The Devil and the Grocery Store

The neighborhood grocery store? That’s where 4 innocent defenseless people are killed? Why barge into a grocery store, hold innocent and harmless adults and children hostage and then cold-heartedly murder four? For not obeying a foreign religion? For standing strong in their own beliefs? What depravity, killing a young French man for preventing the murder of an infant by a common representation of the religion of peace. That’s so deserving of death in the religion of peace’s value scale!?

Everyone has faults. But what have these victims done to deserve death? The Jews, Christians, Hindus, Bahais, the list of extremist Islamic terror victims goes on. Have Jews EVER murdered for religion? Perpetrated genocide for religion?

So, who are you supporting if not Israel?  An extremist group who, for centuries, have and will continue to kill people for exercising their freedom of speech, press and religion? Are you going to support a people who walk into an office and kill 12 innocent artists for publicly releasing their opinions? Support a people who don’t think twice about walking into supermarkets with weapons and the element of surprise to threaten totally defenseless people because they believe in a different G-d? A people who has been beheading, hanging and burning non-Muslims alive throughout the vast undeveloped Middle East?

Prime Minister Netanyahu understands that “these aren’t just enemies of the Jews, but all of humanity… It’s about time that all of the civilized world unite and uproot these enemies from our midst.” This is not just a threat to the Jews. “Most leaders understand or are starting to understand that the terror of radical Islam presents a clear and present danger to the world in which we live,” said Netanyahu upon the recent tragedies taking place.

So, we WILL stand up for ourselves and fight back. We do this for Jews, Christians and every nation targeted and savagely suffering at the hands of radical Islam.

Do not dare tell us not to stand up for ourselves. Every parent teaches their child to stand up for themselves if they’re being bullied. It is an internationally accepted concept etched in our psyche. And the world is no different. We will continue to defend.

As we have every other time, we will grow stronger, and due to our embedded G-d given morals, we will continue to always care for anyone, including the Muslim victims of Muslim atrocities. It has become a sadly common reality to yearn for validation. However, I have learned that G-d creating you is validation enough. I am proud to be a Jew and I know I have the right to be one. I will flaunt my G-d given special privilege to be part of such a great nation. And we’re not going anywhere.

“My message in Paris, in Jerusalem, anywhere: first rule in fighting terrorism is to refuse to be afraid.” – Netanyahu.  World, you do not have to be a Jew to want to fight against an extreme group of people who kill those who exercise their freedom. You just have to be proud, strong, determined and unafraid.

We will not fear. We are not a cowardly people. We will not be quiet. We will defend ourselves.

My fellow Jews and supporters of Israel, wear your Magen David with pride. Have your Israeli flag on your knapsacks to show everyone your support and show that you do not stand for innocent murder. Wear the symbol of your religion for everyone to see, because you have the right to be proud of your beliefs.

I was one of the many heartbroken and angry mourners at the funeral of our four French brethren. I felt the pain and moral resoluteness of a mother, a wife, a best friend, so clear in her words. She cried and spoke about the loss of her husband. Philippe was a father of four. His son, Rafael, was in Israel when he heard what happened. They were extremely close and his inability to grasp the loss of his father and best friend has left him with only an overflow of tears. Now four kids are left fatherless.

Yohan had the chance of walking out. If he would cooperate, maybe he’d be one of the survivors. But that unidentifiable fire of the Jewish people within him began to grow and grow until the flames consumed him. Instead of cooperating giving him the possibility of life after such a tragedy, he risked his life to grab a gun and try to save a 3-year-old little boy. Before he got the chance to shoot, he was killed. And so his plan worked. The boy was able to walk out into the world outside of the traumatic tragedy he had just lived. He was able to walk into the world to live the life that lies ahead of him. But Yohan never will.

A man who lived his life for his children, Francois Michel sought them no harm, unlike the brutality that so easily rises in radical Islamic families. Francois himself can no longer provide for them, but his children will be taken care of. Because Francois is a Jew and the Jewish community helps everyone.

Yoav hid in a freezer, but was then forced out. When he walked out, he noticed a gun and grabbed it, but it would not fire and he was killed. But he had it in him. That unidentifiable fire of every single Jew. We DO NOT give up. We will NEVER let terrorism break us. Yoav did not give up. He grew in strength and tried to save everyone. “During Operation Protective Edge, Yoav had an argument on Facebook with a Muslim youth. “When you have nothing left in life, you go and blow up, and try to take as many people with you. It’s just revenge, and I would’ve done it as well,” the Muslim youth, Muhammad, wrote to Yoav. Yoav replied, “for me it’s simple, Israel exists anyway so it’s better to live in peace, there are no other options” (Ynetnews). That’s who he was fighting against. That’s who we are all fighting against. We all are called to be the “Yoav’s” fighting against that immorality.

At the funeral on Tuesday morning, President Rivlin said, “not like this did we want you here… We wanted you alive. Not like this”.  Never again will we let our people be brought to the slaughterhouse. Never again will any grandchild listen to her grandmother speak about watching her mother and two young brothers being shoved into the gas chambers.

Recently, I’ve been spending most of my free time searching for the words that explain how I feel, that describe the sick reality we live in, that capture the inhumanity perpetrated by radical psychopathic Islam and the tragic consequences of recent events that don’t only affect Jews, but the innocents of other religions as well. If you do not believe in their G-d and their morals, you are a target.

How tragic that people are targeted for their religious beliefs? Are we living in the middle ages again? Murdering people for their religion still in the 21st century? I thought the world had evolved? What happened to society? I feel like we’re just falling back… But how could we? We’re so developed. These thoughts keep entering my brain.

However, as these thoughts race through my mind, the one concluding thought that comes to mind is HOME. In World War II we didn’t have a home. We were not blessed with our holy beautiful Israel. However, now we ARE blessed by G-d to have the Jewish state. And now, in a time when anti-Semitism is rising, we’re not sitting back and letting it happen. Hundreds of Jewish French citizens attended aliyah conference just days after the supermarket attack. Whatever way there is to support the Jewish homeland, we must do it. We must embrace our obligation and responsibility as Jews because this is our G-d given home. So, now, as anti-semitism rises, it becomes our call HOME. This doesn’t have to be the tragedy that ends all other religions. It doesn’t have to be the extermination of Jews. This can ultimately be the vehicle to the utmost ideals of true freedom and the bringing of the Jewish people where they belong – home.

About the Author
Maya Neiman is currently a student at Midreshet Harova (girls seminary in The Old City). She plans on living in Israel and, next year, will start her sheirut leumi service. and will then attend Bar Ilan University.
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