Ezra Schwartz – Baruch Dayan Ha’emet


Adena Goldberg

Ezra Schwartz was a kid just like me. He graduated from day school, worked at a Jewish summer camp, played hard for his school’s sports teams, was a member of United Synagogue Youth (USY), went on a USY summer program, and most importantly had immense love for the state of Israel. Ezra Schwartz was killed in a terrorist attack on the way back to his Yeshiva after delivering supplies to Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers thanking them for their hard work protecting the country. At first when I heard the news, I was shocked, but regarded it as another attack that happens too frequently in Israel. As the the night turned into this morning, I have become so emotionally distraught over this incident. As I read the Facebook posts written by my peers who knew him, I fell apart. I sat in my school and tears rolled down my face as I watched a video of Ezra dancing with his campers to a song to which I too danced with my campers this summer. The tears kept coming as I read posts written by friends of mine who knew him, who are studying with him currently, or who have been impacted by his smile in any way throughout his short life.

This past week there have been incidents of hate throughout the world. People killing others for the sole purpose of hatred. I have been protected by my community for the past 18 years. I have been lucky enough to attend my school and be part of my youth group. I have lived in a country where my religion has freedom and where I don’t have to worry about a rocket or knife coming my way. Ezra grew up having these same luxuries. He also had the opportunity to spend a year in Israel–a year to grow and learn and to be a member of the Jewish nation. He was in a Yeshiva that stressed the importance of Tikkun Olam (repairing the world) and actively worked to do so. Now that he is gone we must all recognize the importance of Tikkun Olam. We must all work to change the world, move past hate, and work towards peace. In the memory of Ezra, the people in Paris, the victims of stabbings in Israel, those without a safe haven from Syria, and many more humans who are living without peace, we must do better. We must find change, and we must repair the world. For the camp counselors, the Jewish athletes, the day school students, the proud Jews that each of us are, and for Ezra– we cannot allow this hate to prevail–we must find peace.

May Ezra’s Memory be for a blessing. Baruch Dayan Haemet.