Our hearts go out to the citizens of France, and to all innocent citizens of the world. We cry with those who have lost their loved ones. We, who have lost too many, weep with those whose sense of peace and tranquility has been torn apart.
Unfortunately, as Jews, we know what it’s like to go to a concert or a restaurant with the fear that at any time someone who hates us may blow himself up to slaughter as many of us as possible.
Sadly, as Jews, we know what it’s like to be hunted and persecuted – to have our loved ones slaughtered by terrorists shouting Allahu Akbar!
And, certainly, as Jews, we know how God must weep uncontrollably at the sight of murder being committed in His name, by those calling Him “great.”
Now – that it’s clear as day that the terror threatens us all – we must join together and commit to eliminating these foreboding forces.
And we Jews, who have borne the brunt of this terror throughout history, have to lead the way, demonstrating to the French and to the entire world how to fight this war.
As we mourn the tragic murders of French citizens, we find Tzarfat (France in Hebrew) hinted at in our Torah reading of this week. And, within the blessing that God gives Jacob as he dreams of ladders – specifically in the blessing to spread out, u’faratzta – we discover how to destroy all evil and terror and build in its place true Godly greatness.
France carries the secret to solving our problems today.
The words in this chapter are as relevant today as ever: Through you and through your descendants shall be blessed all the families of the earth. And behold! I am with you, and I will guard you wherever you go.