By Eliana Rudee, Originally published in JNS.org
I really wanted to write about something else this week. But I just can’t ignore the unrelenting attacks happening in Israel. Just last week, a Palestinian terrorist murdered Ezra Schwartz, a sweet-looking Bostonian boy just 18 years old, while he was delivering food to soldiers. He was studying in yeshiva—I wouldn’t be far off to guess that he was learning about morality there, as the very act he was performing while he was murdered was one of chessed (loving-kindness). Just the day before he was killed, Ezra sent an email to the national director of the Israel Association of Baseball, asking to play in the association’s spring league.
To be completely honest, the day I found out about Ezra’s death, I tried to ignore it. Sometimes that’s the way that people cope with the murders and attacks that occur here every day. But it got more and more difficult to ignore—the kid was from a suburb of Boston that I’ve visited in the past few years. He grew up in Boston, a city that I love—a city where many of my friends grew up. The high school from which he just graduated was familiar—a friend of mine just wore her sweatshirt today that had the name “Maimonides” written on the front.
Posts continued to show up on my Facebook newsfeed about Ezra, some from friends who knew him personally. It became impossible for me to ignore.