Monday, March 03, 2008

Question & Answer With David Raab - Religious Observance During A Hijacking

A Simple Jew asks:

In your book "Terror in Black September" you recounted how you attempted to maintain your religious observance to the best of your ability while you were held hostage in Jordan in 1970 by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). How has this traumatic experience influenced your religious observance since the day of your release?

David Raab answers:

For the most part, you may be surprised to learn, my experience did not change my religious observance. I was fully observant before my hijacking and captivity and continued to be so afterwards.

Two things did change, though. First, I felt a deeper and more personal closeness and thankfulness to God. I felt that, though he had just put me through a very difficult test, he had performed an individualized miracle to save me. His hand had protected me throughout, like a warm cloud enveloping me, so that I came out physically unscathed. My family and I annually celebrate a day of thanksgiving to God, a yom hodaya, on the anniversary of my release.

Second, my feelings for Israel and the commandment to live there intensified as a result of my experience, such that the year following the hijacking I moved to Israel. And, despite an extended return to the U.S. in the intervening period, I have now been living in Israel again for the past nine years. Interestingly, about 20% of the American Jews who boarded my TWA plane on the September morning in 1970 also now live in Israel, so this same feeling seems to have affected them.


At March 4, 2008 at 9:58:00 AM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very interesting! Thanks for posting!


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