All people of conscience are shocked at recent news reports of a Jew stabbing people at a gay pride parade in Jerusalem, and an alleged Jewish firebomb that murdered a Palestinian toddler and seriously wounded his parents and brother.

Taking the law into one's own hands – regardless of the affront to one's political or religious belief – violates basic tenets of Judaism and every law of decency. Murdering innocent people is a moral outrage that must be condemned in the strongest terms.

Rule of Law is the foundation of any just and functional society. In Judaism, even the king is subject to the law. And the Torah demands that no matter where one lives today – in the United States, Israel, or any other country – we must follow the laws of the land.

Jews try hard to fulfill our role as a "light to the nations."

Jews have always distinguished ourselves as believing – not in the power of "might makes right" – but in the power of ideas and good deeds to change the world.

When ISIS is beheading opponents, Israeli hospitals are treating those wounded in Syria's civil war.

As the Ayatollah publishes his strategy to become the next global superpower, we alert the world of the dangers of nuclear-armed Iran.

This week, as the world mourned the gunning down of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe, doctors in Israel were performing life-saving surgery on a lion.

Jews try hard to fulfill our role as a "light to the nations." Vigilante acts of violence by Jews undermine these efforts. It alienates our friends and bolsters our enemies – giving them a poster child not seen since the days of Mohammed al-Dura. And it weakens our link to the Holy Land – a connection predicated on observance of Judaism's humane and compassionate laws.

Band of Zealots

There has been widespread condemnation from all segments of Israeli society. Unlike the support for terror so common in Palestinian society, in this case no guns are being fired in the air in celebration. In Israel, there is no hero's welcome for these murderers. No town squares will be named after the perpetrators, nor will nor will their families be awarded cash prizes. There is only repulsion and rejection, across the board.

Nearly 2,000 years ago, with Jerusalem besieged by Roman legionnaires, Jewish zealots burned the city's food supply in an attempt to force the Jews to fight. Their actions contributed to the downfall of Jerusalem.

So too, these modern zealots will assuredly ignite widespread violence.

Our world is threatened enough by twisted minds who think the way to heaven is to murder innocent civilians. Lawbreaking and intimidation has never been the Jewish way.

We mourn for the victims, and yearn for the fulfillment of Isaiah's vision: that nation shall not lift up sword against nation, nor shall man learn war anymore.

With thanks to Rabbi Yaakov Waintroob Roberts