Chaya Zissel Braun And The End of Worlds

You won’t see it in the Daily News, and it didn’t show up in my Google News feed. But a baby died yesterday.

Except that’s not what happened.

A baby was killed yesterday.

Except she wasn’t killed.

Chaya Zissel Braun, whose names mean “life” and “little sweetie,” was murdered.

For most people, this crosses a line: the murder of an infant. But not for Adbel-Rahman Shaloudi, may his name and memory be erased, for whom a Jew is like a mosquito, to be squashed unthinkingly dead with a single swat.

“May his name and memory be erased.”  It’s something we say. In Hebrew, the shortened form of the tag has the sharp and guttural sound of finality: “Yemach shmo.”

A Kind Of Prayer

It’s a kind of prayer. For instance, “Hitler, yemach shmo.”

We add the tag because it is our wish that their seed not survive them, the evil ones. We say it because it is our wish that our world will be safe and free of evil. We say it because we want our children to grow up and do good things in the world. But mostly to just grow up.

That could be enough.

Chaya Zissel Won’t Grow Up

We say it because Chaya Zissel will not grow up: will not share her special brand of sweetness with the world.

Would we, could we forget her murderer’s name?

We stamp our feet and shake rattles when we hear the name Haman—that ancient enemy of the Jews—during the reading of the Book of Esther on Purim. We work hard to drown out his name.

We Keep Reading His Name

And still we read his name aloud every year. Repeatedly.

We do this because good must triumph over evil and it is our duty, each and every one of us, to make it happen.

Tzedek, tzedek tirdof! Justice you shall pursue!

Adbel-Rahman Shaloudi, yemach shmo, had a NERVE. He had the gall and the vanity to decide that God’s gift of life was his to snuff out at will, on the spur of the moment.

Did He Think We Were Fooled?

He thought he was ramming his car into a train stop in the Holy City for a higher purpose. Except none of us are fooled. He could not possibly have believed he was doing a good deed.

He used “righteousness” as an excuse to create evil in the world. He assumed the mantle of the Devil and called it right and good. Because he wanted to believe, even as he satisfied his lust for Jewish blood, his HUNGER to kill a baby, that he was doing the will of Allah.

They Felt Like Men

But he knew better. He knew it even as he pretended to fool himself. There was no greater good to the act.

Like Germans dashing Jewish babies’ heads repeatedly into walls, Adbel-Rahman Shaloudi liked it, liked killing a baby girl. It made him feel good, like his Nazi counterparts. It made him; it made them feel like men.

And in the heat of false righteousness, in hatred, Shaloudi, yemach shmo, destroyed worlds—generations to come—the generations that would have come from this tiny infant, Chaya Zissel, that little sweetie, a little pearl of life who will now shine only in the firmament.

There are so many lost worlds, lost Nobel Prizes. Six million Jews then and still the slaughter continues. Who can fathom the number of worlds lost to evil. How many Nobel Prizes have we lost? How many cures for cancer or the common cold?

What did the world lose when it lost Chaya Zissel?

What did the world lose when Hadas Fogel was decapitated because she wouldn’t stop crying?

Fogel Massacre

Hadas Fogel, HY”D

What did the world lose when Shalhevet Pass was taken out by a sniper, as she slept in her stroller in Hebron?

Sniper, Hebron, Shalhevet Pass, stroller

Shalhevet Pass

We lost generations. We lost cures for breast cancer. We lost worlds.

And the world warns us not to defend ourselves. Warns us not to triumph over evil. It comes from the highest level of government, which is but a speck of dust in the eyes of God. Still, Jen Psaki remains competent. She does her job.

She does not fear God above. She has a boss. She says, “We urge all sides to maintain calm and avoid escalating tensions in the wake of this incident.”

She ties our hands. Because that is what she was told to do by the President. The one for whom America voted, for whom American Jews voted.

They voted to wipe themselves out. Because they wanted health care.

The world shoots itself in the foot as it lusts for the Jews to be gone. It robs itself of cancer cures, of cures for breast cancer, of life-saving technology. It works to stamp out the name and memory of those who would save them: who would save the world!

Adbel-Rahman Shaloudi, Jerusalem light rail

Chaya Zissel Braun, HY”D

It’s a lot to put on one small delicate head, in which the pulse of life once beat. You could see it through the sparse baby hair that still had a long way to grow.

“Angel fluff” my father called it. Baby hair: the softest thing on God’s earth.

And below the surface was the mind and the worlds, all lost, all lost.

Only the blurry pink glow of a photo remains etched on my conscious mind.

But not on Jen’s.





Varda Epstein

A third-generation-born Pittsburgher on her mother’s mother’s side, Varda moved to Israel 36 years ago and is a crazy political animal who spams people with right wing political articles on Facebook in between raising her 12 children and writing about education as the communications writer at Kars for Kids a Guidestar gold medal charity.

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