Inna Rogatchi (C). Creation Visions.

For most of our Jewish friends it was the saddest and the most difficult Shabbat of their lives. We are no exception to this phenomenon. The beginning of the Torah, the first parsha Bereishit, ( Genesis), with which the world’s observing Jewry starts its new year, is a cosmos and the world of itself. So you are trying to get to the bottom of it, as from the first time, because in an essential sense, it is the first time in a new reality, to get a crack on what has gone wrong in the beginning. From the beginning. That humanity is desperately secondary in the world full of human beings. 

We were praying in danger, far from Israel, in many places world-wide, from Paris to New York, and from Helsinki to Berlin. We were guarded, by both the police and the volunteers, the real friends, to whom we are grateful to, each of them. Our close non-Jewish friend in Italy in his mid-1960s spent the whole day on his feet, in his military uniform, with his weapon, guarding the synagogue in Florence. Grazie cordialmente, caro Stefano. And everyone who helped and is helping us all to be and to feel, importantly, secure, all over the world. 

But this is screamingly wrong. The world, human society, have had the Holocaust. Everyone everywhere knows its face. It is utterly wrong and completely unacceptable by any standard of any civilised society to allow violent gatherings of thugs. In Helsinki, they were almost storming the Israeli Embassy, and the same was the case in London, New York, Berlin and many other cities in Germany. In Berlin, they are marking the houses where they think Jewish people are living with stars of David on the entrance doors, en masse.  At least, in Paris, the gathering was not permitted. They went on the street anyway, but in this case, the police had a legitimate right to disperse them. This false appeasement towards the anti-human thugs must be stopped. This is sacrilege, and absolutely wrong signal to its own society, in every case. 

As it always happens, it only starts with Jews. In the front of our eyes, first the Louvre and then the Versaille had to be evacuated and shut down,  on the same day, due to the specific threats of explosions. Is it not telling enough? 

All over the world, many synagogues decided to shut their doors following the police assessment. On Shabbat. No services, no possibility for people to come together and to be together which is very important at a time like this. Does it provide a sense of security? No, it provides a sense of isolation and imminent and permanent danger to the members of Jewish communities worldwide, for days by now and for days to come. And this is not even wrong. This is weak, inefficient, and morally perverted. In a properly functioning civilised society, authorities in charge do not make victims victimised yet further on. This is outrageous. 

Well, we’ve got the message. We’re on our own. As always. We will prevail. We have an experience of it for three thousand and seven hundred years. 

The past Shabbat was the first specific Shabbat known to the Rabbinic authorities as ‘war Shabbat’. It has its own features, including permission to work for specific categories of people. This Shabbat, additionally to everyone on the duty, army, police, rescue and medical staff, a special permission and request to work was issued by our Rabbinic authorities to two categories of people: rabbis and all kinds of the Torah teachers, those who has their personal students who are on the front line, and might be in need to be in touch with their teacher personally at any moment during the Shabbat; and all and every person who is working in the organisations and services providing  psychological support. Their services are needed 24/7 these days both in Israel and all over Jewish diaspora, our Rabbinic authorities concluded. Such was our first Shabbat in this new globally spread Jews-hateful reality.