Kiddush Hashem? Really?

10 Jan

karakalbyisraeldefenseforceOn Sunday this week in Jerusalem, an East Jerusalem Arab truck driver rammed into a large group of soldiers, killing four and leaving 15 others injured.

In a poignant article, written by a member of Zaka, the Israel top-notch rescue organization, republished by e-Jewish philanthropy, composed words of potential comfort to the forlorn parents, stating that the four soldiers died al Kiddush Hashem – in the sanctification of God’s name.

Strange, but I do not see it that way.

I see an Arab monotheist who committed the ultimate chilul Hashem, a straightforward desecration of God’s name, and then, I see a profound waste of young human life and potential.

Their deaths do not sanctify God’s name.  Jewish Martyrdom, as I see it, is when one is killed in the midst of defending or protecting others, or when one refuses to desecrate Jewish living , demanded to do so by another nation. Either of these is an act of Kiddush Hashem for they represent the resiliency of the People of God in the face of the most unfavorable odds, committed in great faith to the cause, and willing to pay the ultimate price for its preservation.

Being rammed and trampled on the sidewalks of Jerusalem is not an act of Kiddush Hashem.

However, to set the record straight – those four young Israel soldiers DID actually perform an act of Kiddush Hashem. That happened on the day they walked away from civilian life, donned the uniform of the IDF, and dedicated 2-3 years of their lives to the protection the lives of their fellow citizens.

May their memories be for a blessing, and may God strengthen their families who survived them.

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