Yesterday afternoon, news of the slaughter at the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva in Jerusalem yesterday shocked me, shocked the world. It was the first major terrorist incident inside the city of Jerusalem in four years. Eight died. Nine were seriously wounded. Perhaps we had thought that the security barrier was able to protect the city completely. Evil is more clever than that.
This morning I was shocked again and wept at my desk when a close friend e-mailed me links to two Picasa photo galleries of the aftermath of the massacre (click here and here for the aftermath and here for pictures of the mourners). The aftermath photos are bloody. But we who are often isolated from such violence need to see such things in order to name the horror for what it is.
The irony is that we are approaching the feast of Purim (to be celebrated this year March 20-23). The traditional festival celebrates the courage of Queen Esther and her uncle Mordechai that helped deliver the Jews from the genocidal Haman.