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December 3, 2008 3:56 pm

A Wicked World

avatar by Elie Wiesel

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We read the newspapers and our hearts bleed.

I picture the holy Rebbe, R. Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev. What would he have said? “What’s going on in the wicked world?”

Wherever one turns, whatever the pretext, Jews are subject to persecution. Whatever the pretext, wherever one turns, Jews are being hounded. Wherever one turns, whatever the pretext, anywhere Jews live and want to live as Jews, even in distant places, their blood is shed.

India and Pakistan are bitter foes – and Jewish parents become bereaved of children and Jewish children are orphaned.

In truth, it has always been this way. In the Middle Ages, the Christians and the Moslems were at war – and on the way to Jerusalem, the Crusaders slaughtered hundreds and thousands of Jews who did not want to abandon their faith.

Today, the entire world knows that terror and specifically suicide terrorists are the plague that endangers the 21st century.

At first, the terror targeted only Jews in Israel. The world – humanity, so called – barely reacted. People grew accustomed to reading about Jewish blood flowing freely.

The price for that complacency is being paid now: today, other families and nations are also being struck.

How ultimately can this be resolved?

Governments and armies worldwide must mobilize and declare an all-out war on terrorism in general and suicide terrorists in particular.

Three or four years ago, the author of these lines publicly proposed that such murder be declared as a crime against humanity. Together with the Prime Minister of Norway, I organized a summit in New York. Twelve world leaders promptly accepted my proposal.

Will this help?

Above all, Israel must defend itself – with any and all means.

And we Jews must help Israel – with any and all means.

And for you dear friends from Chabad – what can a Jew like me tell you? How can I comfort you?

Your tears are our tears. Your tragedy is ours. Moshe’s tears will leave searing marks in all of our hearts. Nothing will ever wash them away. The pain of a Jewish child, an orphan, who just lost his parents and knows only to cry “Tatie, Mommy,” will accompany us for a long time.

Be strong, shluchim and leaders of Chabad. Your faith is stronger than the hatred of our enemies.

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