Rabbi Leo Dee, whose daughters Maia and Rina and wife Lucy were murdered in a terrorist shooting in the Jordan Valley on Friday, delivered a statement this evening (Monday) on the terrible loss his family has suffered as a result of murderous terrorism and antisemitism.
He described how his family had been traveling in two vehicles to visit his parents when he received a call from his sister, who had heard that there had been a terrorist attack. He called his wife, and then his daughters, none of whom responded. He then noticed a missed call from his daughter Maia.
“The feeling that she called me during the attack and I wasn’t able to speak to her, would come back to haunt me for a while,” he said.
He continued: “I checked Google family link, and I saw that they were all located at the Hamra junction,” adding that his sister had seen a photograph of the scene, which revealed that the suitcases in the car which had been shot at definitely belonged to his family.
“I drove like a lunatic to the Hamra junction,” he said. “The police wouldn’t let us see the car. By this point we knew that the two younger girls had been killed by a terrorist with an automatic Kalashnikov rifle 20 bullets and the older woman had been airlifted to Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem.”
“I wanted to be with Lucy in the hospital, but we couldn’t believe that this was our car until we saw our family. I wanted to see the girls, or at least the car, for myself,” he said, describing how the police showed him the ID card of his daughter Maia, confirming his worst fears.
He then described how he went to the hospital where his wife was being treated. “Lucy had had two bullets, one through her brain stem, and one lodged at the top of her spine. There was an operation, there was reason for hope, but alas, our family of seven is now a family of four.”
Rabbi Dee noted that for the first time in 30 years, the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim festivals of Passover, Easter, and Ramadan have all coincided. He described how Passover and Easter are festivals of redemption, and how fasting on Ramadan teaches empathy, making all of the holidays about making the world a better place.
“All world religions believe that we have the power to tell the difference between good and evil so that we can choose to do good. And if we choose good then we make the world into a better place. I am saddened that recently – maybe over the past 20 years of my life, this innate ability to differentiate between good and evil has been gradually lost from humanity. That’s why I wish to designate today, the 10th April, as Dees day. The day we Differentiate between good and evil, right and wrong,” he said.
“And how do we differentiate between good and evil?” he asked. “We use our gut feeling. Yes. There’s no better formula. We can’t trust an app. We can’t trust the news – sorry gentlemen. We can only trust our intuitions. So how would I like you to celebrate Dees-Day this year? If you feel that it was wrong to shoot dead at close range three beautiful innocent young ladies in the prime of their lives then please post a picture of you or your spouse or your children with an Israeli flag. Or just post a picture of an Israeli flag and share it on Facebook, Instagram or whatever social media app you use.
“For too long we have let a small minority try to convince us there is no right and wrong. Everything is relative And it’s cathartic to do this sometimes because when we do wrong we know we have to make up for it. But if we pretend that there is no such thing as right and wrong, maybe we can get away scott free?
“On the other side, my beautiful wife (late wife), Lucy and I have tried to bring up our children with strong moral values Helping others. Caring for others Building community And Baruch Hashem, thank God, I believe that Tali, Keren and Yehuda will do that in their lives and pass those values down to their children and hence play their part in building a better world,” he said.
“This anonymous terrorist with the Kalashnikov – what did he achieve? A temporary victory? Some marks he can carve into his gun? Where’s his future? Is he spending the time with his children to teach them decent life values? Does he even have children or is he a child himself? A product of a broken culture that does not differentiate between good and evil, so he cannot see a future for himself. He is taking 20 shots of cocaine (one for each bullet) in order to numb his soul which is telling him: You are pure evil.”
Rabbi Dee rejected the attempts online to create a moral equivalency between his wife and daughters and their murderer. “There is no such thing as moral equivalence between terrorist and victim. The terrorist is always bad.”
He demanded: “World media: show me your true colors. Do you really believe in moral equivalence? Will you continue to support evil by giving it a voice? Am I and my family really a threat to world peace? We who teach kindness and love? We who value life over anything else? Is this anonymous killer really justified? Is he progressing moral values and a future for himself? Come on! Wake up! Listen to your souls. Do you really believe it? Or does it just sell advertising space for material goods that none of us really need?”