I write about the things that matter to me. All opinions are my own.

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Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Muslim Who Ran To Save A Jew


This week a young Muslim man, Ahmed Khalifa, witnessed a man assault a Jewish woman while she was praying. In his words:
"I was on the Q train siting across from the victim. And the perp just came out of nowhere and hit the poor Jewish lady in the face hard enough that she was bleeding."
The attack happened on a New York subway train at the Newkirk Avenue station in Brooklyn.


Ahmed chased the man all the way from Newkirk Avenue to Coney Island, a distance of nearly five miles.

OnlySimchas.com has a fuller account of the incident, including an interview.

This isn't Ahmed's first act of heroism; he previously saved a homeless man from jumping to his death on the train tracks. What is so amazing, so awesome about this young man is that he translates his belief into a total focus on doing the right thing. He says:
"I just want people to know that no matter what race, religion, belief, etc. you are I think of everyone as equal and I’ll do anything to make sure people know that."
The Jewish holiday of Hanukkah celebrates the zealousness of Matisyahu, the Jewish priest who killed the Greek official who tried to force him to make a pagan sacrifice. This great religious leader went on to lead the Jews in our miraculously successful fight for freedom. 

As a Jew I find that all religions help me get closer to God. It is a closeness that often proves elusive, and I crave it.

Jewish people most often inspire me with principled-ness -- a stubborn determination to do the right thing, even if it means disagreeing with everybody else.

Christians inspire me with their unbelievable faith and capacity for forgiveness, and spiritual rebirth.

Buddhists teach me compassion and a focus on solving the practical problems associated with human suffering.

And Muslims inspire me greatly as well. I see the holiness of their faith. They are fighters for God and of God.

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All opinions my own. Photo of Newkirk Avenue subway station via Wikipedia.