Drilling Holes in Water

I usually go around 4 a.m. to pray at the Kotel (the Western or "Wailing" Wall) during each day of the Chagim, because that's a time when it's nice and quiet and not overly crowded, but this trip I've been doing it at disparate times for various reasons.  On this past Shabbat, I decided to go pray at sunset, as the Shabbat was ending.  While I was at the Kotel praying, an act of violence was perpetrated against a Jewish family who were just on their way to do what I was doing.  One of them, the father, died from stab wounds, while the mother was also seriously injured, and one of the children also received minor injuries.  A Rabbi and resident of the Old City was also killed as he tried to defend the young couple.  You can read about this incident here.

I missed all of this because I don't usually go through the route this Jewish family was going.  I usually go through the Yaffa gate and down past Chabad to the Chain Gate, or I go through the Dung Gate.  As I was leaving I saw the ruckus going on with police going through the streets of the Old City a little more quickly than usual. I only found out what exactly happened later as I was having dinner with some brothers in the Mamila Mall and we observed some Israelis marching through the streets waving the flag, headed in mass towards the Old City.

Violence breeds violence, folks!  Be clear here, Jews are never going to willingly leave Eretz HaQodesh (the Qodesh Land).  Nor will they leave Yerushalayim (Jerusalem), a city that is tied forever to their hearts.  You'd have to drag them out kicking and screaming, and believe me, it would take a significant force, more than a few stabbings or stone throwings.  Likewise, Palestinians and Armenians and everyone else who considers Yerushalayim home, a place deep in their hearts, they are not willingly leaving either.  Before taking part in yet another attack, consider that the only thing an attack of this sort will mean is that life with be a lot harder on a lot more innocent Palestinians, Armenians, other Christians, and Jews.  It won't mean that you will somehow win a victory and remove Jews (or anyone else) from the land or this city.

Everyone here is stuck with everyone else here.  One who chooses a path of violence and terrorism to settle his grievances will leave his grievances even more unsettled, become a martyr to the cause of drilling holes in water, and leave his life and his name to be swallowed up into the abyss.  Choose instead to concentrate on learning to get along, on appreciating each other's differences, and on granting some goodwill all the way around. That latter path will neutralize grievances before they can germinate, will add peace to your life, and will ensure your name is in the record of the One who holds the ultimate reward.

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