‘Allahu akbar’ in English means 'G-d is great.' I cannot express how proud I am to praise G-d for His goodness and blessings. ‘Allahu akbar’ can be used and understood with many different connotations.
On Friday afternoon, I responded to the terrible terror attack in my neighborhood, Ramot, in Jerusalem.
When I arrived at the horrific scene, it was devastating. A terrorist had driven his car straight into a bus stop full of people while shouting “Allahu akbar.” He was chanting this over and over again about the evil he was doing, until he was shot by Israeli police.
Under his car, were two little brothers aged 5 and 7, Yaakov Yisrael and Asher Menachem Paley. Alter Shlomo Lederman, who was married just six months ago, was also hit and murdered in the attack. The father of these two boys is still in the ICU in critical condition and doesn’t even know that his children are dead. There were many others who were injured and we pray for their recovery. It was a very difficult scene to witness, and my heart is broken.
At the same exact time in Turkey, United Hatzalah volunteers were on a rescue mission, responding after hearing screams from beneath the rubble of a collapsed building. They heard someone crying for help, and worked for hours with the IDF to extricate the young man who was miraculously still alive. After many hours, at the same exact same time we were treating the terror victims in Jerusalem, they were able to rescue the man from the rubble. During this difficult rescue in Turkey, thousands of people were yelling ‘Allahu akbar,’ praising G-d and the Israelis for rescuing this young Muslim Turkish man.
I only hope that more and more people will use this phrase for praising G-d for His goodness and miracles instead of using it for evil reasons. Wishing all my friends a week of peace, health, and praising G-d for the right reasons.
Eli Beer is the founder and President of United Hatzalah of Israel and the President of Friends of United Hatzalah.