March 21, 2018
Dear Friend of Israel,
“The Lord will surely comfort Zion … Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the sound of singing.”
These words from the book of Isaiah (51:3) came to mind as I heard the news of two deadly terror attacks in Israel. On Friday, March 16, Palestinians declared a “day of rage,” and a car-ramming attack in the West Bank killed two young IDF soldiers and left two others seriously injured. Then, two days later, a terrorist in Jerusalem’s Old City stabbed to death Adiel Kolman, a 32-year-old father of four.
The pain caused by such hateful violence is hard to fathom. Yael Kolman, Adiel’s mother, summed it up powerfully in a heartbreaking and poignant eulogy for her son: “You were our jewel,” she said through tears. “We were close to your heart for years but now they have taken your heart. We would have wanted to be with you for longer, we always want those things that are good – it is never enough … God gave to us and God took from us.”
While we cannot fully grasp the depth of any one person’s pain at a moment like this, I know that in Israel, each time we hear of another terror attack, the nation grieves together. No matter how many attacks we live through, this feeling of national solidarity amid sorrow simply does not go away.
And this feeling of solidarity is one of the reasons that I know we will persevere. The spirit of the Israeli people is strong and resilient, built on a shared foundation of faith that has endured for many generations. We are united in our joys, as well as our sorrows – and, through it all, our common faith in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob sustains us and gives us hope to go on.
Behind the realm of politics and hateful ideology lie real people – terror’s innocent victims. As the holy season of Passover approaches, let us pray for comfort and peace for all those who mourn the loss of loved ones in terror attacks. And let us pray that the day will come when “The Lord will surely comfort Zion”.
With prayers for shalom, peace,
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
Founder and President