The timing, the parallels, the senseless deaths connecting Munich to Bulgaria on the eve of the Olympics is too chilling to contemplate – terror striking Israelis in their prime of life! At the same time that the international community is being challenged to have a Moment of Silence at the upcoming Olympic Games for the eleven Israeli athletes murdered by the Black September terrorists in 1972, a new Moment of Silence is engulfing Israel today as we struggle to accept the news of yesterday’s terror attack.
The three weeks leading up to Tisha B”Av is always the time for testing our resolve as a nation and as individuals. I am always so proud that the response by Israelis is so immediate to send rescue teams as if they were standing at the airport ready to fly with full equipment to any destination in the world – not only to help Israelis but survivors of earthquakes, hurricanes and all varieties of disasters.
My heartfelt condolences to the families of both the Munich tragedy and this latest episode of terror. Perhaps the best response is a “moment of silence” to remember the lives of those brutally murdered because of their willingness to live in this magnificent country of Israel even with all its own challenges and to engage in all aspects of life – representing Israel as in the Munich Olympics or as tourists wanting to experience “life” to its fullest.
The temple was destroyed by needless hatred, so our response to these tragedies is to exhibit compassion, love and embracing life every day in every moment. Infusing our lives with a sense of purpose and mission is the antidote to those cherished souls who will never have the opportunity to celebrate their own milestones- simply because they were Israelis!
Maria Shriver, Peabody and Emmy Award-winning journalist and producer, gave a powerful commencement address to graduates of USC Annenberg School of Communications with one central message: Take the time to “PAUSE” and focus on the NOW.¹
I am not an Israeli by birth, but having made aliya by choice in my middle years – NOW and TODAY I want to PAUSE and PROCLAIM “I AM A PROUD ISRAELI JEW”. I pledge to try to find the paths to make a contribution to this country that I adopted in gratitude for the opportunities that I have been given.
I pray that the day will soon come that the terrorists will be “silenced forever” with our own perpetual “MOMENTS OF SIMCHA”.