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author biography
Naomi Ragen is an American-born novelist and playwright who has lived in Jerusalem since 1971.
She has published seven internationally best-selling novels, and is the author of a hit play. Naomi also publishes a regular email column that deals with Jewish subjects, especially Israel,

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Stupidity and Evil; Heroism and Holiness
Filed under Judaism, Jewish history & culture, Opinion Editorials, Palestinian politics, Terror attacks on Israel, Yeshiva massacre March 08 – on Monday, March 10, 2008 – By: Ragen, Naomi

Responding to the massacre of young boys studying Torah, someone wrote me that considering what horrors Israel had committed in Gaza “it’s a shame he didn’t kill every student in the school.” This is what we are up against. I cannot begin to tell you how weary I am of hearing these lies and having to refute them. Are people stupid? Evil? Insane?
 
Or are they instigated by a stupid, evil press corps who failed to mention the following history when describing Israel’s long delayed and more than justified retaliation against Gazan terrorists: August 27, 2005 Israel throws all residents out of Gush Katif, bulldozes their homes, and hands their 100 million dollar hothouse business over to the Palestinian Authority. September 24, 2005, 30 rockets launched from Gaza into Western Negev.
 
Improved rockets hit Ashkelon. Jan-Feb. 2008, 498 rockets fired into Israeli communities. In all, over 1000 rocket attacks since leaving Gaza. On August 21, 2007, Hamas foreign minister Mahmud A-Zahar says: “Rockets against Sderot will cause mass migration, greatly disrupt daily lives and government administration. We are succeeding with the rockets, we have no losses and much impact on the Israeli side.”
 
In light of these facts any complaint about Israel’s long delayed action against the Hamas in Gaza must be seen for what it is: stupid, evil, a perversion of morality. Any connection or justification to the death of Israeli children, shot in cold blood in a library as they learned their sacred texts (one can just imagine if it was the Koran covered in blood instead of the Talmud and Torah scrolls; would the riots ever end? Would the casualties number less than hundreds?) must be seen in a similar light.
 
Alaa Abu Dhein, the child-murderer from the East Jerusalem village of Jabal Al Mukaber, had a blue Israeli identity card, which meant he and his family enjoyed Israeli medical care, and social security benefits. He was twenty, and was about to get married in a few months. He worked as a driver. Some have said for the yeshiva where he murdered students, but the Rabbis deny this. He watched the school for weeks, planning his “heroic” act. He walked up the steps carrying a box. He met three young boys who joked: “What are you bringing us, a television?”
 
He then put down the box, took out a kalashnikov and murdered two of them, without another word. He walked into the library and began to shoot every single person there, checking each one was dead, and firing a few more shots if he wasn’t sure. When there wasn’t anyone left in the library, he started up the steps to the roof, firing in the air. A student shot him twice, but didn’t kill him.
 
An army officer, David Schapiro, coincidentally home on leave, heard the shots. He had just finished bathing his two and four year-old babies, but he left his pregnant wife, took his rifle, and headed towards the shooting. Risking his life, he entered the building -which he knew well having spent time there learning and praying-reconnoitered the terrorist, and fired sixteen shots into him, finally ridding the world of this “hero” as he is being called among his fellow Palestinians, who admire people who kill children.
 
This is who the “hero” killed: 16 year old Abraham David Mozes, who loved to learn. 15 year-old Segev Avihayil, a rabbi’s son, who escaped a previous terror attack, and who loved to learn the Talmud, and was so happy to be accepted into the yeshiva. 26 year old Ethiopian Meharta Tornoach, who served combat duty in the recent Lebanese war, and whose ambition was to “learn Torah and to settle the land.”
 
He was found murdered over an open Talmud. He leaves behind an 80 year old father and a 66 year old mother. 18 year-old Yehonadav Hirschfeld, who would never miss a day of learning, even coming in when the snows closed the Jerusalem roads. And Yochai Lipstein, an outstanding scholar in his senior year, who characteristically spent his evenings pouring over a Talmud in the library instead of joining in the preparations for the evening’s party. Mercaz Harav, founded by Rabbi Kook eighty years ago, is an elite institution dedicated to the best values of the Jewish people. Rabbi Kook believed that rebellion against religion was a passing phenomenon.
 
In the words of Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Kook believed that “all Jews would be absorbed into the renaissance of religious creativity that a return to the holy land would set in motion. “The sounds of song, the majesty of the holy tongue, the beauty of our precious land which was chosen by God, the ecstasy of heroism and holiness, will return to the mountains of Zion.” In our lifetime, all this has come to pass.
 
May the memory of those who died in pursuit of these ideals be blessed. And may God restore the wounded to health, and bless the heroes who saved so many lives. And may Alaa abu Dhein and his ilk , all the stupid, evil, immoral people, be cleansed from the planet.
 
The opinions and views articulated by the author do not necessarily reflect those of Israel e News.

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