I wrote to offer comfort in the midst of the epidemic of bomb threats when they landed locally, and now I write again. The apparent perpetrator has been apprehended, and he is American, Israeli and a Jew. It is almost incomprehensible, of course. Not since Son of Sam terrorized New York forty summers ago have Jews been more surprised to hear someone Jewish attached to such terror – and David Berkowitz, crazy though he was, did not target Jews or lay claim to his Jewishness.
Let’s keep a couple of things in perspective. Most important, the children and senior adults who spend their days at JCCs or day schools will not be subjected to this young man’s tactics any more. They were always safe from him, but now they (and we) know it.
Next, the government and private agencies tasked with protecting us did their job. I am not the only one who criticized the tone-deafness of the President throughout this nightmare, but his Attorney General and FBI Director deserve the credit for pursuing this matter beyond the borders of their jurisdiction and bringing it to successful resolution.
And finally, no one got hurt. The psychological damage may need to be addressed, but no life or well-being was compromised. I made that point in the midst of all of this tumult to distinguish the wave of terror we experienced from the attacks on other religious minorities.
At this writing, we know very little about the teenager who seems to be responsible, but we know some things about ourselves.
Let us take the time we need to learn the facts and process them. Please be suspicious of anyone (including me!) who thinks he or she can wrap this up in a bow and walk away. And anyone who solicits money on the emotions generated by these discoveries should be considered reprehensible. We need to learn, to cocoon, to grieve
And then we need to go back to our lives.
I spent 35 years in the pulpit and learned a few things about the people and the profession