I remember precisely where I was on the Shabbat afternoon when I heard the shocking and tragic news of former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin’s assassination. I was in Milwaukee, WI. My knees momentarily buckled. I was struck with disbelief. How could the Jewish community and our vitriolic rhetoric stoop to such a low point.
Rabin died on November 4, 1995, which corresponded to the 12th of Cheshvan (which this year is on November 5).
Former PM Yitzchak Rabin stood in front of 100,000 Israelis at a peace rally in Tel Aviv. A 25-year-old law student, a fellow Jew, a fellow Israeli, broke through the crowd and shot Rabin. The assassin was a man who expressed his disagreement and hatred using bullets.
The day after the assassination, leaders from 40 countries traveled to the prime minister’s funeral. A siren wailed as everyone in Israel stood in silence. Friends and former foes gathered to pay tribute to a man of peace.
This tragic event reminds us that hatred must not abide between one Jew and another, no matter how much we may disagree with one another. Yes, we can disagree. We can even be opponents, but we must not be enemies. For we are one people with one destiny, one God, and one beloved State of Israel.