Monday, September 27, 2010

What Massage Therapy Taught Me About Simchat Torah

"Más participación", interrupts Margarita, my massage course instructor, "y menos presión."

I nod without looking up and continue to knead down the back of Yvonne, my fellow student; this time, as per my Venezuelan teacher's directions, using more participation (namely from my entire hand) and applying less pressure.

"Muy bien", she proclaims when I'm done, "very good".

With a small towel, I wipe away some sweat from my forehead.

Onto the shoulders now.

"If you are not relaxed, how can you bring relaxation to your patient?"My eager fingers grab, pinch and pull her stiff joints, bidding the cartilage to allow her shoulders the ease of movement they so desperately desire. I work vigorously. I stand stiffly as my fingers do their dance, their concentrated dance, upon Yvonne.

Deeper now, deeper. More pressure, more pressure. Get out all the knots. Dig!

I'm breathing hard and quickly.

Yvonne nudges me and points to our teacher. "Más participación y menos presión. Involucrate!" Margarita repeats herself. "More involvement and less pressure. Get involved! You need to involve ALL of your hand! Ease on the pressure!"

I roll my eyes and we all giggle. It's an ongoing joke, this constant reminder for me to slow down and focus on where my energy is coming from and where it's going to, rather than pounding away zealously.

I shake my wrists, take a deep breath and carefully resume my labor of love on my dear friend and classmate. "Victim", she claims with a wink.

I started this course about three weeks earlier and the classes are the highlight of my week. I'm absolutely in my element as Margarita lectures, demonstrates, tests, and guides us in everything there is to know about Masaje de Todo (Everything Massage). I knew a bit about massaging before I joined, having been blessed by G‑d with 'hands that heal', but entering the world of the erudite and gentle Margarita was entering into a whole new sphere of healing.


Friday, September 17, 2010

An Incredible Rebbe Story

Heard from Rabbi Shabatai Slaviticki.
Related by Yosske Sossonko.

There is a personal acquaintance of Reb Shabatai in Antwerp by the name of Feivel (a Belzer Chasid and a business man).

Feivel's mother passed away when he was 12 years old, shortly before his Bar Mitzvah. She orphaned a home full of children and Feivel was the youngest at 12.

Some twenty five years later, Feivel traveled to New York on business. One summer night he came to 770 to daven Maariv with the Rebbe. After Maariv Feivel noticed a commotion, people were going in and other people were going
out of 770. It was obvious there was something going on. He was told, that the Rebbe is receiving people who have made an appointment for yechidus.

Feivel who is a person who is not afraid of anything and a lively kind of fellow, was hanging around outside the Rebbe's room and decides that he is going to go in and see the Rebbe even though he doesn't have an appointment. Feivel goes over to the person at the front of the line and says that he needs to go in before him as he urgently need to leave soon. The person agrees to let Feivel go first.

The door opens, the person from the previous Yechidus comes out and Feivel walks into the Rebbe's room. Rabbi Groner is shocked by Feivils chutzpah and follows Feivil in and wants to schlep him out.

The Rebbe looks up and tells Feivel to sit down. Feivel did not have a Tzetel or anything specific to ask so he sits down. The Rebbe and he were sitting there in silence. The Rebbe gets up from his desk and walks over to a drawer looking for something.
The Rebbe returns to his desk with a letter.
The Rebbe begins to read a letter, from Feivel's mother written some 25 years earlier. In the letter she writes that she realizes that she is going to pass away but "I am not concerned for myself. Rebbe, I am asking you to arouse Rachamim Rabim, (extraordinary mercy) from Hashem, on behalf of my children." She goes on with a passionate plea that Hashem should protect and bless her Kinderlach.

Feivel is just in shock and overwhelmed. He was just a child when his mother passed away and did not have any letter of this kind in his possession.
He asked the Rebbe if he can have the letter, a letter from his mother pleading for her children!

