How Jews Respond to Terror

A talk following the horrific attacks in Paris on November 13, 2015

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How Jews Respond to Terror: A talk following the horrific attacks in Paris on November 13, 2015

As global terrorism continues to wreak havoc, Israel has been the target of these horrific evils for decades. In guiding us to defend ourselves against murderous attacks, the Torah provides us with a dual approach. (A talk at the Jewish Women’s Retreat in Toronto)
Women, Femininity & Feminism, Israel, Terrorism in Israel, Terrorism

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Russ Cole Lexington, KY November 16, 2023

Excellent! The mystical heart of a child always has a valuable lesson. Thank you Rabbi! Reply

Esther chennells enfield November 22, 2015

A parent's duty First and foremost a parents duty is to protect the child. So I do not agree to all you said. May G-d protect us all.
Esther Reply

J.H. Reynolds UK November 19, 2015

Thank you for this. I do not agree with all you have said, but your message moved me deeply. There is (and always has been) evil in our world. You have confronted it, and for that you have my great respect. Next will you tell me what you believe happens to the souls that have such evil within them that they can perpetrate the events that we have seen over and over again from a group that has nothing but hatred in their hearts? Have they no souls?

Jacqueline, UK Reply

Tzeitl Netherlands November 19, 2015

Rabbi Jacobson,
thank you very much for your teaching. I hope b'arets all the ya'acov's will take their responsabilities to protect their country and acknowledge their Esaw part (and vice versa). I also pray the Western world will finally realise, like you said, that what happened in Paris is happening for years now b'arets and in a lot of other countries.
b'ezrat '' may we all know and do what needs to be done,

Tzeitl Reply

Michael Taubenhaus Montrouge, France November 19, 2015

Such eloquance is so moving and interesting. Dear Rabbi,
I have just listened to your speech. Living in Paris, I can assure you, it is exactly what we need to hear.
G-d bless you and thanks again. Reply

Rafael November 19, 2015

Symbiotic theory What is nice about this theory is that it sweetens an otherwise ugly story that required Talmudic gymnastics to justify . I feel that Bronze Age sensibilities were acceptable back then and the cruelty of the Torah was socially and politically correct . There was no need for Talmud .
What may be difficult to reconcile is G-d's changing morality through the ages . Thanks to the Talmudic Rabbis like Rabbi Jacobson the Torah has taken on meanings that weren't originally interpreted " correctly" . For those of us who have read the actual Torah...this is a very very good thing . Reply

Michael Benlevy November 18, 2015

It is surprising to hear the Rabbi espouse a theory that Jacob and Esav could have a SYMBIOTIC relationship. It has always been taught to me that they would compete with one another for DOMINANCE. Am I to understand that the Rabbi understands that the brothers could have a cooperative, symbiotic relationship while one, (Jacob or Esav), dominates the other? Reply

Mkl Erdinc Eyuboglu Turkey November 18, 2015

Great speech! Thank you for your excellent speech Reply

Sora Devora DC November 18, 2015

Brilliant analysis! Such clarity!
Thank you, Rabbi Jacobson!
Sora in DC Reply

David Lloyd-Jones Toronto, Ontario Canada M5B 2C2 November 18, 2015

Ideals and Policy Rabbi Jacobson's speech is a wonderful statement of Jewish ideals. I think it's worth noting, however, that terrorists committing crimes against Israelis have a strong tendency to wind up dead.

America would do well to learn from Israel, it seems to me. America has wasted untold lives and treasure pursuing an imaginary "war" on a hypothetical creature named "terror." The practical, sensible, and least unjust course is to prevent crimes and pursue criminals.

-dlj. Reply

Anonymous Netherlands November 18, 2015

Loud and clear This is very loud, clear and understood. I will definitely share this with my other fellow jewish friends. hallelujah Reply

silene sarah Jerusalem November 18, 2015

Brilliant! Thank you,thank you , Rabbi Jacobson.

thank you for the profound,inspired concepts and stories you shared with us.

Hashem bless you and gives you hatzlacha in your life!!B"H!! Reply

Sheila USA November 18, 2015

Food for my Soul This message is the answer I have been seeking for many years. I believe in loving all mankind, yet knew that some will never stop the destruction and murder of others. How to respond to threats like the ones we are seeing now, was always troubling to my heart.
How do I love others, yet defend my family if I was confronted with that situation. I'm an old woman, yet I am more than able to defend my home and family, however I could never see the justification for maybe having to kill someone. Live by the sword, die by the sword. Now, for the first time, the Lord showed me as you spoke, that we are in need of both. That there is a difference between killing and murder. We must stand for the good in the world. Because my country has turned from G-d, and there is evil in control of it, many here see the destruction that is coming here. That, and taking in the very ones that are intent on killing others, makes me have to ask for direction from G-d. Your words were from Him to me. Bless you Reply

Patricia Toronto, on November 17, 2015

That was an amazing speech/shiur!!! Thank you Rabbi Jacobson!!! Reply

James R Russell Cambridge, MA, USA November 17, 2015

Rav Jacobson's Dvar Torah As always, dvar Torah is a light in darkness. I am a professor at Harvard. I was in Paris a few weeks ago for my birthday: the Collège de France and Sorbonne held a joint conference in my honor on that occasion. I brought with me my Chabad Siddur printed in Brooklyn and at the conference honored my Sephardic Grandma from Salonica who studied at the Alliance Israëlite before World War I. Of course I mourn with Paris; and a French colleague told me last week the first to write after the attacks were his Israeli colleagues and I. But I can't put adequately into words my respect and love for R. Jacobson. Still, please greet him for me. It is an honor to be standing, nitzavim, at Sinai with him. Thank you Chabad. God bless. Reply

Edouard Kujawski Berkeley, CA November 17, 2015

worth watching Reply

David Alaska November 17, 2015

Excellent Excellent! Reply

Robin Rosenblatt Redwood City November 17, 2015

Anti Semitism and Terrorisms Most American Jews close their eyes, ears and mouths just like the three monkeys. Reply

Alan Greenberg Florida November 17, 2015

How Jews respond to Terror G-D bless Israel,
G-D bless all the Jews! Reply

Matthew NJ November 17, 2015

Unbelievably comforting And that the Rabbi could come up with this on such short notice. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Reply

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