June 9, 2016
Dear Friend of Israel,
I arrived home in Israel from Brazil to terrible news. On Wednesday night, four people were killed and more were injured in a terrorist shooting at a restaurant in a busy shopping complex in Tel Aviv.
Security camera footage taken inside the restaurant shows a chilling scene, as people practically fall over themselves as they desperately flee from the gunmen – two Palestinian cousins in suits and ties, prepared for this slaughter as if they were dressed for a formal occasion – who fired indiscriminately into the crowd. And so, what at first seemed like a typical night in Tel Aviv turned into a night of terror.
Here in Israel, each time you hear of another terror attack, another death, you feel a heavy weight of sadness and loss. No matter how many terror attacks you have lived to witness, this feeling simply does not go away. And yet, I know we will persevere. The spirit of the Israeli people is strong and resilient, built on a foundation of hope and faith that has endured for many generations.
That strength of spirit was shown in the words of Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who after the attacks vowed “determined action by the police, IDF and security agencies to locate all collaborators who took part in this murder.” Even now, the IDF is surrounding the West Bank village where the two terrorists came from, in an attempt to bring to justice anyone who may have played a part in aiding the two men who perpetrated these cowardly attacks.
My friends, please pray today that those who lost a loved one in the attack on Wednesday will be comforted in their sorrow. Pray for a swift recovery for the injured, and that God will protect all of Israel’s fighting men and women who must put their own lives in danger in the struggle for justice. And let us pray for the day when the culture of blind hatred and intolerance that bred these attacks will be no more, and will be replaced with God’s blessed gift of shalom, peace.
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
Founder and President