On Wednesday morning, for the holiday of Hoshana Rabbah (the last day of Sukkot), 20,000 Orthodox Jews gathered at dawn for prayers at the Western Wall. Waves of worshippers made their way silently on foot in the very early morning twilight through the alleyways of the Old City toward the Kotel.
Then magically on cue, they belted out the core “Shma” prayer as the sun crested the horizon. Then they waved their lulavim (palm branches) while singing Hallel (psalms of praise to God), and pounded their aravot (willow branches) on the ground in expiation of sin. By 8:30 a.m., the enormous crowd dispersed quietly.
No one would know about this uplifting holiday event from listening to Israel Radio or checking any Israel or global news website. Because there was no violence involved.
Because Jews go to pray at their holy sites, not to riot.
Unlike the Jews described above (of which I was one), Muslim Arabs in, on, and around the Temple Mount launched violent demonstrations that same morning, attacking Jewish worshippers and police all around the Old City. That made the news on Israel Radio…