The Rebbe said "I read this letter every year before I go out to Kol Nidrei..."

I Believe (music video)

I Believe

I’ve seen the Eiffel Tower
And I’ve seen Trafalgar Square
I’ve seen the sun rise on the ocean
And I know that You are there
From our holy land
To the Jewish plight we all know too well
I know You are there
And I know, I know You care

Horrified, we watched the Towers fall
As my soul froze somehow
I wondered
G-d where are You now?
But as the people ran in fear
I know You were standing there
And as our heroes went to die
I think I heard You start to cry

And I believe, You are listening to me
And I believe, You are standing here with me
And the footprints in the sand, oh no they’re not from me
I believe they’re all from You my G-d, when You carried me

And the storms in our life
They come riding in like the wind
And turn us inside out
Just to fill our hearts with doubt
But You’re my strength, You’re my power
You’re my hero, You’re my tower
You’re my life-line in the sea
And it’s You who carries me


Thursday, September 16, 2010

I'd Eat Rocks If He'd Tell Me To

So I'll watch the kids instead of davening Ne'ila, big deal.
It's for Him, either way.

And also, I'll always have a smile on my face, and if I need to grind my teeth, I'll do it with nobody knowing and I'll never cry and I'll never complain and I'll never kvetch and I'll always save money and I'll always be pleasant and I'll never leave my stuff around and I'll always agree and I'll always do things your way and I'll never ask for appreciation or even acknowledgment and I'll always be the mature one and the one who forgives and forgets and for sure, for sure, I'll always always keep my mouth shut.

*bitter. angry. sad. hurt. o-v-e-r-w-h-e-l-m-e-d*

I believe. I believe. These are the words of the song skipping around my head and tongue the whole day. "I believe."

G-d doesn't want me to do that whole list of things, nor does He want me to eat rocks.
He wants only one thing from me.
He wants me to believe.

I'll believe. I'll believe.

And y'know what just happened?? The Rabbi walked in with £180 pounds for me! Just when I needed it. After me telling him earlier this week I don't need it anytime soon. And not $180 like I mistakenly thought it would be. (and worked hard to muster up the "it's not important" attitude) Not even the USD equivalent of £180, but actual GBP which is what I need tonight. After me telling him earlier this week I'd rather dollars.

Apparently, G-d knows me a lot better than I know myself. And He knows the plan a lot better than I do, I must remind myself.

All I have to do is believe.

I believe.
I believe.

And so now, when she got upset at me for taking her small change (instead of thanking me for being faced with the uncomfortable situation of not having any money with which to pay the shochet and not wanting to wake up the tired mother and stressed sister-in-law, I scraped out my last pennies and ran around the house looking for more, while the busy man stood there waiting), I just quietly apologized and told her I'd get her change tomorrow.

I believe, G-d. I believe.

And it feels so darn good.

Awrite frae Glasgee :)

It's bin real. Nae as real as Auld Reekie, ay coorse, but we loch ye mair noo 'at Scootlund proved itself ;) an' noo, we're aff....

Monday, September 13, 2010


SayTehillimMenachem Mendel Chaim ben Chana

Esther Aidel bas Sheina Rochel

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Gates of Nikanor are screaming again.

Read Ruti's blog post here.

1:00 PM

Salm the 34th

Can you please say tehillim for Esther Eidel bas Sheina Rochel?
She is the aunt of my nieces.
Perek 34.

What's Your Excuse for Not Attending Synagogue? (spectacular article!!)


Rabbi, do you know why I don't go to synagogue? I used to go, but I started to notice that in my synagogue, the rich people get more noticed and average people like me are overlooked. So I stopped going. If you need to be wealthy to be respected, I want no part of it. Am I right or wrong?


You are the third person this week to explain to me why they don't go to synagogue. This happens to me all the time. At almost every function I attend, a wedding, kid's birthday party or communal gathering, someone comes up to me and says, "Rabbi, do you know why I don't go to synagogue...."

