As they say, every story in the newspaper is true except for the one about which you happen to have personal knowledge . As a Jerusalem resident and frequent visitor to Har Nof, I’d like to add several facts that were excluded from the media’s reporting of the killings.
1. The Jews inside the Bnai Torah synagogue were not passive victims. While they were completely unarmed and caught off guard they didn’t go as sheep to the slaughter.
From media reporting and photography one was left with the impression that the terrorists came in, did their dirty deed and continued on until stopped by police. Eyewitnesses report that the Jews inside the synagogue waged a fierce battle led by the late Aryeh Kupinscki, a large and powerful man who attempted to stop the terrorists by throwing tables and chairs at them. He succeeded in distracting them and by doing so saved the lives of .f many of his fellow worshippers who were able to escape while he was busy fighting but he himself was murdered. Assisting him was Rabbi Rothman who is now hospitalized in serious condition.
2. The widows and orphans aren’t seeking revenge. The orthodox philosophy is that what happened was a decree from Heaven and that the terrorists were just pawns in G-ds larger plan. The families accept what has happened without questioning. Orthodox Jews believe that our lives are just one part of a bigger supernal picture hence the families accept this bitter development with pure faith.
Though there have been calls to step up safety measures and install security guards at vulnerable locations, the families havent spoken of of revenge or commited acts of revenge. Considering the fact that the killings were allegedly perpetrated to avenge the death of an Egged bus driver who most likely took his own life, this is especially noteworthy.
and 3. On Friday the four widows issued a public statement asking for everyone to unite and become more loving, rather than less loving, also remarkable considering what these women had just experienced.
Except at times like these, the media tends to shine an unflattering light on the ultra orthodox community. Perhaps the tragic events of last Tuesday will help to change that image and show the world what a remarkably group of people the martyrs of Har Nof and their families really were.