A Synagogue in Flames

Michael Freund,

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צילום: ערוץ 7
Michael Freund
Michael Freund served as Deputy Communications Director in the Israeli Prime Minister's Office under Binyamin Netanyahu during his first term of office. He is the Founder and Chairman of Shavei Israel (www.shavei.org), a Jerusalem-based organization that searches for and assists the Lost Tribes of Israel and other "hidden Jews" seeking to return to the Jewish people. In addition, Freund is a correspondent and syndicated columnist for the Jerusalem Post, and authors a popular blog on Middle East affairs, Fundamentally Freund. A native New Yorker, Freund is a graduate of Princeton University and holds an MBA in Finance from Columbia. He has lived in Israel for the past 19 years and remains a loyal New York Mets fan....

Where is the outrage? Where is the outpouring of anger, fury and indignation?

A synagogue, a Jewish house of worship, a place where Jews gather solely for prayer and contemplation, was attacked yesterday by Palestinian terrorists in Gaza – and everyone is silent.

Some 20 worshippers in the Jewish community of Netzarim were gathered for the weekday morning service, their arms and heads bound in tefillin (phylacteries), their bodies enveloped in prayer shawls.

They had reached the verse, “Who among the gods is like You, O G-d; who is like You, majestic in sanctity”, when a Palestinian rocket struck, causing grave damage to the building. Miraculously, no one was injured, though two people had to be treated for shock.

The rest of us, however, apparently felt no shock. A synagogue was hit? It’s just another headline, just another blip in the news – hey, now where is the sports section…

Just imagine if the Israeli Army had mistakenly hit a mosque or a church. Just imagine the reaction that would not be slow in coming from the left, from the Palestinians, from Europe, from the world.

But you know what – I’m less concerned about their reaction.

I’m more worried about ours.

An attack on a synagogue is an attack on the Jewish people everywhere. It is an assault on our faith, our traditions and our beliefs. It is the ultimate indignity, and it can not be dismissed as “just another terror attack”.

Whatever you may think about Jews living in Gaza – this is an incident that should touch every Jew to the core of his being, reminding each of us what this conflict is truly all about: the ruthlessness and callousness of our foes, and their desire to bring about our demise.

But whatever threat they may pose to Israel’s existence, it pales in comparison with the true menace to the future of this country: our indifference and our apathy.

If a synagogue can go up in flames without evoking a peep of protest – well, then, it seems that things might really be worse than we had thought.

“Who among the gods is like You, O G-d; who is like You, majestic in sanctity”.

May G-d save us from our enemies – and from ourselves.