They feel the need to share with me their particular Jewish gripeI have never asked anyone why they don't go to synagogue. I don't even know these people. And yet they feel the need to share with me their particular Jewish gripe, either about the unfriendly rabbi or the arrogant cantor, the grandfather who forced them to pray or the G‑d who didn't answer their prayers.

It's funny, I don't feel the need to justify to my dentist why I never go to him, or the local gym why they never see me. And yet when people see a rabbi they are overcome with an urge to explain their absence from synagogue.

Mind you, the people who do attend synagogue don't seem to have a good reason why they come. Even someone who has not been to synagogue in years can rock up to a service, and without any justification for their sudden appearance, they walk in, take a prayer book and sit down as if they always belonged there.

Because they do belong there.I am here because I am Jewish, and going to synagogue is Jewish A Jew needs no reason to be in synagogue. There is no explanation necessary. Most of the time, they themselves don't know why they started coming to synagogue. And so they offer no rationalization. You only need a reason not to go to synagogue. But to go, no reason is required. I am here because I am Jewish, and going to synagogue is Jewish.

This is why I love hearing those alibis people present for not being in synagogue. A Jew needs a reason not to connect to Judaism. Some may have pretty good reasons, like yours. But they are reasons nonetheless. A Jew needs no reason to connect to Judaism. It is who we are.

If you don't like your synagogue, find another one. Until you do, all the justifications in the world won't change the fact that you're a Jew, and a Jew wants to be Jewish.


uch i LOVE it!!

Guilt Is Out of Fashion These Days

by Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

Guilt is out of fashion these days, like sports jackets, courtesy, humility and handkerchiefs.
It has a sepia-tinted Victorian air about it. It belongs, so it seems, to that foreign country, the past. They do things differently there. For us, when things go wrong, it was someone else’s fault: the boss, the colleague, the system, the government, the media, our parents, the way we were brought up, society, bad luck or our genes.

Feeling guilty, they say, is bad for us. It lowers self esteem. Who does it any more? We have finally reached the age Shelley dreamed of in his poem Prometheus Unbound. We are “free from guilt or pain.”

All of which makes it difficult to understand – except as some relic of the past – what Jews throughout the world are now doing, getting ready for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the Jewish New Year and the Day of Atonement, what we call “the Days of Awe.” Yom Kippur could almost be defined as a festival of guilt. We repent and confess our sins repeatedly in long alphabetical lists. “We have been guilty, we have betrayed, we have robbed, we have spoken slander.” “For the sin we committed through hardness of heart, for the sin we committed through utterance of the lips,” and so on throughout the day.

Yom Kippur itself is the culmination of a process that begins forty days before with the sounding of the shofar, the ram’s horn, our moral early warning system. Then come Selichot, the special penitential prayers said for a week before the New Year, then the New Year itself with its symbolism of the world as a courtroom in session, with our lives on trial. It’s hard to think of anything less in keeping with the zeitgeist, the mood of now.

I think, though, that Judaism gets it right and the zeitgeistgets it spectacularly, dangerously wrong. Consider: guilt enters the world hand in hand with the spirit of forgiveness. G-d forgives: that is the message emblazoned all over Yom Kippur. G-d doesn’t expect us to get it right all the time. The greatest of the great, Abraham, Sarah, Moses, David, had their faults and failings, defeats and doubts. There is only one person in the Hebrew Bible who is said to have committed no sin: Job. And look what happened to him.

So, because G-d forgives, we can be honest with Him and therefore with ourselves. Unlike a shame culture, a guilt culture separates agent from act, the person from the deed. What I did may be wrong, but I am still intact, still loved by G-d, still His child. In a guilt culture, acknowledging our mistakes is doable, and that makes all the difference.

