What follows is a moving personal meditation written by filmmaker Simcha Jacobovici on the murder of the Fogel family last Shabbat in Israel. If you would like to help in an effort, initiated by our sister organization, Roots of Faith, follow this link:
Simcha’s Message: On the Murder of the Jews
Last Friday, as with most Shabbat dinners, we had guests. It was a wonderful Shabbat. One of our guests is a commando in reserves, and he expressed his angst over whether we in Israel are doing everything possible to advance the peace process. For my part, I said that you can’t ram peace down the Palestinians’ throats. They have to want it. Literally, while we were agonizing over peace prospects and introspecting, trying to understand how our enemies feel about the situation, the Fogel family finished their Shabbat dinner, put 5 kids to bed and retired for the night. Their eldest, a 12 year old, went out with friends.
A few minutes later, two terrorists broke into their house and knifed father Udi, 37, mother Ruth, 36, 10 year old Yoav, 4 year old Elad, and three month old Hadas. They missed two kids sleeping on couches. The 12 year old found the family when she came home. None of us have been all right all week. I try to act normal, but I keep thinking about that terrorist who plunged a knife into a three month old, who was cuddling with her father in his bed.
25,000 people showed up for the funeral. My wife and I were not there, we were crying in our kitchen. Reading the foreign press and watching international news shows, the story hardly rated. The BBC, which did cover it, blamed the Fogels. They were, after all, orthodox Jews who believed that Jews had a right to live in ancient Judea. Somehow the three month old deserved it, not to speak of the older children and the parents. There were no international outcries. The usual cast of characters who bash Israel at every opportunity didn’t step up and say “this time, you’ve gone too far!” No full-page ads from intellectuals like Naomi Klein, no radio interviews from John Greyson, no full-page ads from Islamic and Arab American and Canadian associations stating in bold letters “This Is Not My Islam!”
Meanwhile, at the funeral, there were no cries of “death to the Arabs,” no chanting for revenge, no glorification of martyrdom, no banners….25,000 quiet people in mourning. Hundreds of thousands more around the country. Not a single Arab was beat up. I was so proud of my people. There were a lot of tears and a lot of prayers and a determination that evil will not win out.
May the members of the Fogel family who were murdered find eternal rest with Hashem. May Hashem provide the surviving members with strength.
We are here. This is home. We’re not going anywhere.