The terror attack at the Mercaz Harev yeshiva in Jerusalem was a terrible act. It was impossible not to stay glued to the television screens throughout the ordeal while there was no clear information regarding the extent of the horror. It was also impossible not to fear for the safety of the children and young people within the yeshiva compound. The next day, our hearts broke when we heard the eulogies.
Every terror attack is terrible. Every time children are murdered is awful. Therefore, it was intolerable to hear religious media figures, followed by educators, politicians, and settlers, babbling the entire evening about the yeshiva being a “symbol” and the “very heart of…”, and noting that “the entire religious Zionist community feels that…”
Is there no limit to the indifference? Do you really have no shame? Why were you saying all these foolish things? Why is it even important or relevant? Would a terror attack at a different yeshiva constitute less of a “symbol”? Would another yeshiva elsewhere in the country not be “the heart of religious Zionism”?
It’s as if the signal was given and the religious-Zionist public turned into one homogenous community. “All of us” think that the Mercaz Harav yeshiva is the very heart of religious Zionism…”all of us” think that the finest religious teenagers study there…”All of us” believe that the terror attack has religious-strategic dimensions because it targeted this yeshiva and not another one
Symbol of religious separatism
Indeed, the mourning period isn’t over yet, and we already managed to turn this terror attack into a political and media asset for a specific sector within society. And meanwhile, a cloud of nostalgia hovers above everything – “this yeshiva is where the Gush Emunim settlement movement emerged from”…”this is where the commitment to Greater Israel came from”…
So let’s get the facts straight here. The Mercaz Harav yeshiva is not the very heart of religious Zionism. It is a small yeshiva, and it is also a symbol of religious separatism and nationalistic radicalism. And we (many religious members of the Zionist-national camp) do not like the winds that have been blowing from this yeshiva for several generations now.
But we don’t mind that. We are able to feel the pain over the terror attack and over the murder of innocent children, even if they are not “the finest” or the “very heart of” and even if they would have belonged to another yeshiva. We feel the pain over this terror attack just like we were pained by the attacks on residents of Sderot, and by terror victims in Dimona, and Jerusalem, and Tel Aviv. All these terror attacks targeted our very heart. All of them. May God avenge their blood.