Today’s secular environment is a shame culture. It involves trial by the media, or public opinion, or the courts, or economic necessity, all of which are unforgiving. When shame is involved, it’s us, not just our actions, that are found wanting. That’s why in a shame culture you don’t hear people saying, “I was wrong. It was my fault. I’m sorry. Forgive me.” Instead, people try to brazen it out. The only way to survive in a shame culture is to be shameless. Some people manage this quite well, but deep down we know that there’s something rotten in a system where no one is willing to accept responsibility.

Ultimately, guilt cultures produce strong individuals precisely because they force us to accept responsibility. When things go wrong we don’t waste time blaming others. We don’t luxuriate in the most addictive, destructive drug known to humankind, namely victimhood. We say, honestly and seriously, “I’m sorry. Forgive me. Now let me do what I can to put it right.” That way we and the people we offend can move on. Through our mistakes we discover the strength to heal, learn and grow.

Shame cultures produce people who conform. Guilt cultures produces people with the courage to be free. The Talmud says that the Day of Atonement was one of the happiest days of the year. That’s an odd thing to say about a day of fasting and confession. But the rabbis were right.

In place of a low dishonest culture where everyone blames someone else and no one admits responsibility, Yom Kippur offers a world of honesty and responsibility where guilt melts in the flames of G-d’s forgiveness and we are made new in the fire of His unconditional love.

A Fruitful New Year...

Wishes for you in the year ahead:

May you rise from every occasion . . .

May you find it easy to give and receive . . .

May you know when to surrender, and do so with grace . . .

May you remember that some people's lives are parched and dry... and be grateful for the abundance in yours . . .

May you find beauty in unexpected places . . .

May you carry your loads with ease amid sweetness . . .

May you learn and teach well . . .

May you move with as much joy and ease as you can . . .

May your home be filled with fresh air and light . . .

May your tense and angry times be short-lived . . .

so that you come back quickly to your comfortable ol' self . . .

May you be startled and delighted by new beginnings . . .

May you find your uniqueness . . .

May there be peace between you and your friends . . .

and hear beautiful music . . .

May you come to the surface for air when you need it . . .

And may everything that hurts you also be a little funny . . .

Have a wonderful 5771 year!!

שנה טובה

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Help Give the Gift of Life this Rosh Hashanah

Help Others be Inscribed in the Book of Life

As we reflect on the past year and make a commitment to perform mitzvot in the year to come, please keep the patients we serve in mind, and consider growing your involvement with us.
You can take the first step with a simple click of your mouse by helping Gift of Life receive a $25,000 prize that will test 463 new bone marrow donors for FREE. Just vote for our Founder, Jay Feinberg, for Jewish Community Hero! If we win, this will help save the lives of patients with no matches.
Click here to help Gift of Life win $25,000!

B'nai Mitzvah Initiative Launches

Gift of Life transplant recipient Evie Goldfine of Boston has launched a program for middle-school age children who need to complete a mitzvah project leading up to their B'nai Mitzvah.
"Our young people are our future leaders," stated Evie, "and it is important to connect them to social causes in their formative years. The skills and knowledge they gain will serve them throughout their lifetime."
For more information, please visit

Whole, Broken, Whole

On Rosh Hashanah we produce three sounds via the shofar. The first sound is called tekiah, a single whole note. The second is shevarim, three shorter “broken” notes, which sound like three sighs. The third is called teruah, nine staccato notes in rapid succession, which sound like the short sobs.

What do they represent? Tekiah reminds us that once we were whole. Each of us was born whole. Shevarim reminds us that in life we are plagued by questions, confusion, and disappointments; we become fragmented, and scattered, causing our existential sighs. Teruah reminds us how many people’s lives have been shattered through various negative experiences into tiny pieces. They are sobbing consciously or unconsciously.

