Three times a year a Jewish person is commanded to appear before the Lord at a place of His choosing. “And they shall not appear before the Lord empty,” we are told in Deuteronomy 16:16.
Little did I expect when arriving in Israel during the Feast of Tabernacles that I will soon be in Jerusalem, offering hands dripping of blood. That, I know, is not what God wants.
And yet, less than 24 hours after landing in Israel, I took the bus to Jerusalem to the Mount of Rest, Jerusalem’s main cemetery.
Situated 750 meters above sea level and greeting those ascending to Jerusalem, the cemetery is under massive expansion. Business, apparently, is very good. But people should die for natural causes, not be hastened to their graves for no apparent reason.
It was nine o’clock in the morning, and people started arriving, a constant stream of people. The flow did not stop, and the numbers swelled to two hundred, then five and eight hundred, then passed the one thousand mark and finally reached just below 2,000.
I sat among many graves at a higher section, overlooking the sea of people. Much like a sea of water, one could hear the humming, soft talk, and see the people embracing each other, some crying, others forcing themselves to hold their heads up high.
Water bottles were available, as this is one of the warmest summers on record. Initial signs of Fall are here, but they were absent this morning. People were choking, and I escaped to higher ground and found a shaded area from which I did not move, mesmerized.
Almost three hours after the first arrivals, the speeches commenced. The President of Israel talked about a “hug of the whole nation.” Except, the nation was busy. It was a Friday of a very long holiday weekend, and other than expressing “outrage” in passing, people continued their holiday vacations and family outings and carried out their lives without another thought. It will soon come to haunt them.
President Rivlin, his people’s president, said that “we are all one front. We will fight terror without fear and with fierce determination. Building the Land of Israel is what will provide us solace.”
Israel’s President clearly meant what he said, except it does not translate to action. Soon, after the Prime Minister’s return to Israel, we will be told that “our hands are tied” due to international pressure. Once again we will have to overlook heinous acts of barbarism, lick our wounds, bury our dead and “forgive and forget.” We will even be told we are at fault, and the crescendo will be the perpetrators coming out in press releases blaming they are “afraid of retribution and riots,” turning the blame unto Israel.
Wrong turns to right, evil to good, black to white, darkness to light. Awake!
Following President Rivlin was the mother of Rabbi Eitam. Grieving, she first cared about those in attendance: “We are sorry for the long stay in the sun,” she said, concerned, then continued, “it is incomprehensible, if only you (my son) would have eulogized me and not vice versa.”
Her son and his wife – a young, energetic, life-filled, productive and inspiring couple – were murdered the previous day by “Palestinian Heroes.” The perpetrators made sure the couple was dead, but did not murder their four children who were in the car with their parents.
Four orphans were spared, nine-, seven- and four-year old and a four month old baby. Why? Age and innocence never stopped the Palestinian Muslim murderers before.
This time they stopped short murdering only the adults because it was previously established that the backlash from murdering children alongside their parents is too much to bear, while murdering adults is permissible, justified and highly rewarded.
There used to be “condemnation,” lip service following the most barbaric acts against Jews. These stopped, for it is clear to all they stand contrary to the real intention: fighting the Zionists until they are driven away, pushed to the sea, until they cease to exist.
Why would one expect “condemnation” when the act is repeatedly preached at the mosques and encouraged, facilitated and rewarded by the political echelon and its military counter-parts? My hands were drenched in blood of the innocents, a silent and grieving witness to the Palestinians’ merry Cult of Death.
Eitam and Na’Ama Henkin were murdered because they were Jewish Israelis living in their homeland. They committed no other sin.
Why were they chosen as the sacrifice for this Festival I do not comprehend. So I sat above the ever-growing crowd, protected by the shade and the light breeze, and listened to the speeches. Closer by to the center of those gathered, an Israeli Druze, my friend Mendi Safadi, took pictures. To me these pictures are most graphic, and normally would not be appropriate, but they are necessary.
A young couple, at the prime of their life, gone, wrapped in burial shrouds, before being returned to earth. Life taken, stopped for no reason at all.
That was the opening shot. It was preceded by a period of escalating action, throwing rocks, then Molotov cocktails and finally shootings. It was encouraged with riots on Temple Mount, speeches that mobilized young Muslims and rhetoric that the Jews must not be here, for they have no connection to their holiest place of thousands of years, their capital of 67 or United Jerusalem since 1967.
Little did I know that a day after the burial, the next terrorist attack will be carried out in Jerusalem’s Old City. Two more dead and counting.
The perpetrator entered Jerusalem, arrived to the Old City via Damascus Gate, saw a Jewish family, stabbed the parents and their child and another nearby pedestrian, then took a handgun of one of those he stabbed and started shooting until he was killed, less than two minutes later.
The Henkins were murdered in Judea and Samaria. The next murder was in Jerusalem proper. Death was ascending onto Jerusalem, walking with his head high, ready for more sacrifice. Now the attacks will only intensify. The time is ripe; let the Third Intifada begin.
The pressure has built under the surface, and it must be released. The young men and women are ready. Brainwashed. Determined. Convinced they are heroes doing the Prophet’s work. They are on the way to be rewarded in the next world; their families will be immediately rewarded in this world.
Their people will celebrate; they will become instant heroes and celebrities. Others will follow. Israeli blood will spill in the streets of Al Quds. The land will quench its thirst.
October 1st was the first murder. The next took place on the 3rd of October. Tomorrow I am going to Jerusalem again. It was scheduled long ago, for the first Sunday in October.
Bishop Robert Stearns and Eagles’ Wings church from New York are holding their annual Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem.
It must have been preordained, that Jews and Christians will come together. As we, the Saturday people will be about to celebrate the last day of Sukkot, the pilgrimage Festival of Tabernacles, and will finish reading the Torah and immediately start reading it anew – for the Torah never ends – our Christian brethren, the Sunday people, will join us in fulfilling what the Prophet Isaiah said (62:6):
I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, they shall never hold their peace, all day and all night always; those who mention the Lord, take ye no rest.
Also Published in Israel Monitor and produced here with permission
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