Today, the eyes of the world focus on the Olympics in London. But for us as Jews – and for all those who treasure human decency – it is a day of darkness.
It was forty years ago — forty Summer Olympics ago, at Munich. Members of the Palestinian terrorist group Black September murdered eleven Israelis – three weightlifters, two wrestlers, one fencer, three coaches and two officials.
It happened for only one reason: they were Israelis.
They were Jews. They were our family.
We – the world Jewish community, and our numerous friends throughout the world – have begged the International Olympic Committee: let the Olympics have one minute of silence in their memory. Only one minute of silence – out of twenty four thousand, four hundred and eighty minutes for the entire Olympics! Out of all the cheering and yelling and excitement: just one minute of silence to remember those Israeli sportsmen who died during the Olympics.
That is all that we requested. And our pleas have been met – by silence. And their silence will be met – by our words.
On this Shabbat, we remember those Israeli sportsmen who died forty years ago. They were savagely cut down in the prime of their lives. They were “swifter than eagles, stronger than lions.” The ideals and values by which they lived are our ideals: team work, friendship, sportsmanship, and fairness.
We pledge the balance of our summer here in camp to celebrating those ideals – as we take their names into our hearts:
We pause now for our own moment of silence.