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Guest Blog by Diane Medved: Murder of Three Israeli Boys Brings Intense Emotional Reaction as Seldom Seen

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Bat-Galim and Ofir Shaer, parents of Gil-Ad, one of three missing teens, walk towards their home after addressing the media in Talmon

I’d just finished my morning prayers when I turned on my computer to learn of the horrific murders of three Israeli boys, Naphtali Fraenkel, Gilad Sha’ar and Eyal Yifrach, abducted 18 days ago near their schools in Gush Etzion.

My heart fell in my chest with shock and dismay over the loss. I’d written a post shortly after their disappearance describing the unity with which Jewry worldwide banded together in prayer–our natural reaction to such news.

Eighteen days is a long time of rallies, beseeching the Almighty and performing mitzvot–God-commanded positive acts–in the merit of the missing young men. Eighteen days was enough for a strong investment of emotion, as Jewish organizations of all types remembered the boys’ plight and continued pleas to God for their safe return.

The young men became symbolic of Jews’ requirement for freedom of movement, freedom from terrorist threat, freedom to pursue normal life. Instead of the outcry diminishing with time, it only increased in fervor, as more individuals and organizations fueled swelling concern.

With the awful outcome, families of the murdered children suffered the most deflating blow possible, but the Jewish family at large also endured injury.

Immediately, my email in-box crammed with statements of grief and mourning from dozens of rabbis and organizations. Every Jewish outlet that ever gleaned my email address, and many not connected to Israel or Judaism, made loud public expressions of horror, sadness and resolve to bring justice to the perpetrators and prevent further terrorist acts.

My husband’s brother Jonathan, resident in Jerusalem for 25 years, spoke on the air with stirring emotion that reflected the intensity of response shared by the emails and internet-disseminated communications.

Given present worldwide Muslim violence and aggression, this animalistic attack engenders anger. Jews have never enjoyed comfort and acceptance, and today’s sad outcome re-ignites solidarity in fighting anti-Semitism and thwarting aggression with strength.

The discovery of the three bodies inflames Jews’ already smoldering ire against those who behave so contrary to God’s rules, while claiming He supports their deathly morality. Viewing photographs of the young men wounds my spirit, but I believe the plethora of emails, statements, articles and discussion causes a cosmic consequence as powerful as anything military. Terrorists may harm bodies, but ultimately, positive spiritual unity will prevail.

This column appears on Diane Medved’s blog, Searching for Bright Light.

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Comments (4)

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  1. Bruce Zittlow  •  Jul 3, 2014 at 3:35 am

    Some of us Christians also feel sorrow, rage, and perplexity at the news of the deaths of these young men, boys really.

    I’m not sure the term ‘animalistic’ quite describes these events. God’s animals kill and eat for food, not for sadistic religious or political purposes. No, those who did this, and those who support violence of this nature are human all right, but they are also monsters. There are two biblical words that apply here: repentance (but one sees frightfully little of that in modern day Islam) and justice. May justice prevail.

  2. Michael W. Bertrand  •  Jul 3, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    May I offer my condolences for the entire Jewish community, both in Israel and America on the deaths of these three poor unfortunate souls. Though I am not Jewish, there are plenty of us Gentiles who are saddened and outraged at the cold blooded murder of three teenage boys by these Islamo-Nazi savages in the name of their pagan religion. God willing, those who murdered these three boys will be captured. And when they die, as we all must eventually, they will stand before the one true God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, Moses and Joseph. The God and father of Jesus. And these Muslim pagans will have to explain there actions on earth. I’m sure you know what His sentence will be.

  3.  •  Jul 7, 2014 at 10:23 pm

    REally, Diane? Were you just as horrified by the case of the American boy who was burned alive?

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