Yesterday’s bombing at the Boston Marathon is just beginning to crystallize in some people’s minds as the tragedy that occurred comes into focus. For others, the tragedy was all too real and in focus from the start.
Rabbi Yosef Zaklos of Chabad of Boston was at the event to put on tefillin with Jewish participants in the marathon. He was at the site of the blast as it happened and recounted the harrowing experience to The Algemeiner.
“We heard a loud boom. The second one I saw a fire ball go up and obviously heard it–it was horrific.” The rabbi immediately rushed into a nearby bar.
“The owner didn’t know what had happened. It was all very chaotic.”
Mayshe Schwartz, Rabbi at Chabad Chai Center in Brookline, Massachusetts, told The Algemeiner that the community is still trying to come to terms with what happened, but that the incident must not shake people’s morale.
“We know whoever did do it wants to disrupt our freedom and our love of life. And the only response, when someone wants to take that away from you, is have more love of life and express more freedom and kindness at each other. That’s the only thing we can do right now.”
Rabbi Schwartz added that the Jewish community must remain strong and that it “cannot allow the fear that [the perpetrators] try to instill in us to manifest.”
The head of the security network for U.S. Jewish organizations told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the community is “standing vigilant.”
“We know that unfortunately 30 percent of terrorist attacks had Jewish institutions as secondary targets,” said Paul Goldenberg, director of the Secure Community Network. “However, I must stress that there is absolutely nothing here that indicates any connection to an attack on the Jewish community. But based on history, we are standing vigilant for at least the next 48 hours.”
Rabbi Zaklos said that the security measures being taken by the Jewish community are apparent, but that everyone is trying to go about their daily life as normally as possible.
“There’s definitely a larger security presence. The school my children go to sent out an email saying that there would be extra police posted outside. ”
With so many questions still unanswered, Rabbi Zaklos is trying to help where he can by offering support through prayer or any other possible means.
“They seem like little things but in the moment they are important.”