Question for your table: What's the #1 question rabbis get asked?
A: "Where was God in the Holocaust?"
Second question: What's the #1 question rabbis got asked this week?
A: "Is it right to celebrate or be happy about the death of Bin Laden?"
Many rabbis will answer the way I do: It is not inappropriate to be joyful when hearing of the death of a Hitler, a Stalin, a person whose life mission it is to murder thousands or millions of people, especially people like you and me.
Third question: Who gets the "credit"?
Perhaps the following true story will shed some light on the question.
Approximately four weeks prior to the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York City, the suicide bombing of the Sbarro pizzeria in central Jerusalem occured on August 9, 2001. The following is a true story:
"May I please get ahead of you in this line? I have to catch a plane back to America and in a great hurry to get to the airport."
The elderly gentleman generously granted this request and soon the tourist was outside, pizza in hand, rushing towards his cab. But then a huge explosion rocked the air and he realized that the Sbarro restaurant he had just left had been the victim of a terrorist suicide bombing. Rushing back to see what happened to the man who had given him his place and thus had saved his life, he found him alive but wounded. After expressing his deep appreciation for his role in saving his life, he informed him that he was a wealthy businessman back in New York and he would be glad to help him any time he was in need. He left his business card and was on his way to the airport.
The opportunity to keep his promise came less than 4 weeks later. The son of the elderly man phoned him that his father required major surgery in an Israeli hospital and could not afford to pay for it. Upon hearing this, the businessman responded that he was ready to come to Israel to see that everything would go well with the operation and he would cover all expenses.
He soon found himself sitting together with the son who called him in the lobby outside the area where the elderly man was undergoing the critical operation. As they looked up at the television screen they saw one plane after another crash into the World Trade Center. The businessman had offices in one of the buildings.
The person that was saved from the Sbarro pizza bombing in Israel was again saved by the same person from the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center.
Fourth Question: Just a "coincidence"?
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The goal of this email is to offer conversation-starters for your Friday night dinner table. Please print and share.