October 31, 2014 in Oct 2014
by Rabbi Marty Waldman
Last week my wife and I were in Jerusalem for a series of meetings. We rented a room nearby for convenience. The view from our room was wonderful – it overlooked the Ben Hinom Valley [from which we get the word “hell”] – and we could see the “Old City” walls and the predominately Palestinian town of Silwan. Silwan is the biblical town of Shiloach which contained the pool of Siloam – a part of King David’s and Solomon’s gardens as well as the site of miracles in Yeshua’s day.
Last week the serene view was constantly interrupted by gunfire in Silwan, followed by Israeli helicopters flying overhead. This town has become a hotbed of Palestinian anti-Israel activity, inspired by the Hamas war against Israel this past summer. During the week of our stay in Jerusalem, a terrorist from Silwan drove his car into a small crowd at an Israeli bus stop, killing a 3-month-old baby. The young Jewish American family had come to Israel for study purposes at one of the local yeshivas…their baby has now become a permanent resident.
The following evening we once again heard sounds of gunfire and fireworks across the valley in Silwan. When we looked from our balcony we could hardly believe our eyes and ears: the people of Silwan were rejoicing over the death of a Jewish baby! In Silwan among the Palestinians, terror is praised and the death of Jewish children is cause for rejoicing. Excuse me…but that is sick.
My new granddaughter is three months old, so this incident became especially personal. My heart weeps for the victims of this Islamic terror. I can’t imagine the grief and confusion of this Jewish American family – Can you?
I am reminded of Isaiah’s words:
(Isa 5:20) Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who change darkness into light and light into darkness, who change bitter into sweet and sweet into bitter!
May the LORD grant His shalom to Israel.
Ps.25:19-22 Consider my enemies, how many there are and how cruelly they hate me. Protect me and rescue me; don’t let me be disgraced, for I take refuge in you. Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, because my hope is in you. God! Redeem Isra’el from all their troubles!