The disappearance of the three yeshiva students in Israel two weeks ago has set the entire Jewish community and friends of Israel on edge. The United States has said “it’s very concerned” and other countries have spoken about the crisis as well. For many of us in Pittsburgh, the crisis is a reminder of how fragile the relationship is between the diverse populations in that area.
One of the students, Naftali Fraenkel, is both an American and Israeli citizen. Like so many students who take their gap year between high school and college, these young people have been caught in a terrible lesson of safe traveling in an area of instability and potential danger.
In the 1980s, I was given the opportunity, like many students, to study and visit Israel. It was always stressed that when we left school grounds we needed to be observant of our surroundings and careful with whom we communicated. It’s a shame that armed soldiers need to resolve these crises and inevitably create potential tension in Israel’s everyday existence. The outpouring of prayers these last weeks, including at gatherings in Pittsburgh, have reminded so many of us how delicate the safety of all of Israel’s citizens are.
MICHAEL M. MILCH