A birthday present from President Trump
A birthday present from President Trump

Shabbat Parashat Bereishit, 27th Tishrei, was my birthday. I turned…well, I don’t need to be too specific; let’s just say that when friends wish me “up to 120”, I’m not yet half-way there.

When an obsedrvant person's birthday falls on a Shabbat, the obvious question arises: How to celebrate? You can’t go anywhere by car, you can’t have a birthday-cake with candles to blow out, you can’t even have birthday-cake with “Happy Birthday” (or any other words) written in icing, because you can’t cut the words (and thereby erase writing) on Shabbat.

So I enjoyed a quiet, simple, pleasant birthday at home, surrounded by the love of my wife and my three small children, was honored by being called up to the Torah and was toasted with "Lechaim" - to life - after prayers..

Little did I know that I was soon to be presented with the most wonderful birthday present. And given to me courtesy of none other than US President Donald J. Trump himself!

Because as those last few hours of my birthday were peacefully and uneventfully trickling away, some 470 kilometres (290 miles) north and slightly east of my home, dozens of US Delta Force and Navy Seals Special Forces were approaching Barisha, a drab and almost-unknown village of no more than a few thousand people in the Idlib Province in north-west Syria, barely 3½ kilometres (2¼ miles) from the Turkish border.

There, later that night, they confronted Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the founder and commander of ISIS, maybe the world’s most wanted terrorist, certainly one of the world’s most vicious terrorists.

Al-Baghdadi grabbed three of his own children, and fled into one of his tunnels, wearing a suicide-vest. Maybe by miscalculation (after all, he was panicking at the time), he fled into a dead-end tunnel instead of a tunnel which could have led him to escape.

When he realised that he was cornered by US forces, he detonated his vest, killing himself and his three children.

About half-a-dozen other terrorists were killed in the raid (that figure might still change as further details are declassified); two of al-Baghdadi’s wives, both wearing suicide-vests which they had not detonated, were also killed. It is unclear if they had committed suicide, were shot by US forces, or were caught up in the cross-fire.

In any event, they are now in Islamic heaven, along with their monstrous husband. 

Fortunately, no US forces suffered any casualties or injuries of any kind. One US Army dog involved in the raid was injured. I sincerely wish that dog a full and speedy recovery from his injuries: his life is so much more valuable than the sub-human terrorist who he was pursuing.

So how does a Jew celebrate his birthday when it falls on a Shabbat?

– No, I couldn’t cut a cake; but US forces could put an end to a bunch of evil, despicable, genocidal terrorists.

– No, I couldn’t blow out any candles; but US forces could end the lives of some of the dregs of humanity.

– No, I couldn’t drive anywhere to celebrate; but US forces could make the world a better place, a cleaner place, a less polluted place.

The fact that al-Baghdadi pulled his own children into his death-trap, rather than protecting them, rather than giving them at least an opportunity to live, tells us all we need to know about him.

And listening to Trump's words, I couldn’t resist a pang of envy: Why, oh why can’t Israel have leaders who speak such words of faith?!
It may or may not be significant that three days after al-Baghdadi was killed, the 29th of October will mark the day that another sub-human genocidal psychopath, Joseph Goebbels y”sh, one of the top Nazi leaders, was born in 1897.

He ended his life in a bunker in Berlin, the bunker he shared with his idol Adolf Hitler y”sh: he and his wife Magda committed suicide on 1st May 1945, a week before Germany surrendered.

But before these two Nazi parents committed suicide, they, too, murdered their six children, aged from 4 to 14, with cyanide tablets.

Like al-Baghdadi, they, too, could not even conceive of allowing their children any chance of living, of one day rebuilding their lives..

There is something chilling, something unhuman, about parents who kill their own children.

A day after al-Baghdadi was eliminated, President Trump stated in a press conference, referring to other bloodthirsty terrorists: “These savage monsters will not escape their fate, and they will not escape the final judgement of G-d”.

And listening to his words, I couldn’t resist a pang of envy: Why, oh why can’t Israel have leaders who speak such words of faith?!

And so, on this day that the US has once again made our world a slightly better and cleaner place, I publicly thank President Donald Trump for the most wonderful birthday present of my life.