target the helpless and innocent, and act to right those wrongs, they, in turn, will also be helped. Kudos to France for standing up and going after justice with a vengeance. Kudos to the president of France for asking that Moslems as a whole, not be targeted in retaliation. And kudos to the Palestinian president for clarifying that the murder of those children in France, was in no way like the death of the Palestinian children, who are also victims of an unholy war. My sympathies to the families of all those that have lost children and loved ones to the acts of radicals that have no conscience. May the Sandler family be comforted in the Gates of Zion and Jerusalem. Hamokom Yinachaim

(57) Pinchas, March 22, 2012 1:10 PM

Thank you al-Qaeda

Thank you al-Qaeda, for while we Jews in Israel have been focused on what separates us you do not make such distinctions. While we are distinguishing between religious and secular, hareidi and dati, Sephardi and Ashkenazi, white and black, those who dress modestly and those who don’t, between those who live in cities and those who live in settlements—you al-Qaeda do not see these differences, to you we are all Jews. You do not distinguish between Israeli and French Jews, between Zionist and non-Zionist Jews, between those Jews living in the exile and those who live in Israel. Your hatred is so deep that you don’t even distinguish between Jewish children and their parents, between Jewish students and their teachers. For you understand that we are all the same people, and so thank you for reminding us. Your fighter for al-Qaeda wore a helmet to conceal his face as he attacked the Jewish children in Toulouse. G-d granted him a brief moment to demonstrate mercy when his gun jammed while he held 7 –year-old Miriam by her hair; but he calmly brought out his other weapon and shot her instead - this brave soldier for Islam. But his face was not concealed to us; we have seen this face many times before, it is the face of Amalek that specifically targets Jewish children.... So thank you for reminding us again that the darkest evil has no mercy and will not be moderated or negotiated with. Thank you also for reminding us that you will use whatever weapons are available to you to fulfill your mission so that those of us who have been confused regarding your true nature will now have clarity. Thank you al-Qaeda for reminding Jews living outside of Israel that they are still connected to those who live here and for reminding those in Israel that they are connected to those living in the Diaspora. Thank you for reminding us that we are actually one people, with one G-d and with one land, and that we share the same destiny and we share the same dream.

Daniel, March 22, 2012 6:45 PM

Hence the problem

That is the problem!!! We have to unite as Jews, who cares about those labels. G-d certainly doesn't. So i say the first step is not fire back, we need to fix our insides before concentrating on outside forces

(56) Helen, March 22, 2012 12:51 PM

Our prayers are with you.

My heart is broken for this family! It is unbelieveable what the world has come to. I, as an American & a Christian, stand with Israel & for peace, unity & justice. Almighty God will have His justice. My prayers are with the family. שָׁלוֹם עֲלֵיכֶם‎ shālôm ʻalêḵem

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