How Not to Behave During the Days of Awe (UPDATED)

By Jeffrey Goldberg

These are the Days of Awe, the intermediate days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, when Jews believe God is judging us for our behavior over the past year. I am not a great expert on what God does or doesn't do, or when He does it, nor am I a great expert on the Jewish law governing this period, but I'm pretty sure that burning down a mosque violates the letter and spirit of said law, and doing so during the Days of Awe puts the arsonist's soul in eternal danger. Like I said, I'm pretty sure about this one. Which means that the barbarians who sacked a mosque in the Galilee better start hiding from God. Which is, of course, impossible, but it's the only advice I could think of, other than asking them to repent for their sin, which I'm sure they don't think of as a sin, in any case.

UPDATE: Condemnations of this terrible act are pouring in from all corners of the Jewish world, thank God:

Jerusalem - Chief Rabbi of Israel Yona Metzger accompanied President Shimon Peres for a visit to the Tuba Zangaria mosque torched overnight during a "Price Tag" operation.
"We remember when our books were burnt and we cannot abide such actions against any other religion. For us - a synagogue, a mosque, a church - they are considered embassies of God, and you do not harm embassies," said Metzger.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2011/10/how-not-to-behave-during-the-days-of-awe-updated/246103/