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Taking responsibility for Newtown

By Rabbi Avi Weiss
Posted

"I will miss your forceful and purposeful little steps stomping through our house…Mama loves you, little man.” So eulogized Veronique Pozner, mother of Noah Pozner, who was viciously murdered in the Sandy Hook Massacre. 

Sadly, this is hardly the first such crime in America. Just a few days ago, someone opened fire in a mall in Oregon; a few months earlier, the setting was a movie theater in Colorado and a few weeks later, a Sikh Temple in Wisconsin. At Virginia Tech, five and a half years ago, 33 people were killed, and the infamous Columbine High School Massacre of 1999 left 13 dead. The news reports of shootings and their aftermath have become frighteningly familiar to us Americans, escalating what was once an anomaly into a real and pressing national crisis. This is a crisis that we must take ownership of, acknowledging that it is not someone else’s problem, but ours.

In the biblical book of Genesis, Judah, one of 12 sons of Jacob, rises to the defense of his brother Benjamin who had been imprisoned in Egypt. He declares, “your servant guarantees the safety of the lad.” Judah is referring to his own assumption of responsibility — which is critical in times of crisis. When faced with challenges the choice is clear: We can shirk responsibility, or we can take ownership of it and commit ourselves to making a difference.

Later, in another classic biblical passage addressing this theme, a situation is described in which the elders of a town gather around the body of a stranger who is found slain in their midst. These leaders declare, “Our hands have not shed this blood, neither have our eyes seen it.” 

The passage is perplexing. Would one have suspected these elders — sage leaders — of shedding blood?! Actually the elders are claiming that they are, in no way, through aspects of their leadership or citizenry, through action or lack of action, accountable.  

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MannyG

I'd like to take exception with this one line...

"Notwithstanding this fact, massacres of the type that occurred in Newtown have not happened in Israel."

Actually, there have been many massacres by Israelis. It's just that the people massacred (usually innocent children) are labelled "terrorists" so it's ok. Israel has never had a problem killing and torturing children when it deems it necessary to do so, which unfortunately seems to be quite often. Let's just face facts and call a spade a spade here.

Also, one thing noone seems to be addrsssing is that all these school shooters are hopped up on SSRI drugs, the side effects of which include suicidal and homicidal ideation. Unbelievably FOX news just did a report on this and can be viewed here

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=WAO5_Hk06Mc#!

Although they're a day late and a dollar short, I appreciate the fact that they reported on this.

I'm sick and tired of these amorphous explanations of violence, when there is concrete evidence that these SSRI drugs are extremely dangerous. And then to bring Israel into it, which is a huge violator if UN resolutions as well as an apartheid, thuggish and terroristic state, is a another huge diversion.

Facing facts of truth is never easy, but try it Mr. Weiss, instead of propagandizing.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013 | Report this
MarkTheRealtorNY

And MannyG, I am sick and tied of anti-semetic racists like you spitting out the same anti-Israeli propaganda that cannot be supported in any way shape or form by any facts whatseover.

Friday, January 4, 2013 | Report this
MannyG

Mark the realtor....Please watch the following documentary, produced by an Israeli citizen named Yoav Shamir. Then come back and tell me about having "no proof." I also love how you can't back up any part of your argument with facts, but resort to childish name calling.

Charges of Anti-Semitism are getting very old and tired, and quite simply they have no effect anymore. I for one am hip to the game of accusing anybody who critizises Israel as an "anti-semite." Sorry buddy, just ain't gonna work anymore. Plus, I'm jewish and was Bar Mitvahed right here in RIverdale. Oh, I guess I'm a "self-hating jew" now, which is the fallback argument in case the "anti-semite" charge doesn't work. Get real Mark the Realtor, and take your blinders off.

Face facts, the state of Israel (or the minions of the state, the actual population there abhors the policies of the government for the most part), is an apartheid state, and if the Jews were being treated like this anywhere else, there would be international calls, led by Israel, to invade the country in question.

Saturday, January 5, 2013 | Report this
MannyG

Woops, forgot to post link to that documentary, which again, was produced by an Israeli.

http://undergrounddocumentaries.com/checkpoint-everyday-life-in-israel-full-version/

Saturday, January 5, 2013 | Report this
MarkTheRealtorNY

Seriously, MannyG, I am not going to waste my time looking up this video. Yoav/shmoav. YouTube is full of anti-Israel videos, many of which are produced by Jews or supposed Jews. And I’ve seen a few. Not by “self-hating” Jews… but by Jew-hating Jews. A clever and skilled filmmaker can always skew the truth or leave it out to further their point to the uninformed masses. But just b/c someone is an Israeli citizen and makes a film doesn’t mean that there is any more legitimacy to the film than reality. Every nation has citizens in the arts who hate their own nation, that’s nothing new. *However, what I find especially repugnant about your initial post is that you hijacked a perfectly civil and rational plea by one of the NY’s leading clergymen to further your own geo-political point of view that has nothing to do with the topic.* This in itself is disgraceful to the souls of the precious little angels that lost their lives, and what RABBI (not “Mr.” as you so disrespectfully referred to him as) Weiss was addressing. The editors of the R’dale Press online should delete yours and mine comments. As far as proof of my estimation of you, the very fact that you went out of your way to slam Israel and the Jews, and steer the topic towards your agenda (when the focus of the article was the tragedy) speaks for itself. You can have the last word if you want, I refuse to give your arguments any legitimacy by further engagement. So go and spread your hate. Have fun. I’ve seen your kind on YouTube, and you won’t quit. I have better things to do with my time. Good day.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013 | Report this
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