Now that the horrific hostage events at a Texas synagogue are over, I have some time to think about what happened and what it meant to the world community. As has been said in the media, there was absolutely no known connection between the person that the hostage-taker wanted freed from prison and the Jewish community. But because he took four people hostages at a synagogue, it does become something about that community.
Early in the event, the perpetrator was heard to make statements about hating Jews. That might explain why he did what he did at a synagogue. But knowing as he probably did that taking four innocent people (one of whom was a rabbi) as captives, what possible connection would that have with liberating the prisoner. Initially he said that she was his sister but it was soon discovered that he was not. And the comment from the FBI that there was no connection to the Jewish community. Did this take place at a synagogue or a laundromat?
As a bystander but extremely concerned citizen of the United States and member of the Jewish community, I am outraged at the episode and its implications for the ongoing evidence of anti-Semitism in this country. No-one can tell others to hate or not hate everyone and anyone they choose. But do it without endangering people who had nothing to do with the imprisonment of a terrorist.
Thanks to the intervention of numerous law enforcement officials and others, the situation was handled and there was no-one from the synagogue injured in any way. The details about the perpetrator are still anomalous but by Sunday morning (the day after the situation), it was disclosed that the hostage-taker was killed. While I am not happy about news that any life was ended, I am glad that this person can no longer endanger or harm another.
Will there ever be an end to hate? Will we be able to visit a synagogue in any city throughout the world without worrying if we will be made captives or injured? To me and for me, this will always be the land of the free but I cannot help but worry if my freedom will always put me at risk. Shalom.