But what we do after each time we blow the sounds of brokenness? We blow the tekiah again. This reminds us that we can be restored to wholeness again.
What is more, following all of the shofar sounds, we reach the tekiah gedolah, three sounds? We reach tekiah gedolah, "the great tekiah"—one note that lasts as long as the shofar-blower has breath, a much longer note than the initial blast which began the cycle. Through surviving brokenness, we can reach an even deeper kind of wholeness than we knew before.

When It Pours...

She had been shopping with her Mom in Wal-Mart. She must have been 6 years old, this beautiful red haired, freckle faced image of innocence. It was pouring outside. The kind of rain that gushes over the top of rain gutters, so much in a hurry to hit the earth it has no time to flow down the spout.

We all stood there under the awning and just inside the door of the Wal-Mart. We waited, some patiently, others irritated because nature messed up our hurried day. I am always mesmerized by rainfall. I get lost in the sound and sight of the heavens washing away the dirt and dust of the world.

Memories of running, splashing so carefree as a child come pouring in as a welcome reprieve from the worries of my day. Her voice was so sweet as it broke the hypnotic trance we were all caught in. "Mom, let's run through the rain," she said.

"What?" Mom asked.

"Let's run through the rain!" She repeated.

"No, honey. We'll wait until it slows down a bit," Mom replied.

This young child waited about another minute and repeated: "Mom, let's run through the rain."

"We'll get soaked if we do," Mom said.

"No, we won't, Mom. That's not what you said this morning," the young girl said as she tugged at her Mom's arm.

"This morning? When did I say we could run through the rain and not get wet?"

"Don't you remember? When you were talking to Daddy about his cancer, you said, 'If G-d can get us through this, He can get us through anything!'"

The entire crowd stopped dead silent. I swear you couldn't hear anything but the rain. We all stood silently. No one came or left in the next few minutes. Mom paused and thought for a moment about what she would say. Now some would laugh it off and scold her for being silly. Some might even ignore what was said. But this was a moment of affirmation in achild's life. A time when innocent trust can be nurtured so that it will bloom into confidence, courage and faith.

"Honey, you are absolutely right. Let's run through the rain. If G-d let's us get wet, well maybe we just needed washing," Mom said. Then off they ran. We all stood watching, smiling and laughing as they darted past the cars and yes, through the puddles. They held their shopping bags over their heads just in case. They got soaked. But they were followed by a few who screamed and laughed like children all the way to their cars.
"And yes, I did. I ran. I got wet. I needed washing."

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

A Precious English Neshama

what a Shabbos..... :)
Shai. A gift. Shai-lee. My gift.

The most precious English neshama I've yet to meet.

Hyper and jumpy, the guy definitely had ants in his pants. When he spoke, past and present and future all fought for attention. He hopped around the room to the beat of his conversations. Up from his chair, plop on the couch, stand in the corner, lean against the wall, sit, stretch, stand again.
"I'm a sinner." Yea, well the whiter the cloth, the more noticeable the stain.
Generous past the point of giving the shirt off his back; coupled with a kindness that led you to expect a "thank you" for accepting.
Drunk, nah. Transparently serious. Insanely amusing.
Stop apologizing; I am smitten!
So super sensitive and simply yum.
The earnestness and sincerity, the acceptance and the struggle.
A perfect human being, doing everything wrong.
I just want to be good! You ARE good. No I'm not! Well you know it, at least. That means you're almost there...
"Listen to what I'm saying". "I am, that's the problem."
Write a book of the truth.
Balls? Yes, no, two, one, none..lubavitch girl.
Selflessness from every pore. And bravery.
Never told a soul...

The most precious English neshama I've yet to meet...

Monday, September 06, 2010

Camp Simcha: "Wavin Flag" in Times Square

yeah, I'm walkin around singin a song from the world cup. stranger things have happened.
what a Shabbos..... :)

Friday, September 03, 2010

"8 years old."

More than the comment, it was the ease with which he threw out the number.

8 years old.
8 years old.
8 years old.
8 years old.
8 years old.
8 years old.
8 years old.
8 years old.
8 years old.
8 years old.
8 years old.
8 years old.

