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Quote from Rabbi Shlomo Riskin of Efrat Semptember 12, 2001

Rabbi Shlomo Riskin of Efrat, speaking from Manhattan:
“Yesterday morning, I was sitting in a NY office,
explaining that the evils of this century – first Nazi
fascism, then Stalinist Communism – began against the
Jews, and then continued against the rest of the world. I
had just said that the third scourge of the century is
Islamic fundamentalism – which today is against Israel and
tomorrow will be against the entire free world – and then,
as if on queue, someone opened the door and told us about
the explosions in the World Trade Center, and then a few
minutes later about the Pentagon, and that was the end of
our meeting… There is a tremendous sense of American
vulnerability. Americans, and the Jews here as well, have
always thought of the U.S. as being invulnerable. Just as
the shofar is a wake-up call, this was too – and to the
American government as well. I don’t think that we’ll hear
anymore about even-handedness or [Israel’s] overreacting
and the like; I think that this will wake everyone up to
realize that we must destroy terrorism wherever it rears its
ugly head, whatever it takes to do so – otherwise the world
will be overtaken by Islamic fundamentalists, by the core
of the most evil thing imaginable.

[Regarding the Messiah and Gog-and-Magog] I must
admit that this was my first reaction when I looked out the
window and saw the smoke billowing, and people jumping
out the windows, and the terror on the faces of all the
high-powered brokers, etc. Undoubtedly it is a clash of
two cultures, one that trains its youth to study and to live
in freedom and to revere life, and another culture that trains
its youth to become suicide bombers. The first understands
compromise, and the other only believes in fanatical
all-or-nothing. This is very frightening. I will speak about
this in Israel next week, but in short: The world that G-d
created is not yet complete, and our task, Israel’s, is to
perfect it. To some extent, we are the litmus paper of
where the world stands, as I alluded to at the beginning
[regarding the century’s three scourges]. Our job is to act
against these evils, because otherwise, we leave the world
open to the worst forces of evil unimaginable. Our belief is
that once we – primarily the Jews, and also all
freedom-loving peoples – take the requisite steps, then
G-d will complete the process. We hope that yesterday’s
unspeakable events bring the U.S. and Israel closer [to this

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