Kenneth Cohen

Every Jew Was Violated

The tragedy of the events of October the seventh, is a reminder of a stark reality. A Jew is a Jew, regardless of his affiliation and religious beliefs.

We witnessed a mini-Holocaust, with all of its ugliness and savagery. The animals that perpetrated these crimes, did not care if their victims were religious or not, liberal or conservative. Their entire motivation was to kill Jews, just like in the Holocaust.

Whether the Diaspora Jews are aware of this or not, they feel this tragedy, not as sympathetic Americans or Brits, or Frenchmen. They feel it, because it touched that spark of Jewishness that is in the soul of every Jew. It was an attack on them, as much as it was to those living near Gaza.

This should clearly be seen as a wake up call to all of the Jewish people everywhere. We are one family, and we must be united as a family. We cannot escape our Judaism by assimilation and intermarriage. And we cannot live as the elite, strictly observant, in our Jewish ghettos, oblivious to the plight of our fellow Jews. We began as a family-nation from the twelve sons of Jacob. They first multiplied to seventy, and then to 600,000. We never stopped being this family-nation.

It is clear that we were given a special role to play in the world. “We are a nation that dwells apart.” Our destiny was to teach the world morality, and what is right and what is wrong. We gave the world the Bible, as the guide to teach people to live as compassionate human beings.

Over the centuries, there were those who admired us for who we are. But, as witnessed last week, we saw those that allowed themselves to sink to a level that was less than human.

It is time for all Jews to embrace their Judaism, and live as proud Jews. And it is time for all Jews to embrace one another. We are a family, and families must stick together.

About the Author
Rabbi Cohen has been a Torah instructor at Machon Meir, Jerusalem, for over twenty years while also teaching a Talmud class in the Shtieblach of Old Katamon. Before coming to Israel, he was the founding rabbi of Young Israel of Century City, Los Angeles. He recently published a series of Hebrew language-learning apps, which are available at