Syrian artillery pounded rebel-held areas of Homs as President Bashar al-Assad's government announced that voters had overwhelmingly approved a new constitution in a referendum derided as a sham by his critics at home and abroad.
Good can come from every situation, Judaism holds, and so does Irvine's Rabbi Joel Landau. The Beth Jacob Congregation leader has searched for good amid the unceasing bloodshed in the Middle East and found that empathy for victims of violence could be the sympathetic lifeline that tugs American Jews closer to their religious roots.
"Murderous explosion at Sbarros"
"Three dead in fatal drive-by shooting"For me, like for most American Jews, reading the morning newspaper is an event that fills me with dread. Over the last two years I have conditioned myself to hope for the best. But, after reading and hearing about so many horrific events, deep down it seems that I have come to expect the worst.
One of the most riveting - and controversial - photographs to have emerged from the recent violence in Israel was that of a bloodied and dazed young man with an angry Israeli policeman standing behind him shouting. While the young man was first identified by the Associated Press, the photo's source, as a Palestinian, it soon became clear that he was an American studying in an Israeli yeshiva - a victim of Palestinians, who had dragged him from a car, beaten and stabbed him; the policeman had been shouting at the Arab assailants. The New York Times, which ran the photo and mistaken caption, published a subsequent correction and follow-up article. Grossman, who is recuperating and undergoing physical therapy for his wounds, feels not only blessed to have escaped his would-be murderers, but richer in a sense for his harrowing experience. He penned the piece below for Am Echad.