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In Melbourne Shabbat begins Fri 22 Dec 2017 08:23 PM and ends Sat 23 Dec 2017 09:24 PM
כ"ח אדר ה' אלפים תשע"ב
Rabbi Glasman Touches Base
Millions of people, Jews and non Jews alike, were sickened following the brutal and cold blooded murder of innocent people, our brothers and sister - including three children - in Toulouse this week. When I read a Facebook post from a friend describing in graphic detail how this animal shot 8 year old Miriam Monsonego I was quite literally reduced to tears as were so many others. When one tries to imagine what was going through her terrified mind when she was cornered by that savage beast one cannot help but cry. It has taken its toll on many of us.
The suspect, who has already admitted to having committed the atrocity, said he did it to avenge the deaths of Palestinian children. When any innocent child dies it is an unspeakable tragedy, but to compare the non deliberate death of children who are so often exploited and used as human shields by terrorists in the Gaza strip to the deliberate targeting of children in their school environment is beyond the pale. Sadly, one expects this kind of obscene rationale from a deranged killer like Mohammed Merah, but even sadder is the fact that European Union representative Catherine Ashton made the same comparison. She was justifiably slammed by Natanyahu after her statements. Then of course we remember that she works for the EU which operates in partnership with the UN and it all begins to make sense.
Our Torah teaches us not to respond to violence with violence. We appreciate the value of life over the pursuit of death. I therefore propose the following: I this week received an email from Gift of Life Australia. This organisation saves lives by finding DNA matches for sick children who urgently need stem cell or bone marrow transplants. There are currently 5 Jewish children (that they know of) under the age of 5 who will die unless a DNA match is found for them as soon as possible. Tragically, two weeks ago there were 6 such children. The likelihood of finding a match even within the Jewish community is 1 in 10 000 but we must still try.
Gift of Life is holding a testing session in Melbourne on Tuesday 27 March from 4-7pm at the Merkos Learning Centre, 10 Springfield Ave, East St Kilda. I believe that one way to respond to the loss of life this week is to give the gift of life in the victims honor. It is available to healthy 18-45 year olds and all it requires is two teaspoons of blood and to fill out a questionnaire. If you are over 45 you can still help by informing your family members who are eligible to be tested. If you are able and willing to assist you must make an appointment by calling Shula on 0414 780 444 or Yehuda on 0425 724 314.
"May G-d comfort the bereaved families of the precious souls whose lives were taken so prematurely amongst the other mourners of Israel and Jerusalem"