Synagogue Attack in Jerusalem

My heart is breaking today.

My Facebook feed was going crazy this morning, since that’s primarily how I keep in touch with my Israeli friends, especially now that I don’t work with them anymore. Two Palestinian cousins armed with a gun and some sort of bladed weapons (reports are unclear as to whether they were butcher knives, a machete, or both) invaded a synagogue in western Jerusalem this morning (Jerusalem time) during Shacharit and killed four of the worshippers, and wounded six others. A Druze police officer, the first responder to the scene, has also died of his injuries.

The attackers also attacked during the Amidah prayer, the central and most important prayer in Jewish liturgy. It consists of eighteen blessings (it’s also called Shmonei Esrei, or “eighteen”), first praising G-d, then petitioning for blessings or other intercessions, and then concluding. I don’t know whether that timing was deliberate or not, but it sends a powerful anti-Semitic message just on its own.

The Times of Israel has an article. Here’s another article with some pictures of the aftermath. (WARNING: Very bloody!) I’m including the pictures because they’re very powerful images, and I think they need to be seen.

Of course, it was easy to find the connection — turns out a guy I know from my former job (I met him when I was over there, and worked on some of his documents a couple times) knows one of the dead men. Israel is a small family.

Baruch ha’Dayan ha’Emet, and may the families and fatherless children be comforted with the mourners of Zion, and all of Jewish Jerusalem is mourning today…

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