The new era of deadly anti-Semitism in France began with the January 2006 murder of 23-year-old Ilan Halimi. Shortly after a Shabbat meal with his mother, Halimi was lured to a Paris slum, where he was ambushed by a gang. They held him captive for 24 days, during which time he was beaten, stabbed, burned with acid, mutilated, lit on fire, and tortured to death. Halimi’s murderers were African and North African Muslim immigrants with ties to Islamic extremists. They called themselves the Gang of Barbarians. And they chose Halimi because he was a Jew.
“The Existential Necessity Of Zionism After Paris: A Commentary Editorial”
If you were a Jew in France, a country crawling with Jew-hating Islamists, what would you do now? You can avoid being shot to death by jihadists by avoiding drawing cartoons that offend them. But you can only avoid being shot to death by jihadists if you are Jewish by ceasing to be a Jew, or emigrating.
via The Fate of France’s Jews | The American Conservative.
“It is customary to blame secular science and antireligious philosophy for the eclipse of religion in modern society. It would be more honest to blame religion for its own defeats. Religion declined not because it was refuted, but because it became irrelevant, dull, oppressive, insipid. When faith is completely replaced by creed, worship by discipline, love by habit; when the crisis of today is ignored because of the splendor of the past; when faith becomes an heirloom rather than a living fountain; when religion speaks only in the name of authority rather than with the voice of compassion, its message becomes meaningless.”
Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel
Insecurity of Freedom