If It Can Happen in Har Nof…

It’s not surprising that all four of the fatalities in the murderous rampage in Har Nof Tuesday morning were immigrants from the United States or England. A substantial minority of the neighborhood is Englishspeaking.

It’s not surprising that the fatalities include a prominent Rosh Kollel and baalei batim who are kov’ei itim, Hy”d. These are the kinds of people you would find in almost any shul in Har Nof, a community of spiritual growth and tolerance, of incredible chessed, of yeshivos that cater to everyone, including American baalei teshuvah.

And it is this warm, inviting community that was violated Tuesday morning by two terrorists who went on a murderous rampage, attacking mispallelim in their tallisos and tefillin. Doctors at Shaare Zedek Hospital said they were stunned by the severity of the wounds they treated, which were unlike anything they had seen.

It is inconceivable that these men went to shul in Har Nof, in the center of Yerushalayim, and didn’t come home; that four widows and 24 orphans must now wait until techiyas hameisim for their return.

It is inconceivable that a refined Rosh Kollel and the other kedoshim should be subjected to animalistic brutality the likes of which we thought we had left behind in Europe. And it is inconceivable that terror could strike in a place like Har Nof, in the heart of Yerushalayim.

But if it can happen in Har Nof, it can, R”l, happen anywhere in Yerushalayim. No one is immune: not the children going to Talmud Torah, not the men going to yeshivah, not the women taking their buses to work.

This cannot continue. Just as the Park Hotel massacre during Pesach 2002 was a turning point that led to IDF Operation Defensive Shield, which stanched Arab terror in Yehudah and Shomron, the massacre in Har Nof must be the wake-up call to the government to launch an offensive in Yerushalayim, and for us to ask for rachmei Shamayim that puts an end, once and for all, to the stone-throwings, the knifings, the vandalism of Har Hazeisim, and the murders.