Penina Taylor
Inspirational and Motivational Speaker, Author and Coach


I write this post with a lot of hesitation as I have worked very hard until recently to keep my posts squarely on the side of religion and inspiration and out of the realm of politics.  First of all, the main driving force in my life is to build up and inspire and I seldom find political discussions to accomplish either one.  Secondly, as they say in Israel, “Ain li musag”.

When I first came to Israel, like many new immigrants, I took ulpan – a 5 month intensive language program to learn Hebrew.  Four months into our course, the teacher taught us a phrase – “Ain li musag” which literally means, “I haven’t a clue” or “I am clueless”.  I raised my hand and asked the instructor why she had waited four full months to teach us this phrase, because I had spent my first 4 months in Israel totally clueless.

I hate to admit it, but I am still clueless.

I am clueless as to why in March 2008 an Arab terrorist walked in to the Mercaz HaRav Kook Yeshiva and gunned down 8 – EIGHT!!!!! Boys who were doing nothing more than studying Torah.  Not soldiers, not hitchhiking, not even “settlers”, just boys studying Torah in Jerusalem.  The nation mourned, we got angry and then….nothing.  Things continued, status quo.

I am clueless as to how in 2011 Arab Terrorists break into the home of a family and murder the father and mother and three children – one of which was a 3 month old baby who was decapitated.  What kind of barbarians do such a thing?  They were sleeping for G-d’s sake!  The nation mourned, the nation got angry, and many blamed the family because after all, they lived in Judea and Samaria, and then….nothing.

Now here we are in 2014 and two Arab Terrorists kidnap 3 teenagers on their way home from Yeshiva for Shabbat.  People blamed the kids, a well-known Rebbe blamed the parents for living in a dangerous area (how does he explain the Yeshiva incident, I wonder?), the nation mourned, the nation got angry.  Really angry.  People began to express their frustration with marches and chants. And then…

The day after the boys were laid to rest, an Arab boy of 16 was found murdered.  The parents claimed he was kidnapped (how convenient), only the police indicated that her story was very inconsistent.  Claims of a previous attempt (before the 3 boys were found dead – which kind of negates the revenge theory), only that also had holes in it.  Reports that the family was well known to the police for previous issues, including honor issues.  Rumors…the boy was gay and the family needed to get back their honor.  I don’t know if those rumors were ever validated, but the boy was burned to death which is a common way for Muslims to kill gay people (or so I have read).

But from the moment the news came of the Arab boy’s death, everyone kept saying it was “nationalistic” revenge by hotheaded right-winged Jews.  I’ve never heard of a Jew burning someone alive, but I suppose there’s a first time for everything.  And if the murder was committed by a Jew, then that Jew deserves to be punished by our government in the same way the government punishes all murderers, which for Arabs usually means being released in some sort of a “deal.”

But here’s where we start the part that I don’t get.  It was pretty obvious from the moment the Arab boy was found dead that the only outcome beneficial to the Israeli government was to find that the perpetrator was a Jew who could be brought to Justice as quickly and severely as possible.  Anything else would leave the country in a continued state of turmoil.  The government needs leverage and this incident provides it.

The rest of the nation was quick to jump on the idea that the murder was committed by Jews in revenge, way before there was any evidence even hinting to the possibility.  I began to wonder who would be the scapegoat that would be forced to confess to a crime they didn’t commit in order to bring relative quiet and international approval back to our nation.

Now we hear that indeed, the government has arrested 3 suspects.  Minors. Minors who were tasered and needed medical treatment.  Minors from whom they gained a confession without parents present, and without legal representation.

What on earth is going on here?  Why do people not see that most of the evidence still points to the Arab boy being killed by an Arab.  Why do people not see that it is in the government’s interest to convict a Jew of this crime?  Has the world gone mad?

Ain li musag.  Smh (shaking my head) just clueless.

About the Author
Penina Taylor is a Jewish motivational and inspirational speaker, author, and coach. Although most well known for sharing the story of her spiritual odyssey to discover her Jewish faith, Penina's journeys of overcoming abuse, morbid obesity and health problems, as well as challenges in marriage give her a perspective on life that few can rival. Dubbed the Jewish female Tony Robbins by many, Penina has helped empower tens of thousands of people around the world.
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