The terrorist massacre in Jerusalem has hit all of us hard. There are now five more widows and many more orphans. It just seems to reinforce the hopelessness of this conflict. Will it ever end? Is there any hope? How are we going to win this?


The Jewish nation stands together in mourning yet again. Those holy brothers, who returned their souls to their Maker while in the midst of prayer, will join the long list of innocent martyrs throughout the ages whose lives were cruelly taken from them for no other reason than that they were Jews.

But there was another martyr in this attack, an Israeli policeman by the name of Zidan Saif. He heroically entered the synagogue after hearing that terrorists were on a killing rampage inside, and though he was a traffic policeman, ill-equipped for such a mission, he saved hundreds of lives. But Zidan himself was shot and died of his wounds, leaving behind a wife and seven-month-old daughter.

Zidan is a hero of Israel. But Zidan was not Jewish. He was an Arab. Although ethnically he was closer to the terrorists than their Jewish victims, ideologically he couldn't be further.

Zidan Sayif, 30. (Photo: Israel Police)
Zidan Sayif, 30. (Photo: Israel Police)

Zidan was a member of the Druze community, a monotheistic religious group that emerged from Islam but differs from Islam in many ways. One is that the Druze preach loyalty to their host country, wherever they live. In Israel, they serve in the army, and many Druze, like Zidan, have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

The Druze revere Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, as their major prophet. Curiously, Jewish tradition teaches that after Jethro converted to Judaism, he did not accompany the Israelites on their journey to the Promised Land, but returned to his own people to teach them Torah. There is no record in Jewish writings of how successful he was in spreading the message of Moses. But perhaps the Druze are the fruits of his efforts. To this day, they uphold the Seven Laws of Noah, the Torah's moral code for all humanity.

Zidan's story makes it clear that the battle in Israel is not about race, it is not about land—it is about ideology. There is one ideology that refuses to live peaceably with others. That is radical Islam.

The Talmudic tradition records a chilling prophecy about the End of Time, when the children of Ishmael—the Arabs—will inflict horrible pain on the children of Israel. But the very name Ishmael means "G‑d will hear." G‑d will hear the cry of the victims and respond, and that's when Moshiach will come.

We need to pray. Pray for the victims, cut down in the middle of their prayers. Pray for their bereaved families, that G‑d should hear their cries. Pray that our leaders have the strength and clarity to fight this battle to its end. And pray that Moshiach should come now.

Zidan was laid to rest, surrounded by his Druze brethren and hundreds of black-hatted Jews who came to pay respect to a righteous gentile. In the midst of this tragedy, we must hold on to this display of unity among people of different religions, serving G‑d side by side with mutual respect. A small light can dispel a lot of darkness. Goodness will win.