“Whenever you present your work to the public you open yourself up to their “stuff,” was the reply I received from a friend about a negative comment to something I posted.
You never know when you do something or publish something, especially online, what will happen, what the unintended effect might be.
Where will it end up?
Who will see your words or when they will see them is impossible to predict.
The photograph of Sheryl Sandberg with women volunteers from United Hatzalah, took days until it was noticed and shared.
The blog 15 Real Photos of Arab Girls published in 2012, received close to 30,000 views in the past three years.
Rabbi Meir Soloveichik spoke in Jerusalem at the August launch of his new book Proclaiming Liberty Throughout the Land: The Hebrew Bible in the United States, at Beit Avi Chai.
Rabbi Soloveichik mentioned several of the US Presidents. John Adams is to have said that he “longed to see the Jews of Judea as an independent nation.”
Harry S. Truman had a decades-long time relationship with his friend Eddie Jacobson. From their early interactions in the US Army, to their failed haberdashery business, to Jacobson going to the White House to plead with President Truman to meet with Chaim Weizmann. Many years passed before Jacobson’s relationship with Truman would play such an important role in the establishment of the State of Israel.
Truman was presented a Sefer Torah by Weizmann as a gift which is now displayed in Truman’s Presidential library.
President Abraham Lincoln wanted to visit the Holy Land but was assassinated before he could do so. However, his Secretary of State William Seward did visit the Holy Land and recounted a scene that he witnessed at the Western Wall. Seward wrote in his journal that every Friday was like Tisha B’Av with Jews standing for hours mourning for the destruction of the Temple.
Those US leaders who were familiar with the Bible were influenced by it.
Soloveichik spoke for close to an hour elaborating on his theme: the Founding Fathers’ knowledge of the Hebrew Bible was important in the establishment of the new republic.
Including baseball and historical references, he thoroughly entertained the full-house audience which consisted mostly of Anglo Olim, most were familiar with the rabbi’s family and his reputation as an excellent speaker.
However, one person sitting in the next to the last row did not fit this profile. Her name is Kay Wilson. Kay is the Jewish tour guide who was hiking with her Christian friend, Kristine Luken, who was murdered by terrorists.
The two women went for a walk in December 2010, in a forest area near Beit Shemesh when they were savagely attacked.
Kay was hacked 13 times in the vicious machete attack and left for dead. Amazingly, with her hands tied, bleeding from multiple wounds, with broken bones, barely conscious and barefoot, Kay was able to travel 1200 meters to a parking lot to get help.
The night before the book launch of Proclaiming Liberty Throughout the Land, I found out that Kay wanted to meet the Rabbi and I offered to try to make it happen.
“Wow! That’s epic!! … I hope I get to meet him, I want to give him my book and thank him for (unknowingly) helping me through stuff” was her response.
“Why do you want to meet the rabbi,” I asked? “Because of something he wrote” she responded.
In February 2003, Rabbi Soloveichik published an essay, “The Virtue of Hate.” It was this piece, which was helpful to Kay in her recovery.
“I meet a lot of people from all creeds and color, and sometimes, albeit well meaning, they suggest I should forgive – for my sake, they like to say.
When I read Rabbi S’s article, it was like the room lit up. His essay not only validated my own rage towards those who tried to murder me, it helped me understand that hating evil is the only right response. Rabbi Soloveichik’s essay gave me moral clarity, to understand that “he who is cruel to the kind shall be kind to the cruel.”
As soon as the talk was over Kay and I worked our way to the front of the room.
The Rabbi and Kay met, smiled, and posed for photographs.
As the rabbi autographed his new book for fans, Kay’s new book The Rage Less Traveled: A Memoir of Surviving a Machete Attack was on the table waiting for him to take home.
Kay’s message of accepting the past, choosing to see light and find good, performing random acts of kindness, and surviving, is inspiring.
In this month of Elul, the season leading up to Rosh Hashana, the New Year, I am sharing Kay Wilson’s powerful presentation at AIPAC
A drop of the terrorist’s blood on her penknife led to their capture.
PA Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh recently wrote: “The leadership, headed by President Abbas, and the government, are committed to paying the full allowances of martyrs’ & prisoners’ families and reject receiving incomplete, deducted tax funds by Israel.”
Those who attacked Kay and murdered Kristine are paid over $3000 per month, an “execution stipend” Kay calls it. Raising awareness for the “Pay for Slay” policy of the Palestinian Authority has become British-born Kay’s social media cause.
The amount paid to terrorists, convicted murders serving life sentences in prison, the “Pay for Slay” salaries have been increased. European and British governments and media are silent on this travesty.
The beginning of a new year is a time to recall the past and prepare for a better future.
Some memories might be difficult, however, hopefully, their reflection will be used for good.
Where work and words will end up is hard to predict, and their unintended effect is beyond our imagination.