Exclusive by Elie Wiesel: The Tragedy in Toulouse
Will the hatred of the Jews ever finally vanish? Will Jewish children always be in danger?
This time, a murderer slew four Jews: a teacher and three young children.
When a blood-thirsty Jew-hater wants to kill Jews, he goes first to the Jewish schools. Jewish children are his primary target.
It’s always been this way. This is what Pharaoh, King of Egypt did, what Hitler did. And this is what happened now.
This is the background to the tragedy that occurred in the French city, Toulouse.
I have visited that city many times. The Jewish community there is old and well-established – it dates back to the Middle Ages – but it is dynamic.
In the streets, you can see Jews wearing yarmulkas. Nobody thinks of anti-Semitism. Spiritually, it is one of richest Jewish communities in France.
Obviously, the terrible murderous attack evoked tears and rage among both Jews and non-Jews. The President, his ministers, and other political figures in France, as well as all the newspapers, have demanded that the murderer be found and punished.
It often happens like this. Jewish blood is spilled and, temporarily, sympathy for Jews grows; the world warms to them.
But the pain does not go away, nor does the anger. We think about the martyrs: Rabbi Yochanan Sandler, his sons Aryeh and Gavriel, and Miriam Monsonego. We say, as is Jewish tradition: “May G-d avenge their blood.” That will be the response from Above.
Our own answer must be concrete and to the point. When we are persecuted, our response must be: We will remain Jewish – and do everything to become more Jewish.