Join us for services this Shabbat as we end August and begin Elul - and start the home stretch toward the High Holidays.
As we approach the 50th anniversary of the Munich Olympic Massacre over the coming days, there will be many reminiscences and retrospectives. The anniversary is mired in controversy, as victims' family members are threatening to boycott over the lack of support they've received and the lack of protection for the athletes. The Bavarian authorities have only now made public their files as to what exactly happened on that fateful day. And now, fifty years later, we ask what lessons can be learned, what has changed and what hasn't? For Israel, the biggest lessons involved deterrence and self sufficiency. Never count on someone else to protect you, and make sure that those who wish you harm know that there will be a steep price to pay. The perpetrators of the Munich massacre found that out first hand, and that doctrine is now playing itself out in the multi-front war between Israel and Iran.
While Israel is undeniably stronger than it was back in 1972 - and strategically less isolated - the Jewish people have never really gotten over Munich. The symbolism of how it happened (with the entire world watching), when it happened (during the Olympics, when countries trust that their athletes will be protected) and where it happened (Germany, less than a generation after the Shoah), has led to a deep frustration with the hypocrisy of a world so quick to point fingers at the victim.
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