And all these years, I was led to believe that echoes were heard only with the ears...

Israeli Politics

Ok, I usually prefer not to bash my head against a wall, it's just one of those quirks I have. But really, this is getting to the insanity of insanities.

"Hi! I don't know why they call you a bully, I think you're a rather kind and sensible fella. Here, I'll give you my lunch, my snack, my ball, my gel pens and my WOAH YOUCH! card collection, if you knock me on the head only when I'm looking without ever sneaking up from behind me. And when you smear glue on the teacher's chair and then frame me, can you just leave the speech to my parents for the school to do without your help? And also if you wait to break my glasses till the end of the day, this way I'll be able to go straight from school and fix them and OW! ok I guess I was being greedy there. Here, take my soda. I apologize for the blood on the can. Please accept this banknote and my sincerest apologies."
chocolate vaccines
(thanx 4 the advice, yvonne)

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Address for R' Sholom Rubashkin

Thank you for saying Tehillim for Sholom Mordechai HaLevi ben Rivka.

If you would like to write to him ( letters are most appreciated), his address is:

Sholom Rubashkin 10755-029
FCI Otisville
Federal Correction Inst.
P.O. Box 1000
Otisville, NY 10963

May he have a complete yeshua immediately

I have hope!

See, now this is very interesting. And comforting, and motivating, and yea.
I always knew this in the negative sense, never thought of the positive benefits...

I CAN be my role models.

Wednesday, August 25
Elul 15


The Baal Shem Tov taught that everything we see, whether good or bad, is really a reflection of ourselves. If it was not, we'd simply not see it.
This phenomenon is part of a merciful way that G-d has of teaching us lessons in life. Most of us have a difficult time hearing from others that we have a flaw which we ourselves don't recognize. Therefore, G-d sets us up to have a confrontation with a person who exhibits that same flaw in some form. We see it and we say "how terrible." But then it dawns on us that we exhibit the same behavior, though perhaps in different form.
The same is true for positive things. We recognize a positive characteristic in others because we have it in ourselves. If we didn't have any element of it, we wouldn't recognize it.
In other words: You are what you see. And you see what you are.
Many Jews living in Germany in the 1930s didn't recognize the evil of the German people because they had none of it in themselves. They couldn't fathom that anyone could murder them in cold blood. If you are incapable of a crime, it's impossible to imagine that someone else is capable of it.
There are atrocities that we can't even relate to because we're not capable of doing such a thing ourselves.
The same is true for goodness or holiness.
Many of us are cynical because we never met anyone truly holy or truly pure. So we don't believe that it's possible to be that way because it's not part of our own experience.
Ask yourself: Are you cynical about the holiness of others? Do you see the goodness around you? When confronted with a behavior that you dislike are you able to see the same flaw, in some form, in yourself?
  • Exercise for the day:
    - Of the events of the past day, select a positive experience and identify how the goodness you encountered is embodied in you.
    - Of the events of the past day, select a negative experience and identify how this reflects a negative characteristic that you possess.

Excerpt from 60 Days: A Spiritual Guide to the High Holidays, by Simon Jacobson. ©Copyright The Meaningful Life Center, 2010. All rights

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Leeza Beez's First Day of School

When your high-school friend sends her kid to the (nursery of the) school you two attended together.
Wow. Wow and a lowercase wow

Tuvia Grossman Meets The Soldier Who Saved His Life

Wow Rafi G, glad I visited your blog today, this video is amazing!

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

The Midget's Responsibility

Nine generations ago, the Baal Shem Tov would go to a special place on Rosh Hashana, he would light a fire in a special way, say a special prayer, and as a result the entire world would be blessed.
In the next generation, his successors knew the location of the special place and they knew how to light the fire but they forgot the prayers. So instead, they would pray, "Whatever the Baal Shem Tov achieved here with the fire, we should achieve."
The next generation knew the location but they forgot the rest. So they just stood in the location and said, "Whatever the Baal Shem Tov achieved here, we should achieve."
Today, we have forgotten even the location. So what do we do? We tell the story...

