The Author

Funeral of terror victim

Mother of 4-year-old Palestinian terror victim cries at her funeral earlier this year. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

I know that there is disagreement about the situation in Israel. However, when it comes to terror, there is no “other opinion.” There is only right and wrong.

Once a week my wife and I go food shopping at the local Rami Levi supermarket. Like most people, we want to be able to feed our family and save a little money by shopping at the largest supermarket in the area—no more and no less. Lately, though, such a simple act has become complicated with the rise in Arab terror throughout the entire Land of Israel.

A few days ago my neighbor Yaelle drove with her daughter to the supermarket to do some food shopping. She brought her daughter along so she could be the “lookout” as she packed her groceries into to her car. Such are the days in which we are living. Insane but true.

So Yaelle was in her car driving out of the parking lot when she saw a woman carrying her bundles of groceries. Suddenly she saw an Arab man in a brown coat running towards the woman, raise his hand and plunge a knife i to the woman’s back. Yaelle and her daughter began screaming hysterically. Then Yaelle honked her horn and the terrorist ran. Yaelle quickly got out of her car and ran to help the woman, who was on the floor. She told her that it would be OK, and the woman tried to get up. Seeing that she was very weak and shaky, Yaelle held her tightly, brought her to her own car and told her to sit. Yaelle had blood all over her hands. The soldiers then came running, and shots rang out. Yaelle’s daughter ran into the bakery which was right nearby—she was hysterical, and quickly she was surrounded by amazing women who just wanted to help. Another neighbor, a doctor, came running to help the woman who was stabbed. At that point Yaelle ran to the bakery to see if her daughter was OK. Yaelle herself was shaking and crying, and she too was helped by the women in the bakery.They were kind enough to call her husband as well, who came running over to the scene.

The Israeli secret service and army questioned Yaelle, who said, “I felt like I was in a movie because how could this ever happen to me?” Her daughter was in shock and taken to the hospital along with the woman who was stabbed.

Later Yaelle was able to meet the husband and family of the woman who was stabbed, and they asked her to tell them the whole story, which she did. They were so thankful for everything that Yaelle had done to help. Thank God the woman who was stabbed is doing well and on the road to recovery.

Here are more of Yaelle’s words: “I remembered that at the scene of the attack, one woman kept telling me I am a hero. I don’t feel like one. The real heroes are the people of Israel and the people who fight to defend and protect us.”

Later Yaelle received a call from Nirit (the woman who was stabbed) after the surgery. “A couple of hours ago I received a call from Nirit. She said she was doing well and kept thanking me over and over. What could I say? You’re welcome? It doesn’t cut it in this situation. I just kept telling her over and over that I was glad she was OK. All I know is that Hashem (God) puts us exactly where we are supposed to be. This is where I was supposed to be with my daughter…it played out exactly the way it was supposed to. Even though I was scared, traumatized and freaked out, my emunah (faith) is as strong as ever. I still love my country and would never change it for anything else. I am feeling so grateful for all my family who came at a moment’s notice and all the friends that were there and offered to help. Thank you Hashem for all the greatness around me.”

Mass funeral for terrorists in Hebron

Palestinian officials attended a mass funeral for five terrorists in Hebron this week. (Flash90)

As I write these words, I am sitting in NY, having come here for some meetings. As I walk the streets here I instinctively look around and make sure that no one is behind me or running towards me. We are living in a very difficult reality in Israel right now, and I just don’t think the world gets it or even knows about what is really going on. The streets of Jerusalem, her cafes and holy places, are not filled like they usually are. People are afraid and they are staying home. Life cannot go on as usual.

I know that there is disagreement about the situation in Israel. My opinions are strong, but I recognize that not everyone agrees with me, and that’s fine. However, when it comes to terror, there is no “other opinion.” There is only right and wrong. Violence against innocent civilians and terror has no justification. When you equate a terrorist attack with the response, you have demonstrated that you are completely morally bankrupt. When you justify Arab terror by saying things like, “Well, they are just so frustrated with Israel,” or it is “all about the settlements,” you have justified murder and violence. It is really as simple as that.

It is incredibly frustrating to watch politicians, the news media, and countless people somehow justify Arab terror. There is no justification. Why is that so hard to get? In the words of our Prime Minister, “What planet are you living on?” It feels like the world has gone mad and that we are living in some kind of alternate reality. Few people seem to know what is right and what is wrong. I feel like I am in a very lonely space.

So I go on with my life, praying to God that the world comes to its senses. We are a nation that dwells alone, and are feeling very lonely and abandoned. For those who are standing with us on the side of morality and goodness, we do appreciate you. Hopefully, more will join us and recognize that Israel is a bastion of light in a very dark region of the world. Until that day comes, we will just continue to add more and more light to dispel the darkness.

Article by Moshe Rothchild

Rabbi Moshe Rothchild, an Orthodox rabbi, is founder and director of Teach Israel, an educational organization that brings people together in their mutual love for Israel and the Bible. He is also a licensed tour guide who contributes regularly to United with Israel in the “Places of Israel” category.