2014-12-10 / Voice at the Shore

Remembering those slain in the Jerusalem synagogue terrorist attack

By RABBI GERALD R. FOX President of the South Jersey Board of Rabbis and Cantors

Our Jewish heritage teaches us to turn things over again and again to understand them and to learn from them. In allowing time to collect my thoughts regarding the mid-November terrorist attack at the Har Nof Synagogue—which initially left me speechless—I cannot escape the feeling that the universal fabric of our collective spirituality has been irreparably rended.

When the two disturbed men filled with hate entered a synagogue in the Har Nof neighborhood of Jerusalem, their horrific act of terror was infinitely augmented by the fact that this heinous attack was perpetrated upon innocent people who devoted their lives to the reparation and healing of others and to the perfection of our world. Even worse, it occurred in a place where people convene to bridge the gap between human beings and the Divine.

As human beings, we are outraged and disturbed and saddened; we demand justice and succumb to anger. As Jewish spiritual leaders, however, we are even more devoted to our path of healing. We see evil in the world and wish to blot it out with God’s love. We see brokenness and terror and disturbance and seek to channel Divine harmony.

In so doing, we offer prayers for those who have passed through this life; may all of their lives be remembered for a blessing.

 Rabbi Avraham Shmuel Goldberg z”l, 68, leaves behind his wife Breina, six children and grandchildren.

 Rabbi Aryeh Kupinsky z”l, 43, leaves behind his wife Yakova, and five children ranging in age from 5 to 16.

 Rabbi Kalman Ze’ev Levine z”l, 55, leaves behind his wife Chaya, nine children and 5 grandchildren.

 Rabbi Moshe Twersky z”l, 59, leaves behind his wife Miriam, five children and grandchildren.

 First Sgt Zidan Nahad Seif z”l, 30, the heroic Israeli-Druze police officer, the first responder to the attack, leaves behind his wife Rinal and four-month old daughter, parents and five siblings.

We ask for prayers for their families and loved ones so that they may begin the process of healing from this horrific event that has caused so much suffering in their lives.

In addition to those who fell at the hands of two men (and those who support their unGodly acts) who chose to disrespect God’s ways and one of humanity’s most sacred contracts in desecrating prayer, we keep in our hearts and pray for a speedy and complete healing for those still suffering from the wounds, physical and psychological, imposed upon them by the twisted will of two men.

The most seriously injured among them are: Eytan Ben Sara, Moshe Ben Atara, Aryeh Ben Bracha, Chaim Yechiel Ben Malka and Shmuel Yeruchem Ben Baila

May the mourners be comforted, may those in need of healing be made whole, and may we all remember how precious is each life and each moment, especially those spent in spiritual reflection and in community.

As Jews, we know all too well the stinging hand of suffering without cause. May this memory fade with a future of unending days of peace and a world filled with God’s love. . Rabbi Fox is rabbi at Temple Beth Shalom in Brigantine

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