We are asked to do only that which we are capable of. We do not have to be like the giants of the past. We just have to do what is in our power—stand on their shoulders. When we do so we lay claim to everything they achieved plus we add our own small part—and that small part, added to the good deeds of our ancestors, might just be enough to tip the scales and bring redemption.
Ask yourself: Do you know what your small part in this world is? What can you add to the cumulative accomplishments of the giants of the past?

Saved in the Merit of Mivtza Mezuzah

This evening (Tuesday), Kiryat Arba shliach Rabbi Yossi Nachshon escaped the shooting attack that occurred at the Bnei Naim Junction in the merit of Mivtza Mezuzah.

Every evening, Chabad House workers have been traveling to various communities in the area as part of Mivtza Mezuzah during the month of Elul. So far, over 1,000 mezuzos have been checked as part of the mivtza, and many invalid mezuzos have been exchanged with kosher ones.

“Today, I was on my way to Maaleh Chaver, which is very close to the community of Bnei Naim,” Rabbi Nachshon later reported. “But one of the people checking the mezuzos delayed me in Kiryat Arba. Baruch Hashem, this possibly saved my life as I would have been driving through the junction when the shooting occurred.”

Currently, Rabbi Nachshon is planning to increase his staff’s activities and to hold a special thanksgiving seudah.

Four Jews Murdered in Arab Terror Attack Near Hevron

"A Zaka volunteer who arrived on the scene broke down in tears when he neared the car and discovered that one of the victims was his wife...."

Palestinian terrorists murdered four Jewish civilians in a shooting attack at the Bani Naim junction just south of Hevron Tuesday evening. Emergency service paramedics could do nothing to save the victims whose bodies were riddled with bullets. The terrorists reportedly made sure their victims were dead by shooting them from close range after the initial fusillade.

The victims are a husband and wife, parents of six, and two passengers. Their names were cleared for publication Tuesday night by local police:

  • Yitzhak and Talya Imes
  • Kochava Even Chaim
  • Avishai Shindler
The four were all citizens of Beit Haggai.

A Zaka volunteer who arrived on the scene broke down in tears when he neared the car and discovered that one of the victims was his wife. The IDF is combing the area, searching for the terrorists.

One of the victims had a license for a gun that was suspended shortly before the attack. Itamar Ben-Gvir and Baruch Marzel said at the scene that serious soul-searching must be done "in order to find out how it is that Jews are deprived of the basic right to defend themselves."

Hamas took "credit" for the terror attack, while PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad condemned the attack and said that it is against Arab interests. Fayyad added that the PA will act to prevent additional acts of terror.

IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi arrived on the scene of the attack along with Head of Central Command Major General Avi Mizrahi and Judea and Samaria Commander Brig.-Gen. Nitzan Alon. The three performed an evaluation of the situation.

Ashkenazi said: "There is no doubt that this is a very difficult event. First, we express our condolences to the victims' families and to Beit Hagai. We are working in several directions since the event occurred and will continue to act until we capture the terrorists. IDF along with other security agencies continue to operate until we capture the murderers who were responsible for this incident. "

The terror attack is typical of Arab "resistance" attacks that intentionally target civilian victims. A survey carried out by a PA organization in early August found that among the Arab public in the Palestinian Authority, over 55% view violence as either essential or desirable, nearly 31% see it as either acceptable or tolerable, and only 13.7% say it is unacceptable.

The attack was probably timed to coincide with and affect the direct talks between Israel and the PA in Washington, D.C., that are to begin Thursday. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said upon landing in Washington that the talks would proceed as planned, despite the murders.

By by Gil Ronen, Hillel Fendel and Elad Benari on