URJ President Rabbi Jacobs Responds to Reports of Murdered Arab Teen

Jerusalem, July 2, 2014 - In response to reports of the death of an Arab teenager in what may be an act of revenge for the murders of Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Shaar, and Eyal Yifrach, Rabbi Rick Jacobs issued the following statement:

"We are shocked by the news today of the apparent abduction and murder of an Arab teen and the suspicion that this horrid act may be motivated by those seeking vengeance for the deaths of Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Shaar, and Eyal Yifrach. Murder is a violation of the fundamental tenet that all life is precious and all people are created in the image of God-without exception. A religious community that only mourns for its own loses its moral integrity. We pray that no further lives - Israeli or Palestinian - will be lost to senseless actions that reflect the worst of humanity. We pray as well for the innocent lives lost and for comfort for their families and loved ones in this time of tragedy.

When Rabbi Leo Baeck was flying home from Theresienstadt with Major Patrick Dolan of the United States Army, they flew over the remains of the six million. As they passed above a ravaged continent, Major Dolan imagined the hatred and bitterness Rabbi Baeck must have been feeling. Just then, Rabbi Baeck turned to him and said: "Patrick, do not have revenge in your heart. Only love and justice."