Points of Emphasis
Prime Minister Rabin was leading a Peace Supporters' Rally (Rabin's last speech), which had just concluded, and he was assassinated as he left the rostrum.
- "A Song for Peace": Moments before he was assassinated, Prime Minister Rabin joined in public singing for the first time of that song
- Does political assassination actually changes the course of history? This is the first assassination in Israel of a leading statesman.
- Hate: what is the attitude of the Sages?
- The perpetrator of the assassination is a third-year law student from Herzliya, at Bar Ilan University.
- All Israel's political parties in the "national consensus" have united to deplore and condemn this terrible crime, as have political leaders and Jewish organizations worldwide.
- What Yitzhak Rabin achieved in his lifetime: See excerpts from his biography, below.
- Excerpts from Rabin's speeches. Do you know what Yitzhak Rabin thought about peace?
The Second Temple and the Kingdom of Judah are said to have fallen because of causeless hatred:
"But why was the second Sanctuary destroyed, seeing that in its time they were occupying themselves with Torah, [observance of] precepts, and the practice of charity? Because therein prevailed hatred without cause. That teaches you that groundless hatred is considered as of even gravity with the three sins of idolatry, immorality, and bloodshed together."
Gemara, Yoma 9b
One question which is now being asked is whether a political assassination actually changes the course of history. Does it serve the ends of its perpetrators, or strengthen the resolve of those who supported the victim's ideas to pursue his humanitarian quest?
From this point, at least, it would seem that the indications afford some degree of hope: the light generally does not die with the murdered person, but is rekindled anew by many more followers who take up the cause.
There have been other political murders in Israel:
- Yaakov Yisrael Dehan , ultra-orthodox anti-Zionist spokesman, 1924;
- Zionist leader, Chaim Arlozorov , 16 June 1933;
- Emil Greenzweig , peace activist, 10 February, 1983
In the world, the past four decades have seen several major assassinations and attempts at assassinations:
- US President John F. Kennedy , Dallas, 1963;
- US black Civil Rights leader, Martin Luther King , 1964;
- US Presidential candidate, Robert Kennedy , 1968;
- Egyptian President, Nobel laureate, Anwar el-Sadat , 6 October 1981
- Indian Prime Minister, Indhira Gandhi , 1984.
- The Pope and former US President Reagan recovered from assassination attempts.
Words: Yaakov Rotblit
Music: Yair Rozenblum
NOTE: As this song is copyright, we can only provide excerpts.
TNU LASHEMESH LA'ALOT Let the sun rise,
LABOKER LEHA'IR The morning shine...
MUTAV TASHIRU SHIR LASHALOM Far better sing a song to peace
BETZE'AKA GDOLA And sing it way out loud.
AL TAGIDU YOM YAVO Don't say "wait, the day will come",
HAVI'U ET HAYOM Go bring that day yourself...
- Israeli and Jewish groups could formulate a "Rabin Memorial Pact", where they commit themselves to condemn violence, whether expressed physically or through verbal incitement.
- Send your organization or group's condolences to the Knesset and to the late Prime Minister's family. E-mail will be forwarded to the family from the following addresses:
- Create your own Memorial ceremony for the Shiv'a week of mourning, for which we are providing texts.
- Align Yitzhak Rabin's career and achievements with his biography. Full chart for a Memory Game and biography.
- Tape any life-story materials by CNN and other TV news agencies ! At the sites described in this index on Rabin you should be able to retrieve information on the assassination and the funeral.
- Look at the other Sources and Food for Thought in this page for discussion materials.
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Created: November 8th, 1995